Shepparton NDIS participant, Cherie Greville said she was close to giving up her career, but with NDIS funded equipment and supports she’s been able to continue working, doing a job she really loves, and said she’s not done yet.
Cherie, 54, a paediatric psychologist, who has inflammatory arthropathy (multiple chronic arthritis’s) impacting her joints, said an important part of her role is writing a lot of reports.
“While I’ve got ergonomic aids to support my arms, it’s the actual typing that inflames my arthritis so the NDIS funded me Dragon Naturally Speaking – a speech to text program.
“It trains itself based on how much you work with it, so when I have a really bad day with my arthritis I can do reports quicker than I can typing them! It’s been awesome,” she said.
“I used to have to ice my hands every lunchtime, for about an hour, so I could attempt to use them again in the afternoon.
“Sometimes I just couldn’t use them, and the pain, it makes you really tired so some days I’d have to make a choice about how much work I could really get done versus how much pain it was going to cause me.
“Then if I was on a deadline, I’d just have to grit my teeth and get through it, but my brain would start to fog over after a while. It doesn’t cope well with long periods of pain.
I had to try and find a balance, but now I can actually generate more work in my day because of this program!”
Cherie said she’s grateful her NDIS funding has helped her to continue in her role – one she’s so passionate about and has been so highly sought after during COVID, but added it has created a lot of other opportunities for her to start enjoying her life again.
“My NDIS funding paid for a wheelchair and a wheelchair lift to be installed in the back of my car. I’ve been using it for about four weeks and it’s been amazing,” she said.
“I can actually go to Bunnings by myself now, and spend as long as I want there, instead of having to plan it out like a strategic military strike, planning out where each thing is and hoping I could make it successfully to each destination.
“Now I’ve got the reserve to do things,” Cherie said. “I love woodwork, but I haven’t been able to do it so I’ve been saving my pennies to buy more tools for my shed. I’ve put in a wood heater to help with my arthritis and chairs so I can sit down, so now I’m all set up.
“Slowly, in the past three months, I’ve been able to potter out there for about an hour, depending on what my hands can manage.
“I’ve got myself some beautiful wood from Gippsland, so I’m going to make some cutting boards and some resin serving boards. I’m starting with small pieces like that first.
“I’ve got two grandsons, who are six and seven, so when they come over we’ve been out in the shed, making things together. It’s been a lot of fun. They love the drill and hammer.
“I also have two women who come to the house and do my floors once a week.
“One of them helps me during the week too. She’ll go and do a lot of the little jobs I can’t do because multiple car transitions are too much for me in one day.
“She’ll put all my jobs together, run around the community for me, and even do a little bit of shopping if I need it done. It means I can conserve my energy to do other day-to-day stuff. It’s just been amazing,” she said.