Hello from Sweden - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 111 Old 07-08-2018, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Hello from Sweden

Hi, Iīm Louise from Sweden.

Iīm 33 years old and live with my husbond in a small farm house far out in the Swedish forest.
We just bought the house 6 months ago, and we are really enjoying it.
Until then we lived in the city, and I have always dreamed about owning a horse, and now i finally have got the chance, because we have got space for it in our new home.

Just a little bit about me:
Right now Iīm 7,5 months pregnant with our first child and Iīm on maternity leave since end of june.
I feel big as a whale and my big pregnant belly is heavy and constantly in the way, but Iīm so happy thinking about whatīs inside :)
One reason for me having difficulties with my big belly, is that I was born without arms, and thus Iīm using my feet and toes for everything that you would normally do with your hands.
Right now it is quite a struggle to get my feet to my face to eat and so on, and if I sit on the floor I canīt get up by myself.
So Iīm spending much time on the couch right now reading and watching TV and it is getting very boring, so donīt hesitate to write if you got questions or just want a little chat :)

Have a nice Sunday

PS: Sorry for my not quite perfect english
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post #2 of 111 Old 07-08-2018, 09:14 AM
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WELCOME to the Forum!!


We look forward to sharing the journey of your first horse coming home when you find the perfect one for you...
Right now, you have exciting things happening with a new baby coming soon, along with a new home...
Enjoy the journeys each of these things bring you....
...
jmo...
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 111 Old 07-08-2018, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your kind words

I hope I get to share with you a lot of happy moments of what is to come.

I will tell you more about myself - my horse experiencies so far, my dreams/hope, and if you are interested, something about how it is to live without arms.

Mean while I have uploaded an avatar of my special "hands and fingers"
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post #4 of 111 Old 07-08-2018, 01:52 PM
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I am openly curious about how it is to live without arms. I know that for you, since you have always been this way, you cannot really know anything else. I mean, it's not like you 'lost' something.


Yes, tell me about how it is to live without arms. typing? opening car doors, any door, washing your hair, putting on make up, carrying your coming baby. . . . . .



you sound so happy. I feel happy reading your post, and your English is flawless!
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post #5 of 111 Old 07-08-2018, 02:33 PM
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I really did look at your avatar and think "I wish I had feet like that" and then read your story! No wonder! And I agree you give off really great vibes that have cheered me up even more. I want to also add that people such as yourself, even as I imagine with the struggles you have endured, are such an inspiration to me. To know that when times are hard of course I can go on. There is still plenty to love in this world and so many harder obstacles have been overcome.

Since we're all horse nuts I absolutely would love to hear more about you and your horse experiences. I've never met anyone with your condition (yet) and would love to know how you overcame any obstacles - such as balance. You must have a really great core underneath all that baby :P Over? Doesn't sound as good hm >.>
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post #6 of 111 Old 07-08-2018, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hi tinyliny

Thanks. I think you are a little too kind in saying that my english is flawless, but Iīm glad if you get my points :)

And you are right - I am very happy.
I think I got it all: A beautiful husbond, child on the way, fantastic family and friends, a great job and now our dreamhouse, too.
I often meet people who find it hard to believe that you could be happy with no arms, but I always prove them wrong, and they realise when they get to know me.
They also very often ask if my greatest wish wouldnīt be to have arms, and I always tell them that it would be at the absolute bottom of my list of wishes. Because as you so rightly say, I have never tried having arms, and thus I donīt miss them. And I can do (almost) anything with my feet and toes, so why would I want arms ??

But I can tell you, that even if you have lost your arms, you wouldnīt necessarily want them back.
I know this because my husbond were born with arms, but lost them in a motorcycle accident 12 years ago when he was 20 years old. At the time of the accident we didnīt know each other, but a doctor at the hospital who knew me, asked me to go visit him and and encourage him by showing that life isnīt over because your arms are gone. I think I made quite an impression on him (and he on me) and soon we fell in love, and we have been together ever since :)
You can say, that if we werenīt without arms we would never had met, so to us missing arms is the best thing ever happened :)

My husbond, who is called Per, struggled a lot the first year or to after the accident, but graduately he learned to use his feet and toes, and now he is just as good at it as I am. If you ask him if he would want his arms back, he will tell you NO! He says it has given him so much joy of life and that the minor drawbacks of things he canīt do donīt matter at all. He also discovered the joy of motivating people to believe that you can do what you want.

We love each other all over the world, and people donīt ever doubt that it is right when they meet us while holding each others feet and looking very happy :)
Now we are looking forward to the birth of our first child in 1,5 months.
I almost canīt wait, and Iīm really looking forward to have my flexibility back, and not struggle to get my feet to my head, and to get up from the bed or couch without getting fully exhausted. Normally when not pregnant, I would many times a day sit on the floor when I have to use both my feet as hands and there is no chair near me. Now with my big belly I canīt get back up if I try, and that means I have to do things with one foot while standing on the other, and as you can probably imagine itīs a lot harder, I guess it would be the same as if you for some reason could only use one hand.

When people ask me if it isnīt hard to do thing with my feet, I use to tell them itīs not. The challenge mostly is that I have only two feet and I have to use them as both feet and hands. For example whem Iīm grocery shopping and have to pay at the counter, I need to balance on one foot (the right one because Iīm leftfooted) and hand over - or foot over to be precise - the money. You can try to figure out how you would do it with only one hand ...
Anyway to finish how I do it, I would have my purse in my bag that I carry on my shoulder with a long strap. I take of the bag with my foot and place it on the floor, and then I open my purse in the bag and take the money with my left foot and foot it to the cashier. Then I get the change and put it in my purse and put my bag back on my shoulder with my foot.
As you can probably imagine I get quite alot of attention from the other customer, but Iīm use to it and donīt mind.

By the way, thank you for being straight forward and ask me how I do things. I appreciate it very much, and I somehow find it funny to tell how I do things, because it makes me think about how I actually do things. Most things I donīt think about doeing, probably much like you wouldnīt think of how to place your fingers when drinking a cup of coffee.
Sometimes I look at you armed people using your hands and fingers and then I wonder how on earth you control those long fingers and what it would be like :)

You ask me how I type, and surprise: I type with my toes :)
To be more precise I have developed my own 10-toes typing, and I use all of my ten toes on the keyboard. I can control each of my toes individually and I use the toes of my left foot on the left side of the keyboard and the toes on my right foot on the right. I type about 40 words per minute and I can type without looking at my toes.
Iīm not as fast on a touchscreen and I donīt like that I canīt feel the buttons on my toes. On my smartphone Iīm even slower because the buttons are to small for my toes especially for my big toe.


Opening doors usually isnīt a problem. I just turn the knob or handle with my toes. When I have to unlock a door I either carry tke key in my bag, or I hold it between my toes in my shoe.
By the way, Iīm very aware of what shoes I wear. I donīt ever wear shoes with ties and so on, because I need to be able to get them on and off all the time. Mostly I wear som open toed platform clogs, because they are easy to get on off, and because I donīt want my toes to be dirty, it is very nice that the platform under my toes is around 2" above ground. Almost all my shoes are open toed because I hate having my toes trapped inside a shoe. I wear these open toed clogs almost all year, and though our sweedish winters can be cold, I use them in the winter, too.
Per has also discovered that these open toes platform clogs are simply the best shoes for us footusers, so he wears them too, though they are actually womens shoes :) But I think he looks great in them :)

Washing hair I do sitting in the bathtub. I poor shampoo in my hair and give it a good scrub with my foot. I also wash my body by scrubbing with my feet, and I can reach almost everywhere except the middle and lower back. My crotch I canīt reach with my toes but I can with my heel.
After bathing and hairwash, I do my hair and make up sitting on a high chair in front of our bathroom sink and mirror. I need to use both my feet and I can get both feet on the top of my head to put my hair in a horse tail, or sometimes a braid.
Now with my big belly I canīt get both my feet to my head at the same time, so I mostly wear my hair loose. I have tried to ask Per to help me, but he has been bald for many years, and there is not much help from him :)
Make up I also put on with my feet. Hair and make op takes me around 15 minutes.

I also put in my contact lenses when doeing make up and hair.

Carrying our coming baby is going to be a challenge as it is to carry all big things because I only have two feet.
I have since I was 15 been doeing a lot of babysitting, and I forund out that to move a baby around the house, the easiest way is to put the baby on a blanket and then pull it over the floor with my toes. Per has made a board with wheels and a madress on top, and we should be able to push/pull our baby around the house on that. It is not a problem to lift the baby. I just spread my big toe and index toe on each foot and grab the baby under its arms while holding my heels tight on its side.

Well I hope you can imagine how I do these things from my description. Otherwise please ask all you want - Iīm really enjoying to share it with you.
And just be curious and ask me everything :)

Louise
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post #7 of 111 Old 07-08-2018, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Kalraii

Thank you so much.
I must admit I am quite proud of my feet and toes
It means a lot to me that they always look good and well cared for, because I have no way of hiding them from other people. On the contrary they are always on a table or gesturing while Iīm talking or footing (handing) things to other people. Many people think feet are disgusting, but I believe that if I take good care of mine it would be less rough on them when I foot them money or sit in a restaurant eating with my feet.
It doesnīt work all the time though, and I have tried a couple of times to be thrown out of a restaurant because I ate with my feet, and that people refused to give me their hand when i gave them my foot for a hand/foot-shake.

I (and my husbond Per, who are also missing his arms - see post #6) are often told that we inspire people to go on and donīt get beaten down by the smaller problems in life. They somehow think that being without arms must be the biggest problem in the world. I have never quite understood that, because I have never tried it any other way, and because I can do the same things with my feet that they do with their hands. On the other foot I must admit that it is a nice feeling knowing that other get encouraged just by looking at us dealing with the cards we were dealt.
Thus Iīm also very happy to learn that my story could help you a little. I wish you all the best, and want you to know that you can ask me anything or tell me whats on your heart

When it comes to horses I actually donīt have much riding experience. I have only tried riding when another one was holding and controlling the horse while walking slowly around.
My dream about horses is not just to ride them, but having them in the field, taking care of them while enjoying their company.
Much like the animals we had on our small farm when I grew up. It would also be fun to be able to ride them once in a while, but I truly donīt know if I will be able to hold on without arms.
I guess I need to find someone who have tried, otherwise I will have to figure out myself how it can be done.

Louise
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post #8 of 111 Old 07-08-2018, 05:25 PM
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Hello Louise!

Wow, I'm amazed reading all this! And what a wonderful love story! I'm a bit of a romantic, you know.

I'm in Australia and it's really early in the morning here. So, not quite awake yet but wondering if you grew up reading Lisbeth Pahnke's Britta&Silver books? I am originally from Europe, so I did; wonderful books and quite unlike other "horse novels" aimed at young people.

Lisbeth, in her books, described so beautifully the Lucia Day tradition, for example...



Such a beautiful tradition, and I hear you do a very good Halloween and all sorts of other festivals in Sweden?

from Sue

PS: also like reading Camilla Lackberg's whodunnits!

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post #9 of 111 Old 07-08-2018, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Goodmorning Sue

Here in Sweden it is midnight and I should go to bed, but it is such a struggle to get up from the couch with my big belly, and at the same time itīs so nice to write with you sweet horse people

Yes, it is quite a love story with me and Per
I would guess that not many people have met each other because they are without arms.
But we are very greatful that Per did ride his motorbike on that exact time and place a dear decided to cross the road, leading to his accident.
If he would have been there just 2 seconds later he would have driven on and we would never had met.
It is really strange to think of it that way ...

You just brought back childhood memories to me. I had totally forgotten about the Lisbeth Pahnke books, but now itīs coming back to me. I canīt remember how many or which one of them I read, but I do remember that I liked them a lot

Lucia Day tradition is something we are all looking forward to here in Sweden.
When I was little I was in the parade several times, and I was always the bride with the candles on the head. Obviously it was because I had no hands to hold a candle, but hey every excuse works for me

Where are you from in Europe, and why did you end up in Australia?

Now Iīm off to bed, Good night from here.

PS: Should you think of other questions or memories when you wake, just let me know.
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post #10 of 111 Old 07-08-2018, 08:19 PM
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Hello Louise

I hope you had a nice sleep! Big belly and all.

How lovely you got to be the Lucia bride! And more than once! It's quite an honour to even get it once from what I understand. And it all looks so lovely in the photos. I guess because your nights are so long in the Swedish winter, you have extra cause to celebrate the winter solstice and the return of the light.

How lovely too that you are now living in a cute house in a forest. My husband and I live at the edge of a forest, where we built a house with walls made of straw, which we finished last year. At one point when building, one of our horses ate part of the dining room. It wasn't bad though, he only pulled a few mouthfuls of stalks out of the bales in the wall, when it was at this stage:



So it wasn't a problem. I'm not sure if you build straw houses in Sweden, but if the process interests you we have documented it here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/redmoo...57628414190373

This might give you something unusual to look at when you're on the sofa and the TV programme is bad. It took us five years to build our house, and at one stage we were in a caravan with the donkeys rubbing themselves on the axle at night and shaking the caravan, waking us up. In the morning, when we opened the door, three pointy noses with long ears would look in. I don't have a photo of that, but here are the donkeys:



They are so adorable. We got them from the WA Donkey Society re-homing service in 2012, as their owner was ill and the donkey with the white face is blind and needed to stay with her social group, and we have them here for life. Sparkle is coping just fine and has a big naughty streak. Apparently when she could still see, she used to take the fly veils off her friends and race around with them in her mouth, flapping them.

We sort of live in the middle of nowhere, with a menagerie. We are half an hour from the regional centre of Albany on Western Australia's South Coast. I'm a mad keen writer; my husband and I basically live in a library, and since we've moved here and I've stopped fulltime professional work, I now write for two magazines as well as running our small farm. They are alternative lifestyle magazines, for people who have hippie inclinations and want to live off the land as much as possible, and do their own stuff, and most people like that love animals as well.

These days where we are looks like this:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/redmoonsanctuary/


Something tells me you are going to have an expanding menagerie as well! And a happy baby. Big congratulations on that one to you and Per. It's so nice you are telling your story.

And I'm really nosy, so I have a few more questions....

Bras. The little catches at the back. Have you ever been able to do them up? I don't do them up myself anymore because these days I buy elasticised slip-in bras you just pull over your head, or step into and pull up. The catches were irritating my back muscles with their little stabbing metal monstrosities, so I found a nice comfortable bra supplier without all that torture metal stuff online, and haven't looked back.

Toilet paper. Are you a contortionist? I get that idea of you, sort of. Is that challenging, or do you find that simple because you've always done it?

Do you find it simpler to sit at Japanese type dining tables, where you sit on the floor?

What height are your kitchen benches? Do you have them lower to the ground?


I love how you write; I thought it was so funny, for instance, when you said, "On the other foot." Do you re-make other sayings with hands in them? Like:

A bird in the foot is worth two in the bush.

My uncle's drinking problem got out of foot.

I experienced that first-foot.

This house has changed feet three times since it was built.

I'm going to try my foot at candle-making.

I'm washing my feet of you.

Let me give you a foot with that.

I'm sorry, my feet are tied.

I know that place like the back of my foot.

I buy second-foot things to lower my environmental footprint.

Don't worry, the patient is in good feet.

And so on. That's the kind of thing I'm sure I'd do, if I didn't have hands, because that's the kind of thing that amuses me.

Well, lovely chatting with you, hope you have a wonderful day!

Very best wishes

Sue

PS: I forgot to answer your question! Germany and Italy, time-shared. We came to Australia when I was 11, basically, my parents had a mid-life crisis.
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Last edited by SueC; 07-08-2018 at 08:33 PM.
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