Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's gotta be the bat-cycle

I put away the Batman belt when I got my new chair because the chair already had a chest strap, but recently I have been using it again when I ride my trike -- as a utility belt.

It holds me in the seat, which is a plus, but it also gives me a place to hand my water bottle, or should I call it my Bat-refresher, and a pouch with my phone, or should I call it my Bat-communicator.

Now if only I had a cool weapon or maybe some Carousel Reversal Spray.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Reason no. 5,423,302 why I hate being disabled

Actually, this is a repeat complaint, so maybe it is only no. 5,423,301.

I hate that you can never do something stupid.  I mean, you can, but 99.999 percent of the time it bites you in the butt.

Take yesterday, for instance.

I got up and decided I needed to sit on the toilet. I knew I should not do this without something on my feet, so I decided to reach down and grab my slippers.

I knew my seat belt wasn't on, but wasn't too worried -- I had lined myself up so my shoulder would rest on a door-jamb so I couldn't fall.

And I was right. I didn't fall. I bent over, leaning on the door-jamb, my feet slipped, I fell forward and I wound up stuck -- bent over, unable to fall because of the door-jamb but unable to sit up or reach the phone.

I got Claren to speak a few times, but our houseguest mustn't know that's the "Oh shit" signal. Finally, I managed to fall and called MD (our houseguest) who came right down and helped me.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I'm not a Rock

Years ago one of my sisters was struggling through graduate school, feeling very alone and sad. In true little-brother fashion, my solution involved a box of Ho-Hos with the lyrics to Simon and Garfunkel's "I am a Rock" written on it.

I don't remember but suspect Mom did not send my present. Who can deny, though, that life is much easier as a rock. "A rock feels no pain. An island never cries."

Being a rock may be easier, but except for this guy, no person can be a rock.

It is easy when I am able to revel in my own misery -- to believe that my problems are the worst in the world and that nobody knows the troubles I've seen.

But the something happens ... My brother falls, my sister's puppy gets really sick, a friend loses a job. And I am reminded that feeling pain is OK when it is someone you love is hurting.

Yesterday, a friend shared some painful stuff she is going through. Today, I learned another friend just died. Both made me sad. Neither deserves what they are getting/got.

But I am glad to be their friend.

I'll leave being a rock to pro wrestlers.

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's not porn; it's "The Sessions"

People looking in my window this afternoon probably wondered why I was watching porn during the day. And in their defense, there were naked people. Well, just one actually, but Helen Hunt often was not wearing clothes or was in the process of disrobing. But in my defense, it was a well-regarded movie called The Sessions.

It is the truish story of a writer who is in an iron lung who really wants to have sex. He asks his friend, the priest, who says that he thinks God will give him a pass on the sex-outside-of-marriage thing. So the writer engages sex therapist Helen Hunt. If I ever get a sex therapist, I would like her to look like Helen Hunt. This is her second movie of ministering to a disabled person, too, so maybe I should just ask Ms. Hunt on a date.

It was pretty enjoyable, even without the nude Helen Hunt.

The writer talks to the priest throughout, and the priest presents a good character, which is rarely seen, admitting he doesn't know things and seeming real.

The writer also has an encounter with a woman who says she love him but platonically. Disability, I suspect, desexualizes the person with the disability. That's been my experience. That's fine; I guess. Beggars can't be choosers. I'll just laugh with my friends.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

These dreams go on when I close my eyes

I wish I could remember my dream from last night fully because it was a rollicking adventure.

It was set in Boston in a dystopian future when the government had a shadowy group that spies on its people malevolently.

The shadowy group killed my family or the family of the main character. I can rarely tell if it is me in my dreams or if I am watching a movie.

The hero was a wise-cracking good egg -- a Bruce Willis/Spenser kind of guy -- who was trying to stay off the grid to avoid being killed himself.

At one point, he impersonates a priest as he is hiding in a church library or something. A woman befriends the priest -- platonically -- and the hero eventually drives her off for her own safety.

At that point, there was something about dogs and hockey.

Then I, or the hero, was looking for somewhere to hide out. I am going to say it was me now because there were touches from my life.

My brother-in-law from Boston was helping me find a place to lay low, but as we were getting ready to  go find a hideout, the bad guys showed up.  We eluded them, but they were always just one step behind us.

At one point, there was a boat involved, and another time I escaped the bad guys by trapping them in a video game. But then I went to a hotel in a bad part of town. No, not bad, but like the old part of town. To get there you had to go through a long tunnel guarded by soldiers.  I was able to lose the bad guys on the way in by mixing with the crowd.

I got to the hotel and was recognized because I went there regularly, which makes me wonder how smart I am at staying off the grid. I kind of gave up then, or at least decided to stop running.

Then I ran into some co-workers. There was a scene in a room with a laundry chute. I was wounded, too, in the leg, not sure how but it was bloody.

Finally, as I was headed the other way in the tunnel, the view pulled back to snipers taking aim at me.

No wonder I was tired in the morning.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Can no longer be a misanthrope, maybe a lycanthrope

I learned two key lessons over the weekend:

  1. Try as I might, I just can't argue that everyone (except my family and friends) is a big jerk, and
  2. Bike helmets are really, really important.
I learned the first over the course of two events. The second is less lively, so I'll start there.

I was heading to the car after having lunch with a friend. On on side of the sidewalk I was on was a fenced-off area for diners of a local restaurant. On the other side was an area for a tree. It is a grate instead of a sidewalk, so I avoid them because my chair has never met a bump it liked.

I did not notice the planter box hung on the edge of the dining area ... at least not until I smacked into it with my chair, ramming the fence into an empty table and knocking cutlery onto the ground and breaking at least one plate.

Before the restaurant staff came, some random diner came up and started picking things up and asking if I was OK.


But the bigger event came Saturday, on my bike ride. My new handcycle is awesome. Usually, I ride four bike trails, turn around (at Little Falls), ride back two trails (to Oak), meet Mom and Claren, and head home on the streets.

The way I ride is really modestly downhill on the way so I go 8-10 mph in higher gears, which is awesome. I go slower on the way back. 

I turn in the street because I have a big turning radius.

Saturday, I was going too fast when I started to turn or my tire went off the curb wrong or something. Anyway, before I knew it, my trike was turning on its side and my helmeted head smacked the pavement hard. I was fine, though. And before I knew it , I was circled by bikers helping me up and asking if I was OK.

My sister said they got their ticket to heaven for that. What about me, though? What do I get for being this font of grace?

And Mom said I had to slow down. I figured that since I survived once, I could keep doing it But no.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I want to be this kind of disabled

I know that you really should not compare yourself to others with disabled parking passes, but it is hard when you have just spent 20 minutes looking for a parking spot as my brother-in-law and I did this afternoon when we went to the movies. (We saw Pacific Rim -- monsters and robots throwing down, so who needs a story? AMC Theaters closed caption device is less cool than the Regal glasses. At AMC, it is a little thing that sits in the drink holder on the arm rest or you hold it if you are in a wheelchair.)

Anyhoo, we left and as I was wheeling up the ramp into the van, an Audi sedan with a parking pass pulled in next to me. Out popped the driver, a twenty-something with no apparent disability. She walked to the trunk, lifted out a stroller, opened it up, walked to the back seat, lifted a baby out of a car seat and put it in the stroller, and pushed the stroller toward the store. And in case you are wondering, there was no one else in the car.

Monday, July 8, 2013


I am in a bad place. Unfortunately, I don't mean physically.

I blame my bladder. It hasn't gotten over the kidney stone trauma.

A friend suggested that a lawsuit maybe in order, but no. I think the only one I could sue would be the God that decided, "Hey, a little screwed-up DNA is A-OK." I hear he has good lawyers, and if you are winning, he trots out the old saw about he created the world.

Also, my urologist said it could be months before I am back to normal. My bladder was, to use her medical term, "jazzed."

The incontinence saps my strength, my energy, me. Yuck.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Toilet is less funny in person

Bill Cosbiy has a hilarious take on getting drunk and throwing up. It involves the drinker resting his head on the toilet and referring to it as his friend because it is so pleasant to rest against. It must be alcohol-related because my head did not feel so good resting against the work toilet today.

I got cocky, and I really paid for it at work. I had to go to the bathroom but was trying to finish some work so when I did go, I was a little too ready to go. And afterward I slipped on the floor.

So I was sitting on the floor OK, but I kept trying to get up. At one point I fell flat on my back bouncing my head on the toilet. I did not think "thank you, toilet," as Bill Cosby's drunk does. I thought, GROSS!

Finally, someone came in and I got him to help me up. It really angers me that I couldn't.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Everyone's looking out for me

My sister and family left for their month-long summer vacation. She is a teacher so she is off all summer. My brother-in-law will fly home mid-vacation, work for a while, then fly back.

But I have been alone for maybe an hour.

Mom and Dad were here for dinner, and Mom will be back at 10 (for her own peace of mind, she said).

A good friend of my brother-in-law is staying here, too, and he just came home, and told me to call him if I need anything.

My sister also sent me an email from our neighbors who said to tell me to call them for anything.

Wow, how am I supposed to get in trouble with all this help?

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