Monday, September 29, 2014

Worst Night Ever

I went swimming  yesterday, so I took Advil before getting into bed. It did keep me from being sore but not from having crazy restless legs.

My legs kept me up past 11. Then other issues took center stage.

At 1:30, I woke up because my bladder was full.

At 2:30, it was something else but I forget what.

At 3:30, I was crazy thirsty. I polished off the water I keep at my bedside, then somehow managed to get the bottle in my wheelchair bag.

At 4:30, I needed to get rid of all the water i drank.

The worst was still to come.

I don't recall waking up at 5:30, but I started having a dream. We were at a big family gathering. There was a movie out with revenge or vengeance in the title, and everyone kept asking me about it.

I couldn't figure out why, and when I asked, Mom said something about how it summed up my life. Now I was really confused. The Dream Matt was the same as I am. I don't live a vengeance-filled life, although I would not have minded if the two maintenance workers I saw using a disabled parking pass found themselves in chairs.

I asked again, and Mom laughed and repeated what she said before. But then my uncle and godfather said, "Well, it's like this ..." And my alarm went off.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Teleworking is tough

I worked from home today.

 I try to telework on Thursdays, but yesterday was more evac chair training, so I went in for that.

My little sister gets annoyed with me when I go into the office on telework days and accuses me off trying to show how tough I am.

Teleworking is easier in some respects, but actually I don't do it more because in many ways it is harder.

The evac chair training provides a good example. As I sat through the training, half of me thought, "Wow, it is awesome that 20-some people are willing to learn how to help people like me."

The other half thought, "Holy spit, it is hard to be in a wheelchair." It then devolved into,"I should never leave home, I am trouble," etc. All depressing stuff.

But I didn't cry. No. There's no crying at work.

Not so when I telework.

At the office people distract me from feeling bad, emotionally and physically.

Not so when I telework.

I go to the office not to be tough but to escape.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Falling apart

Like many 43-year-olds, my body is not as awesome as it once was. Unlike most 43-year-olds, though, those deficiencies threaten me.

I can't say for sure that my sore shoulder caused me to fall this morning. But my shoulder does hurt and  I did fall.

To survive FA, I need to be at the top of my game. But at 43, who is at their peak?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln

Hey, Matt, how was work?

Not bad. Got a bunch of stuff done, have a bunch to do, of course. But it's all good.

Oh yeah, and I ran over my boss.


If the halls in the new office were streets, I'd have been on a main street, just bopping along. She came out of a side street, and I plowed right into her.

She said she was OK. But I still feel like a massive jerk.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Some people are OK

More than one person, using various modes of transportation, have asked me if I needed help while riding, so I know I don't look super-suave or anything.

It is usually on the return trip to the house when I am riding really slowly because the bike trail is real modestly uphill on the ride back.

Yesterday, a biker slowed as he passed and asked if I was OK. We then had a little chat about riding. Or when I got home today, a neighbor asked if I wanted help up the driveway, which I need. She did, despite the two dogs she was walking.

My point, I guess, is that I seem to stand out, which is why today was a bit of a shock. I'm not sure why it really annoyed me, though.

I was on my way home and was crossing Lincoln Avenue at Oak Street. It is not a smooth intersection, and you ride uphill to the middle of the street, then downhill.

It is a four-way stop, but to give myself extra time, I wait till no cars are around. Today, though, a car showed up right as I started across. Normally, that means they just have to wait while a really slow hand-cyclist crosses the street.

Today, I got stuck and started to roll backward. The brakes locked in before long, but before I could start across again, the car just went around me.

The neighbor kept me from hating people today. (So did the other neighbor who cleaned the dog poop off my wheelchair.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bad wheelchair

I haven't written about my wheelchair lately, and I hope that doesn't create the impression it is acceptable. No, it is still a poorly made piece of crap.

The wheelchair vendor tried to improve it, but no luck.

Twice this week, I have found myself in the grass next to the sidewalk at work because the right side of the chair has gotten hung up on a bump in the sidewalk while the left side has handled said bump fine. Granted, I have been going fast on the sidewalk but actually not too fast. I cut my speed after th left side caught a few weeks ago and almost sent me off the curb.

That's not all, of course. A fender, which was loose for a while, came off. The fenders come off fairly easy because they are at a level where they catch on things and they are held in place by just the pressure of several screws, meaning the fenders have no screw hole but a U-shaped area that sits behind a screw.

As easy as it comes off, it takes a pro an hour to put it back. The entire wheel must be removed first.

Oh well, each day is a day closer to getting a new chair.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

'I can't believe you wore lobster pants on a bike ride'

Believe it, dear sister!

I even did with malice aforethought. I got up this morning and thought, "Screw it, I'm riding like this.' I mean it is not really any sillier than some of the biking outfits people wear.

It isn't, but that is not the real reason I wore the lobster pants. I did it because changing clothes is the bane of my existence. Or rather it is one of my many banes -- stairs, jerks, Kanye West ...

It is just a freaking pain. I have to stand up and bend down. Pull things up, and take off my glasses to get my shirt on.  It takes way longer than it does for people not in wheelchairs and frankly, I don't have time for it.

That's why I HATE dressing up. I am fairly certain buttons and ties are just a way for the (temporarily able-bodied) Man to keep me down.
Just in case you could not see the little beggars.

My older sister was having a party at a fancy restaurant, which required a collared shirt. I argued with anyone who'd listen that I should be able to wear a pullover shirt with a banded collar. But no, I had to wear a stupid button-down, which means I need to get someone to button my shirt and tuck it in.

I know all people in chairs don't think this way. My brother is always dressing up.

But me? Give me one outfit that I can sleep in and wear until I shower. Then I switch to Outfit 2. Neither has to include lobster pants, but lobsters are pretty stylish.

Friday, September 12, 2014

I did not fall

Early this morning, before leaving for work, I worried I was going to fall in the bathroom at worr
When I got home, not having fallen, I took a short nap and then planned to head down to Mom and Dad's with my niece, who I was allegedly babysitting. Notice the word planned. We did get there; it just took a little while.

I got up, and as I transferred to my chair, my feet got tangled. I was still holding on tightly to my bedside stripper pole, so I didn't fall. But I couldn't get my feet straightened.

I called my niece, who is 11. She came into my room and without a second thought grabbed me around the waist and started heaving. She is a tiny girl but apparently wiry because she was lifting me a little.

I told her instead to just fix my feet so she did. And I finally got my footing, just in time for Mr. Crazy Pants, aka Kenny the puppy, to leap onto my bed and start licking my glasses.

Once again, I did not fall, though my knees buckled and I swung on the pole.

Again, my niece came to my rescue. She drive my chair close enough so I could just kind of collapse into it.

Then we went to dinner.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


It is hard to claim I am embarrassed by my elimination situation (i.e. peeing and pooping) or by things a wheelchair makes mighty inconvenient (i.e. everything). I write about these things all the time.

But it is one thing to write about them or discuss them with friends or family. It is another thing to show people at work the downsides of the new building.

It is not a ton of things, and there's no deal-breaker. But it is little things that weigh you down when faced with a number of them.

I was pointing the faults out, so they could be fixed. And I think they will be.  But it is a strain. The most amusing part: When I took someone into the restroom to show him the tightness of the wheelchair stall -- only to have it occupied by a non-wheelchair user.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The real world -- Falls Church

That MTV show -- The Real World -- always annoyed me. It wasn't real.

I  have come to the conclusion that I don't live in the real world. Maybe once, but no longer.

All I have to do is take care of myself, which is, I grant you, a big-ass job. Mom said I have to babysit sometimes, but that usually just means when I nap, a child is in the house with me.

The only bills I pay are credit cards with my spending. I do pay a slice of house bills, but it  is just deducted from my account.

My biggest dilemma (except for existential ones) is whether to nap on the bed or the chaise.

I read comics.

Someone at work asked me what I had for lunch. I told her PB&J, and she said, how old are you? She didn't even know Mom and Dad makes my lunch. I wonder if I should ask them to start making me real-world, adult lunches?


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Third time is the charm. Lucky me

The first time I got up last night, one of my shoes fell off. I made it fine to the bathroom and put on a slipper just to be careful.

The second time I managed to keep both shoes on, but it was 5:35 when I got back to bed. I debated whether to get back in bed as my alarm would go off in about 40 minutes. I did.


I got up with my alarm and was transferring when Claren caught my eye for a second, but that was enough. I spun to the floor. I was unhurt, just annoyed.

I could not easily reach my phone, so I persuaded Claren to bark, but that only sometimes works. Our soundproofing really rocks. Next, I swung around my pole on the floor and called my sister. My brother-in-law actually came and helped me up.

To be honest, when it is my brother-in-law, helped is the wrong word. I do nothing. He lifts me up.

Next time I am going to work early.

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