Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pass the milkweed and don't look while I do something

This drill.
When we were little kids, my older brother asked Mom at a restaurant to "pass the sugar and don't look while I do something."

He apparently wanted to sweeten his soft drink.

This story has become famous in Trott family lore, and just last week I basically told my sister the same thing.

I had bought some milkweed seeds that Mom and I planned on planting on Saturday, but if my sister and her husband were around, we might not get very far. They might just do it themselves.

The plan was to use this antique hand drill to make holes in the ground for the seeds because Mom's fingers could not push the seeds into the soil, and while I might have been able to, I am not allowed where the planting would be.

So on Friday, I asked my sister if they'd be around. She immediately became suspicious -- it was as if I asked her to pass the sugar. She relented when she heard we were just planting seeds. But I may be in trouble now by showing the drill.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Friends at my new job

I'd be lying if I said the nostalgia for my old job wasn't still bothering me, but I had my annual review today.

I have two bosses, more or less, so they were both in the review.

The man one, who is new to the agency, said that whenever she is meets with people there and she mentions me, the people are so complimentary. At which point, the other boss said, "No one should be that well-liked."

Sunday, October 26, 2014

USA TODAY in my blood

I went to a get-together of past and present folks from the USA TODAY Money section on Friday. It was awesome, and I think that is why I feel so bad.

Everyone seemed so happy to see me. No one asked about Claren ... at least not before asking about me.

It was at a loud bar, and I couldn't hear a lot. It was crowded, too, so I couldn't move easily. But neither bothered me too much. A number of people sat down and talked to me at my level, and people  came to me. It was wonderful.

I know I made the right decision to leave. I love my job and the folks I work with. A lot of the people at the party aren't at USA TODAY anymore either. I know it is very different now, too.

But ...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Optimistic pessimist

A friend at works refers to me as so optimistic and a glass-is-half full type of person.

One could argue that she knows me poorly. 

Perhaps, though, I save my pessimism and sadness for when I am home. Which isn't fair, I realize, but ...

This afternoon, for instance, I was on the floor brushing Claren, and I just tipped over. I decided to just lie there till Mom came over in 30 minutes. As the time got nearer, I decided I should try to get up to prove I could. Only I couldn't. I tried hard and could not get up. That makes you feel like crap.

So does having to get help to change clothes because you get to the bathroom in plenty of time but can't get your pants down.

And there is more, of course. It is at times like these that optimism seems silly. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Top dog

At one point during Claren's checkup, the vet said something like "Everyone here loves her... They like you, too, but they love her."

As if I didn't know. Ever since I got her, it has been clear that a awesome as Claren is the top dog. (Actually, she's the only dog. I'm a boy.)

Even with a green cone of shame, she is more popular than I am.

Apparently, she's as healthy as any old dog with a rotten liver.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I'm a 60-minute man

OK, the song probably is not referring to how long it takes you to ride a mile on your hand trike, but it is all that kept me going on my return trip yesterday.

Normally I ride about 3 mph on the return trip. it is slightly uphill, so I am slow, I know.

But yesterday was beyond slow. A really sharp wind was gusting in my face, and it made it feel like I was biking up K2. I even got passed by a dad pushing his son who was learning now to ride a bike.

My speedometer read 1 far too frequently. In other words, one mile in 60 minutes, a 60-minute man.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sore but proud

I am a little sore tonight. I had my first in-home physical therapy appointment today at lunch.

Appointment makes it sound more official then it was. Insurance doesn't cover ongoing therapy, so after much searching, I found a PT student to come over. We go through the exercises I got when doing PT a while back.

He was great. He said he read up on FA before hand and was going to do more before we meet again next week. He also threw in another exercise he thought would help.

It took me too long, but I finally feel like I am doing something.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Still compatible

My little sister and her husband have been known to brag about their compatibility scores in a wedding preparation class, like the highest the priest had seen or something.

But that was 13 years ago. Before two kids; hockey, lacrosse, soccer and flag football games; an awesome housemate ... Surely, things have changed.

Or not.

I was in my shower chair drying off yesterday when I heard a big bang. After I recovered, which took a while and made me thankful for my seatbelt, I called in my sister.

My light had fallen off the wall. "What did you do?" she asked.

A little later, she called her husband in to see what happened: "What did you do, Matty?"

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Today's Tom Sawyer

A persimmon tree grows outside my window.

The fruit looks good. If I were a bird or squirrel, I'd eat it. But nothing eats the persimmons. The fruits grow and weigh down the tree. Last week, a big hunk of the tree broke off.

Today was not a great day weather-wise. I didn't really want to go for a ride, and I didn't have swimming. Mom and I decided we would cut up and pick up the branch.

I got in my old chair, so if my wheels got persimmon-y, it would be no big deal. And we went out by the branch.

We worked for maybe a minute before my sister came over to help, saying something like she was not going to let her "crippled brother and 80-year-old mother" clean up the yard. Mom is 75. Then my brother-in-law came out. He asked me if I really wanted to be doing this. I assured him I did, so he started helping my sister. Then he started using the clippers, and his little power saw came out.

I sat back and supervised and laughed at how it was like Tom Sawyer painting the fence. Except it was guilt that did it and I wasn't trying.

Friday, October 10, 2014

MetroAccess, take a bow

Wow, MetroAcces. You have done it again, and honestly, I am shocked.

With all the mind-numbingly frustrating things you have done in the past -- late trips, trips that continued right past my destination to drop another passenger off, operators who regularly told me my ride was five minutes away only to have it show up an hour later and of course, the requirement to renew my membership every three years even though my disability is permanent -- you have managed to top yourself and really piss me off.

I teleworked today because I had to go to MetroAccess headquarters to renew my license. I did not want to go to work because last time I tried being picked up at work and dropped off at home, I got dropped off back at work. It was survivable in that the old location was near the subway, but I was not willing to tempt fate in our new location. Because I teleworked, I was ineligible to take advantage of the two-hour early dismissal at work.

Mom does my phone dealings with them and yesterday got a reminder that I'd be picked up at 12:30 for a 2:30 appointment. (It would take probably 20 minutes to get there but whatever.) She called this morning and got the normal recording, so we were a go.

Except we weren't.

At 1:15, Mom called, and the operator told her the building was closed by a maintenance issue. This same issue caused them to close yesterday, so it was not a last-minute emergency. The operator told Mom that they had not had time to call us yet to let us know. Their phones open at 8, so that means they had five hours. Even if they only have one operator and each call takes five minutes, they could have called 60 people.

I was so mad, I took sick leave for the rest of the afternoon and went to bed.

In addition to ruining my day and making me do this again, they cost me two hours of pay.

Nice job, MetroAccess.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tanks but no tanks

A friend of mine suggested I start a kickstarter campaign to get a tank chair.

I definitely like the idea of Matt Trott going viral, and with the tank chair I could be Bonebreaker at the next Awesome Con. How cool would that be?

But I am not sure I like the idea of people buying me essentially a cool toy. And it is one thing to want to climb the Alps like the Von Trapps when I am in a chair and know it is impossible. But if I had a way to do it and just couldn't get there, that would be awful. Not that I want to climb the Alps, that was just what popped into my head.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

God says umm

As far as theological conversations go, it was not impressive.

Of course, I am quite sure I was handling both sides of the chat.

When, I asked, will you stop hurting me? It wasn't that I wad particularly pained at the moment. I was more just really annoyed. I had been outside in a messy area in our yard. I wanted to pick it up a bit, but had to stop because I kept getting stuck.

God (me) replied, "Oh, but I am not hurting you."

Fine, I answered. when will you start doing something to end the hurt?


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Don't look

I told a friend that I have a bright red wheelchair because you always stand out anyway in a chair, so why not really stand out.

I was quite obviously on display during our fire alarm last week.

I was the only wheelchair user to use the evac chair. Everyone saw me. I felt very conspicuous.

I guess it is better to be a spectacle than to burn, but just barely.

Friday, October 3, 2014

What a sister!

My little sister feels that she is treated poorly by this blog. I fully disagree, but I would like to note that she and her husband are really the only people who ever make fun of me, so even if it were true, I'd be totally justified.

But, no, I am not going to be mean. Just the opposite, I will laud her.

The past three mornings I have had to call her shortly after my alarm went off. The first two times I fell getting out of bed. (Note to self: Find a better way to get up.) She came down right away to help me. She doesn't even wait to see what I need. She answers her phone: "I'll be right there," and she is!

Well, except today. She sent her husband. I hadn't fallen, though, I just could not find my light switch.  We found it.

My point is: She is great; just don't ask her  to make lemonade chicken.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Take that, Auto-Flush

I went to the bathroom before I left work last night, and the toilet did not flush on me! They had made it a manual-flush toilet.

Lord knows how many diseases I have been exposed to, probably I'll come down with Jumping Frenchmen of Maine, which may be my new favorite disease. Kuru is still fun, but you get that from eating human brains, not from nasty contact with sewer water. I used to use Ebola, but with Ebolans in the United States, as a self-respecting hypochondriac I can no longer joke about getting Ebola. In fact, just writing about it may have exposed me.

All right, maybe I won't come down with some odd disease. Well, other than the one I have.  But it was still gross to be sitting on the toilet, have it flush and get water all over your butt. It was too much of a problem to block the flush sensor every time, so I asked to have it made manual-flush.

But wait, the main symptom of  Jumping Frenchmen is an an unusually extreme startle reaction. Oh crap, I already have it, don't I?

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