Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mud spelled backward is Dum

My ode to sweatpants and in-laws will have to wait.

When you are stupid enough to try to drive a wheelchair through a muddy lawn, you just have to do for it. You can't turn or back up or stop.

I stopped today. My footrests were getting stuck in the ground, so I stopped to raise my chair. I'd say that was my doom, but honestly I was doomed the moment wheel hit grass.

I was just trying to get to Mom and Dad's to bathe Claren. I didn't want to go by the street because I didn't want to grab Claren' leash.

I wound up having to call my sister, who pushed and pulled for a while then got my other power chair for me to transfer to. Somehow the other chair did not get stuck. and I got to the driveway. Then, my sister drove boards under the wheels using a mini-sledgehammer. I called Dad because it killed me not to be able to help. Right as he got there, my sister managed to free the chair.

We then spent another 10 minutes hosing the wheels off.

I forgot to mention the many times I get mad at myself.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


I have realized that a day rarely goes by without me becoming really mad about something, usually something related to FA or my stupid wheelchair.

Sometimes, they are relatively benign, like not hearing the name of the woman working with my boss. Others might be more annoying, like gong to the restroom and finding someone in the wheelchair stall, going to the other restroom on the floor and finding someone in that wheelchair stall.

Some are stupid, like getting pissed about the stupid snow in the forecast.  Others have more significance, like when I fall.

No matter what, though, they are exhausting.

Friday, November 21, 2014


In The Simpsons "Bart After Dark," Bart is hanging onto a gutter when a caterpillar starts crawling on his fingers, which tickles and makes him lose his grip and fall. Right before he plummets, he says, "Help, help. I'm gonna die." But he is laughing as he says it.

I can't tell you how many times I have laughed while thinking "I'm gonna die," this morning, for instance.

I have a set of cheap plastic storage bins in my bathroom to hold my towels. The top is a shelf where I store my pills and stuff.

This morning I got out of the shower and went over near the sink and storage bins. I hadn't put my seatbelt on because I have to stand up to put on my boxers. But before I could do that I lost my balance and fell forward.

I could feel myself falling out of my chair ... until I stopped. My head somehow went in the top storage bin, beneath the shelf, keeping me from falling.

Of course, then I had to reach my phone while bent over. I called my sister, and she sent me brother-in-law, who came in, saw me, and just said, "Interesting." I agreed, and then he helped me out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Mom mentioned that Claren was antsy today and said she thought it was because Claren knew I was feeling poorly and was worried and anxious. I think Claren was just hunting for food.

I am feeling poorly. Spring would make me better ... until I realized that the warmer weather didn't fix everything. Then I'd be crappy again.

And the problem when I am crappy, I have little interest in doing things and i get annoyed too easily.

I'll survive. I'll get better. I am seeing someone Friday to see if talking helps.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Suite: Matty Blue Eyes

In the autobiography I am writing for my application for another service dog, I say I am eager for a partner "who is not content to just snooze the day away but will drive me to do more." I think I may be asking for too much.

I was out walking Claren yesterday and listening to iTunes. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes came on, and I decided that it was probably written about me, not Stephen Stills and his break-up with Judy Collins.
It's getting to the point where I am no fun anymore ...Sometimes it hurts so badly I must cry out loud ...
I admit that cold weather calls me to hibernate, but even in warm weather  I am not energetic. I used to walk Claren in the rain and snow. Now? Forget it. I do little on weekends and don't mind at all.

Most people like weekends because they don't have to go to work. I like weekdays. I know I have to go to work. I know I might feel bad. I know I can do it, though. On weekends I have to do little, and that's what I accomplish.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Too much?

I got booed this week at work, and while they were friendly boos for the most part, a line may have been crossed.

I am reluctant to say I crossed the line, but I guess I did. I was led across, though.

On Wednesday I went to get a free flu shot at work. I was with a handful of folks from my office, and when we got there about 30 people were in line ahead of us.

I hardly had time to register this before the woman running the clinic was calling and motioning me to the front of the line. I am in the top tier of folks who ought to get flu shots, and it is possible she knew that. More likely, she was letting me engage in one of the three perks of a wheelchair life -- cutting in line. (I figure there are three but can't think of them.)

The boos and catcalls came then. In my defense, I hear poorly and speak slowly, so it would have been hard to turn her down.

But even I felt guilty going past the guy on crutches with one leg,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I don't want to die

I have put off writing this because it will make me feel bad. At the same time, wring is how I process things, so until I write about it, I’ll feel bad.

I recently asked my sister to tell me if I ever become too hard for them to deal with. It’s not that I have gotten appreciably worse; it’s just that having a 135-pound lump — even one who occasionally buys dinner — is no fun. Trust me, the lump isn’t having a blast either. And like most people, I have been bombarded with right-to-die stories recently and people commenting on these stories.

Someone wrote how mad it makes her that we can end our pets’ suffering but not our own. I love Claren as much as possible, but she’s a dog. She’s not a person. She’s smart, but she does not have an intellect. She’s a dog.

Someone else wrote that everyone should be able to decide when it’s time (if terminally ill). But why just terminally ill? It seems a slippery slope until anyone can decide to kill themselves.

Also, maybe not now or tomorrow but how long before someone who did kill herself is used as a line in the sand to justify killing someone who isn’t asking to die? “Well, Joe thought he had no quality or life when his lung cancer spread to his brain. well be doing Brian a favor by killing him.”

And are people like me considered selfish jerks — by others or in our own mind — because we don’t off ourselves?

Your body’s systems shut down during death. How can any self-inflicted death be dignified? You are forcing your body to give up. In sports, teams that are losing badly aren’t considered dignified if they give up. They’re dignified if they fight.

Finally, we don’t believe doctor who tell us ebola is really really hard to get, but we believe them when they say we have five months left. WTF?

My sister answered me dubiously about how hard I am to deal with: So we can put you in a home? It didn’t answer the question, but it was a good answer nonetheless.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

No problems

We hurt my brother-in-law's feelings this weekend. Well, I didn't really, but I was the cause.

My sister and niece went to Pennsylvania for a day, without telling me, so my brother-in-law and nephew went out to dinner. I ate with Mom and Dad.

Mom needed to bring my warm comforter over, but when we were leaving after dinner to walk Claren, she said, I don't want to carry it during the walk, so I'll bring it up at 10 and get you settled. I pointed out my brother-in-law would be there, but didn't argue. I mean it is easier to have Mom tuck me in. she takes off my shoes and socks and whatever.

When I told my brother-in-law Mom would be up, he started talking to the puppy: Kenny, he said, [my sister] and Grandma J don't trust me to take care  of Uncle Matt.

Then he went upstairs to put his son to bed. He came down and went to Mom and Dad's, got my comforter, put it on my bed, helped me into my chair and went to bed.

And I was fine, although I had to take off my own shoes.

Friday, November 7, 2014


The back of my chair looks like a "U." I lean against the base of the U, and two pieces some out on either side to keep me from falling over.

This morning I was teleworking and home alone. As I transferred back to my chair from the toilet when I noticed, huh, my chair is pretty far away.

Not that I could do anything about it mid-transfer.

I managed to make it to the chair, but when I leaned back, I tilted so my back hit one of the side pieces and I slid along the outside off the left side of the chair.

Somehow I didn't fall ... yet. I stayed on the edge of the seat and tried to recover. But all for naught. I finally fell.

Two seconds later, my brother-in-law walked in and helped me up.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's my life and I'll drink what I want

I started drinking camomile tea over the summer because someone on the FA email list said it helps with their restless legs.

I had talked to my doctor about my restless legs, which she said wasn't the typical issue. With me, the bottoms of my feet, itch is the best word,   and moving helps relieve it for a moment. Even if it was atypical, Dr. B. was certain it could be treated with medicine. But neuro drugs aren't high on my to-do list, so I said I'd wait and see.

Hence, the alternative solutions, such as camomile.

It helped at first. I didn't like the taste, but if it kept my legs relaxed, I'd drink Guinness. So I kept drinking it.

About a  month ago, I noticed my mouth was really dry when I got up. I attributed it to the changing seasons and got a humidifier.

That didn't work, even when I turned it up so high that the towel in front of it was soaking wet the next morning.

Then my mouth started staying dry all day, very annoying.

I mentioned it to Mom at that point, and she said, I wonder if it is the camomile; that always dries my mouth out.

Needless to say the camomile was out, and that seems to have done the trick: No more dry mouth, all is good. Right?

Until my sister heard of it. She has hardly stopped mocking my decision, even if the evidence backs me up. She was talking to a niece when she found out, and they both ridiculed Mom and my decision-makiing.

And that wasn't the end.

I have been having a few drainage issues lately. My sister helped me change after the last one and told me: I know why. It's because you stopped drinking camomile.

PS: Stretching helps the restless legs.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Shooting drilvers

At lunch at the Cheesecake Factory yesterday, this little girl kept turning in her chair to stare at me. I waved at her and she turned away. This happened a few times before I decided that the parents might not condone a stranger waving at their daughter, so I stopped.

But I recalled an important event from my childhood.

We were on our way to vacation, and my brother and I were in the way-back of the station wagon. I don't know who else was there, but if we were in the way-back, I assume siblings were in the back.

Anyway, to pass the time on our drive, we started shooting drivers with our fingers.

This one guy -- frizzy-haired and in a light blue VW Beetle, if I recall right -- started reacting to our shots, acting like we hit him and he was dying.

It was awesome. I hope I had a fraction of an impact on the girl as the guy did on me.

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