Tuesday, June 28, 2016

And now for something completely different

I had to brag last week at work, so I went into my friend’s office.

I need to brag, I told her. She said OK.

So I started: I fell in the bathroom …

That’s as far as I got before she interrupted: That doesn't sound like much of a brag.

It gets better, I said, and continued: I fell, but because of the bath mat I now carry to give me extra traction when I transfer, I was able to pull myself up. 

YAY me!

But she was dubious. It sounds like something horrible happened, but it just turned out not as horrible as expected.

Well, yeah, I agreed, adding that that qualifies for a brag in my book.

She got on board then and gave me a fist-bump.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Can you hear me now? Nope

I thought lack of hearing is supposed to be depressing, not hearing aids, but I am really struggling with the hearing aids.

I went back last week because there was no change in my hearing. They replaced the domes that carry the sound into my ears. Originally, they were open, which they hypothesized was letting the sound leech out.

Things are clearer now, and the key word is things, like the creaks of my chair. People are no better. They might be louder, but I can't understand them.

This is the nature of my hearing loss. I can hear, but my brain can’t translate them.

I asked the doctor up front if these hearing aids helped with this type of hearing loss. She breezily said they do.

Now I am not sure.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Unexpected day off

I missed work yesterday, but it wasn't my fault ... completely.

One of the capsules I take each night sort of controls my unruly bladder. I say sort of because it only sort of works.

But yesterday it didn't even have a chance to sort of work.

When I tossed it into my mouth, I apparently missed. In the morning, though, Fame did not miss.

The animal poison people said she'd be OK, but I was concerned about being at work, or anywhere without a urinal.

Anyhow, I am blaming Fame.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Tears on my pillow

I cried myself to sleep Thursday, the day i got hearing aids.

Not because they didn't work, which they don't, but I know my brain has to adjust to them.

Not because they make my ears itch like crazy, which they do, but again, it's an adjustment.

It was because they ought to have a warning label:  If you have dexterity problems, don't even think you'll be able to use these.

I can't put them in, change the batteries and more. They come on automatically and adjust automatically. This is a good thing because I can't use the power button, the volume button or the one that switches between settings.

I don't think they get much better; I know my dexterity won't.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

PT, or Party Time

Yesterday I sat on a 65-cm exercise ball and didn't fall off! Granted, my new physical therapist was holding on to me, but still ...

I am quite pleased with the PT. She seems quite smart and fun and kind. She teaches at one of the local PT colleges and was recommended to the PT student who  works with me and asked his adviser if she knew of any good neuro PTs.

She is also working on getting me a new chair. She just rolls her eyes at a lot of stuff on my current chair. It would make me laugh more if I wasn't stuck in this bad chair.

I really like PT,  having people who understand your limits  but still push you to improve.

Now I just have to convince my sister to let me use the exercise ball when my student comes over.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Think of the toys I could have bought

A friend of mine believes the heading aid industry is basically a ripoff, and the products they sell are too expensive.

My experience with two audiologists tends to make me agree, or  at least think that money is their chief drive. This didn't stop me from spending thousands on hearing aids this week, but it probably contributed to my feeling depressed about it.

The first one said to email her questions but never answered me. So I went to another my insurer likes.

No better. Particularly galling is that neither had money back guarantees. "No one works for free," she laughed as she told me about their $125 restocking fee. She added that the manufacturer also needed to pay for shipping.

I am thinking 2) if the manufacturer really has to pay that much for shipping, they need to investigate UPS. Mainly, though, I am thinking I don't want anyone working for free. I asked the audiologist, an expert, to find something that works for me, and if it doesn't, I want to  be able to return it. Otherwise, aren't I paying her for nothing, for her failure to find the proper aid for me?

Not that I am bitter.

I guess I'll just hope they work

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


As I pointed out on Facebook, the only negative to this photo, and really to all of Awesome Con, was that Jenna Coleman was not swooning visibly at my cuteness.

But otherwise, what fun!

The Doctor seemed quite nice and animated, and the company was great. I finally got to take my niece, and her excitement made it better.

Fame was wonderful in the crowds and handled a sniff and significant intrusion of her space by an alleged service dog. It was very badly behaved and should not have been there.

The big question now: Do I spend the money to get the action figure of me that got scanned there. Who am I kidding? Of course i do.

My takeaway, other than awesomeness?  I am not ready to be a parent. I am glad my niece wore a fez (not that it was a unique look there), but I could look for the fez and find her.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


I write this as a bit of a confession. I compare disabilities.

This is bad.

Usually, in parking lots when someone who walks has a parking spot I could use. But today it happened when I was reading the newspaper.

Not the article about the disability rights activists blasting You Before Me. Good stuff there.

My problem was with the article on a blind woman suing Uber over several drivers refusing to transport her guide dog. This is a legitimate problem, one reason I dislike  Uber.

What bothered me was this quote from her lawyer: “We hope that this case will illustrate the huge obstacles that blind people face in the D.C. metro area just to get from place to place.”

If blind people face "huge obstacles," what does someone with a service dog who can't drive and can only use specially designed vehicles face?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Matty before Jenna

I have been seeing ads for the movie You Before Me, and while normally I'd have little interest in whether such a schmaltzy firm does well, I really hope this one is bigger than Titanic. And n to because Jenna Coleman is in it. All right, not just because Jenna Coleman, who I am meeting Sunday, is in it.

It is about an attractive young lady who is hired to be caretaker to a modestly older guy in a chair. They seem to fall in love and  everything turns out hunky-dory.  A wheelchair doesn't mean an end to life and things are cool.

I thought.


Turns out the guy jets off to kill himself at the end. Because that is what being in a chair means to the world. I am not amused.

My hope was it would be a hit and inspire lots of attractive young ladies to seek me out.

But now, I hope it fails. Sorry, Jenna.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Battery trouble

A friend asked if I ever ran out of power in my chair because, she added, that "seems like a very Matt thing to do."

You have to test the limits, I told her as I recounted the time I had to back up curb cuts because my rear-wheel drive chair was so low on power that it wouldn't go up face first. You have to know whether the CHARGE NOW alert is honest or if the battery is really deplete hours before the alert. You also need to know that if you turn your chair on and off, you might get more power.

I stick by my theory because twice recently my chair has had three or four green lines -- signaling power -- only to start blinking red CHARGE NOW.

Both times I was out on walks, so there wasn't much to do: just come home and hope I don't lose all power. I never  did. Also, I turned my chair off and  on, and got  more power.

I am starting the process of replacing the chair next week  --maybe the next one will be truthful.

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