Thursday, April 29, 2010

Finals Next Week

Hello everyone.

It's been a cloudy and windy day today. There is rain in forecast for later this evening. I've been very busy with school the last few days. I had an exam at school today and I think I did pretty good. Along with the exam, I had to write and then bring to class answers to two essay questions. I also have a paper due on Tuesday and my final next Thursday which involves writing two answers to essay questions. After that I'm done for this semester. My teacher said that it was okay if I e-mailed everything to him so I don't even have to go to school next week. To assure that I pay full attention to my schoolwork, I won't be blogging for one week. I'll start back up next Friday. Thanks for your patience and I hope everyone has a good week.


Do all the good you can.
By all means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as ever you can.
-John Wesley

Monday, April 26, 2010


This amazing new technology allows paraplegics to walk again.

I thought this video was so cool. I only hope that one day they invent something like this for quadriplegics.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Standing with the Cats

I've still been using my stander 2 to 3 times a week. Every time is different with how many degrees I'm able to get up to. My goal every time is 90°. In the past couple months though, I haven't been able to get up past 60 or 70°. And it usually takes me about half an hour to get there. My body just isn't as tolerant as it used to be with standing. If I go too high, my blood pressure drops and I start to see black spots. Then I have to go back down immediately.

My normal blood pressure is usually around 90/60. When I'm standing, it can get down to about 60/40. Sometimes it gets low enough to where it won't read and says Error even though I'm still feeling fine. My doctor says as long as I don't pass out, I'm good because it's normal for people with spinal cord injuries to have low blood pressure. It gets really frustrating not to be able to get up all the way. I know that it's good to try, and even getting to where I am now is considered weight-bearing, but it would still be nice to stand at 90°.

One thing that helps distract me are my cats. Both of them fight for the position to lay on the table while I'm standing. They love the attention from my staff and the chance to be with me of course. The gray one, Toby, is very curious and always tries to be cute. He can be very naughty and mischievous at times too. Ty is the black one. He wants everything his way only when he wants it. He can be loving and also serious. I believe the pictures say it all. They could be an advertisement for Easystand stander.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Update

It's a beautiful sunny day here in Minnesota. On Saturday I went to my friend Karly's CD release party. It was so amazing. They did a presentation sharing about her and how she writes her songs: one note at a time. That was near Stillwater which is almost an hour away from my house. It was worth the drive though.

Sunday I went to church in the morning and then my dad came over with his dog Bailey in the afternoon. My sister also came over after work. Then in the evening my friend Steph came over for dinner. We hung out and watched TV.

Yesterday I stayed at home for a well needed break. I went outside in the backyard and watched my mom plant some flowers. Our garden is coming along; everything is growing already and there are flowers blooming in the front yard. Not to mention all the weeds, including those prickers and dandylions.

Today I went to school. It's a beautiful day in Minnesota. Last year it snowed in the middle of April. I don't think that's going to happen this year since it didn't even snow in March which is very usual. I got picked up 20 minutes late by Metro mobility and then I was on the bus for an hour and 20 minutes. I didn't get home until almost 4 PM. That gives me no time to even do anything before I get back in bed at 5 PM. Then I do my cares and eat around 6 PM.

So there's your update on what I've been up to the past four days.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Lunch Date with Sis

The other day my sister, Kristen, drove my van and took me out to lunch at Benihana. It's a restaurant where they cook in front of you and do all sorts of tricks with knives and food. Last time I went there was my birthday last October. She took the day off of work so we could go somewhere. I really enjoyed it and hope we can do it again! It's nice to get out and spend some alone time with my sis (sort of alone, my nurse was there too). Thanks Kris!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I haven't really written much about school this semester. So far in my Psychology of Religion and Spirituality class we've talked about how we know what we know, conceptualizing religion/spirituality, science and religion, biological and environmental influences, mysticism, conversion, prayer and turning away from religion. We've had a panel of speakers sharing their religions and one speaker come in and talk about a mystical experience she had. On Thursday were having someone come in and speak about demon possession and exorcism. Then next week we're talking about evil and virtue. I know it sounds like a lot, but it's extremely interesting. There's definitely thinking involved in a class like this. It brings up a lot of questions that we usually discuss in class. It hasn't changed my mind at all about what I believe, just opened my eyes to what is out there.

Today we didn't have class because it was College Success Day. It was a bunch of free workshops and classes that students could go to. I decided to go instead of just staying home. The first one I tried to go to at 12 PM was called great myths in psychology. When I got to the classroom it was so packed that people were standing outside of the doors. Definitely no way I was getting into that one. Too bad, because it would've been interesting. I tried going into another one but that was full too. So then I just waited for the next one I wanted to go to called life saving robots. It ended up not even being about robots but about security cameras. The speaker talked about cameras in stores and the people viewing them and what they watch for. It was kind of interesting; worth listening to and getting an extra credit point I guess.

I signed up to take a Mass Communications class online this summer. I had signed up for it this last semester, but dropped it because it would have been a big workload with the psychology class as well. Communication classes are my favorite; I love taking them. I actually signed up for Intercultural Communications for this fall. I think that'll be interesting as well. I'm also going to sign up for an online class, but haven't decided which one. It's between Environmental Biology and Creative Writing.


Friday, April 9, 2010

An Inspiring Story

My friend Karly is an amazing person. Fox 9 news thought so too. Maury Glover from the station spent four hours with Karly filming and interviewing her, capturing what it's like to live with Rett syndrome. The clip is called "Woman with Rett Finds Her Voice Through Music" and it aired Wednesday, April 7. The video also shows how she communicates and talks about her recent CD release. I have posted the video clip below. If you want to watch it on the website click here. It is truly an inspiring story and great to know that Karly is becoming famous for her abilities, not her disability. Along with being a composer, she is also a writer and has a blog. Click here to visit it.


Thursday, April 8, 2010


The picture above is of my handicap accessible van. It has a side loading power lift to get me in. A few years ago we got a new van because I had gotten my power wheelchair. It was too tall to fit in my old van without tilting back. Also, the lift wasn't quite strong enough to hold it so it would bend when I was being lifted up. The new one we purchased is about 7'2" tall and much bigger. In order to fit it into our garage, we had to raise the roof. Most people are interested in how I get around from place to place. For me, it depends on where I'm going.

When I want to go out somewhere, I usually have my mom drive me in our van. The nurses aren't able to drive it for liability reasons. Also, I need two people including the driver in case something happens. Places I'll usually go in my van are the mall, Target, the grocery or bookstore, a restaurant, etc. Typically places of necessity, for fun or shopping purposes. My mom also takes me to church most Sundays.

For appointments like to the doctor or therapy, I take a van service called Travel On Transportation. Since it's a medical appointment insurance pays for the ride. Most of the time I'm the only person in the van and they take me straight to my appointment and straight home. With this service, I'm able to set up a ride to my appointment and then call when I'm ready to be picked up. They are usually there within 30 minutes. I would love to be able to take this type of transportation everywhere, however if it isn't a medical appointment, I would have to pay a large amount out-of-pocket. The only way to avoid that is taking alternative transportation.

I take a bus service called Metro mobility to get to school and back home. I've also used it to take me other places like to the mall if no one is available to drive my van. The only advantage to taking Metro mobility is that one ride cost $3. So to go to school and back it costs me only $6. There are many more disadvantages than advantages. Taking Metro mobility wastes a lot of time. Unlike Travel On, Metro mobility is a ride share program. They pick up and drop off other people while I'm on the bus. Sometimes I get picked up from school and am on the bus for an hour or so before I get home. It is also extremely bumpy to ride on a bus versus being in a van. I think the shocks on my wheelchair and the shocks on the bus counteract making it worse.

I am not able to just get up and go places on the spur of the moment because I depend on others to drive me; it always has to be planned. Either I have to call ahead to set up a ride or I have to ask my mom to take me. The lack of independence is definitely something I struggle with a lot. It's not hard to set up a ride and my mom would take me anywhere at any time. It is hard to deal with the fact that I always have to depend on someone to drive me somewhere. Especially if I want to get out of the house and I'm not able to because no ones available. I guess it's a little bit of the same feeling that I have with always having to depend on someone to do everything else for me. The difference is that I don't have the freedom to leave when I want to whereas if I need something done for me, all I have to do is ask and there is someone that can do it for me. In order to go somewhere, it has to be the right time and the right place and someone has to be available.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


This is a picture of my sister, Kristen, and I on Easter. We had a great time. I'm working on a post right now about transportation. I will be posting it soon.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

This morning we went to the 11 o'clock service at church. It was packed with people. In a couple of hours were hosting Easter at our house. I think there's going to be 20 of us our so. That's a big crowd and a lot of cooking.

Hope everyone else is having a good day.


Thursday, April 1, 2010


I haven't been sleeping all that great in the past couple of months. I usually go to sleep around 11 PM and wake up at about 5 AM. Lately I've been waking up in the middle of the night from anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes. Sometimes I even wake up twice. I'm on two sleep medications right now, one of which my sleep doctor just changed to a higher dose. When I wake up, I just lay there and think about things. There could be a number of reasons why I wake up but I'm not sure which one it is. I think one thing could be that I get anxiety about not sleeping good which actually could make me wake up. I end up taking a lot of naps during the day to try to catch up. Anyways, I know I just talked about me not sleeping but I just wanted to get it all out again and talk it through. Who knows maybe that'll help me sleep better tonight.


Funny Day

If you haven't already realized, today is April 1 and also April Fools' Day. I've never really done anything to "fool" anyone on this day before but I decided to do something today.

I called my moms fiancée, Charlie, on his cell phone this morning and asked him if he'd been outside yet. He said no, why? Then I said that one of my nurses went outside to leave after her shift and came back in and told me that his passenger-side window was broken. He sounded really panicked when I said that and then he hung up quickly. I heard some loud noises upstairs and then the door slammed shut. About one minute later he comes downstairs saying my name. Then I said April fools and he burst out laughing. Then I started laughing so hard I was crying. I really got him worried thinking that someone may have broken into his truck during the night and stolen something. I guess he was still in bed and he just threw a pair of pants on and went outside with no shirt or shoes. Ha ha I'm still laughing about it.

If you'd like to learn more about April Fools' Day and read about well known pranks click here.

If you'd like to see what Google did for their April fools joke click here.

Did any of you do any April fool's jokes?