Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting Independence Back

The most valuable thing to me to have in my current situation is independence. It is something that is extremely hard to get once you've lost, so when things come along that can help that I hold onto them. When I finally get it back and then lose it again, it can be frustrating and saddening. Losing the ability to drive my wheelchair myself has been extremely tough. Right now I'm in the process of trying to figure out which way I'd like to use to drive a new power wheelchair.

On Tuesday Key Medical brought me a power wheelchair with a sip and puff to trial. After telling me how to use it, I tried it out for the first time in my room. It was not at all like I expected; harder actually. I tried it for a little while, got tired and sore cheeks, and was extremely frustrated that it wasn't going my way. It would have been easier to try it outside or something in a bigger space, but it was extremely hot and humid outside. At first they said that they were going to take it back with them when they left. I said no because there's no way I can know after an hour if it's going to work or not or if I like it. I was able to keep it until this morning at around 10 AM. I'm extremely surprised that they wouldn't do a longer trial period.

Yesterday I took it outside to mess around with it. After a while, I started getting the hang of it but was still frustrated. I know it takes a while to get used to something and learn it, but I just felt like no matter how long I tried it, I was never going to get it. I want to say that I loved it and that that's what I want to use, but I am unable to. Without something else (besides the tongue touch) to compare it to, I just don't know if it would work out for me to use. So I talked to them today and they are now going to try to get a wheelchair with a chin joystick for me to try; although I'm not quite sure how long that will take.

After I choose which of the two ways I want to use to drive my wheelchair, then they can begin the process of ordering it. It will probably take a couple of months before medical assistance will approve to pay for the chair. Only after we go through this entire process can I begin to get my independence back. I'm hoping and praying that everything works out okay and then it can be as quick of a process as possible.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Good Things Do Come

I found out I received a 93% (A) in my online mass communications class that I just finished up. Definitely better than I thought I was getting. I'm really proud of myself for sticking with it and not giving up. For fall semester, I signed up for intercultural communications at Normandale and environmental biology online. It's going to be interesting taking two classes; I have a feeling it will be a lot of work again. Hopefully I'll be able to handle it.

I got word from Key Medical on Friday. They're going to bring out a loaner power chair on Tuesday for me to try. It's going to have a sip and puff on it. I'm not sure how long the trial period is for; hopefully until I can get a new one. I'm so excited to get out of this manual wheelchair and get a little independence back. Now I just have to learn how to use it. Wish me luck!


"There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? Over that I have complete control."
-Leo Buscaglia

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Poem That Fits

Determined I Shall Be

Keeping myself optimistic
Each day begins anew
Looking on the bright side
That's what I had to do

Erasing negative thoughts
So doubts will disappear
In knowing I have patience
I continued to persevere

Persistence always helps
In using determination
I'm never one for giving up
Whatever the situation

In believing all is possible
That is so true of me
Everyday I remind myself
Determined I shall be

This poem relates to how I'm feeling now with everything going on. I am determined to stay positive and believe that everything will be okay. In this current situation, it can be easy to get depressed. I'm not going to give up.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rest in Peace Ty

So I have some bad news. My cat Ty got outside on Friday and then went missing for a couple of days. That's unusual for him to be gone that long. We searched and searched but couldn't find him. Finally Sunday evening one of my nurses was driving home from her shift and spotted him on the side of the road not too far from my house. We're not quite sure how he died but we think an animal got him. There are coyotes and foxes in the woods behind our house. Plus owls and hawks fly around at night.

It's really unfortunate though, he was a great cat. There will never be another one quite like him. He had such a personality and was so friendly. When we would talk to him he would meow back and he would lay down and bow his head for a treat. He would greet people at the door hoping to narrowly escape to the outside. It was hard to keep him inside because he loved to be out. He would roll around on the driveway and get all dirty, and then he would lie in the grass keeping watch. Even though he didn't have any front claws he was an excellent mouse catcher. Sometimes he would just play with them and other times he would bring them to the door as presents. We're really going to miss Ty.

Has anyone else lost any pets close to them?


Friday, July 16, 2010

Yay for Me

I'm finished! I know I've talked a lot about this class, but that's only because it was extremely difficult for me. I just submitted my final exam and am now officially done with it. I feel very relieved and excited to have finished because there were many times along the way where I felt like quitting and just dropping the class.

This morning I had physical therapy. She flipped me onto my stomach (in the prone position) and worked on relaxing my back muscles. I have a massage table that I bought so that I can go prone whenever I need to. My massage therapist flips me over too when he comes once a week. Before my accident I used to always sleep on my stomach, so it's my favorite position to be in.

Tomorrow I'm hopefully going to go to Target so I can pick up some well needed items. Then I'm going to enjoy my day and read for fun. That sounds good to me.

There will definitely be better posts to come now that I have some time.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"This Too Shall Pass"

It's been an extremely busy past six weeks. My online class has required all of my time and energy. I've been stressed to the max and I'm glad that all I have left is my final exam, which I can either take the 15th or 16th. Then I will be able to relax and enjoy the next six weeks before I start with fall semester.

I'm still waiting to hear about getting a new wheelchair. Right now they are trying to get a loaner power wheelchair with a sip and puff attached for me to trial. Along with the stress of my class, I've been dealing with the loss of independence. I'm still in a manual wheelchair right now that I'm renting. Not being in a power wheelchair and able to drive it myself has also taken a toll on me. I feel myself getting more depressed each day and not wanting to do anything. It's hard to go anywhere anyways in this situation. None of my equipment that I have to bring out with me when I go places fits on this chair like it used to on the other one. My vent is literally hanging on one of the handlebars and my tubes are tied to the other one. The suction machine, oxygen tank, and emergency bag have to be carried by someone else. Along with someone pushing me, that's a lot to deal with.

Hopefully "this too shall pass."


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Flooring

I did a post a few weeks ago talking about how my sister's room flooded. We've had to rip up a lot of carpet; everything in her room, down the hallway and a few parts in my room. We decided to put in laminate floors that look like wood instead of putting new carpeting down. That will take place tomorrow in my room when I'm out of it. Right now the rest of the carpet in my room is being torn up in preparation.

Yesterday we started taking all of the furniture and stuff out of my room. I feel like I'm moving or something packing all these boxes. My room looks so bare right now because there's hardly anything in it; only my bed, couch, and a plastic drawer set that my birds are sitting on in their cage. Hopefully my room will be done by the end of the day tomorrow. I think it will look real nice when it's all finished.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Squirrel Watching in Minnesota

No need for an explanation on this video. To view it on YouTube click here.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Update on Exam

It was an extremely hard exam. I ended up getting 31.5/40; 79%. The same score I got on the first exam. The worst was the four short answer questions worth 3 points each. I think I did really good on the rest of it (matching and true false). The class average for the first exam we took was 78% and it was 75% for the second. I'm hoping the final on the 16th is easier but I may be fooling myself. Just have to study harder I guess. I've been very busy with homework for this class and I will be glad when it's all over. Then I can enjoy the rest of my summer. I miss doing leisure activities such as reading, playing games, painting and even going outside to enjoy the sunshine. Only two more weeks left. Well, back to my reading analysis paper that's due by midnight tonight.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Figuring It All out

It's a beautiful day here in Minnesota, sunny and 80°F. I'm stuck inside right now preparing for my online exam that I have to take some time today. Then I have to read a bunch of articles and write a paper on the main points and my opinion of one of them (due tomorrow). By Saturday I have to generate discussion posts with my class talking about the readings. Oh yeah, and I have to read chapter 13 (25 pages) in my textbook. Maybe in my free time? And I decided to update all of you on my hectic homework schedule instead of actually doing it because I'm procrastinating on taking my exam. Perhaps I should just take the exam right now and then go outside and read while getting some fresh air and a tan. Okay, now I've got a plan going. Can you tell I've been stressed?