Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ready to Go!

I've been packing stuff all day long. I'm ready to leave early tomorrow morning; very excited but nervous as well. Along with the trip comes a little anxiety.

The pageant will be streaming live online Saturday, August 6 at 5 PM central time. Just click on the link below. All you have to do is sign up and then you can watch!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Posts on the EasyStand Blog

I've done a couple of posts in the last month on the EasyStand blog about my trip. Here are the links if you'd like to read them.

Becoming Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2011
Preparing to Win!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting My Tan on

Me outside in my new shades! (I'm not sunburned, just red from the heat ;-)
This whole summer I've been devoting my time to going outside and getting a tan. The weather has been so nice lately (despite a week of high humidity and temperatures). Every time I go out I put sunscreen on because I have a tendency to burn easily. A couple months ago I got major tan lines from missing the sunscreen in spots. I think they're almost all evened out now, but some are still a little noticeable.

I am so sensitive from all the medications I take. Whenever I'm in direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time my skin gets really hot and turns red. The good thing is that it usually goes away within a half an hour of being back in air-conditioning. Also, since my body has a hard time regulating its temperature it usually gets higher the longer I'm out. Sometimes I take it it just see where I'm at. The other day I was 100.6 F, and that was after being in the car for 15 min. with air blowing on me. I definitely have to be careful not to overheat!

A little over six years ago I wanted to get tan really bad. So for several days in a row I sat outside in direct sunlight with no sunscreen. I got so burned my friend Steph was peeling sheets of skin off my face. That was one of the worst experiences I had with the sun and I've definitely learned my lesson since then. It's better to use the proper precautions and gradually tan as to avoid burning. (Getting smarter in my older age!)


Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Week Of Soreness

Last Saturday night I got a pill stuck in my throat and it broke open when I was trying to get it down. It burned really bad when the medicine spilled out. The next morning when I was swallowing my pills the same pill got stuck. It broke open again and burned, but this time I couldn't get it down. I tried everything all morning and then eventually all day. I really thought that because the pain was so bad the pill was still stuck, but it turns out that it was long gone. Although my throat hurt so bad it was difficult to swallow food let alone drink water.

When I woke up Monday morning the pain was even worse. I was struggling to get food down. It was like a sore throat only way worse. I pushed through it the rest of the day and Tuesday, but Wednesday I decided it was time to see what was going on. My mom took me to the ER to get it checked out. After waiting over two hours, I finally was able to see the doctor. To figure out if it was my throat or the muscles they made me drink this cocktail mixed with Maalox and lidocaine (very disgusting tasting and made me gag). Apparently since it numbed the pain she determined it was coming from my throat. She said that it would be difficult to tell if something was wrong without getting a camera down there to see. So I was going to have to come back the next day to do an endoscopy.

By this time I wasn't even eating solid foods. Everything was going into my G-tube including ensure and water. Because the procedure required me to be semi-sedated, I couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight, which wasn't really a problem. They called me in the morning and scheduled an appointment for a 12:30 PM check-in and 1 PM procedure.

When I showed up to the hospital I had to wait a while before I went in. When the nurse came out to get me, she had a surprised look on her face. She told me that there must have been some miscommunication because the ER doc didn't tell them that I was a quadriplegic on a ventilator. Very key information if you're going to do an endoscopy on someone. It wouldn't be such a simple thing anymore. They would have had to actually put me under anesthesia instead of just sedate me which is a big difference.

When the doctor came in she asked me where my pain was and I told her it was in my throat. Then she told me that they couldn't do the procedure. Not only because they weren't prepared for me to do it safely, but also because an endoscopy looks at the esophagus and stomach. She said that they wouldn't even be able to tell if anything happened to my throat. She also stated that what I should've seen as an ear, nose and throat doctor. I never would've figured out the mistake made.

Wish they would've told me that in the ER before they scheduled the appointment and had me go without nourishment for so long. The doctor said that when the pill broke open it likely burned my throat so she gave me a prescription for the same cocktail I had gotten the day before. I tried it and it did work most of the time, but only for 5 or 10 minutes, just enough for me to get a few bites down without pain. I only did it for a few days.

It's been about a week since this incident happened and my throat still hurts when I swallow. Now my neck muscles are extremely sore, and the pain has traveled to my jaw and behind my ear. It wasn't as bad during the day today so I think it is going away, but very slowly. I believe that along with the burn from the medicine that I strained the muscles in my neck. That's probably what's causing me the most pain.

I might end up calling a doc tomorrow just to get another opinion. I'm hoping it will go away before my trip a week from tomorrow. I need to be able to eat whatever I want and what I want it!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Hi! I am still in need of donations for my trip to Michigan. The money will go towards plane tickets, hotel, food and the event itself. I hope you can help me reach my destination and eventually win the crown!

Checks can be made payable to:
Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota

Checks can be sent to:
2400 Lorien St.
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Thank you so much for your support!


Monday, July 18, 2011

In the Newspaper Today…

The Star Tribune printed an article on me in the newspaper today. I'm so excited to share my story with everyone! Glad to know I'm helping so many people. A special thanks to all of you who have supported me and been by my side over the years.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Going Blue

In order to have privacy, I use a headset to talk on the phone. I also use a separate one that plugs into my computer in order to dictate using speech recognition software. I do have a cell phone that I use occasionally to make quick phone calls, but never got a headset for it. I had been really curious lately about Bluetooth headsets; if they worked well, if they were affordable, and if they fit comfortably. I've often seen people wear the earpiece for their cell phone, but hadn't ever looked into it.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a new set of cordless phones. One for my room, one for the living room and one for upstairs in the kitchen. I realized after I opened them that they didn't have a plug-in for a headset but they did have Bluetooth capabilities. I decided that was a perfect time to try using a Bluetooth headset.

I had my "computer guy" buy one and bring it over for me to try. He hooked it up and I've been using it ever since. I have to say it's so much better than any other headset I've had. Loved it so much I had him get two more for me, one for my cell phone and one for my computer. Now I can actually use my cell phone to talk on. It didn't work out quite so well with my computer, still can't figure out how to keep it connected with my speech recognition. So for that I've been using my old one until I can get it.

I'm hoping to find other technological things to make my life a little bit easier. If you have any ideas, let me know.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Look Well to This Day

Look well to this day,
For it and it alone is life.
In its brief course
Lie all the essence of your existence:

The Glory of Growth
The Satisfaction of Achievement
The Splendor of Beauty

For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is but a vision.
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

-Anonymous, 50 BC

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th

It's been hot, but nice out the past few days. I've been working on my tan for the Ms. wheelchair America contest. So far coming along pretty good (except for a few good tan lines that I need to get rid of). I'm just hanging out watching fireworks on TV, lame I know but going out to watch them isn't really an option. It's hard for me to stay in my wheelchair more than about eight or nine hours. After that I start getting really spastic and usually have an increase in pain.

I hope one day that changes so I'm able to do more things in the evening. Right now I've been getting up in my wheelchair around 9 AM and getting back in bed around 5 PM. Although I don't go to sleep until 10 or 11 PM. This schedule isn't the most ideal for going out many places. If I have something going on at night that I want to be at or attend I will get back into bed around 2 or 3 PM and do range of motion and then get back up an hour later.

I think I'm going to have to start getting up earlier and staying up later in my wheelchair though. This would be to get my body used to being in my wheelchair for long hours. It looks like I'm going to have a pretty full schedule when I'm in Michigan the first week of August for nationals. Everything starts at 9 AM and doesn't end until 9 PM.

I've been doing a lot of planning for my trip. So far all of the tickets and hotel rooms are booked. That was the most stressful. Now that that's finished, my next project is to make lists of all the equipment and supplies I need to bring. Long process but definitely worth it in the long run. I'm so excited I can't wait.