Monday, November 28, 2011

MRI Follow-Up

I went to the orthopedist office today and found out the results of my MRI. Turns out I don't have frozen shoulder which is very good news because that could take up to a year to heal. I do have bursitis in my shoulder, which is basically inflammation of the fluid filled sac (bursa) that lies between the tendon and bone. The doctor gave me a cortisone shot (just like planned) and it's already feeling a little better. She said it could take up to 72 hours for the full affect. I'm happy that it wasn't anything more serious. I had bursitis in my left hip a few years ago and I got a cortisone shot for that. The pain went away and it healed up nicely so I didn't have to get another shot. Hopefully this will just do the same.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful to be alive and here today celebrating life! I'm also thankful for all the wonderful people in my life who have supported me and been with me throughout. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Feeling of Pain

For about the past eight weeks I've been experiencing some pain in my right shoulder. It hurts in the back near the rotator cuff. For a while it only hurt when someone was moving my arm but these past couple weeks it's been hurting constantly. Even with all my therapy, range of motion and pain medications; nothing seems to help it.

Last Wednesday I went to an orthopedic specialist to see if I could figure out what was wrong. It was funny because she kept on moving it all these different directions asking if it hurt each time. I was like yeah it hurts every time you move it. Even though I have limited feeling in my body, I can still feel pain. My body can also tell when something is hurting because when it does I spasm.

She made a pre-diagnosis of frozen shoulder (technical name is adhesive capsulitis). I had no idea what that meant, but apparently it's when the shoulder is painful and loses motion because of inflammation. I'm in the pain stage now; my shoulder hasn't lost too much motion yet, only the fact that whichever way it's moved hurts so I try not to. She said that in order to tell for sure I would need an MRI done.

Today I got the MRI of my shoulder. I never had one before this. I heard stories about how loud and claustrophobic it is, but I wasn't nervous going in. It was just a bigger ordeal because I'm a quad on a vent with a C1 to C3 spinal fusion and a baclofen pump. We had to make sure that everything was cleared before being sucked into a big magnet.

My fusion was okay because it's been 8 1/2 years since I've had it. I was worried though about the baclofen pump at first. Then I read that they are okay in an MRI but they may temporarily stop working while in it. I had to get a doctor's order for someone at the hospital to read it before and afterwards to make sure it was working properly. Then as far as my vent goes, they just switched me to one of theirs which was MRI safe.

Before going in they put a headset on me with music of my choice. I am claustrophobic in certain situations, but while inside I just shut my eyes and tried to relax. There was a lot of beeping and clanking going on during. Every so often I would hear a voice in my ear asking me if I was doing okay (wasn't too happy about the interruption of my songs…lol). Overall it went well and I came out with a smile on my face so the people there were happy about that.

I'm going in to the orthopedist office on Monday where I'll get the results. If it is frozen shoulder they will do a cortisone shot to bring down the inflammation and help with the pain. Then I'll be able to have physical therapy work on getting proper movement in it. I might have to go back six weeks after to get another shot if the pain starts up again. Other than that it just needs lots of time for it to heal.

I'll keep you updated as I know more.


Monday, November 21, 2011


I can't believe there's snow on the ground and winter is coming soon! This year has gone by so fast.

School has been going well. I only have a few weeks left before winter break. I've been looking into classes to take in the spring but haven't decided yet. I set up an appointment to meet with a counselor at the school for academic planning so I can figure out what I have left to take. I really like school, but I'll definitely be glad when I'm done and start focusing my time on a career.


Saturday, November 19, 2011


I can't believe winter is just around the corner. It's been snowing outside all day and it's the first snowfall we've had. That's my favorite because it's so pretty and clean looking. The worst is towards the end of winter when the white is gone and everything is dirty. Throughout the day I've been watching the different animals that come around in my backyard. Then I just wrote this poem about it.

A Day in My Backyard

Snow falling to the ground
Turning white all around

Deer grazing in the woods
Searching for different goods

Squirrels scattering in the yard
Finding little scraps is hard

Bluejays in a cheerful mood
Looking to the sidewalk for food

Ducks splashing in the pond
It's my backyard that I am fond


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Speeches Galore

Last Friday I spoke to three separate classes in a row at Armstrong high school. Each of them had about 15 to 20 students; it was a class called AVID which focuses on college and career goals. They needed a speaker directed towards motivation. I got some video this time and once I figure out how to edit it I will post it. I'm also going to be speaking tomorrow to three other classes at the same high school so maybe I'll get some more too.

It is difficult to speak to more than one class in a row. My voice gets hoarse by the last one. The good thing is I can see my improvement over the three. Then I know what things I should include and what I can leave out. It helps when they ask questions also because then I can figure out what they want to know.

I'm part of a program called BestPrep which has a bunch of different volunteer speakers. Here's a little info about it:

"BestPrep, a Minnesota nonprofit, engages 60,000 students in grades 4-12 each year in business, career and financial literacy education. More than 3,000 professional volunteers help BestPrep collaborate with educators to bridge classroom curriculum and the world of business outside of the classroom, enriching the teaching and learning experience.

BestPrep offers six experiential programs: Classroom Plus, eMentors, Financial Matters, Minnesota Business Venture, The Stock Market Game, and the Technology Integration Workshop.

BestPrep is a statewide, nonprofit organization with a mission to best prepare Minnesota students with business, career and financial literacy skills through experiences that inspire success in work and life."

I am part of the classroom plus program. Basically when a teacher needs a speaker, they will contact BestPrep and tell them what topic they need one for. The bureau will then look through their list of speakers and find one that fits that need then contact them. This is how I get most of my speaking engagements at local high schools.

I've been a part of it for about six years now. I think it's a very good way to get out there and gain experience. Now that I am Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2011 I've been speaking as that everywhere I go. I like using the title to help motivate kids to get out there and achieve their goals.

I'm hoping to get involved in many more events and speaking engagements throughout the rest of my reign. If you know of any or would like me to speak somewhere, let me know.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

True Friendships

I've been thinking lately about friendships. It is very important to have people in your life you can count on to be there for you; people that would do anything for you no matter what. Not the people that you are "friends" with on Facebook or the people that you occasionally text message saying a quick "hello how are you?" I'm talking about true friends.

When my accident happened, I really found out who my friends were. Some have dissipated throughout the years and there were a bunch that I lost touch with directly after. Although many stuck around and have been by my side since. For that, I am very grateful because without having people in my life that care and love me for who I am, it would be difficult.

Throughout this journey though, I've met a lot of amazing people with whom I've become friends with. I like being able to develop and create new friendships with others. Especially when I get the chance to help those in my situation just by being there and being a true friend to them.

Thanks to all the friends in my life who have been there for me!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Anniversary Day

November 1 was the nine year anniversary of my accident. It would be easy for me to be sad or angry about it; to be bitter and live life depressed; to have regrets and think about the what if's. But instead every year I take that day to celebrate life. I've always felt that there was a reason why the accident happened and I survived. Maybe it was to help people in my situation or open someone's eyes to what it's like living with a disability. Whatever it may be, I'm glad that I did and happy to be here. Don't take things for granted, you never know what can happen.