Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lighten Up

Wow! I was talking to my therapist today, my occupational therapist Amanda. I sent Amanda my address to my blog a few days ago and then I've been waiting to find out what her reaction would be. I was really quite surprised when she reported that she had finally gotten around to reading the document and found it was really depressing. Of course, she didn't say it in exactly those terms she's much too nice for something like that but I could tell that she thought it was pretty depressing. So, I had a few extra minutes this afternoon so I went back and went through a couple of the entries for this month and found out she's absolutely right. My immediate reaction, my knee jerk reaction whoa  I had better  do a reality check, I had better try to find the sunshine, silver lining , upside to this downside, sunny side of the street excetera excetera. I don't want folks to see me as this morose rolling cloud of thunder and negativity. Then I thought so what? I am pretty depressed right now, I am more than a little upset and you know what that's okay. I'll be a little messed up if I wasn't. I just went through a year when I went to two major operations and isn't up living in a SNF but not really knowing if I'm ever going to be able to get back into my regular living scenario.

Now having written this I have to confess I do have some very positive feelings about what does New Years going to bring and I know this time I'm spending at the facility is going to end and I'm going to continue on my rehabilitation. Hopefully, the results will be positive and I will be better for the time I have spent in the facility is going to end and I'm good at continue on with my rehabilitation. Hopefully, the results will be positive and I will be better for the time I have spent under the knife  and in institutions. I seem to have an uncanny ability to bounce back. I know this I just get waylaid sometimes by my situation. I am so lucky to be surrounded by good people like my family, particularly my wife, an occupational therapist and supporting cast who seem to believe in me and their face seems to push me forward. I also have quite a following on social media it is really surprising how much their support has been for me. What a great group of folks many from my past school chums then friends have not seen in decades and probably never will see again in the flesh but they continue to support me and that does mean a lot to me corny as that sounds.

I doubt I will write all things blue skies, smiles and happiness with my posts but I will try to keep away from the darkside any more than I can and still function in this environment I find myself in at this point in life. I mean basically I like where I'm at, I like the people who are working with me to help me become stronger and better than I am at this point physically now if we could do something to help me out psychologically then I would really be writing some sunshine and rainbows.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Just Meat

I cannot believe how long I've been at the SNF and yet how much longer I have to go. As it so, I guess the lesson I have to take away from this, is that nothing belongs to me in this place is terribly corporate

So stands now I will be at the SNF for another month the whole month of February. That seems forever to me and then on top of that if things go well I will be off to the acute rehab facility whatever that's going to be for at least another 2 weeks so I still have a month and a half before I can even dream of going home to my own room to a new bed. What is really kind of spooky yes I am beginning to feel this place is my home, even though I know that's not the case I'm getting that feeling. Also strange is that even though I feel this is my home I have no control over my room. This seems to be a real ball breaker of a person at the top here at the facility that has got the CNAs terrified. They feel the rooms have to be immaculate so they are always in my room straightening up. So this might look really nice I'm always losing stuff nothing big nothing expensive are valuable its just little things like paper bags I use as well as I've lost two finger nail files, good ones. Plus everything I used to survive hour to hour day today is always put back to places I can't reach. Sure it looks neat but sure is a pain in the ass. Case in point the bag that I used to drain into. Case in point the bags and I use to drain into is always kids in somewhere out of sight usually in the bathroom. So when I come in from wherever and I need to use the bag to drain and I can't find it drives me up the wall.

So the message I take away from this is that nothing is mine in this joint and everything is terribly corporate everything has to look just right. That I am just meat, decoration, decoration for the bottom line on the tally sheet.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Just Like Peter Pan

It's a pretty great Monday as far as Mondays go. I got up in the overhead harness in the parallel bars this is a pretty big deal for me cuz its been years since I've been up in parallel bars. It's kind of too because I used to get up in the bars all the time when I lived at home when I was a kid. My dad actually built a set of parallel bars that stood beside our house for the longest time and I would go out and pull myself up in his parallel bars at least one today.

The time in the parallel bars was not really productive and it's not like I really thought that spending time in the bars would allow me to walk again but there was just something about pulling myself up in the bars and standing on my own for however short a time I could do that and actually take steps up and down the parallel bars, that felt good that felt like I was doing something I need to be doing. Somewhere along the line I heard that the human body is best functioning when do the standing up, the human body is made to stand up in the upright position anyway. But I always felt better after time in the bars. Course this was all stuff I did on my own. It's not like a rehab therapist it's got me in the parallel bars because they knew it was worthless time for me in my immediate rehabilitation.

Time moved on and so did I and once I left the house where the parallel bars existed that was that. Every once in awhile I would find something I could drag myself up with like a couple of cars Parkway close together that allow me to standing between them are even sometimes if I transferred out of my chair on to a chair and put the wheelchair in front of me I can pull myself up and feel the stretch from a good stand. There's also time when swimming in the pool the buoyancy would allow me to stand to some degree and walk in the water again to some degree. Alas I don't get the opportunity to swim that much anymore which is a dirty rotten shame cuz there's nothing better for a gimp and water and good old water therapy regardless of the form.

I have been out this rehab facility now for about 6 weeks and all that time I've looked longingly at an overhead track used to Assist somebody , in a harness color, this was brand new,beautiful and worthless sense the item was shipped with the wrong harness system. As I understand it the system is in place since March when the facility opened what a waste. & I mentioned it a couple times and I mentioned that I would be interested in using it if it was available. I did not think 1 they ever get it fixed 2 I would get to use such a system if it did work. Well, my occupational therapist car Amanda said sure we get fixed you can use it.

Last week I was blown away by news that facility and finally acquired the correct harness for the overhead system. Today we used it. I'll bet it's been 30 years sense I've really been truly up instead of parallel bars and it showed. The only had that put on tons of weight but my legs and ankles and feet just or not prepared to sustain my weight but is strictly went through the motions. In fact Amanda and team worked with me like I was really rehabbing to walk again.
I think we used the system and the time as a justification for stretching. Whatever the reason I look forward to getting in the harness again in flying down the parallel bars just like Peter Pan, just like the old days. Like being young one more time.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Another SNF Sunday

Another SNF Sunday which means no therapy in a lot of just sitting around. It snowed during the night one of the staff members had an accident which meant me getting up late which is OK I roll with it. Not a lot of snow compared to Washington DC and Baltimore but it's enough to where it could mess up travel I suppose. It's totally weird being here inside warm and dry watching the snowfall feeling guilty because I am NOT part of the outside and having to suffer like all the able bodied people who do not have to be in a SNF today. I was so late getting up I decided to have breakfast in my room and work on the blog as well as Facebook. But once again I'm having a major issue trying to have the machine record but I have dictated, rather save but I have dictated. This is beginning to drive me crazy as well as giving me impetus to seriously consider the purchase of a newer tablet. I mean I love this tablet that I'm using, I love the Samsung but I realize the machine is ancient by computer standards. And I'm just spook that I'm just using the ancient excuse as a reason to get a new system or tablet. Every time I take it in to Best Buy they always whine about how old is tablet is and that is why it's so slow there's just such and increase and software capability since I purchased this tablet that the tablet is struggling to keep up with the new innovations in the computer world our internet world I guess. I am surprised at how much I am using this tablet now with my dictation - - actually I really have not had much choice since I do not have access to my laptop and that's by choice to a certain degree. I just want to limit the amount of stuff I have here at the facility.

Well, I shot myself in the foot I did the thing that I knew better not to do and I did it anyway. I turned on the television set or the flat screen whatever and I got caught up watching one movie after another and soon my day was eating. Went to dinner SAT by myself and that was that. Dinner was less than stellar: Monte Cristo sandwiches and macaroni salad it was not good. I choked on enough but eventually ended up taking the rest of the sandwich apart and eating the turkey and the ham but just left. Not worried about not having enough to eat I have been fed well the other meals of the day. Now I'm just feeling remorse for having wasted so much of the day of course there was the visit with Mark A and Dianne which was great. We talked a lot about mark a new job and how well he was doing  new job and how well he was doing in the job he's kind of sick right now which i think is play get him a little bit. But he seems almost passionate about the job. Dianne is very supportive and we just had a good lunch. Kristie called and mark had to leave Dianne took that as her break to leave as well. They had to get back to their lives and I understand that cuz I sure had to get back to mine, television for the rest of the day.

There was one of the high point of the day that was when the lab guy showed up and do a couple vials of blood. I thought she was going to do it I forgot what they're going to test for but it was all precipitated by the slight temperature I had last week. So that's another Sunday at the SN f.

Friday, January 22, 2016


I have noted an entertaining phenomenon with me here at the SNF as the facility seems's to be filling up more so than I've ever seen it. Every day there seems to be new people in the lunchroom or the dining room. So all the table seem to be filling up and you have to sit with somebody you don't necessarily kknow our think you don't want to know. Just so you know I did not sleep well last night and I really was not in the mood to meet anybody new or old for that fact. A good example would have been lunch today, Dianne and I were sitting at a table having lunch when the old fart with the knee repair came by pushing his walker how much time do I do vote to the FM G ass to sit down. I really couldn't say no I made it take so much for this guy to move anywhere. So he sat down and really that was the end of day and at night discussion.

I did not sleep well last night making the last 24 hours real challenge. So I speak and pretty grumpy buy dinner. So when I finally got to the dining room idea the fast survey and found Bruce the F ng sitting alone and I figured that would be the least challenging scenario for dinner. I had heard a little bit about Bruce and most interesting is that he's actually from China or he's at living in Shanghai China and came to this place via the University and before that China where his legs gave out. I wish I understood the scenario more he just seems alone in this country. Now he is a no he is not Asian and it really must be challenging living in Shanghai with the population the 14 million with very little white folk. He seem to get by however just fine. He is scared because he does not know why his legs have given out and so far learn medical minds of Utah have not been able to figure it out either leaving him just a bit scared I don't blame him going to allow the same scenario myself.

I wish I had felt better so I could have paid better attention to the guy talking we did okay though I think we could on a lot better.. Though he does have an interest in story get could have been a lot better and there's so much left unsaid the background story the back story I'm sure is way more interesting than the front story. My question is how much time do I want to devote to this F ng. Best case scenario he's going to be here a couple weeks they're going to cure him are not and send it back to China. So if you lose her if he dies it soon have all the same to me so why even spend time getting to know him cuz he'll be out my life soon one way or the other. But I'm still the beans have told in my name and a lil bit about myself and I'm sure he'll want to know more. So straighten up , be the person you can be and get on with it FNG or what.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Super Pooper

One of the most difficult things for me to deal with in my life after stenosis has been having to deal with suppositories. And really it's not the suppositories that is difficult - - and I must admit there are some real challenges for me with the use of the suppositories- - but what I am really vexed / concerned about is just the whole concept of pooping in bed.

I mean pooping is a major issue for people with disabilities especially for the spinal cord injuries like me. And I know it probably was from the onset 49 some years ago but I just don't remember it. I have a very distant memory of possibly pooping in bed but have no distinct memory of it which is weird and you would think I would. But I do remember is that on the day , one day years and years ago when I was in high school that good old Bora High School that one day in class I feel a poop coming on and for the first time excuse myself from class went down the bathroom so how about my pants off and on the commode and did my business and even got back on my chair and got myself together and went back to class. And from that point forward I think I was using the toilet again like everybody else. I'm sure that's how it happened so I wish I had a better finite memory of that event.

So, from that event forward I was suppository free until last January when I had the operation, the first operation the removal of the first stenosis and I've been back on suppositories eversense. I think the biggest issue is that I have to have Assistance on and off the commode actually I can get on the toilet I have done it once or twice but I have a hard time getting off the toilet once on. I think also people are not used to spinal cords doing it for themselves. I have to admit also that as barbaric and gross as using a suppository is it's kind of convenient to know when you're going to go and go and have it pretty much done with. I'm also finding that I think I evacuate my bowels better when I am sitting erect and letting gravity do its job. I think I do not evacuate as good when laying down then doing it in bed. It just makes sense. I mean last night for example I dumped a pretty good load and I should have been done but maybe an hour so later I squirted out a little bit more it's really spooks me.

I just can't seem to feel like I'm finished and sometimes I feel like I am at risk all day following a night when I use a suppository. True I have to admit, I have gotten used to wearing briefs, as much as I hate to wear them I have to accept the fact that at times I need them particularly when I'm not feeling sure of myself after a night and a questionable suppository use. This experience has been so enlightening to me I understand so much more about my fellow beings who are spinal cord injured. I can't believe it's taking me so long to understand these folks and what they've had to go through that I have not. I am so lucky. I mean I've got about forty eight years without having to act like a real spinal cord injured individual. I just amaze myself?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Laundry Mystery

Today is like the third day since I had staff take my clothes to be washed, in fact I'm wearing the clothes today that I wore yesterday because I had no clean clothes to wear. Really quite fortunate in that I didn't soil pee on the clothes really yesterday so I could get away with wearing the same clothes again. & I don't find that at all in fact I think that I should do that as much as I can so I don't have to go through this stress anymore than I have to.

So I have not seen it in writing nor have I been told by administration that staff is not to do the laundry of folks who live local but I've gotten a strong impression that people who live locally should have their families their wash or something like that, so I have felt a little at ease pushing my whole agenda of clean clothes but you gotta do what you gotta do. So I am blessed with having a couple CNAs who are willing to take my clothes down to the laundry in the basement and running through the wash. It certainly helps us out a great deal however I always think or feel like I'm cheating at something.

The first couple of weeks I didn't even realize this was an issue , in fact I lost a whole stack of clothes. I am Not sure what happened Dianne firmly believes one of the nurses sent the black bag of clothes to the garbage thinking that she was sending the clothes down to the laundry , since the laundry chutes, since the laundry chute and the garbage chute are close together. This is quite painful sense I a lot of the clothes in that bag where my favorites particularly a large red oversized long sleeve tee. I love that shirt. I've never given up hope that they might show up but I doubt that really ever going to happen. I've gone down the laundry myself and they're just not that many places the clothes could be. We actually ended up buying more clothes at the savers in town which is not really all that expensive it just a pain in the butt and I still kind of feel violated.

So anyway couple days ago it was a good time to have the clothes washed the girls took them down to the laundry and usually other done on the same day. But I don't know for a bunch of reasons the laundry never got done. Its not like I am going to complain to the administration cuz for one this shouldn't be doing my laundry in the first place, into appreciate them taking the risk, & 3 I just flight clean clothes when I need them. So everybody promised they were going to do that then I guess I just keep forgetting even last night one night my night CNA , John said he would go down, when things slow down about 3 a.m. and get the clothes folding to bring him up to my dresser drawers that never happens. If you just can't complain cuz ' they are doing you a solid to begin with even, if I'm just saying it, it makes you feel good and you want to believe they're telling to you straight.

Painful as it was I brought up the fact that had my clothes gotten washed? And I always insist that I will fold in myself that's pathetic as that looks and sounds. My CNA so now that cool I've got it and sure enough before I got back to my room from dinner the clothes  my bed for me to put into my drawers.

I greatly appreciate but my friends, the CNA's do for me.. but every time the clothes go down to be washed I freaked out thinking that going to get lost again or whatever. I just have to buck up 5 more weeks that shouldn't be an issue any longer.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Short Comings and Goings

Darren is a dentist I met here at the SNF. darren is small in stature, he is here to have his replaced me rehabbed. I met him a week ago that she was cruising around trying to find a table in his wheelchair at dinner. He was pretty grizzly under a baseball cap and wearing the t-shirt. I had seen them around the facility earlier and wonder about who he was so I decide to join him at his table. I was kind of shocked to find out how easily we took up a conversation. I found Darren to be quite bright and interesting.

Darren took a medical retirement from his dental practice number of years ago, after being hit by a vehicle. I'm not quite sure the extent of what the trauma left him so I guess it was significant enough to close this practice which was going very well it seems like. He also had some sort of a smartphone like an iPhone or an iPad or something like that he showed me the dream home he was building in Montana. Montana?!! The place is beautiful in that rustic, house built of logs kind of way. I don't have a problem with a lock house as long as it has Access built into it for a person with a disability. In fact I did ask him point blank have you built access into his property but I don't think he understood what I was talking about as far as wheelchair access goes. Granted I know for knee replacement rehabilitation but still you're not going to be able body forever and this really should have been a wake up call to that fact. I'll let the issue drop for the time being and we won on the other areas. I was impressed with the images that he showed me on his smartphone. I figured he was rolling in dough maybe from this practice are from a lawsuit from the first accident or something. Only later on did I find out he's been building this house in Montana for some time and it's a one day at a time type project more so when he has the money he built on to the Project. Again I was impressed when Darren told me the House / cabin set on 60 acres of timbered land. Granted this land is in Montana and Darren made the purchase decades ago but still property is property and 60 acres is 60 acres.

We had meals together two or three times and each time we seem to have a great deal to speak about. And I have to be Frank where you it was good to have someone to visit with that wasn't an elderly person with dementia. This morning he welcomed me to his table but seemed somewhat concerned. No sooner had I got myself situated he launched into a discussion regarding a family member who is suffering from substance abuse. He informed me that he was probably going to leave rehabilitation and immediately go home to see if he can help with the issue that is household. You had some questions about support programs for people with addiction issues and I was able to direct him to 2-1-1 the local information referral line for all questions. I don't know how much this agency will help but you never know. In the course of the conversation I found out that this family member at all ready been through the YWCA program and I don't know other program she may have looked into. You seem somewhat scattered I was worried for him because if he left I would be back on my own with a bunch of seniors with various degrees of disability. I also did not envy Darren returning to home but I assumed he would do what he was going to do and I would support him on that level. He did you give me his email since I could not remember mine and I fired him off iMessage when I got back to my room after lunch so it would have my email. Later on in the day the admissions / medical coordinator stopped me in the hallway and asked me if I knew where Darren was. she asked if I knew what he had checked himself out. She wondered that because his room was totally barren Darren was gone. She needed to have him sign some paperwork .

 I hope he is okay, I think our paths were to cross for one reason or another. I hope you got one of the good operators at 211.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Happy NewYear!!

I know I should have written more I could have written more but I have not. I think truth be known I've been a little depressed can I know it's bad to be depressed but still sometimes it just happens.

I finally went are had the meeting with the neurosurgeon rather his clone the PA or NP who I came away really respecting. This guy really knew what he was talking about in a lot of ways I wish that Andy the neuro had told us let the nurse practitioner told us. In essence the practitioner indicated I was doing well the necklace healing up really well but he was not going to lift the restrictions, the weight restrictions that I've been operating under the last 3 months. In fact he went on to say that I could not go to acute care rehab for another 3 months or until March 1st. March 1st we will do another set of xrays and meet with the nurse practitioner and make plans for our next step after that. At this juncture the nurse practitioner I could not go to a cute care rehab for another 3 months or until March 1st. March 1st we will do another said of xrays and meet with the nurse practitioner and they plans for our next step after that. At this juncture the nest I could not go to a cute care rehab for another 3 months or until March 1st. March 1st we will do another said of xrays and meet with the nurse practitioner and they plans for our next step after that. On the positive side the nurse practitioner did release me to 25 pounds as opposed to 10 pounds which I suppose is a good deal. Still it's not too acute rehab which I think will be just two weeks and then hopefully, I will go home and continue with my life.

I seem to be doing well at the SNF. It's really interesting that the first month and a half I think I was doing okay really good I think my mood was fine but after the meeting with the neuro I don't know something changed - - are something is changing at the facility. I really think the facility is going to growing pains and I just got here as those changes began to take place. Before the neural visit it seems like this exercise at the SNF was kind of exciting, kind of like camping out but after the visit it's like almost a punishment or a sentence for the next 6 weeks. It could be just me but it seems like staff is treating me different more like a old fart, like one of the old farts here. I know thats perception issue but I don't like it I hate it when I'm no longer special and that is so cheap but it's Who I am. I really didn't complain the first 6 weeks because I felt I was a short timer and that means this will end soon and I'll be on my way but not so anymore now I'm in for the long haul. I'm tired of a little bad the little room and the rules that are beginning to be imposed on me like hiding the drain bag, having to cope with a shower bench that does not work or meet my needs. and a host of other things that is made this experience turn into a bit of drudgery. Perhaps one of the most annoying things which has happend has been the disappearance of a bunch of my clothes as well as getting my clothes washed. Actually, facility is not even supposed to wash your clothes but I love him pins on a couple of the workers here who wash mine weekly and I am deeply grateful. this kind of makes it worse though because they are jeopardizing themselves / jobs to do this but if they didn't I would be in a mess.

  that is just a little bit of what has happened since the last part of December. I will try catch up on some other items in the next couple of days. I hope you have more posts