Thursday, April 28, 2016

Home Visit 2

Today was a home visit from the physical therapy side of my outpatient regimen through I HC. Overall we've been impressed with home visits we have received from the professionals at Intermountain healthcare. Today's visit however was less than stellar and I'm not really all that surprised but still a little bit shocked. I hesitate about writing anything because I hate to be a bitch and moaner and especially since these things seem to come back on me. But I will outline a little about event just for my own feelings.

We were a little shocked this morning while we were having coffee when not in the door and was the folks from my rehab facility. There are actually in our earlier then we were expecting. I had my computer generated schedule listed for 10 o'clock and it was nine. This early hour pretty much set the tenure for the rest of the visit.I guess if there is an agenda for this visit that would Have been Trying to figure out what kind of manual wheelchair I could use. The chair I have now is just I guess too small for me with my weight gain in such of the last couple years. I do use it from time to time not much Since stenosis II At the home but I did use the chair a lot at the sniff and acute-care facility. Once again I really do enjoy the freedom manual chair gives me specially around the house. I can use a lot of appliances and facilities of the house better in a manual chair then the power chair.

I have been working with this therapist for a couple weeks since I began my outpatient therapy she's okayJust a little meh.We went through the house and looked at all the accessibility features we have incorporated in the place or the time we've lived here. We spent the majority of the time looking at my manual wheelchair trying to figure out exactly what I needed and what could be used. Just afraid whatever is suggested not be what I need but I do hold the hope that whatever is finally considered well more fully meet my needs in the last manual chair prescribed. At least these folks came out to my living environment and saw what I needed to get around and do what I want to do in my home – – and this is where I will spend the majority of my time in the manual chair. And again it possible I would like to spend the majority of my time when in the house in my manual chair for a host of reasons most specifically to cut down on the wear and tear I tend to have on walls and floors and whatever else comes in contact with me.

We actually transferred out of my power chair into my manual chair and I did the role to the kitchen open the refrigerator close the refrigerator, roll under the cooktop and roll under the sink. The transfer was less than perfect and not very pretty but we make the jump. It was nice being in the manual chair but I knew if I were to be in the chair law I would be spending all my time push myself back into the chair. That's just the way it is. I hope as it was weight there will be less belly drag and I'm in the manual chair. Maybe they'll even give me a chair that I can use – – or suggest the chair that I can use that would allow me this fear of sliding out.

I felt a little disheartened as they left but relieved they were gone. I really don't expect a lot to come out of this meeting but who knows she just might get a home run and a home run is always appreciated.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sticky Wheel

Me and my Arjo

A couple years ago we bought what is commonly called a patient left. The lift was used that was all hydraulic and all electric. We got the lift when I separated the state at my retirement when I got a lump sum payment for vacation days taken. We thought the lift would be a good investment For times coming down the line. Little did really realize just how much we would need such a device. As you know, those of you who read this, couple of years ago I had my first stenosis operation which left me significantly disabled– – More so than have ever been and needing this left more than I thought I would. Dianne down the lift online One of her many searches. The lift of course was used but at a good price. We've enjoyed the purchase every day that we use the left.

I don't know when the caster failed or began to fail. We first noticed the problem when the page staff we were using started complaining about wheel sticking on the left. The casters of course are supposed to swivel freely making pushing the left back and forth from the bed to the toilet, shower and back to bed and easy task. The sticking caster though made Pushing the device with the person loaded in sling namely me major chore. We have suffered with this more than a year. Actually last summer I began the process of trying to find a replacement caster then But became defeated when the person needed to visit with was not available for one reason or another, classic getting caught in the institutional minutia of business. Then came the whole issue of hospitalizations,, operations and rehabilitation. We have been doing well since I returned home from the acute care facility except for the issue of the lift with the sticking wheel. So this week I want my tasks to be fixing the problem. Today I spent a good hour On the phone getting home the folks Arjo and I did it. I called Arjo international and eventually wound up with Arjo Central which is a Colorado. My dismay I found my left is obsolete meaning they do longer make parts for the device. So I did find somebody at the Colorado plan a great person and René who actually went and rifled through the bends and found the last caster for my model of Arjo. I found what I needed. We ordered the part and hopefully the part has been shipped and we should give it a couple of days. The cost was $181! I cannot believe it. I hope the part works and fixes the problem Of the sticky wheel.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Home Visit! :-)

Another week I have missed my Assist, Inc. meeting. I have mentioned in the past that I volunteer to sit on the board/advisory board for Assist, Inc.It's a minor responsibility that I've enjoyed being part of over the years. I'm the only male on the board the others are ladies who are even older than I. We meet for an hour each Tuesday morning and then take off and do what we have to do. I've not been to this meeting for six or eight months now since this whole stenosis thing took place. Dave runs the board is always made sure that I have space or place on the board whenever I did well enough to return. I'm well enough now that I could do the volunteerism. However I am now doing the outpatient rehabilitation and it seems our sessions have fallen either during my Assist meetings are soon enough afterwards that I would not be able to be home in time in downtown Salt Lake to do the rehabilitation I need to be doing. So I plan to put my volunteerism off yet another piece of extended time to see what happens.

Today was a home visit from my occupational therapist Casey. Casey is exuberant fellow bursting with ideas generally wanting to help wherever you can. Is actually a bit of a craftsman working with wood and loves to rip up solutions to problems whenever he can. I think we have a lot in common at least on the wood from the only difference is Casey actually has woodworking skills I do not. I almost feel guilty having Casey do this woodworking that he is volunteering for. Hopefully he can justify enough of it so that he can use his work time to manufacture the items he deems will assist me in becoming more independent. Today's meeting, for which he was late 30 minutes, ended with him having the idea to build a housing for my sticks that I use in dressing. Is actually going to manufacture a piece of furniture which will not only told by sticks but also close that I plan to wear that day. If he can whip it out like he says it would be a really nice piece of work. He also has volunteered to install the wall a device for my screen TV. Again, he uses a very broad definition of what he can do to help me in my independence. It's all right with me – – however like I said I feel a bit guilty.

Today was a home visit I did not have to get up early, did not have to drive in the rain and cool weather over to the facility for my therapy. I came out a winner all around. There was some talk about me doing transfers from my chair to the bed and back which certainly would be a workout. Needless to say, I got out of that. I don't know if that was a good move or not I need probably all the help with transferring and such. I'm going to start however focusing on transferring onto and off of my power chair to my manual chair which I really want to use a lot in the house. When I am in my power chair at the house I can do a lot more I believe it's just something like a sentence when I am in my manual chair because I can only do so much, range so far. The best of both worlds is when I can be in my manual chair and jump into my power chair when I need. Right now that's not such a big deal but it will be as the weather gets better and I can take off when I want to. It's also collectively need to be in my manual chair in the morning nebula ADLs I just have to be sure that I have the manual chair secured when I make my jump from bed to the chair.

I really like and the home visit I really think they come up with a lot of information and solutions for what my needs are – – even these I don't even know which I think that's what professionals are for.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Becoming A BetterMe

It was cold and dark and gloomy this morning as I sat up and headed out the door for my outpatient there. The weather is going to be cold and rainy all week as we pushed through April, sweet , spring April. And cannot blame April from four weather or what feels like or what is April the month change the world is pushing itself up on its great axis so the sun might more fully and directly heat are part of the globe with the temperatures and the days I love. So, more snow in the mountains more rain in the valleys the grass is growing out of control and I am sitting in my house warm and toasty smelling a wonderful roast roast and thinking great thoughts for dinner.

Therapy was okay today. It was only an hour of physical therapy with Stephanie and that's okay I'm getting used to this therapist, likely – – in my opinion. I'm still making up my mind and trying to be open-minded. I am finding she is teach the stuff that I can use in my daily life as a person with a disability. I don't know how much I'm going to use her methodology of transfers and such but she is basically right course – – best practices along. I just know how I do my stuff it seems to work but I continue to challenge myself to keep an open mind as to these other forms of physical therapy and get what physical therapy I can that is helpful. Like with this therapist I get a little stretching not like I got in acute rehab but still stretching. I am doing some work and focusing on transferring. May have to reconsider what I want to accomplish with the time I have with the PT.

I'm so impressed with what we've accomplished so far this year. I'm so pleased that Dianne suggested we relocate our medical family to the death Star. The best part about being part of IMC's medical family is the convenience and professionalism of the programs we are using. Not that I could not get to any of the facilities that I was receiving physical therapy/occupational therapy from before I could take hours and a major part of my day. Now I can drive my chair over to TOSH and probably 7 to 10 minutes maybe a little longer but not much. It's a safe indirect role just enough to let me know that I've gone out that day. Staff at Tosh are professional and fun. Maybe just me and such unique find for them there excited to know what I know which I know sounds weird somewhat smug but it seems true. I'm loving this part of my outpatient rehabilitation.I was a bit disappointed at just one hour rehabilitations for me but at the same time when my therapist encouraged me to stay on and workout, use the weights in a Wellness fashion I thought about it but my eyes were drawn to the window next to the clouds dark menacing billowing up threatening to unleash moisture which I did not want to become up in. I thought about lifting weights but knew I could use my arm bike and play around the weights I have the house and be just fine. Maybe I will go in tomorrow and lift weights.

It's a wonderful spring day, will be in my room with my computer my art supplies and awaits I think I'm becoming a better me.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Easy Does It

I'm a little worried about me and what I need to be doing as far as I continued rehabilitation/independence is concerned. When I was in the sniff as well as well as being cheap rehab facility and begin using my manual chair almost every day. I like the manual chair I need to be using and it was good for me to use it while I was in those facilities. I had every intention of continuing the use of that chair once I got home one reason particularly to save the house I am infamous for destroying things and particularly the house. My line of thinking beings that if I'm not things powerful and will be destroying the home front and I really believe that, however now they been home three weeks have not been in my manual chair once.

I really do love the manual chair but it does not love me or at least my body – – it's not the manual chairs fault. That sure has faithfully remain the same it is I who has changed. While I was in the sniff I inadvertently put on about 20 pounds!! I can't believe that put on 20 pounds I was heavy before or have even I should have been attending: add 20 pounds is criminal need to be whipped and whipped hard I don't know everything and be able to lose this weight however I'm trying right now. I'm actually on the diet and trying to stay true to that diet. I got on that diet while I was at the acute-care facility. Anyway back to the manual chair. Of course all the weight went right to my stomach and what I am feeling is that the extra drag of my stomach actually is for me off my chair what I freak out. So I really can't use the manual chair like I was intending. I'm going still going to force myself into the chair. I need to be using it especially around the House. What is that each day I'm finding that don't need to use it like I once thought that I did. I thought for some time the only way I could get dressed was in my manual chair but I have found, to my astonishment and pleasure, that I can actually get dressed in my power chair and with my tools and my power chair's ability to tilt in place and find it easier than anticipated to get dressed and undressed. I need the manual chair when I'm in the chair the Quickie I can surgically get around the house much easier than in the middle power chair. I can cook wash dishes and maybe workout with the weight equipment better with the quickie. Sure, there are drawbacks with the quickie and some of the weight equipment just because I am so white in the manual chair that the weight I'm trying to lift outweighs me and I shipped all over the place in the manual chair but I think I can overcome that given the long-term. I kind of think I need a deeper buckets in the chair to shove my ass into. Something that will keep me in the chair. I've even thought of perhaps putting a security belt on the chair somehow the lock me in. It might be worth exploring been having to get a whole new chair right off.

Garbage can shown at the top of page is a victim of my power chair there are walls in the house that is also incurred much physical trauma. I really trying to be better I know I can be better using the power chair's is just so easy.

Friday, April 22, 2016

I Am Just A Tool

It's kind of weird my new schedule where I am only going in for OT/PT once or twice a week. And specifically this week where my OT is coming to my house to work with us in the home setting. I don't What it is but it feels like there are a few lite. And once I said that I feel that's not entirely true either. Just when I do go I get a full hour to hour workout seems just not what I was used to getting before in either the sniff or the acute care setting. I am transferring a little and that's okay but I'm no longer getting stretched and I was sort of getting into The stretching. And even though I don't seem to be doing as much in the OT PT I still am getting a full workout it feels very tired went down but I really work aren't focused on specific details. Like yesterday I spent seem like a good hour just pushing myself up, are trying to push myself up to the quadruped position which is pushing myself up to my hands and my knees and then the therapist either has me sit back on my hunches which stretches my leg muscles to a certain degree or do push-ups and I Really should put push-ups in quotation marks because there really lite push-ups. And I should acknowledge the fact that yesterday was a no charge session. My therapist Stephanie was out of town on a wedding. So little Jed, the physical therapist students/trainee provided my therapy. Jed is a good job, he's just a little goofy. Actually a little honest. He's all focused on what the therapist should be so is all overprotective – – and really that's what you're therapist are too that's kind of funny See them all poised to catch the second I start doing face plant are something. Each is hyper focused.

I was in the facility, the acute rehab, the Doc messed around with my medications a little bit. I'm still getting almost hyper tone but I am living with the tone fairly well most of the time. The tone is significant to the point that the Doc prescribed me Zanaflex which I guess is another heavy duty medication for spasticity are tone. I was hesitant to go on another zoner but to help me sleep and really, my spasticity I was willing to give it a shot. However, everything comes at the cost and this cost is the fact that it zones me under – – you know like that you under a layer of cotton. I wasn't sure if that was happening, I sensed I was a little more tired than usual but it's hard to tell since I often sleepy from lack of sleep. But it was yesterday when interacting with Jed that the nonchalantly indicated that I was perhaps a little more dull than I used to be. I heard this a little bit before from other therapists and I really didn't put much stock into comments however when Jed said I was a little more dull it took hold. You don't know why that bothers me much, Just comment just brought home how much my affect must've changed. And really I can't see I am that much different but I must be people are noticing..

I am hoping with time my body will build up resistance to whatever property of the drug is causing my affect to change. I don't also have a dozen I guess so what I will just be less sharp than the other tools in the shed after all I guess are all just tools in the end .

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Making The New Me

I'm the little worried about myself. I'm set nice little gym in my home. I have machine that I can do rows on and presses and even a little bit of rickshaw if I want to go through the trauma of doing a rickshaw without a rickshaw. Plus I have my ever present Saratoga Silver which I love but it seems that something has happened to me and I can't seem to reach the crank as well as I used to. I used it once in that time I've been home – – actually that's twice. I need to work out with the machine every day are some form of everyday routine. I finally figured out if Dianne inserts pillow tween the side of my chair and the right side of my body, which pushes me more upright and straight in my chair ,straighter which allows me to get a fairly decent stroke on the pedals or hand pedals. That is good I can get back to using my machine. Before I used to do the machine every day when I was not at Wellness which was like every other day. Now I'm only at outpatient rehab once maybe twice a week. I need to be using my equipment much more. In fact since I only have outpatient therapy twice a week and one of those days of rehab/OT will be out my house. This is way cool in that it allows the OT/PT's to see how I do things at the house and possibly what mistakes I might be making our but I could be doing better to make my rehabilitation even better for me. I'm so fortunate that I have ran into professionals that believe the home environment is a key and important piece is not viable to the rehabilitation occupational therapy process. Just makes sense to me and I sure appreciated their ability and willingness to assist me in this next most important step of my new life. I need to find and use everything at my disposal to bring about the new me.

Yesterday I even dug out my thera– bands, different colors of elastic bands indicating different strengths of resistance that you can use to do passive exercises. They really believe in that much at first couple years ago when I was first exposed to them I thought it was sort of like a training copout however since I've used them I have notice and defining of muscle as well as general relief of shoulder pain and general strengthening. I do not know why it's taken me so long to integrate the bands I can do my daily regimen but now I think I have. I think part of the issue was how I used to secure the bands in place.

 Since I've come home I just changed and the anchors I used to use for my Thera bands are no longer around so I've used some of the equipment in my room/weight room. Once again I think I'm fighting my impatience that I think I need to be doing this overnight in getting back to where I was at before the operations and the bottom line is: I can't return to where I was that me is no longer relevant, That me is no longer available – – I have to make use of the new me who I am becoming and who the new me is to be.

Monday, April 18, 2016

New Beginnings Once Again

I am beginning my second week here at the house following my discharge from acute care at the hospital. It's been challenging to be back home – – don't get me wrong I love being home  and taking some time and patience getting back to where I was at before I left for this second stenosis operation. I think the great lesson I keep getting is that this is not the same house that I left a rather I am not the same person that was in this house that left. I am coming home are remarkably different person with significant differences than I had. I'm having to relearn how to do everything again simple things like dressing, making coffee, fetching things out of the refrigerator and especially things like toileting, showering and laying out my life and belongings.

For example I love my new room, which is really my old room but it has been painted, cleaned, decluttered and actually made accessible. However having said that, I'm having to figure out how to use the room. The great area they made for my art station has been taken over by my IT equipment and then back to the pullout drawers on my dad's Bureau which is okay but probably not ideal. Considering now how to make this my workstation/workstation. I also have issues trying to use my Saratoga silver. I don't know what is happening but I can't get close enough to the bike to really use it and I really need to get back into my physical regimen. I can feel myself getting weaker every day or maybe that's all my head. I should not worry about regressions so much. In fact I am going to my second set of sessions over at Tosh this afternoon. So hopefully I'll keep gaining strength in progress from over there and then work into any of the physical things I have here at the house. I found light-colored elastic bands or working on my arms a I am going g to figure out a way to make my Saratoga Functional for me.

I've really grown to like my new bed or mattress,, and finally deliciously wonderful sleep in or on the same holds true for the shower bench/chair it's really nice the shower. I feel safe and I'm able to watch myself a great deal independently. I still amusing the sling more than I would like to but still less than I was thinking I would have to so I should rejoice in muted blessings.I am really excited that I'm able to dress probably in the 95% level. It is a struggle I must admit getting my feet up over my Legs when I'm sitting down but I'm finding I am able to put my pants on and actually get my pants pulled up almost over but that's just great! I think it will be much easier once the weather finally stabilizes and we get heat and I begin wearing my short pants on a regular basis that should be much easier to dress hopefully I can continue to lose weight and be able to push myself with myself up and dressed myself by the time winter gets here. If I am so blessed to live through another season of winter.

It's a good day this day the beginning of the week/workweek. I am home, I am loved, I am fed, and I am being encouraged and I am becoming more and more independent… For the first time once again.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


I've been home now for about four days and things are beginning to look better. I've been having difficulty transferring from the chair to the bed and that the chair but today I transferred all on himself from the bed to my powered wheelchair totally unassisted. This was a big first for me since coming home. I was actually rolling around the kitchen and had made coffee and Dianne got up this morning. I have the radio on listening to NPR and was begin to feel like my self and that was great. Last night we actually did toileting and a shower in the shower chair and everything perfect. It was frightening how well it went. I think we might be able to do it without home health for attendant care. Sometimes I get frustrated and wish I could be back just the way that I was but Dianne has given me the support and encouragement I need to feel successful.

Yesterday I really didn't do much as I was in the manual chair just trying to stay balanced and push myself around the house. We didn't have anywhere to go so it was low-key. But today things are getting done in the field fairly accomplished. We actually went to the outpatient Clinic and met my physical therapist and occupational therapist who are we working with the next bunch weeks. The clinic is just a few blocks away from my home and very easily managed with my power chair. Facilities are clean and well run and has all equipment I need to get back into my strength building programs. I am really excited that this facility has a Wellness type program which allows/encourages folks with disabilities to come in workout on their equipment free of charge! I mean and I was in the Wellness program from the University of Utah that program cost me $35 a month and had to travel all over the Valley to get to the place taking them to four hours of my day. Now I can do the same thing and get there and back in just about 15 minutes I don't think I could want more.

I really like my manual chair but I'm finding that perhaps I really can't use it anymore as effectively as I used to at least not right now. Perhaps, if I lose some weight and get my spastisity more in control I might be able to use the chair effectively again around the house. However for the time being it looks like my best bet might be my power chair which means it must be extremely careful around the house not take away from the work family is done over the last four months.

So little bit by little bit each day and developing a routine that that feels good.t all

Monday, April 11, 2016

New Beginnings Hard Beginnings

I'm home! I have actually been home three days and I have found the transition to be very challenging. Really quite spooked about the whole affair.. It is nice to have access to a quick and clean computer again try to write with. A little tablet is just about given out I think I've worn around altogether. I've started the process of looking for another small system but consider driving my feet on the whole process not Wanting to spend any more money than I have to right. There's just so much that I need to write about the last hundred and some days that boggles my mind. I wish I had done better job Of blogging aand perhaps even more importantly have been able to upload images during my stays at this sniff or the acute rehab facility. What I may do, because it's so much after-the-fact is just add a number of blog entries which kind of describe the times I had at the two facilities and be able to add a couple of images that were taken at those points in time.

The house is beautiful Dianne in the family worked very hard in remodeling making me house more livable for me which really humbles me a great deal. I have a new bed, I have a new range,, shower chair in my computer room has had a major do over. It is almost too much for me to get my mind around the whole shebang – – it's like a major gift. I now have to live up to the gift. I have to lose weight gain more strength and be able to be more independent. All those are going to be major challenges for me. I sometimes don't know if I can do it but I'm going to give it a try. Tomorrow, I meet with the folks over at Tosh to see what outpatient therapy is going to be like. Dianne had to do a major amount of advocating for me but was able to give me an within a week following my separation from the acute facility at IMC. I just hope I'll be able to make my commitments to the new rehab facility. I wish I felt better which I felt strong I wish I had not let them brainwash me into accepting an older me, more debilitated me then I thought that I was.

There are a couple of loose ends which must be tied off from the stay at the IMC facility. Most important of which to me is the modifications to my power wheelchair. We're looking at a cushion and a foot pedal configuration that I can live with . I'm not holding too much faith in this option but I'm willing to play it through to see what happens. I took a call early this morning the catheters seem to be on their way that's good. Tomorrow I am meeting with Tosh. Have not showered since I got home from the hospital – – so maybe to night We'll give the new shower chair and try.