A post a Day APAD Day 31 That’s gonna leave a mark!

While I am happy to report that I did not have any surgeries last year. Let that sink in…. ZERO… not even one!!!!. ( If I haven’t mention before, I am 48 and have had more than 50 surgeries.) So ZERO is an excellent number! Alas, I am still Ms. Graceful…NOT, and I do have some injuries to report.

A Birthday Concussion

I don’t think I was awake for even an hour before I knocked myself out…. literally! I was standing in the kitchen, maybe pre-coffee? when I noticed that Einstein had taken out BOTH the recycling and the garbage. Of course he didn’t replace the bags, but he actually took BOTH of them without me nagging for days….This was huge! Happy Birthday to me!!! I don’t know if that thought had even sunk in before I slipped on the garbage can lid that he left on the floor and felt myself falling into the kitchen table, then the bar stool, and eventually landing on floor and passing out. Of course my head was the collision point for each surface. I’m not sure how long I was unconscious.

When I came to, I couldn’t see straight, the pain in my head was horrendous, and I began vomiting. I crawled to the freezer and put ice on my head until the world stopping spinning. After some time, I was able to clean up the mess I had made and messaged a couple of people that I had fallen and hit my head. Would they mind messaging me in a couple hours to make sure I was still awake? I even attempted to smh….FUCK that hurt!!!!!

I have had more than my share of concussions over the years, so I knew the drill. Don’t let the patient fall asleep and every hour or so ask them if they know their name etc. My vision appeared to be fine, so I spent the rest of the day watching tv and making small laps around the inside of the house trying to stay awake. Apparently “the drill” is an OLD drill. The new treatment for a concussion is lots of sleep!!!!! NO TV, NO COMPUTER, NO READING, JUST BRAIN REST!!!! Huh?….. Oh an apparently you should go to the hospital immediately if you are vomiting or lose consciousness. After two trips to the hospital for MRI’s, fluids, antibiotics, and pain killers I am now educated. I am also educated on the treatment of neurogenic fever….. SMH (it doesn’t hurt anymore)

Happy Thanksgiving to me?

Last year, Einstein and I hosted Thanksgiving at our (his) house. Our new puppy, Lady, woke me up at 6 am barking that she wanted to go outside. She immediately ran to the bedroom door and I followed to let her out. When I opened the bedroom door, she stopped, I DIDN’T! I tripped over her headfirst into the wall. and down I went ….again. THIS time, I didn’t lose consciousness, but there was lots of blood and I did require a trip to immediate care for stitches in my forehead. It took us over an hour to find one that was open, and the wait was more than 5 hours….. UGH…. Overall though we were all able to spend parts of the day together and my entire family (including Einstein) pitched in.

Can you guess what happened next?

Seriously try to guess…. I bet you can….

MORE STITCHES!!!!!

I was supposed to leave for Colorado the next morning so of course my house had to be spotless before I left. That sentence doesn’t even sound logical but somewhere in my brain it is….. The house must be cleaned before you go on a trip!!!!!! I don’t try to fight it anymore, it is what it is. I had also been cooking meals for Einstein to reheat while I was out of town. (this is so my kitchen is in one piece when I get home, not because I am nice) My suitcase was packed and sitting by the door. I was exhausted, but All that was left to do, was to feed the two of us and the dogs.

I cut the lid off of the can of dog food and placed it on a paper towel on the counter……, just as the doorbell rang signaling the pizza I had ordered for dinner had arrived. After answering the door, I carried the pizza into the kitchen looking for a place to put it on the counter.

Let me just scrunch up this paper towel ( the one with the lid on it) and throw it away…..

HOLY FUCK DID THAT HURT…..and SO MUCH BLOOD!!!!!!! Maybe the sounds that came out of my mouth were screams? I thought for sure I cut the tip of my finger off.

Thankfully I did not. Again, this required a trip to an immediate care. Fortunately, when you have blood spurting out of your finger you can skip the waiting room.

9 stitches this time

(compared to the 6 in my head)

The whole procedure was completed in less than 2 hours, the main complication being trying to control the amount of blood I was losing.

I still don’t have feeling in my finger, but I have been able to start writing with my right hand again. (on the computer and with a pen)

Here is hoping that 2022 is the year without more injury!

A Post a Day APAD.. Day 30 ..Using Special Assistance at the Airport

I know that I have written about Using a Wheelchair at the Airport before, Air Travel with MS ,but I feel like each time I use the service I learn more about how to make everything go smoother. I would like to share what I’ve learned over the last year with you now. Maybe you would benefit from using at a wheelchair at the airport?

Before purchasing your ticket

Be sure to check out the website of the airline you will be flying and both of the websites for the airports you will be leaving from and flying into for information about how use and how to request assistance. Most airports have a terminal map available and often times, you will find the door closest to the assistance desk on their website. You will also see tips on how to pack liquids, medical supplies, etc to make getting through security easier. * more about that later

Purchasing your tickets

Once you have investigated the services offered, be sure to ask for them when purchasing your ticket. When I buy my ticket(s) (either online or the phone), I request wheelchair assistance from the assistance desk to the gate, and sometimes another wheelchair that takes me down to the plane. (Even though I have never used one to go down the aisle of the airplane, those are also available.)

Arriving at the airport

Hopefully you were able to find information on the closest entrance to the assistance desk. If not, you can ask almost anyone who works at the airport. When you arrive at the desk, the agent will ask for your boarding pass. The information on your boarding pass (your name, the gate you need to leave from, etc ) will be transferred to the person “driving” your wheelchair. *Expect to wait as long as 20 minutes for your driver to arrive.

Your wheelchair Driver

The person driving you will normally confirm your information when they greet you. Often times, they will also ask you if you need to use the restroom, or if you need to stop at any of the stores. If they don’t, now is your time to speak up. Personally, I usually have to stop at the bathroom almost right away, but I wait to purchase any food or drink until AFTER going through security. (Chances are they will make you dump it anyway)

Getting through TSA (Security)

On the way to security, I gather my Drivers License and make sure to PIN my boarding pass to my phone. I also find getting through security goes smoother if I have already emptied my pockets, taken off my shoes, and let the driver know that I have a laptop in my carry-on bag. (Some of the security lines no longer require you to remove electronics, so I try to let the driver know asap, so we can try to find those lines)

If you end up in the normal line, the driver takes care of loading your belongings onto the xray machine. If you can stand or walk a short distance, you will go through a scanner yourself, if not a search can be completed while you remain sitting. (This takes a little bit longer, but is an option if you need it) If you are traveling with a companion they will also move “to the head of the line”.

It’s TSA’s policy that anyone under 75 years old needs to remove their shoes if they are able. Read that again… IF THEY ARE ABLE. I no longer try to explain WHY I can’t walk without my shoes. I find that it’s easier, when they ask me to take them off, if I respond that I can not STAND without them, and give them the option of doing a pat down, or allowing me to walk through, sit in a chair, and then take them off. *The most important part of going through security is trying to remember that everyone there is just doing their job. They don’t need to be stressed anymore than we do. Remember you aren’t really losing any time because you were probably able to skip the line anyway. Bonus right?

On the way to the gate

Sit back and enjoy the ride! Remember to use the restroom BEFORE you get to your gate as well!!! In the past, the driver would ask me if I wanted to remain in the wheelchair, or sit in the handicapped seating area. However, the last few times I have flown I was not given the option to remain in the chair. (I assume that it’s because when requesting assistance my reason for needing a wheelchair is my inability to walk long distances.) The newer wheelchairs they are using would not allow you to move without assistance anyway. 😦 If I could not walk at all, I would mark that on the form when requesting help. Before leaving you, the driver should ask if you will need help boarding. They will send another person to assist you closer to that time if you do.

Tipping your driver

I actually have no idea how much you are supposed to tip your driver. That’s not to say there are not 100 different opinions out there. For myself personally, I tip based on how much I have asked of them. Since I am usually pretty self sufficient, and only have a small carry on when I travel, I usually give them between $5.00 to $10.00, but I would do more if I had asked to stop at stores etc or brought more luggage. I have also tipped less.

Boarding the plane

Most of the time, people that require a little extra time when boarding, ( people with disabilities or people with small children) are allowed to board first. On the rare occasions that this is not the case, I tell them I am going to need a little more help.

After you land… Deplaning

Expect to be the last or one of the last off of the plane. It’s less stressful and easier that way. (Isn’t that what this is all about?) Your wheelchair driver will meet you right outside the door to the plane, unless you’ve asked for additional assistance. Usually they will also ask if you have additional luggage, if you need to use the bathroom, and how you will be leaving the airport. (bus, car, friend, uber etc) Again, if they do not ask, Be sure to speak up!

Remember to tip your driver!!!!

Have you needed to ask for assistance when traveling? How was your experience? Do you have any other tips that you would recommend?

A Post A Day APAD Day 29 The wheels on the bus

I’m sure it makes sense that I would have children’s songs stuck in my head after spending a week in Colorado with my 3 year old grandsons, Right? So why now, after being home for 3 days do I have have them stuck in my head again? (Because I took all the pictures and videos that I took off of my phone!!!!!!)

I am a picture person! Before I leave from seeing the boys, Thing One and I file share the pictures we took over my visit. (This time I came home with 487.) So at least once a month, I take 90% of the pictures off my phone and transfer them to my computer AND a back up drive.

Have you ever seen the show are you smarter than a fifth grader?

I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard of it. After watching the proficiency in which my 3 year old Grandson D could navigate a tablet, I had to ask myself if I’m smarter than a 3 year old. I’m “old school” in my parenting style, and also in my grandparenting style….Go OUTSIDE and play, read books, sing and dance, learn to share etc. I have to admit I was kind of skeptical at how frequently the tablet appeared. So I had to investigate more.

D’s favorite activity on the tablet is watching Cocomelon or other learning channels. I think it might be similar to Seasame street from when I was a kid? I’m not sure since most of my time was spent outside. I did like that while we were watching, the words appeared on the screen, the kids were encouraged to participate in the singing and dancing, and the lessons each episode tried to teach (like abc’s and toothbrushing) were positive and something all kids should learn regardless of how they are taught. We even listened to and danced around to some songs from my childhood.

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

The ants go marching 1 x 1 hurrah hurrah…

10 little monkeys jumping on the bed

The fact that I still remember the songs would suggest that they had some significance in my life no? I am certainly grateful that the boys know how to video chat with me during the 6 weeks or so that I can’t see them in person. It’s a new generation for sure. I’m glad that the boys are getting the best from both of our worlds. I have my pictures to remember when my mind forgets, I wonder what they will have.

Damn it! The song is STILL stuck in my head….smh

A Post a Day APAD Day 28 Living in 2 houses

I feel like a bag lady. In fact I do have a BAG…. Einstein calls it my Moo bag because of the print. I call it my MOVE bag because I’m always moving stuff from one house to the other.

Living in two houses can be challenging

The biggest challenge for me is remembering to bring things from one house to the other. Thankfully, I have a laptop that is pretty portable, but when I am working on a big project, the laptop doesn’t cut it. I have a desktop computer at both houses, with multiple screens. Maybe hoarding is hereditary? I am still wary of using the cloud for storage, so up until a week ago, I was carrying a portable hard drive back and forth between houses. I think I am going to start using google drive or one drive for not private stuff.

The dogs usually go where I go, so I’ve also had to purchase a separate set of bowls and food for each house. I say I have had to purchase, that’s not really being fair. Einstein purchases most of the things that stay at his house, but for the things I don’t want to carry back and forth (like their 48″ kennels) I buy a second set.

For the last couple years I have bought all the groceries for both houses. So much wasted food, so I gave up and let my refrigerator look like a bachelor’s. I think going forward though, if I am splitting the time between houses more, I will buy the groceries for my house and he can buy what we use there? Who knows it’s always a work in progress.

As far as yard work and house cleaning go, the responsibility of both things at both houses has always fallen on me. In the past, I didn’t mind that so much, because again at his house he pays for most things and he was working 6 days a week every week. I told myself that I had more time. I have gotten very resentful though feeling that I was pulling all the weight, as I imagine he must when he pays more for electric over the summer because I can’t handle the heat. Now that he is unemployed maybe he will start pulling more weight there?

As usual, I am trying to remain optimistic and focus on the positive. Only time will tell correct?

I know that there are people that can’t afford a roof over their head, actually I’ve been there as well. I WILL remember to be grateful for that!

Image credit to a couple in Vermont that built a bridge between their houses to help with some of these issues.

A Post a Day APAD Day 27 …I thought you left him

I thought you left him

Yes I did!!!

and then I went back…

.and then I left again….

you’ve heard the story before I’m sure.

It’s no lie that things got pretty bad between Einstein and I again toward the end of last year. Bad enough that I went back to MY HOUSE again. We took some time apart and both agreed that we have too much time, energy, and money invested in our relationship to permanently throw in the towel. Custody battles with Dogs are no more fun or less painful than the ones involving children. The last time I left was in February of 2018. The Elephant in the Room. While we did end up getting “back together” we each own our own house. We primarily live at his house and mine is the escape house since I rent half of it out to a “friend/roomate”.

After some time apart in December, we both agreed that there were things that we could both change. I’m not going to air our dirty laundry at this time. (Actually I think I have literally done that in the past.) Laundry blog here. But I will tell you one of the major changes. Einstein quit his job. He was absolutely miserable there, and I can understand why. I have encouraged him to quit for years. He finally did, with the promise he would bitch less and have more to give to us. I really hope that is the case. At the same time, I don’t want to be around anyone 24/7. I mean anyone! I am used to having the full run of the house for 8-10 hours a day if I want. These last couple of weeks with him home have been difficult, but they are necessary while he figures out his next path. I have absolutely NO DOUBT that this man CAN accomplish anything he puts his mind to, now its a matter of figuring out which direction that is going to be.

Have you ever heard the song, It’s What He didn’t do- by Carly Pearce? It’s not only very catchy, but I think it paints a good picture of where we ended last year. I am not holding my breathe, but I am not done yet.

Partial Lyrics to What He Didn’t Do- Carly Pearce

And I’ve got my side of the story and he’s got his side, too
So I ain’t gonna go and tell you what he did
But I’ll tell you what he didn’t do

Treat me right, put me first, be a man of his word
Stay home ’cause he wanted to
always fight for my love, hold on tight like it’s something
That he couldn’t stand to lose
The devil’s in the details, I won’t tell the hell that he put me through
All I know is in the end, it wasn’t what he did, no
It was what he didn’t do

I was searching for a “relationship help” book on Amazon. There are 1000’s. Can anyone recommend one? If not here, maybe message me? Thank you in advance.