Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On Being a TAB

I love the church we joined, it has been an amazing experience for me.  However, going to a Methodist church in a red state is an experience unlike anything I had seen previously in my swinging, hippy liberal churches in the north.

But when in fellowship, God's love is present, flowing through everyone and to us all.  Way better than intermission at a Dead show.

There is one couple that Adrienne and I had a bond with from the very first time we saw them because she is the primary care giver to the husband, who late in life became afflicted with a debilitating, chronic illness that affects his nerves.  There was a period when they thought he would never leave the hospital, let alone walk again.

But he proved them wrong.  He gets around with his walker and motorized wheelchair and has a daily exercise regime that is truly impressive.  He spends hours everyday, either at the gym or in the pool, working out.  She, of course, is tasked with the things he cannot do for himself.  She told us about the many steps she has to go through whenever they travel; on over night trips, she has to repeat the process every morning before they can leave the hotel.

Today he shared that he has suddenly lost a significant amount of strength in his legs; this is never good news.  Even though even though he didn't sound upset or even concerned, I felt alarm for him and his wife.  

Of course, I quickly realized that that is going to happen to me someday.  I mean, happen to us.

For a while there, I used to rail at the TABs (Temporarily Able Bodied), but I stopped when I rejoined their ranks.   Most of the time, I take it for granted that I will never be paralised again.  The weight of that knowledge is too much to carry around everyday.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Much Overdue Update; My New Equipment

Remember the $6 Million Dollar Man?  I feel like him today with all my new prosthesis and what not.

This is my CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) machine.  It forces air down through my nose to keep my airways open, used to help reduce sleep apnea.  My neurologist believe my difficulty sleeping is the cause of my exhaustion.  

I am still learning how to use it, it's pretty uncomfortable to wear.

Yay!  New Ankle-Foot Orthotics.  My pain doctor believes that the my pain is caused by the way I walk.  She sent me back to physical therapy and prescribed new orthotics and a TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation ) machine.  These new AFOs are hinged at the ankle, allowing me to move my foot like the TABs.  That flexibility in the ankle is pretty weird, I am having to relearn how to walk.  Aside from the new aches from unused muscles, I am taking to them pretty fast.  

The TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation ) machine applies electric stimulation to my nerves in pain spots.  I don't know why it works, but it does.  The electric shocks take a bit of getting used to, but using an hour a day has caused the pain in my hips to practically disappear.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Midnight Salad

At midnight last night, Mercedes, my grand daughter, climbed into bed like a cat; I nearly kicked her in the face to get rid of her.  Since I am a big baby about getting woken up, I decided to the best way to get back to sleep would be a self induced food coma.

Inspired by the salad I had my friend Stacy's house (Stacy does everything wonderfully), the refrigerator was stocked with all sorts of salad goodies, including an avocado, kalamata olives, and some Irish Pub Cheese (a substitute for  the mozzarella balls in olive oil).

Putting about a third of one half of the avocado, about half a dozen olives, several thin slices of cheese that I chopped into bits into a bowl and a handful of romaine lettuce I sprinkled a few drops of lime juice, and olive oil onto my salad.  Lastly, I went to the spice cabinet and added a little salt and some mint flakes (I could not find any oregano or basil, could we be out?!).

A quick toss in the bowl and I dug in.  It was exactly what I wanted, salty, with a little sweet and cool for kicks.  Because avocados are so difficult to keep, we seldom have them and I had forgotten how much I love their nut-like flavor.

Of course the salt and even saltier olives left me craving something sweet-my answer to that was a B & B nightcap.

Sadly, an hour after she woke me up and just as I was finishing typing the above paragraph, Mercedes crawled back into bed with us.

In other news, I have been going back to physical therapy to help manage my pain, plus I have a slew of new equipment to show off, which I plan to write about soon.