Take a spin in my head

I wrote this after being rudely awoken, far earlier than I would have liked, by my near constant companion Jimmy.)

How about this. You wake up in the morning feeling like someone has been pounding on your left triceps.  If you’ve ever climbed a big mountain or done a long run or trail hike, you might know what this feels like. Except, this morning, you have the pain without having enjoyed the climb that caused it. It’s just there. No reason, it just aches. There’s medication, a whole bottle of it, right there beside your bed, that might, in an hour, dull the pain. Or it might not, no way to tell. Either way, as a side effect you will spend the morning in a fog – dizzy, weak, uncoordinated, disoriented. And desperately tired.  You get woken up too early every single morning with a variation of the same pain. It might be the other leg, or your lower back, or one shoulder or the other. Pain is pain, am I right? Thinking clearly is over-rated ayway.

Tell me – would you reach for the pill bottle, or decide to ride out the pain, which will probably go away on its own eventually. Or it might not. Give it some thought, if you can with that ache in your leg.

Meet and Greet Weekend @ Dream Big: 3/25/16

I’m not sure what this is about, but I’m open to any chance to meet and greet my peeps.

Dream Big, Dream Often


It’s the Meet and Greet weekend at Dream Big!!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and Meet n Greet your butts off!

See ya on Monday!!

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Pump Me Up

Part 2: Under the Knife

Just a quick post. I am going tomorrow (Tuesday) morning to have my baclofen pump, what my neurosurgeon called, “a $10,000 hockey puck,” implanted (installed?) into my belly. I’m told it is a simple, routine surgery. They put the thing into one side or the other, just over my belt, and run a catheter around into my spine, to deliver the baclofen intrathecally. Then, they’ll wheel me over to a rehab hospital for at least a few days.

I have high hopes – hopefully not too high – that this little kerjigger will solve a host of issues. Oral baclofen works pretty well, but at the doses I need for it to be effective, it’s a little like “having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.” So, right away I am looking forward to getting that stuff out of my head. Then there’s the constant low-level spasticity. Walking, or really any physical activity, requires that I fight against not only the normal levels of gravity, but a musculature that never fully relaxes. Every step is a struggle against permanatly clenched legs. It’s exhausting to say the least. When I do physical therapy excersizes, that added effort saps my energy before I can get to a place where it’s actually doing anything good. But most important to me is the hope that this will eradicate the nightly knots in my legs that keep me awake.  I’m looking forward to not waking up every morning feeling like I’m made out of wood. (Different than waking up with wood.)

I’m looking forward to a lot of things. I’m looking forward to a few days of spa treatment. I’m going to order a mani-pedi, and I’m going to ask the surgeon to suck out a few pounds of blubber while he’s rooting around in my midsection. I have a friend standing by to deliver snacks and treats if the hospital fare is not up to snuff.

I’ll check back in on the flip side. Peace out. (Is this where I drop the mike?)

What to call You People #2

iuI remember when I was a kid, my parents drove Volkswagen buses. Early adopters, I guess. At that time, there were few such vehicles on the road, so it was unusual to see another one. And, like Harley riders, the drivers of Volkswagen vans would give each other a little wave as they passed each other. There was a bit of the counter-culture in driving a Volkswagen back then, a tacit community of like-minded drivers. Sadly, with the proliferation of vans, both mini and otherwise, that community is a thing of the past.

In recent weeks, I’ve encountered a similar thing when encountering other wheelers. No element of counter-culture I suppose, but an acknowledgement that we are members of, if not an elite class (as I like to think) or a secret society (hard to be secret in a wheelchair), at least a minority. We share a field of knowledge that other, those “muggles,” can never understand.

So, how do we greet each other? As I was “rushing” to my departure gate at the Atlanta airport a few weeks back, I passed another wheeler hurrying in the other direction. We exchanged small waves and brief smiles. On the same trip, I saw a young woman who had been in some sort of accident – a bandaged knee, a bandaged elbow, and probably other wounds not visible. Car accident? Skateboard? Drunken brawl? She was on crutches when I first noticed her boarding my flight out of a tiny airport in Florida, and then again at the gate in Atlanta – this time in an airport wheelchair. I rolled past her, and said something brilliant, like, “Boy, this sure changes how you travel, doesn’t it?” To which she, oddly, said nothing, looking embarrassed. Again, a week or so ago, I was at a local hockey game and saw, at the end of the wheelchair row, a woman in a wheelchair. I left to go to the men’s room and when I came back, she had for some reason moved over into my spot. She saw me, and returned to her spot. As we were leaving, we exchanged one of those little almost surreptitious waves.

I remember the same type of waves between Volkswagen drivers – sort of sheepish, as if we didn’t want other people to see us doing it. It’s the same with wheelers. It’s not like we all know each other. And it’s not something to base a relationship on. But passing that guy in Atlanta there was a tiny element of familiarity. An unspoken, “Hey, brother.”

I’m not on the street very much, and maybe it has something to do with the fact that Portland is not a wheelchair friendly city. But seeing a fellow wheeler is, for me, a rare event. I almost feel like a dog who can’t help wagging his tail- or his whole body – when he sees another dog. In any case, it is a treat for me to encounter one of my peeps on the street. Pardon me for being uncool and waving.