Saturday, November 21, 2015

It Must Be Friday!

Or, a series of unfortunate events upon which one can look back, pause, and laugh at points.

It started simply enough - reminding my daughter of a couple things, my husband of a couple things, and getting ready for the usual Friday physical torture session on the treadmill.  This session on the treadmill was shaky legs day, which is predictable only because I hadn't walked much on Thursday, so my legs needed to release tension... when this happens and I put pressure on them on the treadmill, and as the speed is increased, they shake, we slow the treadmill speed, wait for legs to stop shaking, and gradually increase the speed again.  Then at about 7 minutes, I started to feel hot which is never a good sign for me.  But I made it through 16 minutes.  Done! Time to go relax (physically) at work.

In the parking lot at work, I put my wheelchair together like I do every day.  It's a long walk to the building and the number of doors doesn't work with a walker, so I wheel in.  While wheeling across the street, I saw someone driving into the garage who might have had a middle eastern background but that is only a guess at best.  (While wheeling I was contemplating how people like him are treated by people he doesn't know might have changed lately.)  And I kept wheeling...  And then I got to where I had to bump myself up a very small bump.  I couldn't do it.  Was my foot in the way?  We're the tires turned wrong?  Was I really that tired from walking on the treadmill?!!

And then the same guy who I had seen in the car driving into the garage came running to ask me if I was ok and needed help.  By this stage I was confused and looking down at the wheelchair wheels and didn't really want help because this is just how I am, but how in the world was I so stuck?  As soon as the nice guy bumped me up, we realized the wheel wasn't being held in position.  We realized  the wheel was essentially not there.  Quite clearly I could not move.

The guy tried to figure it out.  Clearly a piece was missing.  And now I was worried that I would make him late for work.  We determined he could lean me back on the back wheels and get me into the building, then through 2 sets of doors, and an elevator.  That could not have been easy.  I held his lunch box and 2 bags and he held my laptop.  Trust in strangers suddenly becomes critical in such situations.  Then someone where I work came along and helped.  (But I have to say that when random things have gone wrong and no one I know is anywhere, and if I were to do a pie chart of race/ethnicity, Caucasians like me who come running to help are a tiny slice of the pie.  Just an observation.)

Continuing with my day, I made it to my desk!  And I had the beginning of a dreaded migraine because in addition to not walking much the previous day, I didn't have much to drink.  Bad combo!  After drinking a huge container of water (but the migraine had already started - too late), of all the ridiculous difficult things, I had to go to the bathroom.  Easy, right?  No.  Put on all my robotic walking gear.  Recruit someone to open doors.  Off I went, jolting the migraine and walking on post-PT rubber band legs.  Then back to my desk.  Then I had to ask someone to get my water bottle filled.  I hate asking for things I can normally do on my own.  Well, I hate asking for much of anything so this day was not fun.  I took medicine for the migraine but it was not going to work and I could tell that.

In the middle of this, I called the wheelchair "ER" place. Sure, they can get to you.  A technician could come to the rescue!  I was told I was his third appointment.  Good!  I should have been good to go by noon....  But then it was 2, my migraine was gaining steam, and I had no coffee which can help a migraine.  I called and the technician was on his way.  And then it was 3:15.  And someone different answered the wheelchair ER line. That person checked and the technician would be there in about an hour and a half.  What?!! Needed a new plan now.

Another bathroom adventure.  Then I walked and someone wheeled my chair to the lobby where I sat to wait for the repair guy who was there early at 3:45. By 4, wheelchair was fixed and the day doesn't sound so bad except it was because all of this stuff was out of my control, the worst of which was the migraine.

But I was ready for the next adventure - happy hour!  Now all would be ok because I had another new medicine in my car which would cure the migraine!  4:27: "Bzzzt."  "Mom, do I have dance?"  Yes, in 3 minutes.  Somehow she got there and I got to happy hour and dinner, where I took the new migraine medicine which was a mistake.  My migraine temporarily was gone.  But then dinner was done, I was back in my car, it was snowing the migraine medicine was making me tired, and I just wanted to get home.  45 minutes later I was home.  I did stay awake.  But then the medicine fatigue hit me.  And the migraine came back in full force.  And my head was throbbing.  And I just needed to sleep.  So I went to bed in clothes, no teeth brushing.

Today my head feels almost better.  I am not walking much because the throbbing could return so I am sitting here, not doing much, contemplating the past day.  I slept a long time.  And I didn't want to move.  But all is ok.

All in one day.  But today is a new day.  And that is beautiful.  And finally I have -


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Bits and pieces

July was the last time I made a blog entry.  But, I finally got my time at the lone computer in our house!  We all use iPhones, so the one computer is generally taken.  But it's my turn!

Over the past months I have thought of potential blog entries in my head, but vetoed all of them.   They seemed to all start sounding the same.  Or I thought they would be misconstrued as political and I don't want this blog to be political.  Or I thought I was complaining too much.  Or maybe everything was too good - that often happens on Facebook where everyone thinks they know what is happening in the lives of others, but they are only getting a small piece.  Or how was I going to incorporate God into something - God is everywhere, but incorporating God in every writing can be a challenge.

So, here are some some bits and pieces from the past few months with the caveat that nothing is intended to be political, too happy, too sad, ..., and God is everywhere so sometimes not everything has that God element to it..........................

We switched churches a lot growing up.  I have a lot of memories from St. Johns Cathedral in Denver, so we must have gone there a lot.  Driving past it now, it simply is not as big as I remember! We usually went to the main space there for worship, but my dad has never liked Communion so occasionally I remember going with him to a smaller chapel where there was a much smaller service.  I remember going there with just him because I liked going to church and I am not sure where the rest of my family was, but memories like this add to my confusion when asked who influenced my faith?  I don't know - I remember being interested in church always, and wanting more, and not getting more in terms of church.  We had a discussion of different types of churches and services today in church so I randomly thought of this.  Bits and pieces.

Guns.  Great transition!  I am fine with people owning guns (well, I don't see why background checks are a big deal - you have to have a background check for many things like being employed somewhere).  Go hunt with your guns.  My daughter thinks guns should be outlawed and she is a vegetarian so it really might work for her.  I digress.  If you see someone walking down the street, openly carrying a rifle over their shoulder, how do you feel?  Safe?  I don't.  So, fine.  Guns.  Get a concealed weapons permit.  But honestly if I see someone carrying a gun down the street, I am getting away!  I think people should not be allowed to openly carry guns outside.  Get a concealed weapons permit.  I think those are the people who keep us safe.  There.  My opinion on guns.  Bits and pieces.

Maybe you are wondering, since this blog is on MS and faith, where the MS part is!  Well, that is the happy part.  I am doing well.  In the last entry I was experiencing a bunch of pain.  That has been gone for a while.  It was horrible pain and I can't control when it will come again, so I cherish each day without it.  That's the thing about MS.  You never know what "presents" you get when.  I continue to improve although much of that is invisible.  I am getting faster and have better balance.  Last week the electricity at work went off and I walked down 40 stairs to get to the ground level.  As soon as I got there, the power came on.  Perhaps that is God's sense of humor.  Way to go, Beth - you got down the stairs - here is some light just for you!

People.  People are always intriguing.  Where I work now I wheel uphill to get into work.  People always want to push me.  Did they ever think maybe I like to go slowly so I can have a last feel and look at the outside, before venturing inside for the day?  A person remarked to me how long things must take.  I told her that you just get used to things.  This is true.  But many people get used to many things and if you have a couple kids, I bet you are a bit slower than without those kids!

Most frequent comment by people to me: "Wow.  Looks like we need a blue button there."  No, we don't.  Blue buttons are supposed to allow doors to be opened automatically.  They are expensive.  I would rather open the door myself.  Common action: push the blue button for the person who might use it!  Guess what?  By the time they get there, the door is going to start to close.  If they want to push the blue button, they can push it.  And the other thing I have noticed is that about half the blue buttons do not work so what is the point?  Bits and pieces.

Let's look at these people at risk and make sure they don't become the highest risk people in healthcare.  This is the sick group and then there is the sickest of the sick.  Seriously?  Just because someone is higher-cost and higher-utilization does not mean they are sick or sickest of the sick.  Define sick.  Sick is not having a chronic condition.  But people call it that.  I swear I thought people knew this until I left the company where I had worked for 15 years and then learned the term "sickest of the sick."  Bits and pieces.

Let's have a sole carrier healthcare system in Colorado!  No, let's not.  Seriously let's think about it.  Let's not make a sole carrier healthcare system.  Bits and pieces.

There are so many bits and pieces and these are just a few.  But while my blog hasn't been very active recently, I have been.  It's been a fun ride.