Today, I attended the Abilities Convention. U probably are aware of my pet peeve with accessible/handicapped parking, so the highlight of my day today, was learning about this program…check it out!: http://www.parkingmobility.com
Happy Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day is a bit different for me, as I usually have people feeding me anyway!
I keep being asked about what my favorite thing about my new home is…the thing that is my favorite changes from week to week, but what doesn’t change, is how it has increased my independence. When we moved, a big reason was to make our home more accessible, cuz I’d “outgrown” our old home, & I was banging into walls & things, as I tried to do more. So our new home has wider spaces & hallways, & bigger & more open rooms—for example, I can TURN in our pantry! Other ways I have discovered increased independence:
- Drawers have been used a lot in my craft room, so I can do many things on my own in there now!
- We have a “smart home”, so I can use my iPad to turn lights on/off, a TV on/off, regulate a thermostat if needed, see who’s at my front door & see in other places in my home, turn on music in rooms, etc. I can even call people by name to certain rooms in our home! While this is all great, what makes it even better is how this aids me as a mother—I can turn things down or off if my kids are being “kids,” I can turn off all the lights in our home if Mark is gone…& best of all, everything can be done from the comfort of my bed!
- I love the kitchen because I can do SOOO much more in there now! In fact, I just want to share that lately, I have fed myself 2 out of 3 meals! It is so cool to feel hungry, & be able to go get myself food! (That can be a good or a bad thing!) I will share pictures of these 3 things that have made such a difference:
- The sink—the spout is on the side, & it is touch-sensative, so I can finally wash my hands & some dishes (I actually like washing dishes, & since my kids think it’s gross to clean my cup out from my green smoothies, they are probably glad that I can do it now!)
- The microwave—we have one down low, with a drawer, so I can do it– & I confess that at times I will cook popcorn in it, just cuz I can!
- The fridge—it has a door I can use, but the best part is this has a drawer I can access, with things like fruit, veggies, hummus, babaganush,meals I can heat up, or eat cold…
I’ve been busy this summer with several family affairs, & other things. It’s been quiet here now though, & I have time to type: All my kids have been in Utah (Soph was at ballroom dance camp, Jess was at EFY, & Zach is at summer school). However, they’ll all be back on Saturday–they fly back tonight, & they’re bringing a dog to join the family!
On Thursday, June 18, Zach left for summer term at college. (Yes, he’s coming home briefly before fall term begins!) When Mark flew with Zach to Utah (to set him up at BYU), I stayed home. Saying goodbye was like ripping off a band-aid, & besides the family being smaller, it seemed like we were fine. But we recently had our 1st family trip w/o him, & it just didn’t feel right w/o Zach, so we made him come out & briefly join us for a few days on our family reunion/50th wedding anniversary celebration in Hawaii!
The trip was a long flight, so I was worried, but the flight there was great: it had been broken up into 2 manageable flights, & for some reason, on the flight out, we had sleeping pods (those are usually for international flights.). It was a blessing that I could experience sleeping pods, cuz I found out I could lay completely flat, making an international flight a possibility! (Those pods are worth every penny to upgrade to 1st class!)
I was nervous about the 8-9 hour return flight not being broken up as well, & not having sleeping pods (Mark couldn’t find any), but we upgraded to 1st class, & since it was so late, I slept most of it, & since my chair was reclined for most of the flight, my butt was fine, & I never had to potty on the plane!
Anyway, these flights to Hawaii were the 1st flights in 11 years that I actually enjoyed. I’ve progressed enough that I can do minor shifts, & I can sorta’ help my ears when they hurt. Also, Mark’s been helping me learn to deal w/my anxiety, so I’m sure that helped me as well!
When Mark was in Utah w/o me (in June), I spoke to Mark on the phone! I’m not so good at it yet, so Sophie was there too, but I did it, & it was so awesome! Recently, my sister accidentally called me to wish me a Happy Birthday, & we actually carried on a short conversation! I was super tired when she called, so my speech wasn’t very clear, but we talked w/o anyone there, & w/o using my version of the morse code on the phone! Lately, I’ve had several good speaking days, & I have held several short conversations, & even introduced myself! It’s exciting!
I have also started to help clean up my house more: Starting in April, I began tidying up the kitchen, so this summer I have tried doing more this time. I have an OCD personality, so this was long over-due, & it feels good to be able to take pride in my home again!
“WILL YOUR STORY AMOUNT TO THE NATURE OF STORIES & EMBRACE THE FACT THAT SHARING THE SAD ONES CAN SOMETIMES MAKE THEM HAPPY?” BY ABED NADIR FROM COMMUNITY
PRE-STROKE, A FRIEND SHOWED ME SOME JOKE ON THE BLUE COLLAR CO. DVD SHE HAD JUST BOUGHT, SO I KNEW I LIKED IT. I FINALLY TIVOED & SAW THE WHOLE THING.. I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT PART SHE SHOWED ME, BUT WHEN I SAW IT THIS TIME, I WAS LAUGHING HARD, UNTIL THE END, WHEN JEFF FOXWORTHY WAS TELLING ABOUT A GUY’S MOM, WHO HAD A STROKE…HE STARTED SAYING ALL THIS BAD STUFF (LIKE SHE CAN’T MOVE AA SIDE OF HER BODY & CAN’T TALK)–HE BASICALLY DESCRIBED ME–& THE PUNCHLINE WAS, “I’M KIDDING…SHE’S DEAD.”
NOW, I LAUGH ALL THE TIME WHEN FAMILY GUY DOES HANDICAPPED JOKES, BUT THIS WAS A BIT TOO PERSONAL…
SOMEONE IN MY YAHOO STROKE GROUP POINTED OUT THAT “AT TIMES, RECOVERY MAY SEEM LIKE IT’S NOT HAPPENING BUT IT IS. IT CAN’T BE MEASURED IN WEEKS OR MONTHS BUT YEARS.”
I REALIZE THIS, SO I CELEBRATE EVERY LITTLE THING…OTHERWISE, IT CAN BE DEPRESSING TO WATCH, SINCE IT JUST PROVES HOW FAR I STILL NEED 2 GO! BUT I REMEMBER HOW GRATEFUL I AM 2 BE ALIVE, SO I CAN RECOVER ANYTHING AT ALL—SOME ARE NOT AS FORTUNATE!
LUCKILY, MY HUSBAND VIDEO-TAPED ME DURING THE 1ST YEAR, THEN MADE A MOVIE. IT SHOWS MY PROGRESSION DURING THE 1ST 9 MONTHS, & EVEN NOW, I REFER 2 IT, SO I CAN REALLY C HOW FAR I’VE COME.
IN DEC. 2011, I WAS HELPING SOPH DO A BOOK REPORT, & HAD READ THE CHILDREN’S NOVEL IN PREPERATION…IT WAS CALLED “HOW TO STEAL A DOG.” THE LITTLE GIRL IN THE BOOK WAS VERY UPSET ABOUT HER LIFE: HER DAD LEFT, & HER, HER BROTHER, & HER MOM WERE NOW LIVING IN THEIR CAR. EVENTUALLY, THEY “UPGRADED” 2 A RUN-DOWN SHACK. NEEDLESS 2 SAY, THE LITTLE GIRL WAS VERY DEPRESSED & COULDN’T SEE A WORSE LOT IN LIFE.
IN 2004, BEING CONFINED 2 MY BED WAS AS APPEALING AS LIVING OUT OF A CAR WAS 4 THE GIRL IN THE BOOK. I’VE NOW “UPGRADED,” AND SOME CONSIDER ME LIKE A QUAD. IN A SENSE, I AM IN THE EQUIVALENT TO THE RUN-DOWN SHACK I GUESS THAT SHOULD DEPRESS ME, BUT I JUST SEE A “HOUSE” (AT LEAST THERE’S A ROOF OVER MY HEAD!), & AM GRATEFUL 4 WHAT I HAVE. SURE, IT’S NOT PERFECT, BUT I MANAGE QUITE WELL! & I CAN’T RECALL WHERE I HEARD THIS, OR WHO SAID IT, BUT “The beauty of it, is not knowing what comes next.”
IN OCT. 2007, I “SPOKE” AT AN INTERNATIONAL DOCTOR’S CONFERENCE, AFTER THEY SHOWED THE BELOW VIDEO. THE DOCTOR’S ASKED 4 A COPY OF THE VIDEO, & I WAS SUPPOSED 2 PUT IT ON YOU-TUBE (I FIGURE IT WAS REQUESTED 4 A SIMILAR REASON TO SOMETHING LIKE A QUOTE IN THE BOOK: “Sometimes the trail you leave behind you is more important than the path ahead of you.” By Mookie, from How to Steal a Dog), BUT I JUST FIGURED OUT HOW 2 PUT THE VIDEO ON YOU-TUBE (IT’S CALLED “JENNY’S STORY”)…HOPE I’M NOT TOO LATE (LOL) & HOPE I DID IT RIGHT SO IT CAN STAY, BUT I DON’T KNOW IF IT’LL STAY THERE, SO ENJOY IT WHILE U CAN!