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Friday, March 9, 2012

Ms. Wheelchair Kansas--Here We Come

It is time once again to head to the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas Celebration.  I know I've been excited about this for weeks.  This is one event I look forward to every year.  But, I had no idea anyone else in my house was just as excited.  We have been going to this weekend every year since 2006.  Which means the kiddos have grown up with this program and love seeing many of the same people each year.  The kiddos have not gone with us every year, but after seeing their excitement this year, I think we may be taking them along as much as possible. 

Our son began packing early in the week and kept asking daily when we were going.  He was fully packed early last night and willingly cleaned out the vehicle with no whining so it would be ready for our trip.  Our daughter is excited to go see everyone and talked about people by name that she would get to see again.  This year is even more special for her, because she is working on the All God's Children Badge for the American Heritage Girls scouting program.  We spent our last scout meeting time doing some of the other work toward the badge.  It definitely helps that she has been immersed in this culture since she was 2.   She has a better understanding of how to treat people with disabilities with respect than some adults I know.  Part of how she gets to help with the weekend is helping set up the silent auction.  She is PUMPED!!!  This is her favorite part. Wonder what she'll find that she thinks she needs???  I'm pumped she gets to spend some one on one time working with another woman in a wheelchair.  It'll be good for her to have experience with someone other than her mom 

Can't wait to get there.  Check out the program at their website.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lint vs. Lent

This week my son was helping me with the laundry.  When I was cleaning out the lint trap, he said, "That's not really lint."  I said, "It's not?  This is the lint trap.  What is it?'  He looked up at me and said, "Lint is about Easter and Jesus."  I, of course, had to tell him he was right and talk about lint vs. lent.

That just reminded me how difficult our English language can be--to everyone,  but especially to children, non-English speaking natives, and those with a TBI (traumatic brain injury).  I remember taking everything literally and not understanding nuances or homonyms.  When I was in the hospital and heard people say "they had to take the baby," meaning an emergency Cesarean, I thought they literally stole my baby.  Teasing was not possible at the beginning and I would get my feelings hurt and feel emotionally abused and made fun of when people tried to tease.  It's taken a lot of years, but I'm mostly past that.  I have at least learned to watch for nonverbal cues to help me decipher the meaning behind the words.  If I ever misunderstand what you are trying to tell me, please be kind and remember I still tend to take things literally.  Help me understand the meaning behind your words.

What homonyms have confused you?  What expressions have you taken literally?  Check out  for a fun list of homonyms.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Legs Are In the Shop

My legs are in the shop.  Well, not my actual legs, but my wheelchair.  I call it my legs because it serves the same purpose--gets me where I need to go.  I am currently using my spare pair of legs (spare wheelchair).  :)  I never imagined I would care which wheelchair I used.  I mean they're all the same, right?  WRONG!!!

This all reminds me a bit of a previous post.  This is another example of how we all struggle with change.  Don't we all do it whenever we try to drive a new vehicle?  It may be an amazing change, but it is different.  It takes us a few times to figure out where the turn signal, windshield wipers, and gear shift are in the car.  And, that is just the normal stuff in all cars.  It even happens with a good change, a new car or a brand new wheelchair. Change is just hard for us to get used to.

This, however, is not a great change.  I am in a holding pattern.  But, I have made it through 2 days without my legs and only have 2 more to go.  I miss my chair custom made to fit to size.  It feels like I'm missing part of my body.  I kept my cushion and removed the arms from this chair after a day and a half, trying to pretend it's the same.  No such luck.  It moves differently, hops over door jams differently, and the wheels are further apart than I am used to.  It reminds me a bit of when an ambulatory person gets a new pair of shoes.  They walk differently and their feet feel differently until their shoes are "broken in."  

I will be thrilled when I pick up my legs (real chair).  I am excited to have it back, working smoothly, with two unbroken anti-tip bars.  Come quickly Friday!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


What is NUCCA?  The short answer is the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association.  It is all about getting my spinal cord back in alignment which straightens and balances my entire body.    It is only ever aligning my neck area (and I don't feel a thing).  For the real answers, check out

Forget the science and technical stuff.  What does NUCCA mean to me?  It means an amazing difference to my life.  It means less back pain and fewer headaches.  Until about 2 months ago, I would have said it meant headaches are gone.  It means having my leg length checked to make sure they are the same length.  They are not before my adjustment, but they are before I leave.

I remember learning about NUCCA after the accident and initially not wanting to see another doctor or medical facility or have my body poked, prodded, or twisted.  Well, after dealing with pain long enough, I decided I would be crazy if I had heard about something that could help and did nothing about it.  So, off I went for my initial appointment.

All I remember about that appointment was getting x-rays, being explained how lining up my spine would help, how getting things straight is like keeping a bowling ball on a spring, and getting my first adjustment.  I felt nothing and have felt nothing ever since.  Dr. Matt always feels something and I guess that is all that matters.  It must work, because I remember being able to stand straight as I transferred to the vehicle after the appointment.  From that moment on, I knew it was real and I knew it worked.

Suddenly, my back pain was gone and so were my headaches that wouldn't let up until I threw up.  They went away and that kind has never come back.  My first instinct if I fall out of my wheelchair is to call Dr. Matt and get an adjustment.  I know I better keep my spine straight.  My first instinct when I had a headache I thought was going to kill me, was "call Dr. Matt."  I am convinced NUCCA works.  It has done wonders for me.

I also know I had better not plan anything too important for the rest of the day.  I feel nothing while I'm there, but obviously something happens.  My pain is greatly diminished and I can stand straight while transferring and sit straighter in my wheelchair.  I am also exhausted and thirsty.  All I want to do when I get home is sleep, sleep, sleep.  I guess it takes a little bit out of you when your body is busy working to straighten your spine.  But, it is totally worth is to live mostly pain free with no prescription medications.

Anyone out there have any great stories about their own experiences with NUCCA?

Monday, March 5, 2012


Why is whining so prevalent in the world around us?  Why is it so natural in my home?  Why is the "normal" response to disliking something whining to get your own way?  Why are we as humans predisposed  to wanting our own way and not caring how our whining makes those around us feel?

The food being served in our home is the catalyst for whining on more days than not.  So, what to do about it?  There is always the option of giving up serving meals and making everyone fix their own food.  That is not really an option, if I want my family members to eat anything warm (or healthy).  I wonder how many days of ice cream and nothing else it would take before ice cream would get boring?  When told the dining room was a "no whining zone," I was promptly told that there was no sign.  So, now there is a sign.  Anytime whining begins, I just point at the sign.

This morning, there was whining happening in the van.  When I said, this is a "no whining zone," I was promptly told there is no sign.  You can't win for losing.

I've noticed whining has a very negative effect on me--I tend to get grouchy and whiny myself.  This is not how I want to behave toward anyone, especially my family.  Not to mention, it leaves me anxious, stressed out, tense, and unable to relax.  And, sometimes brings on my famous headaches.  So, I am working on rejoicing in all circumstances.

What have you found that helps you relax and not get stressed out while those around you are whining?  What works to keep yourself from whining?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Family Movie Night

We had a lot of fun together on a family outing to a 3D Movie--Journey 2:  The Mysterious Island.  We got to take the kiddos to a theater they had never been to before.  I think part of the excitement of the day was the adventure of something new and different that we don't do everyday.  They were excited to check out a new theater and see a movie in 3D.  :)  This is the only theater I've found that my eyes don't bug out and I can actually watch a 3D movie without getting a headache.  Needless to say, 3D movies have not been a big part of our lives.

The excitement driving to the movie was almost worth the price of the movie for me.  I'd love to bottle that excitement and be able to enjoy it every day.  That's what I miss most about not travelling Kansas this year.  The planning and anticipation was more exciting to me than the event sometimes.  I've always been that way about travelling.  The planning and preparation is sometimes almost as fun as the trip itself.  Does anyone else out there feel that way?

Some 3D movie are not that exciting in 3D.  This movie was fun and there were moments even I jumped thinking something was coming out of the screen toward me.  Plus, it's always fun to see the kiddos look like bugs with their 3D glasses on.  :)

I guess it was a fun time for everyone.  They are still talking about it today (the next day).  It's sure interesting to hear what part of the movie stood out to them.  You should take kids with you to the movies all the time.  They definitely have a different spin on things.  (Can you pop your pecs?) We even had to watch Disney's Atlantis today.