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Friday, July 27, 2012

Oklahoma City Science Museum

The first stop on our vacation was at Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.  It's been long enough since our trip that you aren't going to get a lot of memories.  So,  enjoy the pictures.  :)

I think they made this room just for us.  :)
I wondered why the Kansas wildlife weren't featured . . .
then I remembered--This is Oklahoma
Guess I forgot we weren't still adventuring Kansas

We happened to walk by "Science Live" theater right as a
show was starting.  It was my favorite part of the day.
Definitely make it a priority if you visit.
Our son says this hurts!!!
I don't want to find out!

Fire tornado

 I think watching this kid stack blocks was
our favorite part of the day.  :)
He was a visitor-not a professional.

Our daughter has had her fill of museums over our travels in the past couple of years.  But, even she was impressed with this one.  She now says the only museums she like are interactive science museums.  This was definitely worth the visit and you should make it a part of your trip if you are ever in Oklahoma City.  It is very child friendly--even though steps up to make things child height make parts non wheelchair accessible.  Also, if you have time and are physically able, check out the Segway track.  Doesn't everyone want to ride a Segway???

What are your favorite museums we should check out?

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Beginning of a Slower Pace of Life

It started out as another "normal" day of training.  I woke up excited that I would get to take Azure to church for the first time and then head to Manhattan with the group for a day of training at the mall.  :)  I hopped in the shower to begin my day at approximately 5:45am.  Well, I guess I didn't really exactly "hop:" into the shower.  I don't exactly "hop" anywhere these days.  I should have suspected something was wrong about my shower entry when it was awkward to get in.  I should have thought about how I would get out before I got the floor all wet.  But, of course I didn't.

Getting out of the shower was when things all went wrong.  I fell.  Not entirely unusual.  I remember sitting on the floor, taking inventory of the situation, and trying to figure out how I was going to get back in my chair. Azure is in his kennel in the other room and barking like CRAZY because he heard me fall.  I finally decide the power chair is my best bet for getting back up.  I'll just crawl to it and use its weight to pull myself back up.  Oh, but before I can do that, I'd better get my foot out from underneath.  I am in no additional pain at this point and have no idea anything is wrong outside of my usual clumsiness and tendency to fall.  Well, I pull my foot out and immediately start crying.  Am I in pain?  Not yet.  But, although my drop foot always hangs, this time it is not hanging straight.  I start crying because I know it is broken and I don't know what that will mean for my near future.
All I can think of at that moment is what we were told on the first day of training--if there is a medical emergency, I come first.  Call 911 and then the trainer to take care of Azure.  Fortunately, I have a personal care attendant with me who also heard me fall and then Azure bark and then me cry.  I end up crawling over to the toilet to use the grab bar to stand.  She is holding my foot up so it doesn't drag and cause anymore damage.  We manage to get me back in the chair and then decide what to do.  I don't want to call 911.  I don't want an ambulance to pick me up.  I am still in no pain and think I can transfer to my van and do this on my own.   We do call the trainer and wake her up with the unpleasant news that I have a medical emergency.  She agrees 911 is not necessary, but she will be right over with the accessible van to get us to the hospital.  She arrives and takes Azure out for his morning bathroom break.  Then it is back in the kennel for him and off to the hospital for me.

Unfortunately, this is a routine I know all too well.  Paperwork first and then x-rays.  Fortunately, they are able to take the needed x-rays while I remain in my chair and put my foot on the table.  Then, the doctor arrives to look at the x-rays and see what is next for me.  When he comes in the room and asks if I've broken my leg before, I know it is bad.  I have to tell him "no", I've broken my foot, but not my leg.  I have broken both major bones in my leg (tibia and fibula) and there are six visible breaks.  It is not until I read the report that I understand the confusion.  The report says I fell and pinned my leg under myself (not under my power chair).  I would hope my own body weight would not have the force to break my leg in six places.  :)  But, hey, I was always told if you're going to do something, do it right.  I guess that goes for breaking my leg too.  :)

It is now time to put my leg in a temporary splint--plaster AFO and entire leg covered in ACE bandage.I am given permission to continue training this week--just ice and elevate as much as possible.  I am to see my orthopedic doctor by Friday and come back and see this doc by Wednesday or Thursday.  I am discharged with no pain medication, because I don't want any, but told to call if I change my mind.  I will not be calling.  No matter the level of pain, I will be dealing with it with over the counter medications.  I would rather deal with pain than with nasty drug side effects.  I don't leave with medication, but I do leave with a lollipop and a sticker.  And it's only 8:30am.


What injury stories do you have in your life?  Any exciting ones out there?  How do you feel about pain medication?

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Introducing the Newest Member Of Our Family

The newest member of our family is a 3 year old yellow lab service dog.
He was trained at KSDS in Washington, KS.
His working name is Azure   He is from the Shades of Blue litter.  If you don't know what azure looks like, here it is:
You can call him AJ, or good dog, or good boy, or sweet baby, or really anything positive and nice.  :)

I went to Washington to meet him and work with him for a couple of weeks this summer.
We bonded from day one.
After I broke my leg (on his birthday), he has not been happy to have me out of his sight for even one minute.

He is super protective of me and sometimes barks or growls if he doesn't know you well yet.  We're working on that and the more comfortable he gets with you the less he barks.  He tends to bark when startled and more often at men.  He is just trying to do his job and keep me safe

He helps me by picking up dropped items for me, pulling my wheelchair, and pushing the disabled entrance button.  I don't need to borrow the electric wheelchair in stores anymore.  Those electric carts are slower than regular walking speed and he can pull much faster than that.  :)  I'm excited to keep learning and seeing what all he can do to help me out.
We had started working on me bracing and helping me with transfers, but my broken leg has made us pause in that training.  It will be great when we can start that again.

He LOVES playtime and getting to spend time running around and relaxing.  His favorite thing is to play with  is his CUZ ball and chases and retrieve it over and over. He likes the one with the feet chewed off best of all. :) Right now we're having to play first thing in the morning because it is so hot.  It is just no fun to run around when it is over 100 degrees. What a great way to start the day.  Don't we all wish we could start with play time?

We're excited to meet all of you as we go through our daily lives.  When we meet, remember that he is working.  If you want to talk to or pet him, make sure you ask me first if it is OK.  If it is a good time, I will have him sit or lay down and let him know that you are about to pet him.  Thanks for helping keep us safe.  

FYI--Yellow lab hair shows up really well on a black boot cast on a broken leg.  I think I should own stock in lint rollers.


Monday, July 23, 2012


"With anything young and tender the most important part of the task is the beginning of it; for that is the time at which the character is being formed and the desired impression, more readily taken."--Plato

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What Have We Done?

What have we done?  I always choose a restaurant with crab legs if given opportunity.  In fact, our first outing out to eat after the birth of our daughter was for crab legs.  That is what Eric brought in for our anniversary at the hospital and that is what I wanted for my first dinner after dismissal from the hospital.  Crab legs have been a big part of celebrations in our family.  The kiddos, however, have never wanted to eat them and are always looking for something boring and non-seafood on the menu.  We have always had them try "just a bite."   They always do and always respond with a YUCK!!!  Too bad for their taste buds, but better for our checkbook.  

Well, that is no longer the case.  Our daughter has discovered a love for crab legs.  And, really, who can blame her?  They are super delicious!!!  Looks like they'll be a part of our family celebrations for years to come.  So, what did we do?  We introduced our children to my favorite food.  And, our daughter finally developed a taste for it.  Come to think of it, I remember not loving crab legs when my parents initially would have me try them.  And, maybe I was about her age when I developed a taste for them.  So, maybe the question really is, what did my parents do?