elfwench: (Default)
Last Tuesday I went to the dentist at Kool Smiles for a broken tooth. Eight days later, my mouth is just about healed. They extracted the offending leftside premolar (Medicaid will not pay for a root canal or caps or any of that) and it was the best dental experience I've ever had.

This was originally a kid's dentist that's now accepting adults as well. Perfect for me, yes? Why, yes indeed. I busied myself with coloring a picture while waiting and, as a result my mind was too busy and my spirit too relaxed with that to be preoccupied by any dental anxiety I might have had.

The bite wing x-rays of that tooth were the worst part, as I had to fight my gag reflex, but that's always been the case for me and is no reflection on them.

The dentist came back and confirmed "The tooth is fractured." I held back any smart assed comment and any judgement; he was just doing his job by giving the diagnosis and deals with people of a wide variety of mental levels, I'm sure, so there was no need to be snarky with the one who would soon be putting pliers in my mouth. Besides, the assistant assured me, "He's good," in a tone that was convincing.

He talked me through the whole procedure, and did the local anesthetic in two phases; first the easier left side of the tooth, then after letting that take effect he popped back in with a disarming, "Do you still hate me?" before reaching fully inside my maw to get the right hand side numbed up. He didn't dig around for the nerves either just adeptly going right to the correct spots right away and talking me through it so I knew when to expect it.

The actual extraction took just a few minutes. A couple of expertly applied tugs and it was done. A far cry from the experience I had in 2008 (or was it 2009?) at a different dental practice, when it was an epic battle to get the tooth out that took most of the day, ended up fainting and vomiting afterward, and I was spitting out splinters of bone weeks later.

Will I be back? Oh yes! My cleaning is scheduled for May 24th.
elfwench: (Default)
So today I set to finding out about where I can get exercise being, you know, mobility impaired. I hit pay dirt when I found NCPAD.org. the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability.

I found there that Baxter YMCA here on the south side actually has a fitness class called Fitness Following Disability and that they have accessible exercise equipment available. Also, they have a sliding scale membership available for low income people. Double win!

I just sent off for my proof of income letter from Social Security so I can go and enroll. SSA.gov site said I should get my letter around March 3rd. That's fine. I'll likely have to wait a bit after the cardiac cath before I resume (er... begin) such physical activity.

I didn't even know that this was available until today. I'm excited!
elfwench: (Default)
So today I set to finding out about where I can get exercise being, you know, mobility impaired. I hit pay dirt when I found NCPAD.org. the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability.

I found there that Baxter YMCA here on the south side actually has a fitness class called Fitness Following Disability and that they have accessible exercise equipment available. Also, they have a sliding scale membership available for low income people. Double win!

I just sent off for my proof of income letter from Social Security so I can go and enroll. SSA.gov site said I should get my letter around March 3rd. That's fine. I'll likely have to wait a bit after the cardiac cath before I resume (er... begin) such physical activity.

I didn't even know that this was available until today. I'm excited!
elfwench: (Default)

Yes, I am here. There's just been very little to post as there's not been much happening. Not to say that I've not been busy with... stuff. Just that said stuff has not born fruit yet. And other than pursuing the... stuff... there's not a whole lot else to write about.

So yeah, it's 12:01 AM Saturday as I type this sentence, and I've yet to be to bed. Too busy perusing Match.com profiles. That's part of the... stuff... I was talking about. So far, many winks, a couple of creepy emails received and several nice emails sent out with only one reply so far, and that was to tell me that he'd just found someone. C'est la vie.

The other ...stuff... is that I'm trying to find a used Quickie 2 wheelchair at a bargain price  and funding for a Wijit driving and braking system. I wrote about that a couple of weeks ago. Click here to refresh your memories. And, here's a video of the thing being used by another person with Ataxia:

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/491qe2pCr2c?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/491qe2pCr2c?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

So I've contacted the Lions Club, Elks Club, Rotary Club, National Ataxia Foundation, and my MDA medical care coordinator to see if I could get around $2000 for a Wijit (It retails for twice that, but Brian Wattwood, when I spoke to him, was interested in selling me one that had been used for demonstration.). Neither the Lions, Elks, nor Rotarians responded in any manner. The National Ataxia Foundation said "We don't do that, we raise funds for research and awareness only." And MDA said, "With the economy the way it is, we don't help with the purchase of Durable Medical Equipment anymore."

Looking at eBay, getting a used Quickie 2 or 2HP wheelchair will be possible, once I have money that doesn't have to go to bills. I've also put a WANTED ad on my local Freecycle.

I'm firmly believing that this would an excellent thing for me. And I'll knock on doors til my knuckles bleed, and then keep on knocking with bloodied knuckles, if I have to. I believe it will happen. I think I hear someone walking to the door now even as I type. ;)

Moreover, Voc. Rehab will be sending me to Easter Seals Crossroads for my employment services, starting with the evaluation to see what I can do or be trained to do, etc. So that may be another venue for getting myself set up with the Wijit operated Quickie. Who knows? But, in any event, I'm excited about returning to Crossroads and potentially being able to find work.

If anyone else has any other bright ideas toward my accomplishing this goal, please share! I'm open to suggestions.

Anyway, I'm not going to worry about how it will be accomplished, I'm just putting it out there to the Universe and working toward it the best I know how.

In other news, Robert got a puppy. He's a black lab named Cash, after the original man in black, Johnny Cash. Sweet puppy, just turning 6 weeks old. I just tried uploading the picture, but I got a 500 error. I guess that was the extra picture thing that it was reminding me about a few months ago. Anyhow, the pic is on my Facebook wall here.

Robert is not so enamored with dealing with the puppy's poopies, but he knew the job was dangerous when he took it. Me, I love the dog. If I didn't already have three cats...

Oh, I'd love to have a man and a house and a dog in the back yard. Snuggling with my love on the couch in front of the TV, with the dog on the other side, his head resting in my lap, one of the cats curled up on top of the sofa and purring in my ear. That would be heaven to me!

Poor Magick, I can tell he's getting a day older. He was frisky as a kitten playing with Timmy and Sophie this morning. And then this afternoon I could hear him moaning in his sleep. He does that a lot. But then, he's 72 years old in cat years so, it's kind of expected, sadly.

Well, it's now 1:13 AM (I don't type as fast as I used to), so I think I'm going to go toddle down the hallway and slide under the covers. 

Later, guys!

elfwench: (Default)
Went to the PT yesterday like a good little gimp. Something the neuro doc has been trying to get me to do for a while. PT's name was Randy. Nice guy. University Hospital is a teaching hospital (duh!) so he had a student with him. Spent a full hour with the two of them, during which Randy did a very thorough history and exam. He was impressed by the amount of walking I do when I translated "long walks" into distance traveled each way. "That's more than most able bodied people do!"

He... questions my diagnosis of Cerebellar Ataxia of Unknown Cause. Says from what he sees, it's more the muscle weakness that's throwing me off kilter than brain signals going wonky. Suggests I ask the neuro doc, Dr. B, to look into that.

He also was interested in where I hurt, back pain, knee pain, etc. Been having some lumbar pain for a while, wrote it off to too much walking, backpack, old age, etc. Like my knee, another thing I just deal with day to day. So he went poking around on my back had me lean this way and that. And said I need to see the doc about this, that this looks like it's a disc problem. Thanks, I'll put it on the list. Also said, after watching me walk, that in addition to my funky gait I also favor that left knee, which is adding to the back problem. He's trying to get Medicaid to approve my coming in twice a week for PT to work on strengthening my muscles over all. I'll find out if it's approved or not by the end of next week, Friday the 13th.

So, my list of things to get checked out at the doc grows. I'm not thrilled, to say the least, but it is what it is and I'm grateful to Randy for bringing it to my attention now.

But first things first, is that hernia. Blood tests looked good, so Dr. H. has me scheduled for a CAT scan tomorrow at 1:00, have to be there before noon, though, so I can drink the "prep", and I can have nothing to eat or drink (NPO) for 4 hours prior.. So... no coffee for me in the morning. But, could be worse. I'll set an alarm for 7:30 and chuck down my meds first thing so I can get them in before I'm to be NPO.

I go back to Dr. H. on Friday the 13th, day before my birthday, and we'll discuss the CAT scan and such then and, hopefully, move on to the next step in getting this fixed, probably a referral to a surgeon? I'll bring up the stuff about the back and knee pain which aggravates the back then and see what he wants to do about that.

I do know this hernia needs fixed first, though. Randy the PT grimaced when I said I had a hernia and said he couldn't have me work on strengthening the abs until after that's fixed.

I'm a work in progress, in more than one way, I guess. ;) But, I tell you, it's a relief to be getting this stuff taken care of at last.
elfwench: (Default)
Went to the PT yesterday like a good little gimp. Something the neuro doc has been trying to get me to do for a while. PT's name was Randy. Nice guy. University Hospital is a teaching hospital (duh!) so he had a student with him. Spent a full hour with the two of them, during which Randy did a very thorough history and exam. He was impressed by the amount of walking I do when I translated "long walks" into distance traveled each way. "That's more than most able bodied people do!"

He... questions my diagnosis of Cerebellar Ataxia of Unknown Cause. Says from what he sees, it's more the muscle weakness that's throwing me off kilter than brain signals going wonky. Suggests I ask the neuro doc, Dr. B, to look into that.

He also was interested in where I hurt, back pain, knee pain, etc. Been having some lumbar pain for a while, wrote it off to too much walking, backpack, old age, etc. Like my knee, another thing I just deal with day to day. So he went poking around on my back had me lean this way and that. And said I need to see the doc about this, that this looks like it's a disc problem. Thanks, I'll put it on the list. Also said, after watching me walk, that in addition to my funky gait I also favor that left knee, which is adding to the back problem. He's trying to get Medicaid to approve my coming in twice a week for PT to work on strengthening my muscles over all. I'll find out if it's approved or not by the end of next week, Friday the 13th.

So, my list of things to get checked out at the doc grows. I'm not thrilled, to say the least, but it is what it is and I'm grateful to Randy for bringing it to my attention now.

But first things first, is that hernia. Blood tests looked good, so Dr. H. has me scheduled for a CAT scan tomorrow at 1:00, have to be there before noon, though, so I can drink the "prep", and I can have nothing to eat or drink (NPO) for 4 hours prior.. So... no coffee for me in the morning. But, could be worse. I'll set an alarm for 7:30 and chuck down my meds first thing so I can get them in before I'm to be NPO.

I go back to Dr. H. on Friday the 13th, day before my birthday, and we'll discuss the CAT scan and such then and, hopefully, move on to the next step in getting this fixed, probably a referral to a surgeon? I'll bring up the stuff about the back and knee pain which aggravates the back then and see what he wants to do about that.

I do know this hernia needs fixed first, though. Randy the PT grimaced when I said I had a hernia and said he couldn't have me work on strengthening the abs until after that's fixed.

I'm a work in progress, in more than one way, I guess. ;) But, I tell you, it's a relief to be getting this stuff taken care of at last.
elfwench: (Default)
First thought of the day: ZOMG! In just three weeks from today I'll be 50 years old! I'm a little weirded out by this fact. I really don't feel much older, especially mentally, than 30. This cannot be. True, age is only a number, but does the number have to be so big?

Usually I don't think a lot about my disability. I prescribe to the principle, "Adapt. Improvise. Overcome." I do what I've got to do in whatever way that works, even when it means that I overdo. If that means that I put on a backpack and stagger my way to the store (or at least to the bus stop, which itself is a quarter of a mile away), then so be it. But this week, and next week's goings on have brought the fact that I am disabled to the forefront of my reality.

Monday, as I posted before, I saw the neurologist about this mystery neuro disease of mine - currently dubbed Spino-Cerebellar Ataxia of Unknown Type since they've disproved the Friedreich's Ataxia with a point mutation on the "normal" gene theory through EMG and other tests. It was time for my 3 month check up to see how I was doing.

Doctor wanted me to start using my rollator. Also prescribed Occupational Therapy. But, as it would happen, the actual appointment made was for Physical Therapy, and in my home.

This was supposed to happen on Friday, but instead happened on Thursday. Why they told me Friday when the therapist I was assigned doesn't work on Fridays, I don't know. But I'm glad I was home or I would have missed it.

As it turned out, I didn't miss much. The physical therapist was a petite redheaded pixie, with an upturned nose, round face save for the pointed chin, and sparkling eyes named Jen. Her hair was cut in what we used to call a Hollywood Burr, a buzz cut with bangs: typically a boy's haircut, but on her it looked cute, oddly enough. She came up as I was using my improvised way of removing leaves from the porch and ramp, using a snow shovel in one hand, crutch in the other, and pushing the leaves down the ramp with it, and commented that it was a unique way to do that job.

We sat and talked as she did the intake, and she didn't even bother filling out paperwork. She agreed with me that what I really need is occupational therapy, and felt that there was nothing she could really do for me. Didn't even bother with having me fill out paperwork She agrees with the doctor that 2 falls in 3 months is too much and that I should use more than my crutch. Of course, if I used my crutch more consistently in the house, it might help. She is very anti-rollator and wants me to use a walker. A walker! Here I am thinking of trying to find someone to date again, and she's suggesting I use a walker. Also, how impractical can you get? I stayed calm, though I let her know I really wasn't ready for that yet. She said I'm in denial. She also said I should be asking friends and family for help.

Today I got a call from the Occupational Therapy people. I will be going to see them on Monday at University Hospital - my appointment is at 8:45 AM. Hopefully that appointment will be better. Though, why does it have to be so god damned early?

It's going to be a busy week. Tuesday I've got my appointment with CAGI for the Energy Assistance program. Friday I have my appointment with my Voc. Rehab. counselor. I've also got to see about getting my flu shot, too. Tried calling the doctor about that on Friday and got no answer. So I'll have to call them again Monday after I get back from OT. If not, I have an appointment on November 2nd with him anyhow.

Anyway, I'm tired, and I've mused about things here long enough. I think I'm going to have some more coffee and see what I can throw together for dinner. And once I get my blood sugar up I'll see about answering some emails.

Thanks for reading.
elfwench: (Default)
First thought of the day: ZOMG! In just three weeks from today I'll be 50 years old! I'm a little weirded out by this fact. I really don't feel much older, especially mentally, than 30. This cannot be. True, age is only a number, but does the number have to be so big?

Usually I don't think a lot about my disability. I prescribe to the principle, "Adapt. Improvise. Overcome." I do what I've got to do in whatever way that works, even when it means that I overdo. If that means that I put on a backpack and stagger my way to the store (or at least to the bus stop, which itself is a quarter of a mile away), then so be it. But this week, and next week's goings on have brought the fact that I am disabled to the forefront of my reality.

Monday, as I posted before, I saw the neurologist about this mystery neuro disease of mine - currently dubbed Spino-Cerebellar Ataxia of Unknown Type since they've disproved the Friedreich's Ataxia with a point mutation on the "normal" gene theory through EMG and other tests. It was time for my 3 month check up to see how I was doing.

Doctor wanted me to start using my rollator. Also prescribed Occupational Therapy. But, as it would happen, the actual appointment made was for Physical Therapy, and in my home.

This was supposed to happen on Friday, but instead happened on Thursday. Why they told me Friday when the therapist I was assigned doesn't work on Fridays, I don't know. But I'm glad I was home or I would have missed it.

As it turned out, I didn't miss much. The physical therapist was a petite redheaded pixie, with an upturned nose, round face save for the pointed chin, and sparkling eyes named Jen. Her hair was cut in what we used to call a Hollywood Burr, a buzz cut with bangs: typically a boy's haircut, but on her it looked cute, oddly enough. She came up as I was using my improvised way of removing leaves from the porch and ramp, using a snow shovel in one hand, crutch in the other, and pushing the leaves down the ramp with it, and commented that it was a unique way to do that job.

We sat and talked as she did the intake, and she didn't even bother filling out paperwork. She agreed with me that what I really need is occupational therapy, and felt that there was nothing she could really do for me. Didn't even bother with having me fill out paperwork She agrees with the doctor that 2 falls in 3 months is too much and that I should use more than my crutch. Of course, if I used my crutch more consistently in the house, it might help. She is very anti-rollator and wants me to use a walker. A walker! Here I am thinking of trying to find someone to date again, and she's suggesting I use a walker. Also, how impractical can you get? I stayed calm, though I let her know I really wasn't ready for that yet. She said I'm in denial. She also said I should be asking friends and family for help.

Today I got a call from the Occupational Therapy people. I will be going to see them on Monday at University Hospital - my appointment is at 8:45 AM. Hopefully that appointment will be better. Though, why does it have to be so god damned early?

It's going to be a busy week. Tuesday I've got my appointment with CAGI for the Energy Assistance program. Friday I have my appointment with my Voc. Rehab. counselor. I've also got to see about getting my flu shot, too. Tried calling the doctor about that on Friday and got no answer. So I'll have to call them again Monday after I get back from OT. If not, I have an appointment on November 2nd with him anyhow.

Anyway, I'm tired, and I've mused about things here long enough. I think I'm going to have some more coffee and see what I can throw together for dinner. And once I get my blood sugar up I'll see about answering some emails.

Thanks for reading.
elfwench: (Bill the Caveman)
Well, we took the bandages off last night. If you don't like to look at incisions, don't click the cut.

5 days post op - 3 pics - squick warning. )

Now I know why I hurt so much, broken bone and plates aside.

Funny thing is, it started oozing pretty bad. We bandaged it up and then I went to bed, and was strapped into the CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machine for the night.

This morning the bandages were saturated. We thought for sure that I'd be seeing the doctor today.

But, no, we took the bandages off and everything was relatively dry. And, my kneecap was visible again instead of being hidden by all the swelling.
elfwench: (Default)
Well, we took the bandages off last night. If you don't like to look at incisions, don't click the cut.

5 days post op - 3 pics - squick warning. )

Now I know why I hurt so much, broken bone and plates aside.

Funny thing is, it started oozing pretty bad. We bandaged it up and then I went to bed, and was strapped into the CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machine for the night.

This morning the bandages were saturated. We thought for sure that I'd be seeing the doctor today.

But, no, we took the bandages off and everything was relatively dry. And, my kneecap was visible again instead of being hidden by all the swelling.

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