Sunday, March 26, 2017

STOP

I don't know about everyone else, but always being a passenger in a vehicle means I get to look around more. However, since I typically just go to the same destinations all the time, I don't see much of anything new. One I do pay particular interest to is stop signs.

Several years ago I read an article that said when you see a stop sign. think of it as saying a Special Time Of Prayer. Therefore, I've been getting into the habit of praying when we get to these signs. When I do my weekly bike rides, we go past two signs on the way in and the same when departing.

When driving around a hospital in downtown Des Moines, it's not too much of a challenge to think of items for prayer. I've been a patient several times and know what it's like, so that is a common concern. Doctors and nurses can't do anything without the great physician's healing hand that He gave everyone, so they are another source for a sign.

As we pull out of the rehab parking lot, the view is directly on to the building of my insurance provider. I'm thankful to report answered prayer in that my nursing should be covered when my policy switches on April 1. They may change that decision after it goes into effect, but I can give thanks for current news at least.

For the past few years that I have been watching for traffic signs, it has really made me think of all the things to bring up in prayer. Some locations turn into blocks and blocks of communication, but I think it's a good habit to get into.

This is something that's easy to do in the quad life, but anyone can get into a S.T.O.P. prayer time. If you're driving though, the cars behind you may start praying you move. As we finish the last week of March, I'm looking forward to spring coming in full force and see what the new month will bring.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Fully Switched

For the last few months, my computer has been randomly restarting. Whenever I woke it up in the morning or turned it on, it required baby steps to get going. It was maybe taking after me in not liking to get up in the morning, but that's not a good trait for office equipment.

The machine worked well for me in every other way, but the fear of having more serious problems kept increasing. Therefore, I finally gave in and replaced my 5.5 year old iMac with a new one.

For about the last week, I've been transferring files from the old machine to the new one. Apple computers have a handy feature that you can wirelessly move information between systems. However, they need to be in proximity with each other on the same network. This resulted in my room looking like some sort of electronics store with computers sitting on desks and boxes of software on tables.

I got everything switched over and started using the new machine a few days ago. I've concluded I must be getting old though, I currently prefer my old system to the new. The improved keyboard is designed so that it lies almost completely flat on the table. This makes it more of a challenge to use when I'm flat and moving it around with my stick is very difficult. It may help in building some more jaw muscles, but that's not really a goal at this point in the quad life.

The new operating system is also taking some adjusting. I'm still figuring out updated versions of the calendar, iTunes, and more. Thanks to the help of my best friend John though, I did make more progress. Hopefully in time everything will become more familiar and work as seamlessly as the old system. I do think I will be investigating a way to adjust the keyboard though.

Whether it's older technology or new, I'm thankful that I can have the opportunity to use it. Moving a bunch of documents over is time consuming, but I don't have the additional challenge of setting up voice software and moving associated files for its function.

This week will be one of learning, both for me on the computer and for what insurance will cover. Hopefully both endeavors will go well.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Round Two

I don't watch wrestling or have any interest to start. However, I have seen a few clips on different movies and shows where two people are having a boxing match and they start after a bell is rang. I'm feeling like a bell has sounded for the second round of funding fun.

In 2014, the insurance I was using was discontinued due to the ACA and I started on a new plan. A week after the change, I was informed that my nursing would no longer be covered. The next four months were spent making appeals, working with with doctors and politicians, and finally the Iowa Insurance Commission.

After an uneasy summer that included looking at nursing homes, I was able to get part of my nursing covered again. My family and I had hoped we wouldn't have any more problems with insurance, but that rarely ever happens.

Once again the plan I'm on will be ending and on April 1 another option will need to take over. At this point, my family can't get any straight answers on what is or isn't covered with the new policy. It's also proving to be problematic to get enough information to even investigate on our own.

Therefore, these past several days I keep wondering what will be coming. I had a hair cut last week and scheduled my next appointment in April. At the same time I wondered if I'll be here for it or in a nursing home somewhere.

Just like in 2014, I try to keep reminding myself that God is in control at all times. He knows what I need and it will be taken care of even if it's not how I would prefer. My family was glad to see God's care through everything three years ago and He hasn't changed in that amount of times.

Unexpected times in the quad life can take some big turns, but I never know what the next week will bring. The next entries could be in for a wild ride, but God has the reigns.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Book Worm

With all my time spent laying flat, I keep looking for more ways to be doing something. I ran out of a few series I was watching on Netflix and YouTube hasn't been as appealing this year. Therefore, I've been reading more while I'm down during the day.

For Christmas, I received a total of five new books and I just finished the third one Friday afternoon. Two magazines were also squeezed during that time, but they come every couple months. My first book for 2017 was Judge Not by Todd Friel and the other two were How Could a Loving God... and One Race One Blood, both by Ken Ham.

I watch Friel's YouTube channel and somewhat knew what to expect, but this was the first title I've read by him. He uses humor throughout the text to keep it fun to read, but also deals with serious subjects. Each chapter deals with different compromises that are evident in evangelical, conservative churches and gives good advice on how to approach making changes that go back to Scripture.

Ken Ham is a popular author in my library and I generally like his work. I did a full review for How Could a Loving God... in my church newsletter. The short version is that the book deals with a common feeling of uncertainty during times of trial, especially long-term struggles with disease and death. Ham takes you through a time of when his faithful younger brother was suffering a degenerative brain condition that lead to his death. He reminds us of the big picture of why there is pain and suffering in the world and how to apply it to individual cases.

Finally, One Race One Blood also answers a common question of all the different people groups came about if we're all descended from one original couple. It is a more in depth study of a presentation I've seen a few times using simple genetics and modern day examples to show how differences came about.

My last two books are a little more technical, so they may take a little longer to study, but I look forward to it. That's it for the quad life this week, I'll see what's coming with the first full week of March.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Health Advice

It frequently seems that people are quick to give health advice, whether it's wanted or not. News sites and magazines say don't eat this or that because it either makes you gain weight, causes cancer, or both! If we followed every piece of advice given, I don't think there would be enough time in the day to eat everything recommended and then do the required exercise and rest.

However, there are people in some fields of health that are experts and can truly offer good advice. As someone who knows certain areas very well, I'm going to give one recommendation for everyone. My advice is simple, don't break your neck.

Granted, if you go against my advice, you do have some perks. When they're available, you can get parking right up front at most buildings. If you have a day of strolling about, like at the state fair or somewhere else, your legs won't get tired. There are also cool systems available that allow you to work a television just with your voice and open doors without lifting a finger. If you have kids, you always have a handy wheelchair for them to hang bags from or sit on your lap for a break.

Unfortunately, it's not all perks either. This week started out finding more paperwork trails that need to be done to keep funding in place. If your aide is sick and can't come for some reason, then your plans for the day are gone as well as that of your immediate family that steps in to help. Then there are also the minor annoyances of not being to feed or groom yourself or any of the other daily routines of life.

If you're like me though and have been granted a gift of a spinal cord injury, it's not the end of the world. Through the abilities and knowledge God has given those around me I'm still able to serve Him and keep active. Some days, or weeks, aren't much fun but with most things in the quad life, it too shall pass.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Toasty February

I don't believe that climate change is a direct result of man's activities. However, I'm greatly enjoying warmer winters. February in Iowa is usually very cold and I don't want to venture out unless absolutely necessary. This year has been great, so far at least.

Friday and today had high temps over 70° with multiple days in the low to mid 60's. Yesterday was nice enough to go out and do some rail fanning. Unfortunately, a four-hour stay only resulted in seeing one train that counted, but it was still a good day to be out. I can't say I remember being out in February with the van's windows open and having flies buzz around.

Often when I'm sitting and waiting on progress bars (such as now for a Farm Sim update), I will try a game or of online Sudoku. I am not very much into at some people I know, but it's a way to pass time and keep my mind somewhat active. Even just playing on easy mode, my times aren't all that impressive as you can see.

My main day assistant has a few games on her smart phone. When I'm biking, she will often bring up a couple few while my legs make their rounds. In the 1.5 minutes it takes her to do an easy game of Sudoku, I can maybe get one number. Farkle is more my style when waiting, very little thinking required and time isn't something that's counted.

Not much else has been happening in the quad life this past week. My day help for Monday isn't feeling well, so it will be a longer weekend away from work out of the house for my parents. The warm stretch is forecast to continue for a few more days and I'm hoping it will be warm enough to go bike with just shorts. My break away sweat pants work well, but it's a little strange taking half my pants off, and on, in the rehab gym.

Have a great week readers and I'll see what God has planned for the last full week of February.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Outdated

I am 35 years old. Depending on what age group you talk to, that's either young, old, or just right. After this week, I'm feeling on the old and outdated side.

In early 2003, I graduated with my Associate's degree in Information Technology (IT) from a local business school. A few years later, I noticed that the degree was no longer an option. Last year, the entire school was bought out by a state university and was closed. So not only did my college feel they could offer my degree anymore, the entire school went away. It really feels weird to say your degree no longer exists and then to give an explanation to what the school was.

The unofficial slogan for an IT degree is "I can Google that for you." I unfortunately agree with the statement and lived it last week. My mom's computer started having problems, so I used Google to find potential solutions. After finding a few possibilities, none of them worked. In order to try to make faster progress, I had her call a computer help person in town. It turns out her computer should have never upgraded to Windows 10 and therefore it was only a matter of time until it died.

You can read all you want for education, but for me the best teacher is working with your hands (or mouth stick in my case). With being down so much these last few years, I don't get much time to do anything, let alone learn something new. I'm even feeling it with web related technology in not having opportunity to work with more options. It feels like I'm back to being a kid just playing computer games and watching TV (Netflix or YouTube actually).

Hopefully the latest trouble with one of my client's sites will at least allow an opportunity to try something new. In the mean time, I think I'll try to increase my school talks and work from my experience of living the quad life. Whatever God has planned, I'll be along for the ride another week.