Monday, April 20, 2015

Looking Up

Recently, I have been watching a couple videos taken by NASA. The more I watch, I can't help to think what a tiny insignificant speck we are in God's creation. The first video is of the sun taken over a five-year period. This is followed by a very detailed picture of our nearest galactic neighbor.



Even with all this, God calls us to be His own, made in His image. Looking up and seeing the heavens declare the glory of God. Knowing that God cares for the quad life I've been given along with every person on earth is truly humbling.

Monday, April 13, 2015

While Parents are Away

My parents try to take a vacation or two per year just on their own. It takes some work to arrange someone to help me on the evenings and weekend, but we usually get it arranged with rearranging caregiver schedules and having grandmas come. Mom and dad took off last Thursday and plan to be back Friday. That means I have the house to myself, at least in a manner of speaking.

Saturday afternoon I was part of a radio interview. It was a national internet based radio that the participants, and hosts, just simply call in. We talked about life as a quadriplegic and the advantages if going sans footwear. The conversation then went to places that require shoes even for wheelchair uses. It was a fun half hour that I may need to do again. Today was a little more exciting.

About 9:30 the doorbell rang, so my assistant went to answer it. I could hear her talking with someone, but could only pick up part of the conversation. Pretty soon I could hear her say, "Well, he's back here in bed." A male voice answered, "Is he awake?" I listened to footsteps come down the hall and in walks a policeman.

He did well at not looking too surprised at seeing a man sitting in bed running a computer with a mouth stick. Apparently someone called the local redemption center and left a message of disgust about their hours. The cop said the message was quite colorful in language and the caller ID said my name. I assured him it wasn't me and that our caller ID has my father's name. I also couldn't help with anyone else I knew that shares my name. Our visitor left with that and I managed to stay out of jail. Hopefully that will be it for such visits.

For six of the eight evenings, my grandmothers are helping out. So far, they've been giving my ice cream desserts every night. By next week, I think I'll need to practice self breathing to get some exercise!

If I can manage to stay out of trouble with the law, the rest of the week should go well. However, you never know what to expect in the quad life.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Instinct

We have all inherited certain characteristics from our parents that are natural for all people. Some of them are rather odd when you're a quadriplegic.

As we grow older, we generally pick up after ourselves and if something drops, we either catch it or pick it up off the floor. When I see something fall in the corner of my eye, my head twitches in the same direction as if to try and catch it. That sounds logical, but not when you stop and think about it. What am I going to do about it? Will I throw myself on the floor and attempt to catch the object in my mouth? It might be fun to try, but I don't see it happening.

The broken bones that would come as a result of falling out of my bed or chair should be a deterrent enough. Also, no only will the item need picked up, but me as well! Something else we inherited from our original parents is the sin nature, and a conscience, knowing right from wrong.

Today we celebrate Easter, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead. With God's sacrifice of his Son, we can be forgiven of our sins and have everlasting life with Him. Our conscience tells us it's wrong to lie, steal, and commit adultery or lust after another person. Despite knowing they are wrong, these, and more, are things we as sinful humans consistently do in some form or another.

Whether you're living the quad life or not, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Romans 14:11). God's punishment for sin is Hell where adulterers, thieves, and those who sin God will have eternal punishment (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Take the free gift offered on Calvary 2000 years ago and turn from sins.

As descendents of Adam and Eve, we all have certain instincts, not all of which were originally given. I pray that today you celebrated that gift, or will realize before it's too late the need for that forgiveness.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DerTainment

It has been over a year now that I have been doing my up and down routine. I'm usually sitting up in bed by 8:00 in the morning and then flat again at 10:00. I once again go up at noon and two hours later flatten out. At 4:30, I again up until we finish supper about 6:30. Finally at 8:30 in the evening I sit for the final time of the day before "going to bed."

My Minecraft pad
While flat I can work on my computer some, but not with enough precision, or vision, for work. Therefore, in the morning down time, I either play a game or watch something. I much prefer to be at least somewhat active, but after playing Minecraft or Farming Simulator for two hours, my mouth and trach are yelling at me loudly with pain. In the afternoon I often read, and evening is same as morning. For a lot of these times though, I've been watching a gaming group called TebbyBear Broadcasting, and especially the co-founder who goes by Der Tebbers.

Der plays several simulator games on his YouTube channel that I either have, currently do, or would be interested in playing. It's not as fun as actually playing them, but it does help to make the time pass. He also makes the videos entertaining. I might be a quadriplegic due to the car I was in getting hit by a semi; but it's still fun to watch a truck fly all over the road and end up anywhere it wants.

For three to four days of the week, Der also does live shows on Twitch. They correspond very well with my evening down time, so I often watch them. When I'm laying flat, it's a challenge to be able to do chat, but it's still something to help pass the time. I also can't see what I'm writing when I do interact with the audience, so I try to be careful what I say.

Thankfully, the skin problems do continue to show improvement. It may only be one cell per week, but it is the right direction. I'm very thankful that I can at least do some while flat, but appreciate my sitting time. Hopefully a time will come when I can actually work more and be upright longer. Until then, my quad life continues with its ups and downs.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Crowded

After World War II, many soldiers came home and started families. Everyone is likely familiar with the baby boom generation and hearing various reports about this generation. Now that the majority are at or over retirement age, medical needs start to increase. I've been noticing this for a few years, but it's really starting be obvious.

For about the last month, let's say I've been having plumbing issues. I've talked with my doctor's nurse a few times and we've adjusted my meds, equipment, and schedules. This has helped, but problems still exist. Therefore, we concluded it's time for an actual visit.

When I called on Monday to setup an appointment, the earliest I could see my doctor, a specialist, was August! This sets off a scenario in my head:

Me: "Hey doc, I'm having some major problems and need to come in to see you."

Doc: "I agree, I'll schedule an appointment for you in five months. If you're still alive, I'll see you then. If not, be sure to cancel so someone else can take the time slot."

Fortunately, there is a nurse practitioner I can see next week, but this is getting nuts. The doctor's office has a waiting room about half the size of my house and it's often 75%-80% filled. Maybe with the aging population, more services will become available, but that could be a while. My schedule isn't much better though.

Yesterday, I was supposed to have been in a meeting at church. Unfortunately, the group leader couldn't come due to recovery from a surgery. It took about a dozen emails to find an evening next week that I'm free as well as a majority of the group. I'm also working on lining up some college speaking visits this spring and attempting to find open days.

You would think that since I'm living the quad life and have a minor annoyance of a body I can't control may result in an open schedule. I am better than some people, but it does get to be tricky. We'll see what time becomes available for next week's post.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick Tournament

Last week was basketball tournament week in Iowa. Therefore, I had to endure sports stuff when the regular news stories were on. Apparently there were some close games and the sportscaster showed a room full of people yelling and screaming and acting in obscene manors.

I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in sports of any kind. If a petition came up to ban sports, I would be the first to sign it and gladly work to promote it. Watching these people last week is a confirmation of my position.

What was the point of all the obnoxious yelling and screaming? Did a new medical breakthrough get announced to cure cancer, Alzheimer's, or spinal cord injuries? Did someone show the many problems with evolution and admit the Bible is God's word? Those are things to cheer about, but this was just some game that has no lasting impact on anything.

Close anyway, the coaches likely got large bonuses for taking students away from academics. In another few months, the insanity will start again. The previous year's celebrations won't matter and it goes from year to year. Some of these people can likely tell you a bunch of statistics about different people on the team. I wonder if this same person could give any information on the statistics of St. Patrick's day.

We're nearing the end of the day when a lot of people drink green beer and wear green clothes. It's fun to celebrate a holiday, but it's also good to know who we're celebrating it for. St. Patrick was started out life as a slave, and was basically an atheist. Through his time of labor, he learned to love the Lord and became an ordained bishop. He then went back to Ireland and started many churches and baptized 120,000 people.

This day we celebrate was to commemorate his death on March 17, 461. That is a reason to celebrate and give thanks. If you're one that gets into the whole sports thing, remember to keep your perspective. Be careful to cheer for the things in this lifetime that actually matter, whether you live the quad life or not.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tanto

I read an analogy once by a paraplegic. He concluded that down to about mid-chest he was himself, below that was some guy he had no control over named Ervine. I liked the idea and applied it to my own life. Since my other half is constantly crossing his legs Indian style, I gave him the name Tanto.

This leaves me with control of my head, mostly, and Tanto with pretty much everything else. When I talk to older kids and adults, it works as a good illustration as to what everyday life is like. I can see everything below my head, but can't control any of it.

Every day I watch Tanto kick, slap, grope, and pinch those trying to take care of me. I do have ways of keeping him under control, but they only go so far. One of my assistants has taken the idea a step farther and named every limb. It can get somewhat comical talking to different limbs telling them to behave. However, they rarely listen since I keep control of the ears.

Living in a body I can't feel or control gets to be very frustrating some days. Having fun with the situation can greatly help to make light of what can be taken as a complete negative.

Throughout my life, I hear every now and then about breakthroughs in spinal cord injury research toward a cure. I honestly don't believe that will happen in my life, at least not for old timers like me. I do look forward to the day when I will be finished with this body and be fully restored in glory. Until that day, I just continue to live the quad life as given.