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Outdated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 After this week, I'm feeling on the old and outdated side.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.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Problem

Unless you live completely off the grid, you have likely seen protests in the past few weeks. It seems that pretty much everything President Trump does results in some sort of protest. I saw a spoof a few days ago that I liked. If the president was recorded breaking wind in a restroom, protestors would likely accuse him of causing global warming with an increase of methane.

I will freely admit I was not around in the 1970's, I wasn't even born yet. I've seen videos and stories about hippies and Vietnam protestors during that era of history and I'm imagining the current problems are getting more extensive. Someone would need to confirm or deny it for me, but that's my estimation.

Every time I watch the news, a phrase from Judges keeps coming to mind, "...everyone did as he saw fit." (Judges 17:6) Israel did not have a leader that followed God's law and everyone just did their own thing, to put a modern term to it. This was the case with the Obama administration as well, but it seems to have grown exponentially with the new leadership, at least according to the mainstream media.

No human leader will ever be perfect, they're human and have inherited the sin nature from our original parents. However, we have rapidly gone away from the Bible and following God's conduct for living. Things that are good, like stopping funding to kill babies, and stopping people that want to cause harm, should be universal desires, not something to protest.

As Jesus said in John 18:36, "my kingdom is not of this world." We can pray for the country and its leaders and hope to see improvements and a return to peaceful relations. However, what happens to the quad life in this short time period on earth isn't the issue. If everyone, including protestors, would look to the true source for guidance and wisdom, it would be a change in the right direction. As always, I'll see what another week brings.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Funding Fun

I never know what to expect in a week's time. Work has been slow, but Wednesday I learned some unexpected news.

Back in October, my Medicaid said they didn't get paperwork showing my income and I would be taken off the program. Unfortunately, I hadn't received a request for the documentation so I worked with my case manager and got it all straightened out. A couple weeks later I finally received the letter to request my originally paperwork. After checking again with my manager, everything was good to go for another year. At least that's what we thought.

On Wednesday, I received a call that my Medicaid had actually been terminated in November, but nobody bothered to tell us. So now, I've sent out more documentation again to get back on what I never knew was off. I find it somewhat funny that politicians constantly talk about green technology, but it takes piles of printed paper to stay on government programs.

Thankfully, everything has stayed the same so far for nursing and covering medical expenses. I know that God has a plan for everything and knows the funding I need, so I will see what He has in store. My private insurance through my dad's employer will also be changing in April.

In 2014 insurance changed and caused a lot of headaches in trying to keep my medical needs covered. With the political environment continuing to adjust healthcare, I'm afraid funding changes will become a reoccurring theme every few years. I know that I have been extremely blessed during my life to have the resources I rely upon for daily needs. I'm thankful for all these years I have been allowed to live at home and have so much nursing coverage.

Hopefully it will continue, but I'll see what's in store for this quad life. Another week may have everything back to normal again, but until then I'll continue to be thankful for what I've been given.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dull January

Most mornings I have the blanket battle as I call it. My day caregiver is ready to get started and I don't want to get out from the covers. I always come up and around, but the last few days have seemed harder than usual.

The first part of my morning routine is stretching, or exercising, my arms and legs. My head doesn't get involved, so I can either slowly wake up or keep snoring with a pillow over my eyes. Depending on who I have that day, I can sometimes keep the sheet over me as well and really snooze. Everything else involves my head, shaving, hair washing, etc., so like it or not I have to wake up.

A lot of people struggle with depression during the winter months. The sun doesn't come out very much, it's cold, and most people stay mainly inside. I can't say I have trouble with any of it, but I'm wondering if a week with all clouds has had more of an affect than I thought.

Every day is a gift, and one that will not always be given. I know this well and along with having very little time while sitting, I try to remain productive. At the end of the day, I think back on what I should have been doing instead of whatever I did do.

In my morning Bible reading, I'm about halfway through Exodus and the Israelites are starting to learn God's laws for being His holy people. I sometimes wonder what a typical day was like during this time. They collected manna in the morning and cooked and ate it, but then what?

On days of travel, I'm sure it was walking and transporting your household's tent and other items. When they stayed in one place, I imagine it was studying God's commands, maybe fixing, building, and learning. No matter what it was, it ultimately served God's plan.

If the gift of tomorrow comes, I'm hoping to be able to get up easier and go about whatever I'm given for the day. The quad life can be quite productive, as long as I allow it.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fuzzy Wuzzy

Most winters, I try to become a hermit and stay in as much as possible. January hasn't been too bad so far, but I'm still minimizing my time out in the cold. Since I wasn't going to be seeing a lot of people or have any school talks, I decided to try an experiment.

Ever since my teen years, I have always shaved my facial hair and not let it grow. I've been hearing a lot about beards lately for some reason and wondered how mine would grow. Starting on January 2, I stopped shaving and just let the hair grow. A few people said it would start to itch, but it never came up. I attended a visitation on the fifth, so I shaved off what grew for a beard and tried again after the eighth. This time, I was able to go the full week without shaving, and I started to notice some
changes.

If I have an itch by my eyes or nose, I usually blow at it to see if I can get rid of an offending hair or skin flake. On Thursday, I did my regular routine, but not much breeze got to my target. I tried holding my stick differently, different angles of attack, but nothing helped. After too long of a time period, I figured out my mustache had grown out enough to block my hot air.

For the beard, my caregivers first noticed a bald spot under my chin. After them touching it, the area feels like where I used to rub my chin on my vent tubes. Driving my chin control chair with the extra hair also started tricky with my controls sliding off my skin.

After nearly two weeks of growth, I went ahead and shaved it off again and went back to my normal look. Feeling a smooth chin again and having a clear path to puff is a nice feeling. It was starting to feel warmer, which I liked, but I don't think I'll try it again any time soon.

Having fun experiments in the quad life helps to break up the regularity from day to day. I don't have anything else in mind, but I'll see what is in store for another week.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Life Lessons

I read a blog entry last week called 7 Life Lessons from a Guy Who Can't Move Anything but His Face. It was written by Jon Morrow, a writer with muscular dystrophy that has done very well through his writing.

According to the article, Jon moved to Mexico and was able to cover his own care and now has made millions through his writing. I don't agree with some of his language choices, but I'm glad that everything has worked well for him. From the picture and writing, it doesn't look like he uses a vent to breathe, so that does ease care needs a little.

Writing is something I enjoy, but I need to be in the right frame of mind to produce anything that's halfway decent. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, I'm sure you can tell the difference from one week to the next. Earning some income from my writing would be great, but I don't see it happening, at least at this point.

At one time, I had hoped to be able to do enough web development to become independent, but that wasn't in God's plans. The last year especially has been extremely slow with web work and I averaged less than eight hours of work per month in 2016. As I've said on here before, I've learned to be content with what I have.

It isn't easy by any means, and I'm not always successful in being happy with what I have, but it's a major life lesson I've learned. It would be great to be independent of my dad's insurance and Medicaid and able to cover my own needs, but they are covered. A time may come that major changes will happen because of my funding, but I've been given a great 35 years so far and don't expect it to end.

You don't need to risk everything and move to Mexico to learn life lessons. Pay attention to the life God has placed you in now and take time to listen to His teaching. It may lead to a life of financial independence, but we'll always be totally dependent on Him for forgiveness of sin and the life to come.