Saturday, January 29, 2011

January Notes

Notes, comments, musings, take your pick, they would all work equally well. I don't have anything particular this evening to discuss, just general items from this month that is about to end.

A couple weeks ago, this cartoon was mentioned in one of my group memberships, the Society for Barefoot Living. I thought it was funny, and likely a phrase I would have used as a youngster. As you know, I believe all kids should go barefoot at pretty well all times, but I doubt the excuse would go very far with most parents.

The good news, to me, is that activities like barefoot running are becoming more popular, and a few podiatrists are realizing the benefits of going without footwear. Along with the recent barefoot book, at least society is beginning to go the right way on one issue.

At the beginning of this, I started my fourth class at University of Phoenix, Java Programming 2. Every class I take at UoP, I become more thankful that I did not start my education in this style. I'm certain every school is different, but these classes have generally been very difficult. In part, due to the fact you can't simply raise your hand, or mouth stick in my case, and get direct one-on-one attention from the instructor. My current class particularly, the professor does not seem interested in the students and is available for very few hours.

Again, I'm very thankful for the opportunity I had to take classes at Simpson College, in a regular classroom environment. After nearly three years there, I became very familiar with the school's requirements, instructors, and everything else associated with school. Unfortunately, UoP basically took none of my credits, so I am forced to retake many classes, such as Java 2. I learned a few months ago that University of Phoenix is a for profit school, and it is rather obvious. The most I hear about is getting tuition paid, very little concern is voiced for how I'm doing academically. Fortunately, since I've only had repeat classes and by God's grace, I'm doing well academically.

It has now been over two months since I received the Diaphragmatic Pacemaking System. Generally, I would say my progress with the system is going well. A few weeks ago, I was introduced to a fellow long-time quad, 30 years post, who has been on a pacemaker his entire injury. He suggested to take it slower than I had been and increase gradually. Listening to his advice, I've been going two weeks at a set time for two or so sessions a day and increasing by 30 minutes after that time. Since doing this routine, I haven't had the shortness of breath issues I was getting.

In a few days, friend Bill from Florida is scheduled to get his DPS implant. We're nearing two years since he and I were part of the research group, so I'm glad to see he's finally getting it. My primary dislike at this point is speech quality. While breathing in, I can't speak; therefore, I have to pause every four seconds at my current rate. I sound like I went back to 2nd grade, before I started using the speaking valve, and sound very much like a 'vent user.' Perhaps this will improve as I become more accustomed to it, but it will always require a pause to inhale.

As is the norm in this life I've been given, I know every day, or hour, is different from the next. We'll see next time what is going on or may be coming around the bend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


If I looked through my posts, there's probably a similar topic, but I feel it can be brought up again.

In the past year or so, I've had relatives that, let's say, aren't exactly getting along. For the past couple months, my family, and others, have been trying to help wherever we can. Unfortunately, situations are not improving, despite trying to help.

On occasion, I reflect on how things would be if I had full use of my body. In times like these, I believe I would be helping as well. I see myself playing taxi whenever possible and lending a hand as well. However, that's thinking from my current perspective, with my present life's experiences. In reality, I don't know where I would be working, living, or anything of the sort. With my knowledge of this life, I have not been perfect, by any means.

Just over a year ago, when I actually started this blog, I wanted too very much be done with this life. I allowed temptation and incorrect thinking to take over my mind. I went as far as contacting doctors and lawyers to work on getting my trach, my only source of breathing at that time, removed. Plans were drawn up and I was very happy to see an end to life in site.

Fortunately, the Lord brought me back to perspective, to look at the life He has given me, and why it should continue. In the year since, this has been shown again and again, along with brief thoughts about why did I stop. Now, being on the outside and looking in, I know both sides of the fence, how thinking can get clouded into wrong directions seeming right.

Tomorrow will be the 20th day of 2011; with a busy and topsy-turvey year thus far, I wonder what is in store for the next 11 months.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Today is the start of 2011, for many it's a start for new goals and looking toward new expectations. A few days ago, I posted my thoughts for 2011, but I'm consistently reminded how much I rely on others.

Last night was New Year's Eve, and my parents and I had a few friends over to help celebrate. I had my assistant get me into my chair shortly before she left as to save time later on and have one less lift for dad. As always, I stayed barefoot when I got up as it's my preference and goes along with the multitude of studies I've done, groups I belong to, and various people I've spoken with on the subject. Unfortunately, my parents don't care about any of these things or are willing to take the time to listen.

Therefore, I was forced to have footwear put on due to my parent's belief that "it just looks weird." So, as our guests started arriving, I was being made to don shoes and socks. Just having socks is a very cheap cover-up in my opinion, and trying to satisfy some unknown rule that one can't go barefoot inside in the winter.

Through all these years of being a quad, I'm grateful for all my parents have done and, as I've stated before, I would like to be able to help more. It's unfortunate that situations like these arise then, and too frequently. Even though I was brought up to be an adult as independent as possible, I'm not allowed to make my own decisions. Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm though with other quads living with their parents.

No matter your age, accomplishments, or responsibilities, you're still treated as a child. Decisions are made for you, no matter your wants or thoughts, and no real solution exists. As this year starts, I pray that similar times will decrease; unfortunately, history does not show that being likely.