Sunday, November 27, 2011


I'm 30, the big three oh, three decades of life on earth. No matter how you say it, I'm getting older, just like everyone else.

I read one comment that thirty is when older adults start to respect you and kids say you're old. It will remain to be seen on those notes, but it would be a nice change for the first one to be true. After today, I'm not feeling as old as yesterday for some reason. Maybe the idea is just settling in better, we'll give it a week to see.

Over the past few weeks though, my pastor at church has been giving thanks for me achieving this milestone. In a few months I will have my 27th anniversary of being a quad. There's no debate that this has been an easy life to this point, but I have been blessed with a caring family and, relatively speaking, good health. Statistics say I should have died in my early to mid teens, even updated ones give me just another decade.

In college I had one "nurse" who liked to continually remind me that I should not be alive, that I had lived longer than I should have. I wasn't aware that I had an allowance on life span, but I guess I had overspent my allowance, according to her. It is true that high-level quads that depend on mechanical ventilation, just like me, tend to have a shorter life span than most people.

Of the quads I know at my injury level or higher, only one has a longer post injury life span than I do. He was injured in his teen years though and is now in his mid forties. I have known a number of quads through CHAMP Camp and the "grape vine" of contents, but several have passed away years ago. One that I keep track of turned thirty a few months ago, but he was also injured two years later than I was.

These past three decades have been interesting, and full of highs and ultra lows. I don't know how many I have left, but I know that I need to continue to trust in God's lead, and look nowhere else for a clue on the future.

Monday, November 21, 2011


As a web developer, I have to keep up with current trends in best practices, consumer desires, and updates in programming languages. Therefore, I took up an offer a few weeks ago to take two classes a month for the next six months in we related programming. I'm about halfway through my first course and can't wait for it to be done.

Since I quit University of Phoenix this summer I have had the tug to get back into school. I guess it's part of getting older, but I enjoy learning much more than I ever did in high school or my first round of college. Taking up this offer was a way to give in to that pull and have some direction to go in my evenings.

The course I decided to start with deals with a language called jQuery. It basically makes the bells and whistles of a site function. Without it, the site is a little off tune and flat, like most of my sites. This instructor could use more of his language in his speech though. He's so monotone that you can't wait for his video to finish. I don't know, it could just be I was expecting too much, but I'll choose my next course more carefully next time. There are a few I'd like to review again, that I know the instructor is good, so I may go there next.

Last week was my one year anniversary of pacing. I have now been through all four seasons while breathing through my nose. I'm still debating which way I prefer to breath, through my nose or the vent. Pacing has several benefits, not having the tube 24/7 is very nice. It's also great to not have the constant noise of the vent in the background. However, it's very touchy, the wires seem to be much pickier than I expected. Three weeks ago was the trip to Minnesota where I got the wires fixed, and could have died. Last week the pacemaker started beeping again when the wires were bumped. This isn't a good sign for longevity at all. Hopefully it isn't anything to be concerned about, but I'll have to wait and see on that.

That trip up north was a learning experience as well, I learned I'm too trusting of my caregivers, and myself. For a few weeks before the trip we had some difficulty in cathing, but didn't think too much of it. I asked if my supply bag was packed with all the necessary pieces to cath while on the road, and my assistant said yes. Well, nearly five hours away from home, dad and I learned that answer was no. Everything was in the bag except for the required tubes to do the deed.

This meant that after half a day of drinking and normal activities I would have to hold it until we got home. For a high quad like me, this means suffering through a body that's reacting to something wrong, needing to pee, but not reacting correctly. If left untreated it can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and possible death. Thankfully God was with me that day and I didn't have any severe reactions, I just sweated through everything I was wearing and had my version of hot flashes for a few hours.

In less than a week I'll be thirty years old. That sounds old to me, an age that two years ago I wanted to be dead before I reached it. The Lord has carried me through this far with many lessons along the way. I will see what the next thirty years, and this week, have in store.