Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where is Stumpy (Waldo)

Well sorry (to Both my readers) for not posting last week I just ran out of spoons and crashed! It happens sometimes but I am girding my loins cause I have a back breaker for the next three days.

I have Physical therapy at 0810am tomorrow (Wed) and get measured for orthopedic seat cushions for my Wheel Chair at 9am And after that I have to see my doctor to get my meds refilled and at 7pm I go to my freehand carving class at Lots of fun but late and I get chased down by the janitors who have forgotten their glasses and just see a short blurr at the end of the hall and start yelling hey you stop!!! LOL. Thursday morning I will go to get a wheelchair lift installed in my truck and in the afternoon I should get my electric wheelchair. Now going shopping wont be such a burden on Liedra and Danny.

I've been working on my Leg Sim and getting better all the time, most of my ambulation at the house is on the Leg Sim. Maybe tomorrow we will start on inclines and stairs ""IF I AM READY"". I also have something on Friday but I forget it right now. Danny has been sick since Saturday and I'm still not sure if I should let him go to school. Well it is closing in on bed time so goodnight to both of my loyal readers.

Luv Ya

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ready 4 Bed

Well folks it was a long day but we got allot accomplished today. This Morning I took Liedra to her Doctor's appointment. The Doctors said that the skin discoloration that we thought might be melanoma ended up to be nothing to worry about, the first Doc even got us a second opinion!!

This afternoon we went to the VA Hospital we picked some paperwork for Liedra and checked on my electric wheelchair. After much checking and calling they finally found it at the wheelchair lift store, so we made arrangements to install a new hoist on my truck and pick up my chair on the 27th YAAAAYYYY!!!! It will sure make the VA trips easier.

While waiting for my Physical Therapy I overheard that some one's brand new lift wouldn't work, it sounded to me like the transmission interlock wasn't engaging so I helped the driver get his passenger out of the truck using the manual controls since the interlocks were on the fritz. So I have done my good deed for today.

After all that I was up and walking across the Physical Therapy room several times, boy was I wore out and sweating!! Then I went home for a shower and a nap (HARD ZZZZZZZZZs) It is now night and the boy and my wife have been fed and I am ready for bed.

Good Night
Dream Happy Dreams

Homework: Tell someone that you haven't talked to in a long time how much they mean to you!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday!?!?!? Monday!?!?! Hey I don't hate Mondays anymore

Hello again I'm doing better today we started the day by cleaning up a little around the house. We are setting up my wood lathe in the mud room so I can start turning pens before Spring. I cant wait until Wednesday night I will get to go to my wood carving class!! My first freehand carving is going to be a chain carved out of a single piece of wood. I got to talk to my Girls today, I am so proud of them Amber has always been strong and independent young lady, and Christina is a people person maybe even more than her Mom. They are living together in Anaheim Ca. (definitely not easy) It is so expensive out there. I have succeeded in one thing these two young women are much better prepared to be on their own than Liedra and I were! Anyway I LOVE, MISS, AND RESPECT, my daughters!!! 

Aren't they just adorable,
They keep getting Cuter the older they get.

Today I walked some more on my Leg Sim, I noticed that finding my seat on that little bicycle seat is becoming natural and walking is becoming instinctive and I find myself leaning to pick something that is just out of my natural reach more and more. I have retired my old style walker and am using the leg Sim exclusively around the house.

Liedra and I have been discussing surgery to repair the hole in my abdomen that just wont heal. There are more risks than normal with me (my batting average when it comes to surgeries is really bad) .  There other issues to start on now that my health is getting a little better and I have the things I need to get around and live my life.

This afternoon when Liedra and I were at Wal Mart we met a young boy who is wheelchair bound, he had a new wheelchair that allowed him to stand upright while still supported in his chair. It seems like doctors are recognize the need for our bodies to be erect for certain periods of time, I know it has helped me. I offered to take him on a motorcycle trip on the trike if Mom and Dad were comfortable with the idea and one of them rode in the back with him. I hope he does because getting over barriers is a big thing when you have a disability.

I'm watching Danny singlehandedly winning the cold war on X BOX 360 Call of Duty, Black Ops!!
Video games are one place that I can keep up with him . . . . . . when he is not beating my Heinie. LOL

It has been a really good day, so I think I will go to bed earlier than normal tonight.

Good Night Everybody

P.S. Your homework is: Do something nice for somebody you don't like!
""Confuse Karma""

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How I became an Amputee

This video really hit home for me all the things she shows are things I had to contend with, Revision after revision, Infection, wound cavities packed every two days with gauze, Wound vacs, Changing wound vac dressings were extremely painful and most of the time the nurses did not know what the heck they were doing.


But if you want an insight into how it was then watch this.


I'M having a really bad day today I'm so tired of things going bad! I was feeling too good so I guess it was time for the carpet to get pulled out from under my foot. Its the same old story I'm just tired goodnight.

Fallin Again BOOM!!

Well folks I've done it again I was going to the restroom in the night, and liedra came home and woke me up so I tried to walk into the restroom with the Leg Sim and I started leaning back back back annnnd down. After I got up and taken care of myself I spent several hours talking about the good ol days when Steve and I had hair. Memories of friends filled the room like an impromptu D Troop reunion. I realised that I have been very lucky in friends and people I worked for SgtMaj Rhodes who finished what Msgt Thompson started, Senior Drill Instructor Sgt Drake reinforced, and that I was able to pass along to my Marines. The hand of God has always been in my life sometimes subtle sometimes like a sledgehammer up side the head but always guiding me to where I needed to go. Directing people into my life that I needed and, placing me in the path of people who needed me, allowing me to be of service. God has been good to me but he has always expected me to do my part. I have been Blessed especially now that he has brought many friends of my youth to help adjust to new life on Disability.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Low Spoon Day

OK as Christine Misderano says when you borrow spoons from tomorrow you will have less tomorrow! Well its tomorrow now and I am sans spoons, but God loves me my Physical Therapist wanted to go home sick and wanted to cancel my appointment YAAAAaaayy zzzZZZZ!! I spent today resting and working on my RC Helicopters. Today is a good day for some indoor flying BZZZIING.

Today we found out that my sons grades were slipping so we packed up the video games. I have confidence that he will bring that grade up in no time at all. Well that is all I have energy to write tonight


For those of you who havent read the spoon theory here it is narrated by the author.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Today was a take care of the wife day and I am wiped out!! I woke at the ungodly hour of four thirty am and couldn't get back to sleep until Liedra and I got Danny off to school. Then we both took about an hour nap. Then BOING I'm up again and Liedra is not feeling well we had an exchange of ideas at VOLUME!!

So we started out through the slippery Icy roads for Broadlawns Hospital's walk in clinic and financial assistance office. This is so strange because I am so used to taking care of my family that, it feels weird to be getting help from someone else and, what is even weirder is that the people working there aren't making me feel like a worthless dirt bag because I need some help. Bravo Zulu Broadlawns!!!!!!! We got Liedra's prescriptions filled and the paperwork taken care of and we started home at FIVE PM!!!!! 

Roads were slick and I was hurting pretty bad by that time, I believe that it was about this time that I ran out of spoons. (see the spoon theory at www.butyoudontlooksick.com) When we were almost home when I remembered that my wood carving class starts tonight and a friend is paying the tuition so I had Better show up! Dropped Liedra at the house so she could go to bed.

Then I proceeded to a Junior High wood shop class room where I met some new friends and had a great time, next week I will start carving a chain out of a single block of wood. Sounds challenging but fun, I spent most of the time looking at the teacher's tools and some examples of what is possible, Some chisels were hand forged by the teacher and looked great. I started dozing in class so I packed it in 20 minutes early. When I came home I talked to Danny about his day, finding out that we have a parent teacher conference tomorrow. Other than that things are all quiet on the home front but I am out of spoons and am using tomorrows spoons so I had better go to sleep because I have Physical Therapy tomorrow and I have done exactly JACK  for PT today!! Oh well with any luck tomorrow will be more interesting. Right now I am going to curl up with my lovely but snoring wife and get some sleep.

Thank You Lord for another good day

Monday, January 10, 2011

Stumpy's Snowy Day

I awoke today early and feeling good I am able to get by with less medication.

I had coffee with ""The Boys"" Jake and Sox, I fixed my coffee and sat at the dining room table watching the snow start to fall when both boy cats jumped up onto the table and sat with me watching the snow. Good times!!

I watched a little tube and straightened up in the kitchen, still gotta do the living room and I'm still feeling good pain is about a  4 out of 10 haven't felt this good in a long while. I found out that my electric wheel chair is in but missing the part that will allow it to be lifted into my truck. I will try to look at it tomorrow at 8 am when I go in for Physical Therapy. I will try to get the electric chair tomorrow, wish me luck.

I did some standing and sidestepping today on the Leg Sim along with my trunk strengthening exercises and really worked up a sweat. I am so much more stable now than I was in the beginning. With all this snow I might end up snow bound and have to miss Physical Therapy. I hope not! It is easier to get motivated when I have new milestones every time.

Back in 2003 only months after the crash when I first was able to sit up, my PT wanted me to try to stand with a walker. So I tried and ended up standing 15 seconds the first day, 40 seconds the second day, Took 3 steps with the walker the third day, and walked around the room on the fourth day, Mary the Physical Therapist at St Josephs Hospital in Orange Ca said "I cant tell you where we want to be next week because you will do it today"! LOL.

I guess being a stubborn Jar head won't go away with time! While sitting in my recliner Jesse the girl kitty came out and sat on my lap (which she does rarely) and watched as I browsed YouTube videos. She loves to watch movies and TV on my laptop but, if I am not careful she will sit on the keyboard and leave Jesse hairs all over.

Strangely enough when i start to get depressed the Animals in the house want to cuddle, it's like they know that i need cheering up. I wish my girls could come out and see how beautiful it is out here.

I put a turkey in the oven 2 1/2 hours ago and it is about ready so I must go and get ready to feed the family.

God Bless

Friday, January 7, 2011

A new Day and . . . . . . . .Snow

Not much today other than that I am really achy after falling down yesterday. I did really good and relaxed and started my paratrooper roll and before I knew it I was flat on my back with my one good foot sticking straight up into the air. ROTF. Two guys at an OWL THEMED restaurant ran out and helped me in and sat me down. I found out that one of them I had met in August when he and a friend who was a flight leader at the Air National Guard Base Des Moines International Airport, bought me lunch! They were a great bunch of guys "Thanks again for the assist and Lunch" Ok back to Hooters, Liedra and I enjoyed the happy hour specials on wings and fries and when I was starting to feel a twinge in my back we were on the way home. BTW we were on the west side looking into shoes with more support in them because we noticed that when standing my ankles seemed to need more support, especially since I will be walking more on  my Leg Sim.

 My Physical The rapist gave me some compression hose to keep my leg from swelling up, at least until my leg can do that itself. I am making remarkable progress with the Leg Sim and I can get around much better, so that my new obstacle is my endurance and that is what we are working on now.

When I woke up this morning It was hard to move but I got up and drove to Wal Mart to pick my wife up, when we got back we laid down and went to (back to) sleep. Later when I awoke in earnest I could barely move my knee and my wrist, back and butt was aching so i took my pain meds and laid back down "No spoons for today" I even called and cancelled my PT appointment if I cant move you cant do PT. I'm still hurting as I write this but with my meds it is manageable.

My best friend Steve took me to the State department of vital Statistics to get my Birth certificate. This little adventure started back in August when I learned what paperwork I needed. On the next visit I learned that they don't take credit cards and, I needed my Social Security Card, California Driver's License, Birth Certificate, a pint of blood and a lucky rabbits foot. Our next stop was Polk County Vital Statistics, where they told me since I was adopted (by my Grandparents) to protect my Mother's Identity my birth certificate was at the State Office of Vital Records. We spent a day driving around Des Moines with my Dad George (Whose Identity was also protected by Polk County) looking for the Social Security Office. . . . . . It has moved. Step right up! step right up! Pick the cup that the Social Security office is under and win a prize!!!!!! Watch the cups as i move them on the table round and round they go where they stop nobody knows!!!!! AWWWWW TOO BAD KID BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME!! As soon as we had figured out what we had to do for the social security card, my lovely wife found my old one in the closet!!! So all I need is the Birth Certificate but on the next visit to the DOT I found that my Birth Certificate wasn't good enough!!!! WTH 

Yesterday afternoon I found myself at the Lucas State Office Building in Des Moines waiting in line at a vacant window behind 3 other people who were beating on the door and calling out HELLO?? HELLO?? ANYBODY HOME???? Surprisingly when someone came from behind to help at the window they were a tad grumpy! The first person in line kept yelling that she needed her Birth Certificate RIGHT NOW she had to go see a Lawyer in an Hour, Well window explained nicely the first time that there was a 24 hour turn around for all vital records searches, by the 4th and 5th time she wasn't as graceful. The other two were grumpy as well and received grumpy service. Well having been a State employee for 13 Years I figured that the person who was supposed to be at the window probably snuck out for a smoke or to flirt with the new typist on the 3rd floor, and the Lady helping us out at the window probably had to leave her desk and the work that she will have to explain to her boss why it is late because she was busy taking care of someone elses job. My turn at the window and she snaps at me have you filled out the paperwork? My reply was Yes ma'am just finishing, She snapped back to me "you know it takes 24 hours" I replied "no Problem" and her whole demeanor changed and she was smiling and laughing by the time I left.

I expected something different, better. Alas I was to be disappointed they took a really fancy piece of State embossed paper and Xeroxed the Micro Fiche of my Birth Certificate onto it?!?!?!?!?  OK I guess that's it and it's official! So tomorrow I will trot down to the DOT and finally get my Driver's License after only 4 months!!!!! 

I am feeling much better now after I have been spending time standing upright and using muscles that I haven't used lately, well in 8 years anyway. Besides the physical improvements, I have noticed that my attitude is much better now that I can stand up and look people in the eye. When you are in a wheelchair the scenery never changes it is always Butts and Elbows and I am sooooo tired of looking at Butts . . . . Even the nice ones!!!! LOL Some of my biggest gripes about piloting a wheelchair;

                        1. People talking over me to my wife, "How is he feeling"?
                        2. People grab my chair without asking, even when trying to help.
                        3. People sitting or leaning or placing things on my chair or its handles

Remember that mobility devices are like extensions of our bodies. Whenever you have a question ask the Disabled person. Most people that I know would rather answer your question than having you do or say something that is inappropriate.  

Well Time to spend some time with my Son!
Until Next Time
Happy Feet

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Baby Fall Down And Go Boom!!!!

Well I fell today, it is no small matter to an Amputee. Falling down reminds me that I am broken and can no longer do the things I used to. When you fall down as an amputee usually (here in the midwest anyway) people will run to help you and, even though they have the best intentions you usually feel embarrassed and like you are messing with their day. For me the actual ""ragdoll"" moment makes me flashback to the crash and the feeling of being completely out of control as you are thrown to the ground. I know that I will have nightmares about the crash tonight and seeing the ragged flesh and splintered bone that was what was left of my leg. Watching as my life's Blood drains away into the sandy soil. Going through these emotions the first time is rough enough, going through them time after time when something triggers my memory, like falling down or something as insignificant as someone drifting over the double yellow lines on a two lane highway. I was lucky I remembered to relax and roll with it, I ended up on my back with my good leg straight up in the air and my walker standing straight up. Two men appeared as if by magic and helped me to my feet and walked with me into the building.

Well I will update you all tomorrow about how GREAT I feel in the morning. LOL good thing my PT appointment is at 11am It will probably take me that long to get my sore butt moving.

Good night and stay upright and safe

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I was just leaving a comment on another blog and it brought back memories of my job in the early 90s as a Tour Guide / Bus Driver. I worked as a Tour Guide for 2 Companies In the Disneyland area and was the one usually assigned the "Special needs" runs Ironically because little did I know that I would one day be a special needs person. It all started during my orientation with Gray Line Anaheim when the Manager who was training me was required to stand in for a special needs run to Knotts Berry Farm about 20 minutes away and even though we were driving a 40 foot bus with 1 wheelchair and 4 family members Tommy the one in the wheel chair was in his early 20s and had numerous problems and a mental age of about 6 and we hit it off right away. He was afraid of the lift because he was not used to the height so i rode with him up the lift. and told him and his family about the history of Knotts while the manager Daniel drove the bus and BINGO he had a new Special Needs Qualified driver!! These were some of the most rewarding runs that I had as a Tour Guide and Bus Driver.
Happy Feet

Aftermath of PT today

The physical therapist really worked me over today! I've walked more today than I have since May 25 2003. I feel like Ive been dragged through a knot hole, but I feel better about it than my normal Pain Without a Purpose. Unfortunately Since my crash I have been in almost constant pain and have tried everything I and my Doctors could think of. I miss the days without pain when I could concentrate. I try not to get down but it happens. I keep myself limited to 15 minutes of feeling sorry for myself then I make myself get up and keep going. For insight into what it is like to be chronically sick or injured try reading "" The Spoon Theory"" at www.butyoudontlooksick.com She explains it so much better than I ever could.

Happy Feet

Starting Again

I'm starting this blog to share my experiences as I start my life over. I am a Left leg above the knee Amputee due to the choices of another. I started this odyssey May 25th 2003 at 4:30 am when I was hit by a drunk driver in Arizona. My left leg was amputated above the knee at the scene my Pelvis was cracked, my Ischium was ripped out the end of my leg, the radius and ulna of my left arm were cracked, and the 2nd and 3rd metacarpals in my left hand that have never healed right, and various internal injuries. I will get into the stages I went through in my recovery, but let it suffice for the present that since the Tuesday after Christmas I have been learning to walk again thanks to a wonderful invention by my friend Joe Schrader. www.legsim.net I have been learning to balance myself on the Leg Sim. Today I walked again with my Physical Therapist who I will call "J" at the VA Hospital in Des Moines Ia. While there we met the new Prosthetics director for the VA Hospital in Iowa City Ia. and we demonstrated the Leg Sim and even though I was already exhausted I impressed Her (well the Leg Sim did) So I hope that you will follow my progress or lack of, and maybe be entertained from time to time.
Happy Feet Everybody