Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fly Girl!

Fun video, huh?
Check out the cool post here, from Walkin' the Bark Rescue.  Here's a picture of CL's new wheelchair- the one that Judy describes in her post: 

Pretty. The pink rims sparkle in the sunlight.  The motorized chair will be used for distances, ramps, travel, and anything else that requires upper body strength.  The motorized chair has already improved our living environment by making things safer for all of us.  CL has fallen 11 times since she has been home from the hospital-- all because her legs or arms stopped working without warning, while she walked with the walker, pushed the old manual chair, or transferred to another spot (i.e., bed, shower bench).  There have been ZERO falls, once she has started to use the motorized chair.  One reason (besides the obvious stability factor) is that CL's pain level has been reduced by HALF since she stopped using the old manual wheelchair from the hospital.  Remember all of the upper arm, shoulder and back pain she was having, after surgery and during treatment?  And, how the doctor kept saying that she was "too sensitive" to pain, and the nurses mocked her need for pain medication?  Well,  CL no longer has pressure sores on her upper back, and her pain level has significantly dropped. It turns out that the old manual wheelchair was creating a lot of problems.  Now that she has stopped trying to propel herself forward with nerve-weakened limbs,  the rest of CL's body has had the opportunity to heal. (Go figure-- manually propelling a wheelchair over distances, ramps and hills are a problem for someone with permanent central cord syndrome, left undiagnosed for over 7 years-- something the folks in the Vallejo rehab center never thought about, I guess...)

 Oh, and in case you think CL's life is all about terrorizing walkies with a motorized vehicle, she has not given-up on using a manual chair.  CL's new manual chair arrives in 4 weeks, and it glows in the dark!  Totally awesome, right?  She is paying 100% out of pocket for the $3000 manual chair, but she wants to use it as back-up, in case there are problems with the motorized chair.  Plus, she gets to order a chair that will be less stressful on her body than the bizarro manual chair that was prescribed to her, when she left the hospital.   Her new manual chair will have long arms, to prevent unstable transfers;  a hard mesh back, to prevent the pressure sores she was getting from her old manual chair; and specialized "quad pegs," making it easier to push herself, since she has zero grip after 5 minutes.  CL plans to use this new chair for short, flat distances; and for traveling no more than 75 feet, which appears to be her limit before spasticity and pain sets in.  (Again, why did Vallejo Rehab not consider this an issue, before discharge?  Did they expect her to sit on her arse and not move, all day long?  Oy vey...)

Thank dawg Kaiser home health care, CL's new physical medicine doctor (he totally rocks!), and her wonderful PCP worked together and intervened to fix the safety and pain issues left unresolved during hospitalization.  Our life has settled into a routine, and CL is starting to explore the outside world.  She has arranged for art space at Creative Growth, and wheelchair Yoga at the Niroga Center for Healing.    She also returns to the rehab center for outpatient physical and occupational therapy.  She can not wait to use this really cool machine that will allow her to safely walk on a treadmill:

With this machine, she can test how long she can move, before one (or both) of her legs "disappear" from her body.  Finally, CL can safely experiment and try to build endurance, without the fear of falling or injury.   Woo hoo!  Next step?  Seizure control!

p.s. Why the colors and glow-in-the-dark?  Well, CL believes:  "You need to create 'pretty' wherever you can in this world-- especially shiny, sparkly, colorful pretty-- anything to lift your spirits and make your day a shiny, sparkly and colorful one!" 
(Tie Dye in the Wilderness by Lisa Sanditz)

Yeah...I have no idea how a hardcore horror author still maintains her psychedelic outlook on life...I keep thinking of the Creative Growth director's comment about CL, during the interview: 

"It's always the smiling, engaging and laughing artists who come-up with the darkest material..."


Khyra, Khousin Merdie, And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Thanks for the updates!

It so sucks you had to suffer so much due to idiots not caring enough to listen -

Let's hear it for those associated with the Kaiser system!

Pibble said...

"Too sensitive to pain."

Let me at him; let's see how sensitive to pain HE is. Idiot.

Glad to see you have the equipment you need to get rollin'!

Kari in WeHo said...