Archive for September, 2010

UW Center For Pain Relief

Monday, September 20th, 2010

The University of Washington Center for Pain Relief didn’t do much for me on Friday, September 17th, when I had my appointment. The machine to freeze the nerves in my knees is still broken, and there is no estimated time of when it’ll be fixed. It must not be used very much because they are in no rush to get it fixed.

However, in my opinion their thinking is flawed, as if there is even ONE patient that need the procedure that is possible by this machine, it should be ready and usable. I had no idea that such a procedure was even possible until my doctor at the Pain Clinic brought it up at my appointment four months ago. Yep, that’s how long this ordeal has been going on.

As a matter of fact, today was the day I was supposed to get the nerves in my knees frozen, because Keith had specifically taken a week off to help me after the procedure, but with the machine broken, no procedure. I suggested that they get a replacement machine – and I was told it wasn’t possible.

Wasn’t possible? Any other place that has an expensive piece of equipment that they use for their business has a way to get a replacement if the piece breaks down. Not so, for the University of Washington Medical Center Pain Clinic. And this machine is shared with Harborview Medical Center. I just can’t see how an expensive piece of machinery can lie dormant for so long with no repair being done to it. I haven’t even heard why they haven’t sent it in to be repaired. That should have been the first thing they did.

So, I have no idea if/when I will get my knees frozen. And the really weird thing is, my doctor recommended this for my headaches too, even though the machine was being repaired and they have no idea WHEN it’ll be available. Frustrating as hell.

So I got a cordozone shot in the knee to hold me for two months. I’m still not happy about it, especially since I have to go up to the Center for Pain Relief for the shots, every two months, so I guess I’m in a holding pattern, until either a) the machine gets fixed, or b) they find a machine to handle the freezing process.

One good thing came out of my appointment. I’ve been having increased pain, so my morphine dose has been doubled to two morphine a day. So, I’m back at what I was before the pain clinic… at least this time, it’s a bit more controlled.

Service Dogs go everywhere with you!

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Or “Service Dogs and Family”

Just got a phone call from my Mother In Law (MIL), who is taking me to my appointment at the University of Washington Center for Pain Relief. She called to ask if Chewie was coming with us. Chewie being Chewbacca, my Bovier/GSD Service Dog. I told her yes, Chewie was coming with us.

I just have to shake my head when I think about this question coming from my MIL. I have been married for 19 years. I have been using service dogs for EIGHTEEN years. In all those years, the only time that my dog has never gone with me is if me is if my dog is ill, or if I’m going into a facility where it’s a bad idea to have a service dog (hospital (and Chewie has gone with me but gone home with Keith) (MRI (and again gone there with me, but not gone into the actual procedure room)) and I can’t think of any others off the top of my head. And if Chewie has been with me, but can’t be actually WITH me during the procedure, then Keith has been the one that has taken care of him, not my inlaws.

It’s not that my inlaws don’t understand the law, they DO, but they actually, have never seen Chewie do anything for me. He helps me get up off the floor and I tend to only fall at home, and he helps me transfer to/from my wheelchair to another chair and the bed, and transfer to the car. Since we pretty much use our lift-equipped van 99% of the time, and Chewie can’t help me get up into that, he isn’t used for that.

I guess today, when I get into my MIL’s car, I will make sure and ‘use’ Chewie to get into and out of her car.

There’s also the issue of no backpack on Chewie right now. I need to get one of the clips replaced. One of the clips that hooks on the belly straps is missing, and until it is replaced, I can’t use the backpack. Chewie carries things for me, but he can’t do that, unless he’s wearing a backpack. I will have to make sure and get his backpack fixed in the next few days, and get Chewie used to being ‘dressed’ again.

Being ‘undressed’ has also screwed up what Chewie perceives as work. He doesn’t behave as well for Keith as he does for me because Keith lets him get away with things and his behavior in public places has suffered.

September 11, 2001 (9 Years later)

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

The world changed on September 11th, 2001. The day hijackers decided to take over 3 airliners and 2 of them flew into the World Trade Center buildings and the 3rd ended up in the countryside of (I believe) Pennsylvania.

Never again would we be able to just walk onto an airplane and take our seats. Now, we’re subject to intense scrutiny by examiners, in what you carry, what you wear, and what you do. Many people find this unnerving when they travel. I do not. I find it comforting! I have flown several times since September 11th. For me, traveling, has additional hassles, because I am disabled, and use a wheelchair, and a service dog. I must be hand checked. So must my dog. It takes probably an extra hour to do the extra checks on me. Do I mind? No. I just make sure I’m at the airport extra early.

I have listened to some air travelers complain about the extra wait, but while I haven’t said anything at the time, now, I tell them… at least you’re HERE to have this wait. What about those that lost their lives on 9/11.

My mother works for American Airlines. She deals with these issues each day. Does she complain? No. So, those of you that think you’re inconvenienced when you travel – there are those that deal with this every single day. Get over it! And remember those that died on 9/11. Maybe you won’t complain so much, if you remember WHY we have these security measures.

Then there are those that complain about waiting when I am checked at the airport. I’ve heard it all. Why they can’t take me into a separate room, or to a separate line, or why do I have to fly at all. While I appear to ignore the comments, it hurts that people would say these things. I am a person and I have feelings. Do these people think I’m deaf to their comments? Or indifferent? Or doing this to upset them or piss them off?

I have asked if I could be taken into another room, or moved out of line at times, but was refused for whatever reason. Those are the times that I have all the time in the world. I don’t have to do that, but I do, to be nice. There are times when I don’t do this, and people make comments that just make my blood boil. Do these people think I am deaf? Obviously.

Anyway, this blog started out as a tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11th. The world changed that day. No longer could the United States just believe we were safe from the terrorists of the world, because they’d reached out and hurt us on our own turf. Men, Women, Children died that day. Firefighters, police, and volunteers of every description died helping to rescue those that were in the World Trade Center buildings that morning on September 11th, 2001.

Scary thing, that. To know that terrorists could just come and hurt you no matter where you were. This wasn’t supposed to be possible. Not here in the good old US of A. But it was. And now, nine years later, we’re older, wiser, but also, we haven’t lost our watchfulness either. We’re no longer naive.

We will not forget. We MUST not forget!

I know, I know

Friday, September 10th, 2010

It has been 9 days since I last wrote in my blog. I need to write more often. This is a weekly blog, but 9 days is no where weekly. I have no excuse other than I got busy and kept forgetting to post SOMETHING here. I know that even a small entry would work better than no entry at all. I WILL try to do better. I have it in my smartphone to alert me to write in my blog, and most days I ignore it. Well, no longer. Unless I’m away from home. Other than that, I’ll sit down here, and post whatever is on my mind.

Could be interesting. We’ll have to see what pops up here.