Amazon Kindle 3 needs a new home!

June 27th, 2012

I recently purchased a Kindle Fire, so I find that my Amazon Kindle 3 needs a new home. If anyone reading this blog would like to give it a new home, please contact me at danawheels@gmail.com. It comes with a cover and I will throw in 2 of the charging/data cables. As for the USB to outlet attachment, that will be needed to be bought separately, as I don’t have one for the Kindle. They run $9.95 I think. You can still charge the Kindle via the USB port on your computer, however.

Lots of pain today…

June 27th, 2012

Mostly it’s lower back pain, but still, it’s tiring. And yes, I’ve been taking my meds faithfully. I think that my back just isn’t up to all the sitting I do. I’m in a wheelchair, and that’s all I do. It hurts less when I’m in my wheelchair, however, probably due to the hard back and specialized cushion on the seat. My wheelchair is customized for long sitting streatches as well as other things. It cost a pretty penny too. $23K or so I was told by the company where I bought it. The base chair is only $4K, but with all the modifications where the footrests raise and lower as well as the seat, that adds up, plus Durable Medical Equipment (DME) is notoriously expensive. But, I knew I was needing a new wheelchair, so I joined a high end insurance company and paid $350 a month, before I got the wheelchair and they paid 100% of it.

I will probably have to go back to a high end insurance company next year during open enrollment (I’m on straight Medicare right now), because I have some expenses when I get the intrathecal drug pump refilled that we’re having to pay out of pocket that are a little extreme. $300 or so… The refills cost about $8k each, and I have to pay 20%, so I’m having to be a bit more budget conscious since I wasn’t able to get in with a insurance company at the beginning of the year. The one that I chose, didn’t take my doctor, so I got dumped into regular Medicare. I’ll be switching on January 1st, that’s for sure. Hopefully, I’ll find one with minimal premiums, thanks to Obamacare.

Reading a nifty series

June 24th, 2012

i’m reading Double Share by Nathan Lowell, part of the Space Traders series. It’s the newest book, and while all in the series are out as podcasts, the books are just being released in Kindle format. It’s a good book, and Ishmael Wang, the main character, newly graduated out of the Academy (the first book deals with him losing his mother and his serving on a ship to get off the world he lives on), and then the next several books show his service on his ship, the Lois McKendrick and then his being accepting into the Academy.

In Double Share, Ish is on a new ship, and in WAY over his head. Take a look at the books, and have a good read. The links are for the first the paperback, then Kindle editions of the books.

Quarter Share
Paperback

Quarter Share (Solar Clipper Trader Tales)

Kindle Edition

Half Share
Paperback

Half Share (Solar Clipper Trader Tales)
Kindle Edition

Full Share: Solar Clipper Trader Tales
Paperback

Full Share (Solar Clipper Trader Tales)
Kindle Edition

Double Share: Solar Clipper Trader Tales (Volume 4)
Paperback

Double Share (Solar Clipper Trader Tales)
Kindle Edition

Washington State’s new Pain Medication Law

June 23rd, 2012

Washington State passed a law to curtail the rampant overuse of opioid drugs to control chronic pain. Good in theory, not so good in execution. The theory, was to control the doctors that are overprescribing such drugs as Morphine and OxyContin. Doctors were writing prescriptions left and right for these drugs to people that were on workers compensation for injuries. And this is the right thing to do…. but then there are the people that have a disability that causes pain, chronic pain. And to function, they need something to allieveate that pain. Me, I would rather take the minimum amount of pain medication that I can, and still remain functional. I do take a bit more than the minimum… I do not over-medicate, but I also don’t ‘grin and bear it’. I medicate so that I my pain is managed to a great extent. Say 80-95% of it… If I don’t do anything unusual, I can function very well, and do not feel any pain at all, as long as I take pain medication on a schedule of every 12 hours.

However, my doctor has thrown me a curve ball, he wants me to start walking. I STOPPED walking because of two specific things. It hurt, and it cost me a lot of energy. Imagine yourself (if you’re a non-PWD), walking on a tightrope stretched between two buildings. I use up THAT much energy when I walk the same distance. So if I were to talk a block, it would be like someone not disabled walking a block on a tightrope stretched between two buildings. Once I use that analogy, most people look at me and say that they totally understand why I use a wheelchair. I’d be in bed all the time otherwise, and exhausted. I wanted a life, so I stopped walking 27 years ago, except for my wedding, 20 years ago.

It’s been 21 years…

June 23rd, 2012

since I got married. Our wedding anniversary was yesterday. Time flies when you’re having fun. Keith and I don’t have any children, but it isn’t for lack of trying. I lost my left ovary and 2/3s of my right ovary due to ovarian cysts. I never really considered adoption because of my disability, I figured I’d be disqualified right off. Yeah, they aren’t supposed to discriminate, but that’s what it says on paper. In real life, discrimination happens quite often.

Keith and I went out to dinner, at the local Chinese Restaurant. Been awhile since we’ve been there, and I love their food, it’s just a bit expensive ($50 a visit), but tons of food. I was eating Chicken Chow Mein today because of leftovers.

I love Keith as much now as I did when we married. I was thinking of our wedding, and how Mom had a sour look on her face in some of the wedding pics. You’d think she’d swallowed a lemon! I really need to post those to Facebook. They are so well-done and I look a bit different. I’ve got grey hair now, (and I’m only 47), compared to my jet black hair I had when I was married.

Mom and Dad went all out for our wedding. I had a handmade dress, with little seed pearls on it. it was done because of the way I stood. One hip higher than the other, so custom made was the way to go, so I wouldn’t trip over it.

Yes, I walked down the aisle. I had been using a manual wheelchair since I was 21, but I was determined to walk down the aisle, and I did, with Dad on one side, and a crutch on the other. And Keith and I danced at our reception too.

Things have certainly changed, because our best man, is now a woman! And she’s a far more beautiful woman than I will ever be. *sigh*

I also don’t walk anymore, and haven’t for quite some time. I did walk at our wedding, I was determined NOT to roll down the aisle, and Mom and Dad were really supportive of me. They thought I’d given up when I started using a wheelchair, but nope, nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s just that the pain and the energy expenditure was getting to me. When I walk, it’s like a ‘normal’ person walking on a tightrope stretched between two buildings. That much energy, that much concentration. Would tire a non-disabled person out pretty quickly.

Keith is a great guy… I love him dearly, and he’s adapted to my ‘unique’ way of doing things. And he’s been more than patient with the fact that I use a service dog, and he’s allergic to dogs. He’s taken allergy shots for 21 years to deal with the dog, and he doesn’t avoid interacting with my dog, either… I think my dogs all thought Keith was their best friend, because he doesn’t make them work, and he slips them goodies at times. He even allowed Gillis up on the bed, but then again, Gillis was a Doberman, with SHORT hair, and didn’t bother him all that much. My next dog will also be a Doberman, but I’ll still have Chewie for a few more years, I’m sure, because he didn’t take well to being retired. He freaked out. Has a lot to do with his childhood and how I train. Bonded tightly. *sigh*

I’ll see about posting photos of my wedding to Facebook. I haven’t looked at them in awhile, and yeah, I want them up there on the web for people to see.

Been Kinda busy…

June 14th, 2012

I’ve been kind of busy these last few weeks. I had to replace my Kindle fire due to a faulty USB port… what a major PITA. I’ve also been getting ready to clean my house. It’s a major mess and Keith (the husband) has next week off because of our anniversary and I want to do a major dent in cleaning the house before guests arrive in September.

I also need to find my smartphone. It disappeared and I don’t know where it is. I had thought I’d dropped it right here at my computer, but it wasn’t under the desk, or around the computer, so the next place to look is under the headboard and bed. The replacement phone I’m using is running Android 1.5 and I really really want my Motorola Droid that can run all the most current stuff. I have programs that I own, that I can’t use right now. And I only have one battery for this older smartphone… I have three for my Droid. The phone is dead right now, so calling it to find it isn’t an option, but I know it’s in the house, SOMEWHERE. We’ll find it next week. That will be so nice, to have a CURRENT smartphone, instead of one that was out of date almost efore I bought it 2 or 3 years ago. I’ve been with Verizon forever, and upgraded from a regular phone to a smartphone (with a contract), and our contract at the end of June. Don’t know what we’re going to do then, but I hope we stay with Verizon… if not, I’ll have to haunt Ebay for a new phone as we find a new cell carrier.

A dancer, even in a wheelchair…

June 4th, 2012

Rachel Glander was a book worm, studying hard in high school until her mother told her she couldn’t just do that… so she decided to ask to join the dance team as the manager, because she was born with Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair. The coach of the dance team, Stacey Ross, is a special education teacher, and tells Rachel to try out. She does, and makes the team. Rachel uses her arms to perform the moves her legs can not do. Her teammates help, by wheeling her out onto the basketball court, by carrying things for her, by being her friend. And pretty much, by ignoring the fact that she’s in a wheelchair, except when she needs help.

I had that in high school. I was the manager of my basketball team. A lot can change in 30 years though, and I applaud Plymouth High School for giving Rachel the chance to do more – to be more. She will carry these memories forever, and the experiences will help her throughout her entire life.

This won’t just help Rachel either. This will help the non-disabled kids on her squad seeing a disabled person work to do something they want to do. Show that a disabled person can do something that is ‘normal’ and enjoy doing it.

Rachel touched many a life the first time she rolled out onto the basketball court. Many of the parents out there were in tears seeing her performing. it shouldn’t be so… Twenty years after the ADA, we should be seeing more than just one person able to dance from a wheelchair and it should be something we notice and think “That’s nice”, and it should feel no different than seeing an person of a different race doing something. But, that time will come. I just hope I”m alive to see it.

Disabled Senior with CP A Dancer

Paralyzed woman serves herself coffee for the 1st time in 15 years!

May 18th, 2012

A woman paralyzed 15 years ago, served herself coffee via a thermos and a straw. What’s so news worthy about that? Well, she’s a quadriplegic and she used a robotic arm that picked up the thermos and moved the arm by thought, via the “Braingate” interface designed by John Donoghue, a neuroscientist who pioneered the Braingate interface a decade ago.

It has gone from a quadriplegic being able to move a cursor on a computer screen to operating a robotic arm to serve coffee out of a thermos. This technology is amazing.

The woman also communicates via the interface by looking at a computer screen and highlighting each letter. The technology is still a long way from general use, but it is doing very well for trials in helping understand that the brain is still functional years after a brainstem injury.

Check out the article below and please watch the video:

Paralyzed woman moves Robotic Arm via Thought

Another company is using a robot to help the disabled… a man was able to give himself a shave with the use of a robot.

Robot helps quad shave himself

There are times…

May 17th, 2012

That I really hate being disabled. And those times usually happen when something impeds my ability to get around. Right now, my motorized wheelchair, which I’ve had for a bit over a year, is throwing out error codes and when it does that, it beeps, and doesn’t go anywhere. *sigh* This started happening SATURDAY. I called the place where I bought the wheelchair, and they aren’t open on the weekends, unless it’s an emergency, and since Keith (my significant other) was here, they didn’t consider it to be an emergency, the repair guy couldn’t get to me until yesterday. Oh, really. And then, yesterday, my cellphone wasn’t working correctly, because the repair guy said he kept calling and leaving voice mails and I don’t have any record of that. So now, he’s coming tomorrow. We’ll see. I’m just basically stranded. The wheelchair is SORTA working. I can’t depend that it won’t start throwing out error codes again and just stop in the middle of whatever (the error codes basically state the joystick is out of center), and it caused me to have to use the wheelchair with the attendant joystick… which is a major PITA, because it requires BOTH hands, and doesn’t allow me to carry anything.

I was teasing Keith about his driving skills in regards to my wheelchair (using the attendant control), and I pretty much suck at it… *sigh* It’s harder than it looks. And I’ve been using a motorized wheelchair for nearly 10 years. One control change and I’m in trouble.

TSA needs to modify their policies for the disabled!

April 28th, 2012

A friend sent me a link to a newspaper article http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/04/25/family-misses-flight-after-tsa-gives-pat-down-to-girl-with-cerebral-palsy/

because he knew I’d get upset… he had no idea.

The article states that a family, which included a young child with Cerebral Palsy, and is developmentally delayed, was flying to Disney World from Washington DC. The child, because she wears bilateral AFOs and uses forearm crutches, has to be go through a modified pat-down, and can’t go through the scanners. She is frightened by this, and the mother explained this to TSA and asked them to introduce themselves to the child. They didn’t do this, they just treating her aggressively. She became frightened. The agents started yelling at the girl and demanding that she be patted down and it frightened her even more.

A supervisor finally inspected her crutches and passed her through, but other agents followed the family and demanded that she go through a full inspection, and the family ultimately missed their flight.

The TSA reviewed the complaints after the incident and found that the agents behaved appropriately, in doing a modified pat-down on the child.

HUH? A supervisor clears her, and other agents chase down the family and frighten a disabled child, and it’s OKAY? Something isn’t right when one hand isn’t talking to the other hand.

I don’t fault TSA in doing security checks on everyone that gets on an airplane, I do not believe in the philosophy that just because you are disabled you should get a ‘free pass’, to the inspections, but the way the agents handled this could have been done in a much better manner. Sure, they had to do a pat-down on the girl, but they could have introduced themselves and explained what they were doing, instead of acting all aggressive and like thugs.

I would be seriously upset if I were just waved through security at the airport. ANYONE can be used to carry a bomb or gun or whatever through Security, but children can be handled in ways that make it so they aren’t frightened by the procedures. TSA needs new training and policies for children and especially disabled children.