Saturday, December 22, 2012

Goal #25 - Check

While it wasn't before my birthday, I was able to still complete this goal. My parents went to Boise to drop off Christmas presents to my brother and his family and spend some time with them. This gave me the opportunity to figure things out for myself. My boys left Friday night to go with their Dad and that left me alone for almost exactly 24 hours. It was different being alone completely. My parents help me out so much, things I sometimes overlook. It went well though. There were a few small snafus, but nothing serious and it was a great feeling to have to totally be dependent on me. I had many great friends who checked up on me, which put me at ease knowing they were there If I needed anything. My sore arms and shoulders were a big reminder or how much more I worked being alone. Time to do more and build those muscles and stamina!

Goal #29 - Sort of Check

Having to use my arms to sit up after leaning forward creates some interesting situations. Like when I'm trying to help clean up toys and I need both hands to pick up a bigger toy, it's definitely quite a process to pick it up and sit back up. While I can't do it without any help from my arms, I am able to sit up using my arms, in my wheelchair, from almost any position. It's much better than I was. I remember when I would lean too far forward and I was done for. Someone else had come sit me back up. So while its not a complete check off, it's progress, and I'll always take progress!

Goal #30 - Check

The Elk's really jump started my independence by making me a set of leg straps.  They were fabric straps the had loops on them.  They had velcro and were placed around my thighs and ankles to help me move, lift, cross, and position my legs.  They really were vital to learning to transfer and helped in strengthening a lot.  As much as they helped I reached a point that I hated them sticking out and seeing them over my clothes. So I decided one day not to wear them. It took a lot of practice and troubleshoot but eventually I was able to get rid of all four of them! I am thankful for what they did for me, but now there is one less contraption I'm dependent on.

Goal #22 - Check

Before my van, getting in and out of a car was something I needed to learn. Using the hoyer lift to get in and out of my parents car was no easy task for anyone involved (especially for whoever had to take apart and load the hoyer lift). So Tami helped me learn. There was a little trial and error, but with the right equipment we got it done. It was a big help. It made getting to Dr appointments, shopping, and outings in general so much easier. It's definitely not something I can do independently but it can be done!

Goal #18 - Check

I'm very thankful I have learned to dress myself, however I'm pretty much limited to pajama type bottoms and t-shirts. It's fine for around the house, but I want to be able to wear a bigger variety of clothes (you know, before I get submitted by a lovely family member to "What Not To Wear"). It took lots of practice and some new contraptions but I have successfully learned to put in jeans! I love that I can do it myself and that they are an option for me. I still usually wear pajama type pants, but my closet is slowly filling up with other options.

Goal #15 - Sort of Check

I try to do as much as I can for myself and my family. I want to be able to do laundry. Well ... I sort of can. I can get clothes into the washer but not out. Just another appliance made for standing people. ;). So I've done what I can and that is folding clothes and putting them away. One day, when I have some money, I will buy a front loading washer and dryer which will make the whole process something I can do.

Goal #28 - Check (Only A Couple Times)

Being able to do a real depression lift would make my life sooooooo much easier. It would make transfers easier and more difficult transfers possible. However, thanks to my lovely right triceps, it has been a real struggle! However, while in therapy I did it there were a handful of depression lifts were my butt completely left the table. I'm sure we got more than a couple strange looks as we practiced. My therapist would hunch down in front of me and look between and underneath my legs to see if he saw daylight. Well, the light shown through a few times. I need to get practicing again!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Goal #14 - Check

My kiddos were having kind of a rough day. No reason in particular, just grumpy, sad, fighting, etc. So I decided to knock off two goals and hoping they would focus on someone other than themselves. I hoped it would change their mind set. I'm happy to say we had success. We made cookies to take to some friends. We took the easy route and we use pre-made cookie dough.  They were excited to bake them, help put them on the cookie sheet, and were excited again to take them to friends. It turned into a fun and memorable day.

Goal #10 - Sort of Check

I really wanted to be able to roll from lying flat on my back without any assistance or devices, but it just hasn't happened. However, I have learned to roll to one side with the assistance of a bed rail or a bed ladder. Although its not exactly what I wanted, being able to do this much helps me get that much closer to sleeping in a regular bed.  It's much better than no rolling at all!

Goal #6 - Check

While I did need help reaching a few things up on those big tall for people who stand shelves, I was able to do the cutting, peeling, stirring, and everything else to make a big crock pot of stew. I've also made chicken parmesean, tortellini soup, and grilled cheese. I know it's not much but all that preparation really takes it out of me. It was so nice though. I've developed a real love for cooking and it's probably one thing I miss the most. I felt proud and I was excited that my family could eat something I fixed. Hopefully there is only more to come!

Goal #17 - Check

Since almost three years ago (crazy right!?) I have been overwhelmed by people's love and kindness. We have had Christmas done for us in an overwhelming way, 12 days of Christmas, gifts for the boys, meals brought in abundance, help so my mom could continue to work, and really a never ending list of service. I've wanted to give back, but I wasn't sure how I could. Well it's nothing elaborate, but I've tried to help where I could. I've made a few meals for people, I've donated clothes, and I have tried to share what I had and wasn't using. While these are definitely nothing very grand or marvelous, they were big for me. I hope I can continue to look and find more opportunities to serve.  I think it's a great thing to teach my children.

Goal #11 - Check

Going away for a vacation was definitely something I think my whole family was nervous for. Going anywhere more than my house and my brothers house, which are adapted to what I need, was scary. We decided to go for it though. We ventured to California for Thanksgiving. It was a short trip but we were able to spend time with family and make a trip to Six Flags (which will always be known as Marine World to me) to see the animals. There definitely wasn't enough time to see everyone I wanted (Aunt Ressa and Jennifer) but now we know it can be done. I'm hoping next summer we can make the trip again with more time. I loved my California trips as a kid and I hope my kids can learn to look forward to them as well. I miss my California family.

Goal #13 - Check

It may seem like a silly goal, but it was something I hadn't been able to experience. The weekend after I got my van we went to McDonald's. Jack was so excited that we got to "go in and stay" and even more excited he got to play in the toy. It was nice to get away with the family, without all the hassle of two vehicles. It's nice that these outings are much easier and can be done without extra thought and planning.  It makes life more bearable to get out of the house more often.

Goal #9 - Check

While I do not have a regular bed in my room, I did spend a few nights in one while we were in California. It was definitely much harder than my hospital bed but it was nice to know it can be done. I hope that soon I will be able to get rid of my hospital bed and have a regular bed, big enough for me and those occasional middle of the night visitors.  I look forward to a more typical bedroom, minus medical equipment.

Goal #3 - Check

I'm driving. I'm pretty sure there's no need for you to be scared anymore. I've been practicing a lot and I even drove from Blackfoot to Boise. I'm not going to lie, I still get a little anxious in town with everyone cruising past me, but I'm getting better. I've even ventured out by myself to a Relief Society dinner. I really should drive more, but I'm getting better and I'm sure driving more will soon be happening and I will wish I could drive less. Yay!