Hi-liters and Western Dressing


Amazon is a godsend for disabled people! For under $10 a month, you get free shipping on Prime items and access to a ton of videos to stream. On Monday, I  ordered some hi-liters and fat free Western dressing.  They got here today, Wednesday. Total cost was $9.25 with free shipping. Yesterday I ordered a 2020 planner to help keep track of my diet. Again, free shipping and it showed up in a separate package today as well.


But the funny part was getting the package of dressing and hi-liters.  Luna, the boxer aide, brought it to me. She dropped it off and left and then I opened it. When she came back, she asked what was in it. When I told her “Hi-liters and Western dressing.”, she burst out laughing. “What a weird combination to get!” she exclaimed. At that, I had to laugh also. Sometimes it is the small things that are the best.


I also did transfer training with the PAL lift today. I believe they are going to sign off on my training today. That means that I will be able to transfer to my wheelchair with the aides doing it. That means that I will finally be able to go to the dining room at meal times. I’ll probably just start at having one meal a day for a while. Then when my body gets stronger, I’ll go to two meals and eventually all three meals. This is definitely a step in the right direction!


‘Tis enough for today! Peace out!

The Fruit Cup Debacle


So, after the dietician left yesterday, I decided to have a snack between lunch and supper. We had discussed this and we both agreed that healthy snacks were ok, just stay away from potato chips and the Goldfish Crackers.  So, I asked the aide to bring me a fruit cup. She said sure and left to get it. A couple minutes later, she came back and said that I was not allowed to have a fruit cup.


I was stunned at first. I asked her why and she said the nurse told her that it was in my chart to not allow me to have any snacks. I told her to get the nurse for me. While she was gone, I got angrier and angrier. I don’t get upset that easily, but this pushed a button!! The nurse came in and I tried to keep it in check. I told her to contact the dietician because this was not what I agreed to. She left and when she came back she said the dietician had already left for the day, but she brought me a fruit cup anyway.


Later that evening, the nurse came back in to check my vitals. I apologized to her for being short with her. She said that was fine, no problem. However, she did slip it in that I must have misunderstood the dietician. I didn’t take the bait and just let it drop. When supper came, I saved my diced peaches and two packs of crackers for a snack. I really didn’t want to push the issue.


This morning, I called the dietician and she had already heard of the incident. She apologized to me and said she would make it absolutely clear to the staff what was going on. It seems the nurse emailed her last night and she read the email just as she was getting ready for bed last night. She told me she gave a huge sigh and said to herself “not on his first day!” LOL


The dietician came to see me later in the morning to go over some menus. She told me that they actually cannot legally refuse to give me a snack. That is actually a patient right. They can ask me if I am sure that I want it, or remind me about my diet, but they can’t outright deny me. That was good to know.


No transfer practice today. I’m still a bit sore from yesterday.  However, I can tell that my body is getting a bit more used to it. I’ll count that as a win.


Until tomorrow, Peace out!

Monday musings and the Pal



Pictured above is my new friend, the e/z lift or “pal”. I have been learning how to use this to transfer from my bed to the wheelchair or recliner.  If you ever need to use one of these, it’s not as easy as it might seem.  Basically, you have two straps attaching you to the lift. One goes around your waist and attaches to the U shaped bar with the handles. The front of your lower leg butts up against the pads with a strap going behind your shins. Then the U bar goes up and you grab the handles to pull yourself as straight as you can. Once up, they can wheel you to where you need to go and lower you back down.


I both love and despise this contraption.  I cannot stand upright yet, even using this machine. But before this, I had to use the ceiling lift for transfers. At least this way, I am using my muscles to stand as best I can. Once therapy says that I have done enough training on it, I will be able to have the aides transfer me and I’ll be able to get out and around more.


I despise this machine because it is a reminder of my current physical condition. It sits in my bathroom when not in use. Four months ago, I was at least able to get around with my walker. Now, I can’t even stand under my own strength.  It’s frustrating to say the least.


I love this machine because it will allow me more flexibility in my daily routine. When they first tried using the pal with me in the hospital, it hurt my knees tremendously. But here, they adjusted the shin pad so it supports my knees. That made a world of difference! Now, my thighs and shoulders are getting the workout and hurting. When they let me down, my thighs scream in agony. If you want a taste, grab something solid in front of you and SLOWLY lower yourself into a chair. You will feel it in your thighs!


My shoulders are hurting because of me readjusting after I get lowered. Like when I get lowered into the wheelchair, I am not sitting all the way back in it. So, I adjust myself by pushing down on the armrests and pushing back with my legs to scoot back in the chair. The first time I did this, my left shoulder popped. That shoulder has been bothering me for the last few years and it actually felt better after that. I think something popped back into place. My right shoulder is sore just so my left one doesn’t feel lonely.  LOL.


I started on my diet today. It is basically calorie counting and protein rich. The dietician met with me today and we went through my meals for today and Tuesday. She will be back tomorrow and we will do Wednesday, Thursday and Friday meals. Then on Friday we will do the weekend and Monday. Her name is Cassandra. I usually have a hard time remembering names, so I tried to think of how to remember hers. It came to me rather quickly, Elvira! Elvira’s real name is Cassandra Peterson. Seeing as how I have a painting of Elvira (by Primo Cardinalli), it was an easy connection.




I wanted to write more, but this is enough for today.


Peace out!!

Superbowl Sunday!!!

20200201_201636Sundays are usually pretty boring around here. Nobody has therapy, meals usually run later than usual and half the time your meal order gets lost. Today started off no different. The breakfast orders were lost (which usually means that all the meal orders were lost) and we had to reorder at 9 am when breakfast is usually served about 8 to 8:30 am. But when the food came, it was hot and good. I had pancakes, sausages, coffee, apple juice and a slice of banana bread.


After breakfast, I had to use the bathroom. This may be t.m.i., but when you can’t walk on your own, you get acquainted with a bedpan and an urinal rather quickly. The worse part is the clean up. You have someone else wiping your butt and cleaning you up. Some people do a great job of getting you clean and others always seem to miss a little. Some people are gentler than others. But the real interesting part is always the conversation.  Some times you talk about the bm, sometimes you don’t.  Most of the time, you talk about the latest news or gossip, like the Superbowl. It’s interesting to be talking football while you lay on your side while someone is wiping your butt. People, these aides better be paid well for all that they do!


One of the groups I belong to on Facebook is doing their annual Superbowl giveaway.  The person who guesses the closest to the winner and final score wins a $250 gift certificate to a comic book online dealer.  I went with the Chiefs 42-31. There will be at least 100 guesses. You can only guess once. I’m actually surprised how many are picking the 49ers. I expected some, but it’s about a 50/50 split. I guess we will see.


The most exciting thing that happened yesterday was the snow came falling off the roof. I’m on the second floor and the roof is right above me. I’ve been watching icicles form for weeks. This last week, the snow started slowly sliding off the metal roof. The icicles actually curled around and were at a 90 degree bend when the snow finally gave way. There had to be hundreds of pounds of snow hitting the ground all at once. I could hear and feel it in my room. I actually watched it snap free. I’m sure the people on the first floor got quite the scare.



I may write more tonight, or maybe not. I just wanted to blog a little about the Superbowl and everyday events in rehab.


Peace out!!

The Great Banana Peel Experiment



The other day, I was talking to one of the certified nurse aides. Her name is Luna and she is probably the most positive and friendly cnas here. She is 33 and is a Golden Gloves boxer.  She is very fit and could probably knock out any person that I know! Anyway, I  had finished a banana and she was throwing away the peel for me. She made a comment about wondering if people really do slip on banana peels. We talked about it and she said she would find out.


Fast forward a couple days and it turns out she tested it. Luna has several kids that she is godmother to and some she watches. I’m not sure which category these two fall into, but she told me about two brothers. One brother is nice and kind, while the other is a brat (my word). Well, they were all at the gym and someone brought bananas for the snack. So, Luna placed a banana peel on the floor, just as the bratty kid was going by. BOOM! Down he went! He mostly bruised his ego, but several people got a laugh about it.


So, now we know that banana peels are slippery and you can fall down from stepping on them. Knowledge is power!

A new chapter has begun



I just want to share what has been going on my life lately.

On Monday, October 28th, 2019, I collapsed in my apartment. I had influenza and pneumonia which contributed to my oxygen level dropping to 72 which led to me blacking out. Thankfully, the community nurse and the ambulance team were there. I was actually on my way to the stretcher to go the clinic to be looked at. We didn’t know about the influenza and pneumonia at this point.

I was taken two hours away to the St. Cloud Hospital. At some point, I was intubated. They kept me unconscious until the next afternoon when I was able to breathe on my own.

Due to several circumstances, I was in the hospital until November 25th – four weeks – until I was transferred to a physical rehab facility which is actually part of a long term care facility (nursing home). I was actually at this facility two years before after a bad infection.

I am still in that facility. I will be here for the foreseeable future. I have not been able to stand or walk since I collapsed.

I have had to give notice to my apartment and my family members and friends will have to move all my belongings into storage some time in March. I hope there will be enough help to get all my things moved.

As for my future, I will probably have to have bariatric surgery to help with my weight issue. Hopefully, that will help me regain my strength and I’ll be able to walk with a walker again. But that will take months to do.

In the meantime, I have to be on MA and will be living in the care facility. The nurses and aides here are terrific!! The food could be better, but I’m going to be going on a diet soon and all my food will be prepared separately, so that may help. When the baked chicken breast has a yellow tint to it, it’s not exactly appetizing.

But I’m thinking it will help me to get all this out there and perhaps chronicle my stay for future reference. For those that don’t already know, I was disabled before this. I had a bad reaction to a drug that got injected in my knees on July 31st, 2009. I lost the ability to walk on my own and have had to use a walker ever since.

All in all, this has been a huge adjustment for me. I’m still not totally adjusted to it and probably won’t be for some time. But if you know me. you know I have gone through worse and came out the other side still in one piece. This is just another chapter in the book of my life.


Edit – After posting this on Facebook,  I was encouraged to start a blog of my journey.  I forgot that I had this account, so Iam repurposing my old blog. I actually had only one post saved anyway. LOL