Thursday, March 27, 2008

Up and down the skin color chart; snow and new beginnings

I spent the whole day with appointments I had forgotten I booked, including returning from one to get a phone call two minutes later from two Ergonomic Occupational Therapists (Whatever they are). They were coming over, and stayed until 5:20 when I went to sleep and was woken by Linda to go up to Boxing, so I could sweat and get the circulatory system going before Japan. She actually said: “You need to get up to go boxing, I know how much you WANT to go.”

I can tell you, going from a dead sleep to going up and hitting a heavy bag and then not sleeping tonight because I will be in pain is not my description of I “want to go.” But more like “NEED to go.”

The bad news was that with the previous week getting my finger jammed I didn’t sweat so it was REALLY hard to convince my body I was serious. Translate that: I boxed until my eyes rolled back and I fell over and they rolled me outside on oxygen. I kept trying to go back inside and my volunteer would say, “You’re not going inside until I can understand what you are saying.” And I would raise my arms and go, “Fuuuuhrhr” Which was as close as I could get to “Fight! Let’s go fight!” And she would say, “Yeah, not getting that.”

It snowed today. I just wanted to throw that non-sequitur in for Neil and all those still snow bound (Lene). Anyway, I finally got back in the gym and got to punch and punch; and the sweat came! Woo Hoo! Anyway, by the time I got home, I was SO high on endorphins that I talked non stop, but so fast that I was a bit daffy duck. I heard Linda telling the night care worker to watch out for when I “crash.” Me? Crash! Never, I am SO looking forward to Japan, because I HAVE my wheelchair, though it has a different balance so I keep not flipping up correctly. And if I feel like this over there I could wheel forever! I am guessing my endorphins might be a bit of a cruel mistress and leave me twitching and groaning later tonight. But no reason not to enjoy the ride for now, right?

We scotch-guarded our raincoats again, which got us high (like I needed that!). The ergonomic OT’s say they can work with me to get ahead of the curve of my degeneration. And I can get a computer mouse that is clipped to my workstation and I use my forearm to move it around (because I have better gross control than micro). They also said they can do something or adapt my motorized wheelchair so it uses gross and not micro motion so I am not so scared of it (and so our doors are not QUITE so battered by it).

The other good news is that I have gone back UP the ladder of Reynaud’s, as for a few days my “Red arm/side” and “Yellow arm/side” had gone down the ladder to the Yellow arm and the purple arm. Well, that isn’t good because the next color is Purple arm and blue arm, then blue arm and black arm, then no arm. So, while yellow shows that the right side isn’t circulating as good as the left, yellow is still much better than purple. And we don’t want to go down that chain, at least not for now. I am a little concerned as I lose strength if I ever get bed bound for a while and can’t exercise to sweating level (which badminton doesn’t), how long will it take to go down. It seems about 14-16 days right now to go to the next level. Probably very boring reading for you but actually WATCHING your OWN limb lose circulation as it heads toward gangrene and amputation can be rather riveting.

I have done nothing fun for days and am getting the “itches”, I want to DO something! I want to have some me time, put up a blanket and make a tent and have a tea party with my plushies – either that or pull up my top and flash my titties while rolling downhill. Sort of tie on which to do (I know which Linda might prefer). So might need to include some me time, which I am NOT going to get tonight nor tomorrow as I have the interview and the photographer coming.

The odd good news for today is that checks are coming in: Blue Cross payments finally arriving, refunds for things we had forgotten about. Good since the dollar is dropping like a stone against the Yen. The best news is that Linda stood firm at year end review about asking for TRANSPARANCY in regards to her Management job and development. She was stuck between me going, “You call me once you send that email?” and the fear of her boss…but she sent the email. Today her boss walked up and handed her an envelope with three lines saying that due to her assumption of new duties, congratulations and her new pay (we would say a raise except it what should have been paid a year ago). So, at last, finally, after a year of turmoil and feeling exploited Linda is relieved. Which means I am relieved (because people using my partner and treating them badly makes me a wee bit irascible). So, hooray for Linda, she made meetings with the boss of bosses and asked for explanations and while none have yet been given, the mystery envelope arrived.

So, we are feeling sort of in the midst of a calm, snow and all. Preparing for a new adventure, and maybe some sort of better, and a little less stress in the life afterward. We did the postcard addresses today and I am really looking forward to sending them out to everyone. Because I really do feel that without the support, encouragement, gifts of cheerwine, buttons, letters, and other gifts given as well as the comments, emails and calls that I would not be as sane or ready to face this big unknown: Elizabeth’s big international expedition!


cheryl g said...

Yes! I am so psyched to hear the color change has gone back to red and yellow. How did jammed finger hand do?

One day they'll pay Linda what she's truly worth and then the provincial government will be completely broke. Good that she is getting more money now.

Raccoon said...

I'm finally getting through!

Sorry, I've had Internet troubles all night. Which really sucks.

I like the butterfly wings -- are you going to try those on your wheelchair next? Way cute.

And you leave for the airport hotel tomorrow? Yay Japan!

Wheelchair movies. There is a thread on the SCI forums on just that topic.


Glad there's no more blue fingers.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Cheryl: Jammed finger is still purple in the middle and was white when the others turned red but the nail wasn't blue/purple so the circulation seems to improve daily.

Well, with a development plan and her salary we can catch up from this years medical costs and then start, like planning a future (maybe a little condo?). I still have to get MY job though.

Raccoon: Sorry to hear you had internet connection problems - I have a feeling that is all in front of me. I like the butterfly wings too - I have to try them out, and then see, when I show pics to my caregivers if like the one who asked about my angel wings in the picture ("Are those real?" - me staring at her unsure what to say, um...yes, they are, I have wings!).

Leave for airport Hotel Sunday morn - so still like 36 hours of frantic things we NEED to do, or should do or something like that.

I went to the SCI forums and was REALLY HAPPY to see that they have a section for non-traumatic SCI people, neuro degerative and other spinal injuries.

Yeah, blue fingers bad, particularly when the ones around them are RED (little problem with the jammed finger and the one next to it for a day or two)

Defying gravity said...

Hey, you don't know me (I don't think!!?) but I read your blog sometimes and I thought I'd just say hi and have a great time in Japan. I'm going for my own big adventure in Ecuador in a few weeks, so I have the really frantic packing just ahead of me.

Lene Andersen said...

So glad that one of your appointments was actually helpful - OTs are great. Well, most OTs.

I feel a little like you do, I think - having followed the talk and plans of Japan for several months, I can't quite believe it's here and real. I'm so excited for you both.

shiva said...

Hey, sorry for this being totally unrelated to your post, but i thought you might be interested in this:

Really hoping Japan is awesome for you. How soon are you going now?

saraarts said...

Yay for positive color changes and eventual raises!

And honestly, I can't wait to read about the big international adventure! Will one of you have a laptop and be blogging as you go? I hope so.

I also hope you find a way to sweat in Japan. :)

In case I don't get the chance to say so closer to your departure, bon voyage, cherie.

yanub said...

Plushy tea party! You must so take pictures and let me see them! Oh, maybe there will be a dispute over the cookies. Harsh words will be spoken, plates will be broken. Bears will turn against bears and flopsy bunnies will weep bitter tears. Mwahahahaha!

em said...

I'm glad about the positive color changes, and I'm Totally Thrilled that you two are on the road tomorrow. Have a great trip!

yanub said...

Oh, and I forgot to say, Congrats to Linda!

donimo said...

I'm so glad to hear that an appointment went well and the OT was actually helpful. And good timing with Linda's raise and a few refund cheques coming in. Maybe the stress dial has been turned down just a little bit? Hope so!

Snow and cherry blossoms - are you writing haiku in prep for your trip?

Dawn Allenbach said...

HOORAY all around!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Defying Gravity: Hey, thanks for reading my blog and even better, for writing a comment. I hope your trip to Ecuador was easier to plan than ours was. Have a great time!

Lene: We've spent so much time planning that know that the time has come, it's hard to believe.

Yeah, it's not often when an appointment is fun!

Shiva: Now there's an interesting theme for an academic conference - monsters. Did I ever tell you about an academic colleague of mine who was studying freaks for his PhD?

Saraarts: Linda says she feels like a weight is off her shoulders - or at least that it's more managable.

We're bringing our laptop we bought in the January sales. Hope to do some blogging while we're there. Most of the places we're staying in either have wireless in the room or have internet connections in the lobby. Stay tuned!

Yanub: Mwahahahaha! I didn't have the tea party in the end - no space in our messy apartment. I'm sure Linda will take pics if the occasion ever arises when plushies take up arms and fight.

Em: Thanks. We're hoping for a great trip - with few difficulties.

Donimo: Yeah cherry blossoms, snowflakes and haiku kinda go together don't they? But with the endless number of things to do before we go I don't see any haiku happening in the near future.

Dawn, Saraarts and Yanub: I've passed the congrats on to Linda. Thanks.

yanub said...

I have high hopes of there being a tea party battle of the plushies, now.

Are you going to buy a special new Japanese plushie to join the others?

cheryl g said...

Here's the perfect Japanese plushie for the lesbian tourist...

Neil said...

It snowed here today too, but today for me is so late on Friday it's already Saturday.

Have a good trip dear Beth, and don't post this if it's too much hassle to do so.

I hope your rest time happens before Japan, and that you and Linda have a fabulous time.

Love, hugs ,and bon voyage kisses for both.

rachelcreative said...

Nasty tinternet ated my comment :(

It went something like ...

I'm so pleased you got your chair sorted ready for Japan. It must be a huge relief.

There's lots of good news in here (obviously aside from limbs trying to leave and stuff).

The ergonomic folks sound promising. Can one dare to hope that there are health professionals who are able and capable and resourced to do their jobs well ... ? Wait and see me thinks.