Saturday, August 25, 2007
Around 11:00pm we got to my friend Rob's house in New Carlisle Indiana where we slept for a few hours and then got up around 4:00am to head to Milwaukee. Our friend Cliff (my old roommate) was in the final round for the Milwaukee Battle of the Chef's competition. Rob, his wife Danita, their baby boy Liam, and I got into our respective vehicle's around 4:30am on Saturday morning and headed north. The morning drive through Chicago rewarded us with a beautiful view of the sun rising over Lake Michigan as we chose to take Lake Shore Drive as opposed to the Dan Ryan expressway. (I'm told the Dan Ryan is actually an expressway to slow moving traffic and adds a couple of hours to the drive.)
We got to Milwaukee around 8:00am and spent a couple of hours hanging out in the Park where the competition was to be held. They have a fresh market in the Park so we were able to find breakfast and spend sometime looking at various arts and crafts. Cliff was pretty busy preparing for the competition so we hung out with his wife Kellie and their daughter Anna. The highlight of the day was seeing Cliff win the competition!
We spent the rest of the afternoon, evening, and the morning of the next day with the Hull family (Cliff, Kellie, and Anna) and then said our goodbye's. Rob, Danita, and Liam headed back to New Carlisle, and Jamie and I began the long drive back to Indy. The drive was uneventful and we got back to Indy around 6:15pm on Sunday.
I should mention that Cliff was extremely worried about my ability to get around at his house because it is by no means accessible. With the aid of the legs this didn't worry me, however, while going up his stairs I pulled the railing off the wall which then added a new obstacle to the weekend. From that point on Cliff and Jamie had to maneuver me (in the wheelchair) down a narrow stairway. Needless to say, we limited the amount of times I had to go up or down the stairs from that point on!
That Monday I returned to work like normal and worked a pretty full week. The students are coming back and things are starting to get pretty busy. I'm still in the wheelchair a lot of the time at work but I'm starting to leave it in the office more often, due to the added stability and mobility that the C-legs offer. I've even gotten back into inspecting rooms and spending some time in the restaurant to observe the operation.
At the end of the week I took Friday off and flew to St. Louis to spend some time with my friend Jim Goodman and his wife Jennie. Jim took me to his country club for lunch and a tour in a golf cart. I'm pleased to report that I was able to get in and out of the golf cart with no issues! (Jim drove) After lunch we stopped by his office where I met some of the people he works with. (Many of them are frequent readers of the blog. Perhaps now that they've met me they might actually make comments!) The steps going into Jim's office building were fairly wide and I decided to try something new. I discovered that, in the right conditions, I could actually go up the steps facing forward instead of sideways! As Jim introduced me to people he kept bragging about how I had walked up the steps, and pointing out the new legs. (this kind of made me chuckle)
After his office we headed out to his house. As with Cliff, Jim was very concerned about how I would get around his house. There were a few obstacles to think through, for instance, getting up the stairs, getting in the bathroom (tight squeeze for the wheelchair), and the shower. All of which we were able to work out. We had a great dinner at Morton's Friday night and then hung out with some of their friends later in the evening.
The plan for the next day was to go downtown and see some of the sights. First Jim had to make some lasagna. While he was cooking I was relaxing in the living room and Jennie was at a baby shower. When Jim was done with the lasagna he was out of energy (apparently making lasagna can be exhausting) and I explained to him that I was there to spend time with him, not to see St. Louis. I also pointed out that I hadn't had many opportunities to relax lately either and so, when Jennie got back from her baby shower she found Jim on the couch and me in a big soft chair, which was exactly where she had left us that morning!
That night their friend Rebecca came over and we enjoyed Jim's lasagna, a bottle of Chianti they had brought back from their recent trip to Italy, a game of euchre, and some great scotch after dinner. (a great way to spend a Saturday night!) Jennie had put some Italian music on and, while we were playing our card game, Jennie pointed out that her grandparents (when they were young) used to sit around the same table playing cards, drinking, and listening to a similar style of music. It was kind of a neat feeling to imagine an earlier generation similar to us doing the exact same thing.
Sunday morning we had breakfast with Jim's Mom and then I flew back to Indy. Mom and Dad met me at the airport to help with my luggage and bring me my car. Then I headed out to Greencastle for an employee party. I finally got home around 7:30pm. Monday morning it was off to work again!
This week ended with a therapy session at Wishard. Renee was thrilled to hear about my experience walking up the stairs. I also surprised her with a new trick, I have discovered a way to stand up from the wheelchair without needing someone else to hold my crutches! I've also discovered that I have the balance to button, zip, and buckle without having to hold on to anything (this process is SO MUCH EASIER with two hands!). Renee was pretty pleased with all of these advancements.
We made another attempt at walking with one crutch. This was even less successful than the attempt two weeks ago. Since getting the C-legs a month ago I have only fallen once. That one time was yesterday while making the attempt. It was more of a slow kneel than a fall and Renee was protecting me the whole time. After getting me back up, which took some assistance, I tried again and didn't fall, but the sockets pinched my skin hard enough to give me a blood blister. Renee keeps pointing out that I used to think there was no way that I could walk the way I do now. I'm going to continue to work towards it but I am a bit discouraged at the moment.
Sorry for putting this weeks update off for so many days. I worked the evening shift on Wednesday and didn't get home until 11:00pm. I had Pilate's on Thursday night and was just too tired after the workout. I was going to get to it last night but my neighbor came over and we stayed up late teaching her how to play Cribbage. Now, as I've been typing this I've been sitting at my desk at work. It's almost 5:30pm and I need to get going. Today is Mom's birthday and I have to be at their house by 6:30pm. I think, after today, it's time for some "me time"!
I'm exhausted and all I had to do was read the Blog not live it....I'm glad you are living such a "full life" with so many interesting people to spend it with. What Fun!!
P.S. You have shamed me into an exercise program - I guess and can't use "I'm tired" as an excuse anymore when all I have to do is shuffle a few kids around. Off to Curves hoping to lose some of mine!
I thought my schedule this past 2 weeks was hectic but I think you may have me beat...at least in mileage.
Glad you got to bless so many people with your presence :)
You've raised the bar now. Haha.
I'm over in Indy in October, hopefully you will be able to squeeze me into your busy schedule :)
Love Annie xx
P.S. Congrats to CLiff!