Sunday, July 31, 2005

Santa Cruz

Today we had a really great day. Kelly and I went to Santa Cruz to have sushi at Mobo's. We wanted to get up there early and enjoy as much of the day as we could before it got too warm, we got there at 11 a.m.. I forgot to check to see what time Mobo's opens, they don't start serving until 4 p.m. We decided to drive over to my aunt's house and see if anybody was around, my aunt was there and my cousin Richard was just leaving to go to the beach with his daughter. My uncle had taken a trip to the dumps. We visited with my aunt for a while and looked at a house that is for sale two houses down from them, I'm going to pursue it because I would love to live by them and I would love to end up in Santa Cruz. They're always doing something, having barbecues, going camping and I would love to be part of all that. Then we decided to walk downtown and look around at all the little shops. We stopped and had a bagel and cream cheese and a cup of coffee, it was really nice to sit outside in this beautiful garden area. Then we walked around and check out a bunch of the stores. We stopped at Jamba Juice and had a drink and then headed back to my aunt's house. My uncle and my cousin had returned so we visited with them for a while. Brodie got to meet Richard's dog Isabella and they got along really well and even played together. We went and had sushi and then went back to say goodbye and then we came back home, it was a wonderful day.

Friday, July 29, 2005

A Perfect Day

Today turned out to be pretty perfect, whether, traffic...

We got to the garlic festival around 10:30 a.m. We didn't hit any traffic at all and it was only about 74°. We got in and got check everything out before it started getting warm. We tried a little bit of everything, scampi, corn on the cob, calamari, poppers, garlic bread and even garlic ice cream, it was really good. I found a wrought-iron sculpture to go on my wall in the kitchen. It looks like an old-fashioned sign and it has ivy going around it. It has a place to hang three wine bottles and four wine glasses, I'm going to hang two wine glasses that I got this year and two that I got last year, I cannot wait to put it up and see what it looks like. I also got a wrought iron clove of garlic.

Tomorrow is going to be a resting and watching movies day and Sunday Kelly and I are going to Santa Cruz to have sushi at Mobo's. I have been telling her about it and I wanted to go before she left next week.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Gilroy Garlic Festival

On Wednesday I went to Stanford so they can check on my progress from the tendon transfer exercise study, they were very impressed and I was a lot stronger because of the exercises. I can raise my left arm way above my head, my right arm is stronger and I can't do it with one. I love visiting with them because they are such a fun group, they are always laughing and joking around and I get paid for it. They gave me some different exercises to do to make even more muscles work, they're doing it two muscles at a time.

Tomorrow is the Gilroy garlic Festival and I'm really excited about that, I love garlic. I want to get up there early and beat the heat but we will see how it goes. Kelly might go with me but if she cannot make it were going to try to go Saturday or Sunday.

A week from this Saturday David is going to come for a visit. He was to drive to Stockton with us so we can see how Aunt Marlene is doing.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Gramps returns

Gramps and Kelly got back last night and it was really great to see them. Kelly and I are going to take Brodie to the park and then  the movies this afternoon and then we're all going out to dinner later on.

Tomorrow dawn comes in the morning, she comes here every other Tuesday to do a manicure, pedicure, waxing and haircut if I need it. Than I have an abundant with Tony to get my SP tube changed. Wednesday I go to Stanford so they can test the strength in my arm since I have been doing the exercises. Friday I'm going to the Gilroy Garlic Festival, this time I'm going to go early and hopefully it won't be too hot.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Phantom pain study

Both my morning and evening attendant took today off so I'm just staying in bed and watching movies.

Dr. Miner e-mailed me and asked me to help one of her friends out who is doing a study on sensation and phantom pain below the level of injury, his name is Daren.

I know Daren's father, David. When I was first injured he and Dr. Miner are the ones that put my halo on. He also fitted me for a back brace and AFO's after I had my foot drop surgery, they are from Ireland and they're both very funny and have great stories.

I really learned a lot from Daren about feelings and sensations below my level of injury. He answered a lot of questions that I have had about my body since my injury.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Aunt Marlene

My cousin Terrie called me on Monday after I got back from seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to let me know that her mother was in the hospital. I talked to my brother and he said that he went to visit her and she sounded and looked really bad, they didn't expect her to go home from the hospital.

My cousin Kelly was going to visit her brother in San Diego and then go on to Arizona to help her mother pack because she was moving. She offered to stay here and drive me to visit my Aunt but my mom wanted to go also.

Terrie called a couple of old friends of mine from when I lived there. Sandy called me and asked me to let her know when I was leaving and she would meet me there. We visited with my aunt for a little while and we could tell that she was getting tired so we went to the cafeteria to get something to eat and to let her rest for a bit. While we were leaving the room Sandy and her mother showed up so we were going to meet them in the cafeteria. When I got to the elevator Terrie and her daughter Kelly were there when the door opened so we told them we would also meet them in the cafeteria. While we were all sitting down eating and chatting my friend Shawn showed up, Terrie had called him also. It was so great to see him and catch up on his life as I haven't seen him in about 10 years. We visited for a while and then went back up to see my aunt. Everybody was saying that she looked much better than she did the day before and they were sending her to a nursing home so she could be watched and better taking care of.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Cabin fever

I finally got my air conditioner fixed and what a relief. It broke yesterday afternoon so it was a miserable night.

I talked to an old friend of mine, Rick, and he said he's going to come out in November and take me to the Abilities Expo and help me pick out a new van. I know it's time to get a new one and I know I'm going to have to get a bigger one that I have no idea how to go about picking one out, it will be really great to see him again.

All of my sores have healed up really nicely, there is just one small one that's filling in which means I am out of here. I'm so tired of sticking around the house and staying in bed, and so is Brodie although Kelly has been taking her to the park. Tomorrow we're going to take her to the park at 11 a.m. and then I'd like to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I'm not sure what else but something to get outside and into this beautiful weather.

New shoes

I felt really bad for Brodie when we went to Santa Cruz. The ground was so hot she could not stand still for very long, I had to roll from tree to tree and anywhere I can find shade to keep her feet from burning. When I got home that evening out of curiosity I went online to see if I could find protective shoes for dogs... there they were so next time we will be prepared.

I got a new mattress to try for my bed. It's only the second night and I'm going to have to get used to it. It's a lot better for circulation so maybe after the week is over I will like it and want to get one for myself.

Of all days my air conditioner broke this morning. By the time my attendant got here at 3:30 PM I was ready to take a very cool bath and boy did it feel great. George made a phone call and the guy will be over here to fix it tomorrow before it gets too hot out.

By next week my sores will be healed up and I will be good to go. I'm going stir crazy having to stay in bed so much but I'm convinced that as soon as I get my exercise bicycle I won't have to worry about pressure sores anymore. A friend of mine sent me the link to a group on Yahoo that he belongs to and one of the discussions on the messageboard happens to be about this particular bicycle and nobody had anything bad to say about in fact they were really excited and that helped a lot in my decision.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Lulu has been sick for the last couple of days so I have been stuck in bed, luckily I have two of my cousins here to keep me company.

My ceiling lift broke on Saturday morning. I could still use it but it took two people to get me from the bedroom to the bathroom so I could get into the bathtub. Bill came out to fix it on Monday and while he was here we got to talking and he was telling me about a stationary bicycle that he had gotten for his son, his son Levi has a C-3 spinal cord injury but his injury is incomplete. His son Levi was really good friends with my cousin Patrick who passed away mysteriously in 1999. A stationary bicycle Is for Quadriplegics and Paraplegics to help improve their circulation and strengthen their muscles so they won't atrophy, it's also supposed to help eliminate pressure sores and help the bowel and bladder. I called Dr. Miner who has been my doctor since my spinal cord injury 10 years ago and she was as excited about me getting it as I was about getting it. I have been reading a lot about it and I can't wait to see how it improves my life.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Alameda County fair and Santa Cruz

The Alameda County fair was a lot of fun and perfect weather. They had some tents set up with a misting system to cool you down. Carrot Top was so funny , I laughed hysterically the whole time. We walked around for awhile before and after and of course ate whatever we could. I had my first Gyro and enjoyed it very much. I didn't get to have any funnel cake but we decided to go back on Saturday but when we got home there was a message from my sister-in-law saying that they were coming down on Saturday and we were all going to Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk. The fair will be here next month so I will be able to go to this one.


Stanley and his family came down on Friday and we had pizza, cheese bread and hot wings.  We had really good luck getting to and from Santa Cruz also. We made it up there and back with no traffic and the weather was really great. The kids had a great time and I really enjoyed watching them and hanging out with them and my brother and sister-in-law. Each of the boys brought a friend so there was two extra boys but they were so sweet and did whatever they could to help me, it made me feel really good. On Sunday all the kids came in my room because I was stuck in bed and we watched a couple of movies before they left.  It felt really cozy to look around and see all the kids in my room. One great thing about hanging out with them is they never make me feel like a burden or somebody they have to bring along.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Carrot top

It's been awhile since I have written anything in here but not much has been going on. I still spend a lot of days in bed trying to get rid of a pressures sore. Is looking a lot better and I'm not going to have to be down for much longer.

We had a nice quiet 4th of July.  I was invited to go to a neighbors for a barbecue but Lulu also was invited to a barbecue and had to leave early so I just stayed here. My Mom, Kelly and I got some barbecued ribs at Chili's and watched a movie.

Tomorrow I have an appointment at Valley Medical for pressure seating mapping so I can hopefully find out what kind of cushion will be best for me to have on my chair to prevent pressure sores. After that we are going to Pleasanton to the Alameda County fair to check it out and see Carrot Top.

I cannot believe at the end of this month it's time again for the Gilroy Garlic Festival. I went last year for the first time and it was great but really really hot, this time I'm going to go really early and try to beat the heat. I love garlic and I can't wait to try as much as I can.