Thursday, December 27, 2007

Amazing progress...

Today was a very cool day.  I finally made it over to Santa Cruz to check out the progress on my new house and it was so exciting.  The doors and windows are in and as soon as they get the sprinklers in they are going to start sheet rocking, probably tomorrow.  I'm going back on the 5th of January to pick out the exact color for the cabinets, I cannot believe how fast it is moving along.

After we left the new house we went to have lunch on the wharf at Gilda's.  It seems like the place we always end up when we go to Santa Cruz.  My grandpa went there every chance that he got and was friends with the owner who was really sad when we told her that my grandpa had passed away.  One of the waitresses there always told my grandpa that she would give him a lap dance on his 90th birthday if he got a note from his doctor saying that it would be okay.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007

Christmas was wonderful, I just love it whenever family gets together.  We played cribbage before and after dinner, I didn't win anything but I have a lot of fun.  We have a glazed ham, Janet's awesome cheese potatoes, vegetables and Jell-O salad and regular Chinese chicken salad... more food than you can imagine.  The kids loved everything that they got and couldn't wait to try everything out.

I got a new caregiver that started on Sunday, her name is Maria.  She catches on quicker than anybody I have ever seen, she keeps herself very busy and we get along great.  I was really nervous at first but she put me at ease almost instantly, everybody from the company is very nice and very eager to help.

Today I stayed in bed because I have the beginnings of a pressure sore and I wanted to get it healed up before I got out of hand, they sometimes takes forever to get rid of.

Tomorrow Angie is going to take my mom and I to Santa Cruz to check the progress of the new house.  I talked to Charlie and he said the doors and windows are in and hopefully by the end of the week they will start sheet rocking, I get more excited about it every day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Thinking about past, presant and future...

Tomorrow is the day my new caregivers start and of course I'm kind of nervous.  I'm hoping they're not going to be slow, I hope they're going to remember everything, I hope they're going to catch on quick... I am also anxious to get the awkwardness of the beginning of the trial period over with.

The lady that lives in my Aunt Kathy's triplex which is right next door to my new house works at a place called The Coconut Grove in Santa Cruz, she is a chef there.  She said that she would be willing to cook for me once or twice a week and that she loves to cook fish, perfect for me.  I know I'm going to be able to get a lot of fresh fish in Santa Cruz.  I went to The Coconut Grove one-time when a friend of mine got married, their reception was there and it was beautiful.  The ceiling opened up and you can see the beautiful sky, a great place to get married. and I remember the food being pretty awesome also.

The couple that lives next door to my aunt and across the street from me work in the emergency room at a hospital in Watsonville, they have worked there for about eight years and they said with their help I should have no problem finding attendant care, we already have people filling out applications.

My new houses on a cul-de-sac and it sounds like everybody knows everybody it is pretty much the party every weekend and every holiday, I'm really looking forward to that.

A lot of people of Valley Medical have already introduced me to some people who live in Santa Cruz but come over the hill for all of their medical attention, I will do the same.

I was watching an episode of Little People Big World and it was snowing and they were having snowball fights, making ramps and sliding down the snowy hills on cardboard, garbage can lids, sleds... anything that will work and it reminded me of growing up in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  We got anywhere from two days to four days of snow a year which was perfect for us.  The parents would get snowed downtown and we would not have school so I would go pretty much from house to house and do what ever we wanted, we felt like we were getting a way with something really big but it was all very innocent.  We used to go up in the field and we would build igloos, slide down the hills, build snow statues and just have the time of our lives.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

searching for caregivers...

I remember people telling me how hard it was to find a caregiver, I have always been really lucky.  Now that I lost my afternoon caregiver and I'm losing my morning caregiver I understand how they feel.  I understand that since I'm moving they need to move on and get a job here and take care of their family but it's really hard to see them go.

Madonna told me at the beginning of the week that Friday would be her last day, she starts a new job on Monday.  I went through In-Home Support Services and they were nice enough to send me a list of caregivers in this area even though I'm not a client of theirs.  My aunt heard of a care giving agency on the radio and told me about them so I gave them a call.  the lady just left and although I didn't give them much notice they're going to be able to accommodate me starting on Saturday.  After paying $16 an hour $21 an hour is going to be hard but hopefully it won't be for that long.  Somehow everything always seems to work out.

I think the hardest part of getting a new caregiver is the training and trying to get them to do things the way that you're used to doing it, they usually have their own way of doing things.  After a couple of weeks the initial anxiety and frustration will be over in life will be once again wonderful.

I cannot believe that Christmas is in only five days.  It sounds like were going to have a nice one though.  Stanley, Janet and the kids will be here as well as Uncle Dick and Aunt Kathy and possibly Rosy.

My Aunt Kathy called this morning and told me that they have the Windows and the doors in my new house.  Since I haven't been able to make it over there she has been taking progressive pictures for me so I'm really just missing much of anything.  Angie said that she is off next week and if I get a caregiver trained take me over there to see it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Yesterday after we met Rich, the dog trainer, at Hellyer dog park my mom and I went to Wal-Mart to look around and kill a little bit of time before we met my aunt and uncle, Jim and Brenda, Rex and Sandy and Ellen at Holders for dinner.  There is a lucky supermarket right behind holders that usually has fresh, soft gingerbread cookies and of course yesterday they did not have any.  We had a really nice dinner and then came back here and played cribbage.  I broke even, we usually play for a dollar a game and I started out with three and ended up with three, better than losing I guess.

One of the things that a couple of people I played cribbage with said is that they noticed I have a lot more movement than they remember.  I guess that since I am around me all the time I don't notice it but it made me feel really great because I thought that I wasn't going to get any more return.  I have been exercising and using the tens units and I think that's helping a lot.  My uncle has a friend who is a welder and is going to help me out when I move to turn my garage into a workout room with a stationary bicycle that I can use while in my chair, pullies on the wall... stuff like that.  When I was in the Independent Living Center somebody had left a homemade eating utensils for somebody who had no grip in their fingers so the lady that ran the house said I could take it home.  I looked all over in stores and online and could never find anything that works as well as this one so my uncle's friends made me a spoon and a fork and they work great, we are thinking about patenting them and selling them.  I have had a lot of ideas that I wish I would have patented but I never did.  One of them was snow chains for wheelchairs.  I talked to a couple of people that live in the snow and they use bungee cords and say that it works okay but it could be better.  I was going to get my brother David to make a prototype and go from there but we never did.  There was another one that Sabina, my OT at Transitions, we're going to try to patent but I forgot what it was now.

Today I stayed in bed and slept most of the day because yesterday and the day before were pretty much marathon days.

Tomorrow I hope to finish decorating my house.  The fireplace looks so bare without our stockings hanging in front.  The tree is beautiful and I love looking at it.

I think I'm going to put off my search for a new service animal until after I move.  I hate to get her used to this place and then have her get used to another one.  I have gotten some really great answers to my e-mail and hopefully will not have a problem when I'm finally ready.  Brodie is ready to retire, it's time for me to take care of her now.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Everything new...

My mom, my Aunt Kathy, Ellen, a friend of Ellen's and I went to see the movie August Rush, it was a very good movie.  Definitely a chick flick and a little unbelievable but definitely a great movie.  My Aunt Kathy took me to Moorpark Health Clinic to talk to one of the OT's about getting me the proper mattress for my bed.  While I was there I also asked the OT about getting another service dog so I can retire Brodie.  I think Brodie is older than I was originally told and she's having a lot of health problems and she can't seem to get over her anxiousness when other small animals are around, I can lose her certificate from that.  After that we went to Mini Gourmet and had lunch.  It is a little hole when the wall but they have great food.

The OT, Lynn, said that she would look into and get back to me about the service animals.  When I got home I looked up The Delta Society and seemed to hit the jackpot.  I e-mailed about eight to 10 people and already heard back from about six.  Some of them already have puppies that are in training and some of them will train a puppy that I take out.  I have always won the chocolate lab because they're so beautiful and so smart.

While we were there my aunt asked about getting me a new wheelchair and Lynn said that she thinks it has been over five years so I am due.  Lynn is very busy summer going to start looking in the beginning of next year, which really isn't that far away.

I just now got tickets to see Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood here in San Jose on March 11, March 11 is going to be my 13 year anniversary of my automobile accident, I am so excited... about the concert part and not the automobile accident part.  This is going to be the fourth year in a row that I have seen Keith Urban and he just keeps getting better, I also really like Carrie Underwood so this is going to be a great evening.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Keeping in touch with former friends...

Yesterday was a really good day.  A friend of mine that I have not talked to for 12 years came by to visit.  When I worked at Xicor as the mail coordinator he to come by the mail room and talk to me while I was sorting mail and I used to see him on my rounds.  We had a really great talk and caught up on everything.  I was really nervous but immediately at ease when I saw him, he looked and acted like the same old Craig.

This weekend is going to be pretty low-key.  I got my Christmas tree up so I love laying here and looking at the lights and watching movies, listening to music or listening to e-books.

Next week I need to get really serious about looking for an afternoon attendant.  I was hoping to find somebody private but if I cannot I will go with an agency.  I'm not looking forward to training, getting used somebody new and somebody else looking at my privates... which really aren't very private anymore.

Since I have not been able to make it to Santa Cruz my aunt is going to take some progressive pictures for me and put them on a disk.  Charlie called me and told me that the windows are all in as well as the electrical and next week they're going to start sheet rocking.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Oh Christmas tree

Yesterday morning before the massage therapist came my mom called me and said that Stanley and Corinne were coming down to bring me my Christmas tree.  Stanley e-mailed me and said that if I wanted she would pick me up a Christmas tree.  Every year they go with a group of friends to cut down a tree and then they have a party after.  They brought it and set it up and it looks gorgeous.  Now I really feel like Christmas.

We're going to go to breakfast this morning and then they're going to leave.  I hope the weather is nice so we can take the dogs to the dog park before it starts raining.

Brodie is looking and feeling so much better, she is back to her old self and it is so great to see.

Tomorrow I meet with Rich at the dog park and hopefully this time there will be some dogs there.  Last week there was nobody there.  I bought a stuffed animal and a retractable leash so if there's no real animals can simulate our own.

On Thursday I have an appointment at Moorpark Health Clinic with Lynn, my OT from Valley medical, to try to figure out a better mattress for me and how to better position me so hopefully I won't get any more skin break downs.