Let’s Get Together…

I post each Friday to stimulate thought for our conversations, and for you to know that as a fellow SCI, I know and understand your plight.

I recently added pictures, an ‘About Me’ page, information about my books (Views From My Chariot which is frozen for sales until its second edition is available, and HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU will be available mid to late April.), and, we’ve talked back-and-forth. This week, I’m adding a link for us to meet in person!

This is an excerpt from last week’s TV interview about me, my adjustment to SCI, and my books. It’s a little over two minutes long, so look fast!



Pause For A Cause

I don’t talk much about my problems or the disheartening ramifications of my SCI. I take them to God. That’s where I vent my frustration, cry, and fuss. Then miraculously, I can suck it up, redo whatever, or start over. I believe ‘start overs’—second chances—begin in hope. It’s the pauses that make it possible to start over or to cut a new trail in the actualization of new dreams. Let me use the comma as an example.

A comma is a punctuation mark that represents a pause to the eye of the reader. Whether used to delineate a list, give emphasis to a word, separate words and phrases of words, the comma gives clarity of interpretation. Like in the saying, “Life is just, not fair.” the comma clarifies that happenings in life conform to some fact or reason, although they may not be fair.

For instance: My car ran off the road, up an embankment, and flipped back down onto the road, landing upside down on its roof. The wreck was caused by the fact that my rear tires had a blowout. My SCI is its result. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t something I deserved. It happened.

As with the saying example, I used a pause—the comma after “just”—to accept it, re-evaluate, and clarify my options then, reconfigured my old dreams and created new ones.

WITHOUT the comma/pause, the sentence reads: “Life is just not fair.” Have you omitted the pause that could give clarity to your situation/disability/illness? In belligerence or bitterness, have you ricocheted off every hopeful course of action offered to you to better your life, to adjust to disability? Do you find yourself repeatedly boomeranging back to the same bad attitude of ingratitude and self-pity? It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy only you can change.

We ALL experience dashed hopes and broken dreams, but is that any reason to quit hoping, to stop dreaming, or to punish others because you have? Since we’re promised nothing more than today, why not begin today with a clarifying pause.

In recognizing there is a problem, you open the mental windows for fresh ideas to circulate. The desire to do something about the problem(s) is the door to your freedom. Then, the choice to make the changes puts you on the path to fulfilling your purpose.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             My

My first book, Views From My Chariot: A Wheelchair  Oddity http://booklocker.com/books/6235.html , is a beginner course for you to recognize fresh ideas that will revive your hope after a SCI, resuscitate mental clarity for strength to push forward, and encourage you to open the door to a promising future that awaits you.

Once you make the choice to open the door to your future, my second book, HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU-from A to Z, coming SOON http://booklocker.com/books/6811.html,
is somewhat of a follow-up—a how-to find yourself, rediscover your heart, change your ‘stinkin’ thinkin’, and take a detour around the roadblocks to fulfill your destiny.

My hope is that you do. Let me be a part of your turnaround, your start-over, your happiness, and your life’s fulfillment. Then, please tell me about it.

We’ll all benefit from your success!

Beware: Karma-BANG! BANG! DUCK!

We’re all familiar with the Eastern philosophy of karma: the inevitable action of bringing upon oneself results, good or bad, of our own actions, or “What goes around, comes around.” Here in the Bible Belt, it’s referred to as “The Golden Rule”: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. What personal messages (PM) are you sending out…that inevitably come back to you?

Optimistically, we are always kind (in word and deed), patient, sympathetic, and loving, to the Nth degree. SURE!

In all honesty, you KNOW there are times when you deliver impatient, arrogant, and hateful PMs in a variety of ways: in exasperating return lines, home interruptions by telemarketers, misunderstood orders by outsourced telephone assistants, garbled orders (and prices) in drive-thru food services, road rage reactions, frustratingly persnickety family members, and sadly, on-and-on.

My question is not only to those of you adjusting to disability, but to anyone wondering why life seems to always give you lemons: What boomerangs back at regular intervals in your life? Misunderstandings; relational discord; exclusion from social gatherings; perpetually being over-looked for that promotion; constipated cash flow; recurrent health issues; bad luck? If any of these strikes a cord, you may be the one plucking it.

I’ll illustrate my point with the analogy of ammunition. Much like shooting a shotgun, unresolved issues detonate emotions. There may be lots of issues/pellets loaded into the shell (repressed emotions) or one big issue/slug (volatile emotions). Wrapped in the subconscious, they lay loaded, cocked, and waiting to explode their charge.

When the specific volatile and toxic emotion is triggered, a single projectile of words or actions like the metal slug, or lesser bullet, is aimed to murder its downrange target. Always looking out for a particular perpetrator’s profile, this person is ever-conscious of their injury. This is a stalker/predator hunting style. Vengeance is theirs.

Then, like the number of smaller pellets wrapped inside a shotgun shell, are the more common repressed emotions from childhood, adolescence, and/or adjustment issues. They have become so enmeshed in our temperaments and relational styles that the emotion triggered is associated with a personal affront or putdown.

In a compulsive need for self-defense, and in ignorance to the cause and effect, the disabled and the able-bodied alike shoot off verbal ballistics. BANG! BANG! Stinging words scatter; more whelped offenses. Remember: What you sow, you will reap.

In PART TWO of my book, HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU http://booklocker.com/books/6811.html,
I offer a strategy of brain exercises to train your out of shape, disabled brain. You will learn to strengthen those flabby mental muscles that have offered no resistance to out-of-control thoughts. You will realize their continued circuitry—mulling them over and over and over in your mind, fires up the same emotions as the original words/action/offense did.


Happiness Is A Choice

It’s no secret; I’m as much of a shut-in as you can be. Not as in being a hermit, because I love having friends and family come for visits in my home, but predominately from repercussions of disability. In light of my circumstances, someone recently asked what keeps me happy; what brings me happiness?

There are a myriad of things that bring me happiness. (You can enjoy many of my other delights in Views From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity http://booklocker.com/books/6235.html .) But today’s happy topic is my cats.

I’ve had all three of my cats since my SCI, so they think it’s totally normal to live from a wheelchair; although, only two of them take advantage of 24/7 lap privilege.

They make me laugh many times a day at their crazy antics, cute faces, quirky behaviors, and expected responses. They are so-o-o predictable. Aside from the mere joys of having a pet, they’re also good for my health. Laughter is always good for what ails me, and stroking my pets lowers blood pressure.

Did you know that animals provide us with similar social support as people do? Although just like people, my cats sometimes make me cuss!

I know. I know. I’m trying to quit. But I promise I’m making progress. Recently, I was telling my sister about something frustrating that had happened. I don’t remember if it was something I had dropped, broken, or spilled OR if it was the day my 21½ year old female feline pranced, with intention, into my bedroom, raised her fluffy tail, and peed on an antique oriental rug.

Anyway, as a response to my dismay, she asked if I cussed. When I proudly remembered that I hadn’t, she said, “Wow, that would have been the right time to.” So much for my support system!

In my sixty-odd years of loving and observing animals, I know they have the capacity to understand and obey instruction (and disobey), retain good and bad memories thus, make associations, communicate with each other and us, if we choose to listen and observe.

For example, one day when all three of my felines were in the same room with me, I said something to Ciati, my only female. She looked at me, as usual, but the boys looked at her. I already knew that each knew their own name, but I hadn’t witnessed them knowing each others’ name. This new data called for a name-recognition survey.

I addressed Fred by name and said what a good boy he was. As usual, Fred looked up at me then, Ciati and Laptop looked at him. Oh-h-h!

I took my experiment all the way. I called Laptop by name and told him he was also a good boy. Laptop looked at me, and Fred and Ciati looked at him. So-o-o cute! How smart! But then, why shouldn’t they know each other’s name. I call them by name a dozen times a day:

“My boy, Fred.” “Fred’s a handsome boy.” “Fred Astaire!”

“I love my Laptop.” “Laptop’s a good boy.” “Bad behavior, Laptop!”

“Ciati’s a pretty girl.” “Ciati’s my best girl.” “Ciati!”

A secondary reason for my happiness is from a choice to forget offenses, forgive, and look for rainbows during the rain. Sure, there are occasional disability downers, but they pass. I don’t let bad memories spoil my happiness. I’ve chosen to cast them to the wind. In fact, I’m a firm believer that Saturn’s rings comprise bad memories, the other sock, and ALL my unintentionally deleted emails, articles, messages, and manuscripts. I’m a very, very, VERY happy girl!

What’s your ‘happy pill?’



Conditional Pause

Well, pressure mapping has taken a back seat for a more pressing de-tail. (I’m holding up my LAUGHTER card.)

Ever hear of someone wit SCI bending their coccyx while seated? Now, you have. That’s what I did. After sitting in a wheelchair for 36+ years with osteoporosis, it was found that the stress pressure on my spine had bowed my coccyx, making a posterior misalignment. Then, when getting into bed the evening after being bumped and slung around in a transport van to a doctor’s appointment, I felt my tailbone move further out of line, to the left, to the left (as Beyoncé sings); and it bulged. Ouch!

Although my SCI doctor suspected a stress fracture, the previous week’s x rays had shown no spinal breaks. Now, with the pain from a new issue, she advised me to get a cat scan which would definitely show even the least fracture, and the condition of my tailbone. In addition, I had my sister take pictures of my out-standing coccyx to send to my doctor. (My doctor’s nurse and I have become really close.) Thus, began a week’s bed rest for a suspected deep tissue breakdown that she (my doctor) miraculously spotted on my fanny pic! There were 2 problems with the doctor’s orders.

The first problem was: I couldn’t sit up; much less get into a car! The only solution to have my condition checked was to call an ambulance for a non-emergency transport.

The second problem was: no insurance. Digging deep wasn’t going to help. This non- emergency screamed, “Emergency plastic card!” $714.86 worth! Again, OUCH! But, there was a silver lining in this cloud.

Our local ambulance is through Northstar Paramedic Services or Northstar Emergency Medical Services (NEMS). Weston Bolen, an AEMT, and Ben Patrick, an EMT, arrived in the Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance. (To forestall assumptions of doom and gloom, I had already called my nearest neighbors to inform them that it was merely a matter with my butt, bû-tá, derriére, badonkadonk, arse.)

Anyway, these two young men could not have been more professional. They were compassionate and understanding of my directions to circumvent added pain from my disability, gentle in the lifts, transfers, and rolling transports on the Ferno stretcher, while being patient and congenial during the wait.

I enjoyed them so much that I wanted to invite them in for dinner, but I couldn’t sit up, and they were still on duty. Wes and Ben, thank you!

The bad news is: the cat scan showed nothing different than the previous xrays showed. AND, after 2 ½ weeks of bed rest, my coccyx bowed further. How can that be!

Pressure mapping has been delayed until March.

Wondering what condition my condition is in?

It’s conditional.

Has anyone else experienced this?