Monday, May 16, 2011

Sulpher Mountain Trail Wheelchair Friendly

The day started off with a ride with my precious sister, Marie. We arrived at the location about a half hour late but, my sister said a prayer before she left to pick me up. She prayed asking that “We arrive with perfect timing”. We expected that we would have to catch up with the group, being late.

We arrived when the group encountered a problem with opening the entrance gate. We were greeted by my uncle, Lanny Kaufer, the leader of the walk. After warm greetings from Lanny and his wife Rondia we formed a consensus about carrying me over the gate that blocked my entrance in a wheelchair. The very moment I agreed to let them take me over, a car arrived, leaving the trail and opening the gate for us. Perfect timing.

Having Multiple Sclerosis, The weather was perfect. A gentle drizzle and fog that obscured to view. We began our trek with everyone introducing ourselves, taking a couple rolls; Lanny began his talk pointing out plants to avoid like poison oak.
The terrain was a firm ground covered with gravel. I found in difficult to maneuver yet doable with a little extra effort and a person like my sister to help on hills. Our group was more than willing to take a turn pushing me when I needed help.

I  was extraordinarily impressed with Lanny’s knowledge of our local plants and their uses for food and medicine. He possesses the courage to make his other “Herb Walks” accessible for the disabled  with coordination with the Threus Foundation, and taking the time for consideration of other disabled participants regarding future events. This walk is considered Threus Approved.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

To all the special women in my life called Mother’s

Thank you for all of your attention towards children and your attention toward men like children called Husband. Thank you for putting yourself last when you deserve to be put first. Thank you for bringing light in a dark world and smearing your love all over us. Thank you for being there when we really needed you when our backs were up to the wall. Thank you for sharing your wisdom when we needed to hear your voice.  Thank you for everything!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A day with Ruby!

Ruby, an MD dating my step father, provided me a physical. During our appointment someone entered the office with news the elevator was out. 
The adventure begins: You’re on the second floor of an office building and the elevator stops working, if you are in a wheelchair, what do you do?

The first thing I did was pray for help. Ruby called Gary, my step-father to see if he could help. I waited patiently for him to arrive. My wife, Rosanna left to attend to an errand, and would be back in 30 minutes.
Gary arrived and we started to put a plan together to get me down to the first floor. We first started to see if we could go down the steps forward, with the wheelchair, to determine whether or not Gary could bear the load. I was put in an awkward position, having to lean back, in order for Gary to do a test run. Gary immediately said it was a no-go.

We had to think of another way. We stepped back and formed another plan inside the doctor’s office. Having the ability to stand, I proposed that I would stand at the top as Gary moved the wheel chair to the first platform and I would take steps down to the first balcony. Gary added that he could pick me up , in a fireman’s carry, and carry me if I could stand. Rosanna arrived and offered her assistance.
We tried to do the stand to fireman’s carry and being safety orientated in the U.S. Coast Guard, my body wouldn’t cooperate and had to say no-go. My comfort level was sent way out of whack. Standing and throwing myself face-first over Gary’s shoulder wasn’t going to happen.

Rosanna said we should try going down the stairs backwards now that we have two people to help.
In order for us to do that would have to fight my instincts to lean forward. I have had to many encounters of flipping over backwards to control my instincts to lean back, which was required to  get me down the stairs. My feelings of absolute terror flowed through my viens and all of us were at a standstill.

We finally came up with a plan that Rosanna suggested.  A plan that didn’t require me to lean backwards to accomplish our goal. Rosanna offered to have me put my arms over their necks and shoulders and hold up my legs with their free arm. Our first attempt went smoothly but didn’t have the whole thing out, such as where exactly where we are going to carry me to. I yelled “Wheelchair” and they quickly put me back.

Rosanna moved the car to a close location and gave it another shot.
We started out down the stairs in perfect unison on the first set of stairs. As we went for the second set, I felt my body being turned and pulled a little bit but I felt confident with my family supporting me.We could have let this ruin our day but all of us were determined to get this done and we did.