Walker, Kentucky Mom

You know, instead of Walker Texas Ranger?

Cane. Walker. Wheelchair. All of these assistive devices feel like defeat to the one using them. If you have a loved one putting up a fight, this is probably why. So, when I went to see my doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota last week, I brought this up. One of them, Dr. C., watched me walk without hanging on to anything. Then he had me walk while touching the wall. While holding on to his belt loop. While walking with a walker. He told me that the level of concentration in my eyes went down considerably when I had assistance. So, I won’t look at the walker as if I’ve given up. One wouldn’t really look at me and think, “Oh. She’s given up. How sad.” I’ve already decorated my walker with streamers. And, as the streamers are getting old and tattered, I’m having my grandma Marlene make me some cloth covers to go on the front. I’m going to embrace it, because it helps me considerably. And a wheelchair. My goal now is to replace the chunky wheelchair in the back of our car currently with a—as Dr. R put it—“sexy” chair. This “sexy” chair that I have my eye on is light weight, sized to me, and the metal part of it can be something other than boring-black. The whole idea behind embracing a chair is so that my life is not limited. No, I can’t go to the mall with you, because I can’t do that much walking. No, a museum is out of the question, because you don’t have an opportunity to sit at all. So, I will embrace these more-improved-than-before devices that will help me to live a normal life. And yes, we can be sure that when I get a chair that is not rented, I will TOTALLY make it mine.

So, if you have a loved one resisting assistive devices, help them make it theirs. Make it fun! Remind them of how these things can help them live a more normal life (but what is “normal,” anyway? The psychological question I’ve been asking myself since high school). Not being able to get places is debilitating. Riding in a chair or walking with a walker and then sitting down? One has so much more energy than trying to walk it by themselves!

And to all my friends and family: I will not feel “less than” simply because I use assistive devices. Tell me how cool it is decorated, and don’t stop your kids from climbing up on my walker. I’m okay with it, and I WILL let them go for a little ride. What do you mean it’s not fair that I’m their favorite because I have toys? Hehe.

Keep it real!

Anna

Smiley Saturday: Skype

It is actually Saturday.  Whoa.  My smiley is SKYPE.  I am so thankful for what awesome technology is out there!  It is so cool that you can VIDEO CHAT someone who is across the country!  Or even, IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY!  It’s so crazy to think about!  And how places in the middle of nowhere can make calls through skype for cheap or even for free (I dunno, Anita, when you and Charles would call us from Africa?)!  So cool.  I had another skype date with one of my Project friends today, so skype is what I thought of as my smiley.

Skype allows users to communicate with peers by voice, video, and instant messaging over the Internet. Phone calls may be placed to recipients on the traditional telephone networks. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and mobile phones are charged via a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features, including file transfer, and videoconferencing.

Skype has 663 million registered users as of September 2011.  The network is operated by Microsoft, which has its Skype division headquarters in Luxembourg. Most of the development team and 44% of the overall employees of the division are situated in the offices of Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia.

Unlike most VoIP services, Skype is a hybrid peer-to-peer and client–server system, and makes use of background processing on computers running Skype software; the original name proposed – Sky peer-to-peer – reflects this. –Skype, Wikipedia

Sometimes, when my friends and I want to share a document of some sort, we “skype it.”  It has become a VERB!  Oh, what this world is coming to.  It is also an adjective: “I’ve gotta skype-date at 2.”  A noun: “Do you use skype?”  What other forms of grammar are there?  ‘Cuz I’m sure we could make it into anything.

I like skype cuz I get to SEE people while I’m talking, but it also makes me miss them more.  But I get to see their face!  Pretty cool.  Do you have skype?  We should be skype friends.  =)

Smiling still, Anna =)^2