Sunday, February 26, 2012

Half way...

Our next stop was Oklahoma City. We decided to stop at Chili's because it was right across the street. While we were getting our food at Chili's we saw a fire truck pull up across the street at our hotel, kind of scary. Then we saw an ambulance show up and take somebody away. I ended up having a pretty miserable night. I'm always afraid that I'm going to be too cold at night so I make sure my blanket is on high and it's hot in the room, most of the time I'm okay but last night I got really hot. The TV was really loud so I was afraid if I called Karen she wouldn't hear me and if she didn't hear me I would just have a panic attack. When morning finally did we had a really nice breakfast, they had an omelette bar and they were awesome, I had a spinach, mushroom and bacon one.

We left Alabama and ended up driving to Fort Smith Arkansas.The town was really old and kind of looked like a ghost town but it was very interesting, the old buildings and the paintings on the walls and buildings were really cool. It didn't look like there was a lot of civilization in Fort Smith but there sure were a lot of cemeteries and places that made headstones. We cruised around downtown for a while But all we saw was a bunch of Sonics, KFC's and Taco Bell so we decided to try Chili's again. I had another really bad, sleepless night. I am really not used to not being able to control the environment so the last couple of nights I have been really warm, I don't know if it's worse to be warm or cold. We got up really early and we were actually ready to go by 10 AM. I think our next stop is Memphis where we are going to stay for a couple of days and enjoy.
When I looked out the window in the morningit was really nice sunny and no wind at all so I decided to take long before nice long one. As soon and we got outside the wind kicked up and the sun went away but we had a nice long cruise anyway, he will be ready for our four hour drive. I will never forget when we were in Santa Fe I saw one of the sprinklers in the hotel bedroom and there was actually a sign
By it with a hangerwith a slash through it, that means somebody actually tried to hang something on it… Unbelievable. I wish I would have gotten a picture.

We left Arkansas headed towards Memphis Tennessee. We decided to stop about halfway and have lunch, usually we wait until we get there and have dinner and then we are way to stuff to do anything. We found a place called The Whole Hog and it was the best barbecue place I have ever been, we all had pulled pork and it was awesome.

We drove to Memphis Tennessee and found an embassy suites, they are always really nice.
We decided to stay in Memphis for a couple of night so we could give ourselves a little rest. It was really nice here. We went downtown to Beale Street and cruise around and then we ate lunch at a really nice barbecue place, went downtown and had our picture taken with the copper statue of Elvis Pressley and then went on to Graceland. By the time we got to Graceland unfortunately it was close but we did get to take some pictures.
The weather is starting to get warmer and that is really nice. I can go out in the morning and run Robbie around the hotel parking lot several times while the girls are packing everything up.

Our next destination was Birmingham Alabama. We decided to try a Hyatt hotel and it is very nice. We ordered room service because we got in a little bit late and didn't really see anything around and we really work in the mood to stop anywhere. Tomorrow we are going to be in Newnan Georgia. We are going to stay there a couple of nights just so we can see my brother David and his family, I am really excited about that. The next day we will be on our way to Florida and it will be so nice to see Tom and Bailey.
I can't believe how well everything is going on this trip. I had a lot of worries but I tried not to think about them,I feel so safe with Kelly and Karen and I'm glad we decided to do it and I will definitely not hesitate to do it again.
It was late so we decided to try room service for the first time on our trip and It was really good, we all had hamburgers, sun chips and a salad and the salad was actually fresh and really greens. I slept really good and we are only about 2 1/2 hours away from Newnan Georgia. The weather was really nice outside so Robby and o went on a nice long cruise around the buildings.

Got a full tour of Newnan Georgia, ended up in the projects because we went to Hampton Place instead of Hampton way, got a detour because of a huge accident but we finally found it… It's a beautiful place.
My brother David came by on Friday night and brought some pizza. His wife Anna Maria, his daughter Deziree & John Patrick came by too, the pizza was really good and it was great to see them. They visited for a while but David had to work the next day so they went home. The next night we met back here again and had pulled pork sandwiches, they were really good. It is really nice to be able to see them every day, we hardly ever get to see Anna Maria, Deziree and John Patrick so that was especially nice. Sunday David had off so we went over to their place and Anna Maria made homemade lasagna, manicotti, Italian sausages and a salad. Everything was awesome.We ate until we thought we were going to pop and then we had to have a little more . We had a really nice visit, although it's always too short.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Starting out...

We started out Saturday about 11 o'clock and drove all the way to Bakersfield California. We found a little restaurant called the macaroni grill and had a great dinner before we went to the motel. I had a really long night because I think I was way to hot but we are really learning as we're going along. The brought us a foldaway cot but actually it worked out well. I think somebody needs to go around to hotels and explain to them exactly what a wheelchair accessible person needs, I don't know why somebody hasn't already.

Sunday we drove to Santa Ana, that is where Karen's parents live. When we got there she had homemade tacos ready for us, they were awesome. We visited for a while, what a great family she has, they made us feel so welcome. It was getting late so we went to find our hotel. This time we had an awesome hotel, they call it a Suite and Is properly named, it was sweet. Karen stayed at her parents house so she could visit so it was just Kelly and I. The fold out couch work perfectly for me and Kelly got the bedroom. I think I was out before Karen even left and I slept all night long until she came back at 6 AM the next morning. This is definitely a great hotel and we will be back.

Monday Karen's family invited us back over for breakfast, how awesome is that? Karen's mom make us some really killer enchiladas. We stayed and visited for a while but then had to go.

We headed over to Needles and stayed the night there. We wanted to get a good nights rest before we met my uncle Ronnie and aunt Patty in Kingman Arizona. We found a little diner next to the hotel called juicy's and it was really good. Kelly and I split a BLT wrap and some onion rings and Karen had a chicken sandwich.

We left Needles and drove to Flagstaff and over to my uncles house. He was the only one there but it was nice to be able to spend some time with him, his house is beautiful. Eric and Jill came over with the baby and we went out to get something to eat. We went to the Cracker Barrel and had a really nice dinner. We decided that we better get back to the hotel so we talked about meeting them for breakfast. We had a really nice breakfast with Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Patty, unfortunately Aunt Patty had to go to work so she had to leave early. After breakfast uncle Ronnie took us to a dog park to give Robbie a chance to burn off some energy. It didn't turn out really well because a couple of the dogs tried to attack him so he ended up leaving.

We drove to the Grand Canyon and found our hotel and then went to see the Grand Canyon, it was so beautiful but cold. We got a lots of pictures and then went to the lot of pictures and a couple of shirts from the gift shop. We came back to the motel and found a really nice place, the food was awesome. We found another gift shop and bought a couple more shirts. We went up to our room and turned on the heater to make it nice and warm. After about an hour or so it still was not warm and the heater was blowing cold air so we called down to the lobby and they said they would send up a maintenance guy. They did and he poked around a little bit and said he turned off the cold and hoped wasn't going to get too hot. After about another half an hour computer was still blowing out cold air so we called into the lobby again and again they said they would send a maintenance we waited for about half an hour and then decided to go ahead and put me to bed, it was getting late and very tired. I then decided to text Kelly, Kelly knows how to take care of things like that. She went down to the lobby and apparently they told her she could not see a manager because she was doing paperwork Kelly said "are you kidding me, Paperwork is more important than somebody upstairs freezing". She explained to her that I was a quadriplegic and did not have a thermostat to control my temperature so I needed the heat. She finally got to talk to the manager and got a standing heater and a couple of bellhops to help her up. They said if you needed another heater to just come down and they would give you one but when we called they said they had one heater but they needed down there to keep them warm. Kelly explain to them again but if I get too cold I could go into a coma and that would not be good for them, they were not going to give up their heater. We started staying at the best Western because there was a commercial on TV about him if you stay three nights you get the fourth night free, that's not actually what happens. What happens is you get a voucher so that you can use it at a different time. We are definitely going to be changing hotels and never staying in the best western again.

We left the Grand Canyon and drove to Gallup New Mexico. On the way I was looking on yelp and found a nice little out-of-the-way taco place. The tacos were AWESOME. We really got lucky there. We decided to try the Hampton Inn and we were so glad that we did. The room was the best one that we have had so far and the staff was
so friendly and helpful. They had a really nice layout for breakfast, I had oatmeal, fruit and English muffin.
I decided to take Robbie down and run him around the parking lot for a little bit and it's a good thing that I did because right after I got out of the elevator downstairs it broke so now they're having to carry all the luggage downstairs. Practically everybody at the hotel helped us carry our luggage out, everybody is so nice. I guess we didn't think about the altitude and what a difference it would make in everything.When I got out of my chair I turned around and looked at my cushion and it had filled up with air. We are all dried up and sneezing.

We drove pretty much all day and ended up in Santa Fe New Mexico, I love the buildings and all the little shops downtown. We found a little Mexican restaurant and the food was awesome.

From Santa Fe we drove all the way to Amarillo Texas. We got here too late for their evening buffet, they have morning and evening buffets here. It's a really nice hotel. We ended up going to Famous Dave's barbecue which is right next door and we're really disappointed. The pulled pork and broccoli was very salty, so salty that Karen and I just threw it away. The corn, mashed potatoes and muffin was great. We had a really late night with personal care so we called downstairs and they gave us till 1 PM to get out.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Leaving on a road trip to Florida and back…

Monday I got up and got dressed and I was going to take Robby for a really long cruise, we were both desperately in need of one. I looked outside and it was pouring rain, the sun was even out. It looked like it was going to die down a couple of times but as soon as I got around the block and it started pouring rain again, we got soaked twice before we decided to just give up. After my caregiver came and put me to bed and the nurse left and I have my caregiver throw the ball for him in the yard until he couldn’t take it anymore. The nurse said everything is looking okay and I am ready for my trip, she gave me a bunch of supplies to take with me. Kelly will be here in 2 days and I’m so excited mostly to see her but ready for a road trip with her and Karen.

Tuesday the sun was out and it was a beautiful day. I went over to the beauty shop at sunshine Villa and got my hair streaked, my hair trimmed and my nails done. After that Robby and I cruised around for a little bit and then came home and practiced some commands. When Teresa got here I got to take a nice long hot bath and go to bed, I was so comfortable after I got into bed that I forgot to eat and now I’m starving… oh well, Karen will be here in 8 hours.

Wednesday by personal care took a lot longer than we expected, I was hoping to get out and spend the day cruising around with Robby. We only got to cruise around for a couple of hours but it was really windy and cold, I tried to lean back in the sun a couple of times but the wind was just too cold. I came back and Teresa made a killer salad and I went to bed and Ursula brought Kelly, it was so great to see her.

Thursday turned out to be a really good day even though it started off miserably, actually it started off miserably on Wednesday evening. My body started sweating and my legs were jumping which means there’s something wrong. I went through the usual… check my bladder, uncovered my feet… I even changed my blanket to a lighter one end of course checked my bowels at 2 o’clock in the morning. After my mom left I was still having problems so I tried to make myself go to sleep. Of course in the morning I found out what it was, my night boots were too tight so I had pinch marks on the top of my feet… that is one of the 1st things that you’re supposed to check, especially since they are new. I’m so mad at myself for not having my mom checked that. Kelly took Robby for a nice long walk while Teresa waxed Karen and I, she also ended up waxing Kelly and my mom. We got burgers from the burger place up the road, it’s only my 2nd time getting when they are and it was awesome. Tracy got little sliders and tater tots, she shared her tater tots with me… I LOVE tater tots. Kelly and I got an Ahi tuna burger, it was awesome. My mom got macaroni and cheese with 2 grilled cheese sandwiches as buns. I got onion rings and my mom and Kelly shared an order Tatar tots, everybody was happy and ate way too much.

Friday was a great day and probably my last post until I get back sometime in March. I’m going on a road trip with my cousin and Karen from here to Ft. Lauderdale Florida, where my cousin lives, and back. We have been looking forward to it for a long time and it’s finally going to happen I found an app on my iPhone so I can blog but it depends on if I can figure out how to use my DragonDictate program on my phone because there’s no way I will be able to type all of this. I hope to keep up everything on my Facebook page and we’ll see what happens…

Anyway Friday my cousin Kelly and Karen took me to my appointment at Hanger prosthetics to make sure that my braces are going to be okay for the trip. We went to Costco to get a few things but it was so crowded that we just turned around and left, we forgot it was a 3 day weekend. We decided instead to go shopping at Ross, we found everything we needed there. Then we went to Charlie Hong Kong’s, I had pad Thai with garlic tofu… my favorite. We came back and parked the van, everything actually fit and hopefully there is room for us. Teresa gave Robby a bath and he smells great.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The weeks just keep getting better…

Monday was kind of cold but it was great to be outside. Robby and I went on our regular cruise around town and back. On our way back we stopped by my aunts to see the castle that my cousin’s kid made, he is so creative and such a perfectionist I knew it would look awesome. I wanted to go to Ross to get some thermal shirts and some tank dresses for our trip but it was way too cold and I forgot to have Karen put some cash in Robby’s wallet. I keep a wallet in the pocket of Robby’s vest so when I’m out and about I can have people get money out so they don’t have to go into my backpack and get my wallet. It works out great because I can just have Robby jump up on the counter and all they need to do is unzip the side of his vest and there is.

Tuesday I didn’t plan on getting up anyway because it was cold and rainy. Personal care took a lot longer than I thought. Both Heather and Cassie came over to visit, that was nice. The rest of the evening I just relaxed, watched some TV and movie. My uncle came over with a bowl of chili and it was really good, he keeps trying different recipes to find just the right one. This one had tomato soup? Never heard of that but it was really good. He also had red and black beans in it, garlic of course, hamburger and chorizo, a green chili and a little bell pepper. I think he’s pretty close to finding the perfect chili.

You know what you say but you don't know what they hear…

Wednesday was another miserable day of personal care, I don’t know what’s wrong with me but it’s getting very frustrating. I didn’t get to get out for a couple of hours with Robby and the weather was beautiful so that’s always good. We went on our regular cruise and ended up at Ross. I went there to look for thermals and tank dresses for our road trip, I have no idea what the weather is going to be like. I didn’t find anything but I’m sure I have enough stuff to where, I just need to look in the other closet to see what I forgot I have.

Thursday was yet another miserable day of personal care, it has to be over. I ended up staying in bed again but I think we got everything taken care of and I got a nice long hot bath. I’m going to try to get up tomorrow after my massage… wish me luck!

Friday I didn’t get to get up but I have a nice relaxing day in bed. I don’t really watch the movies I get from Netflix so I canceled my subscription except for the streaming, I don’t really watch that either but it’s a nice option. We played cribbage and Claudia was my partner… we killed. I started out with $4 and ended up with $10, a pretty good night? My uncle brought over a huge bowl of popcorn, he makes the best popcorn. We had some cheese and crackers but didn’t break them out, I was really looking forward to that but I think I’m the only one that wanted some.

Saturday was a really nice day. I wanted to get up early enough to take Robby for a nice long cruise before we left for San Jose but it was too cold and wet. We were invited to my old neighbors… no pun intended… 99th birthday party. I haven’t seen a lot of these people since I moved away almost 4 years ago and it was really nice to see everyone. I thought it would be a little warmer in San Jose but it really wasn’t. By the time we got back I was really tired and fell asleep almost as soon as I got into bed.

Sunday turned out to be a really long day for personal care but I got to take a nice long hot bath, go back to bed, relax and watch some TV. I ordered a new battery for my portable lift because the old one wouldn’t charge anymore. The guy wouldn’t give me a price and call me on the way and said he was bringing me his to use for the trip and then he would bring me a new one, I’m kind of annoyed because he took my old one with him. I think he’s just going to replace something in my old one and charge me for a new one, he seems to be always really shady and I think charges way too much… we will see. I told Karen I wish we would have made some little mark on my other battery, the one that died, so I can see if he just brings me back that one. Why does he need to take the old battery if it’s supposedly not working?? I don’t know if I’m just getting suspicious in my old age, I feel like I’ve just been taken advantage of a lot.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What a great week…

Monday was a busy and cold day. I had an appointment with Andrei from Dominican rehab and Jack and Eric from ATG rehab at Dominican rehab. When we left here the sun was shining and it was nice and warm. We ordered the new laterals for my chair. I was going to cruise Robby back but it was just too cold, the sun was gone and the clouds were out so Teresa gave us a ride back. I wanted to take Robby for a nice long cruise but the sun never came back out and it was too cold, luckily Otis and his 3 dogs were here so I just let Robby run around the yard with them for a while. After he rested I put on his vest and we practiced ignoring the dogs. Robby has been paying way too much attention to dogs in public so we are working on that, she did really well. Robby and I cruised up to Dr. Owens office and I got my Depo-Provera and my flu shot. I almost didn’t go because it was cold and it looked like it was going to rain but we did it anyway and I’m glad I did even though by the time I got home I was freezing.

Tuesday was a really great day. I got up and met with Phil, the guy who is working on my back porch. He put up some dragonfly string lights that I had in my closet. We also talked about putting up some more lights, a heating lamp and he’s going to hang some pictures in my bedroom. Everything is definitely going to be done by the time Tom and Kelly get here next summer, I can’t wait for them to see it and I can’t wait to have our 1st barbecue out there. I took Robby for a cruise through the lagoon, to the end of the wharf and back and through the boardwalk and back. I saw our friend Jimbo with the guitar and the maracas on his feet, he is always so nice and friendly. They came back and went to bed and had a killer salad that Teresa made with spinach, bacon, hard-boiled eggs and bacon. I’ve been trying to eat a little bowl of salad every day. Teresa and Jess have one every day so it’s easier for her to bring me a little every day then to make a big salad just for me, most of it goes to waste. The last couple of nights my mom has even getting them and let them. Tomorrow she’s going to make a wheat Berry salad that my cousin Kelly had in her blog, it was so good. I started watching a Joan and Melissa Rivers reality show, it’s pretty funny.

Wednesday was a nice relaxing day, I’m glad I didn’t get up because it looked really cold outside. After we did my personal care I got a nice long hot bath and went back to bed. Visiting nurse was coming and there wasn’t going to be time to get out and cruise around with Robby anyway. Each time the visiting nurse comes we figure out some kind of new foot apparatus to put on my feet because everything seems to make red marks in one place or another, I think we decided I should go back to hangar prosthetics and see if they can come up with something. We found a way to prop me up a little bit on my side to give my bottom a rest, hopefully that’s one problem I won’t have to deal with anymore.

Just been to the gym. They've got a new machine in. Could only use it for half an hour, as I started to feel sick. It's great though. It provides me with everything I need - KitKats, Mars Bars, Snickers, Potato Crisps, the lot.."

Thursday was such a great day. The visiting nurse came by in the morning and everything looked great, all the redness was almost gone and now we know what we need to do. I got up and took Robby for a nice long cruise through the lagoon, to the end of the wharf and back, through the boardwalk, down the river, through town and back. My chair seemed like it was struggling a little bit going up hills and it sounds louder so I came home and called ATG rehab to check on the motors for my chair. Teresa came by and made one of my cousin Kelly’s salads, it had wheat berries, arugula, beets and I don’t remember what else but it was AWESOME, I just love having salads every day. Cassie came over and we watched Jersey shore.

Friday as usual was a great day even though I didn’t get up. I got my hour and a half massage, did my personal care and took a nice long hot bath as soon as the morning caregiver left the evening caregiver came in but we got a lot done and I don’t have to really do anything tomorrow except get up and go play with the puppy, I hope it’s nice tomorrow. It seemed like nobody wanted to play cribbage but that’s okay because I really didn’t get any time to myself today anyway. I think I’ll watch a movie and just relax. My uncle came over about 6:45 PM to see if anybody was going to play but he had just gotten home from working out on the hill and he was covered with fiberglass from the installation, he looked really tired anyway. He is helping my cousin, Rich, put in a new bathroom and they have been working really hard every day.

Saturday was such an awesome day. I was up and out of here by 11:30 AM and it just kept getting warmer. The wharf and the boardwalk were packed with people and by the time I got to the river it was so hot I had to turn around and come back and take off my braces in my thick boots. I want to go back out again but it was already 2 PM and time for my afternoon caregiver so I just went to bed, ate dinner, relaxed and watched TV. I hope Sunday is just as nice so I can get an earlier start and enjoy the day.

Sunday ended up being a long and frustrating day. It was supposed to be really nice outside so I wanted to get everything done and get up, it was such a nice day yesterday but I feel I got cheated because I wasn’t out very long. Today would have been perfect because everybody is at home watching the Super Bowl… everybody but me. My afternoon caregiver texted me 1st thing in the morning and asked me if I was going to watch the Super Bowl, she was supposed to come in at 2 PM. This told me one of 2 things, one she thought maybe she was going to come here and watch it, I don’t do sports, or 2 that she didn’t want to come in at all because she wanted to stay home and watched again so I told her to just stay home. I was supposed to get up and go to the movies with Heather but as you can guess that did not happen. I got to rest him and watch movies so it’s all worth it, I might even order a pizza later… I can at least eat Super Bowl food if I’m not going to watch the Super Bowl?