Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boring update

I am doing this on my ignore autocorrect.

It's been almost 8 months with this cord thing now.  I started writing 'complicated lives' to take my mind off myself for a while.

I guess it started the moment I woke up in the hospital.  I noticed certain things right away.  Little differences.  I was told to stay active, keep walking, do all my normal things as restrictions were lifted.  Then, whiplash. I had a setback.  That one thing delayed healing by a few months.  I ended up needing a cane to function.  My hand issues got worse, but not terrible.  I'm lucky.

June...messed up bad leg.  Can't use crutches anymore because my neck is still not happy with me.  I spent a month in a chair (yes I own one now) lost more muscle mass. 
Despite continued use of my muscles....I'm still in a bit of decline, trying to find my way back to only slightly different. 
As it stands, for long walks or outings.  I use my chair.  Shorter distances I use my cane.  I'm staying mobile and active, but it is hard work.

Most days are a struggle against a rushing tide, moving through molasses, with little energy.  No I am NOT depressed.

I won't bore you with many details.  The pain has changed, not for the better.  Healing continues.  I am healing but will never be healed.

I'm ok with this. 
My life is fine...I have little to complain about. Some days are just better than others.  This is still kind of hard to talk about.
I think the hardest/ worst part is not fitting in anywhere.  I don't belong in any one group.  I'm not the same, but neither am I too different.  It's hard to explain a walking cord injury to anyone...especially yourself.  Pardon the pun, but a walking cord injury is a lonely road to travel.  I find myself at odds with myself many times.  Also I find myself in a constant state of defensiveness in some places.  I don't get overly bothered by stares.   (don't notice them)  I find there is a bit of bitterness toward people like me....not much however from the true SCI community, (unless they are bitter angry people to start with)!  I find hatred more from pretenders.  I've actually been reduced to tears by a few people only to later learn they never had an injury at all.  I guess they must get a sick pleasure out of hurting others.

I'm not sure what else to say.  Vitamins, Calcium, adequate rest, and cutting yourself slack are all essential.  As is...sucking it up and getting on with life.  A state of stasis does nothing to help anyone, but it will cost you mobility.

Send a mssg if you'd like to know more....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Complicated Lives.....Part 24

It's the pits

In post 21 I mentioned garbage pits. Some of you may not know what a garbage pit here's a brief description of ours...or the one we most often excavated.

I was a young lass....5....I had enjoyed controlled play before. Sandbox, tonka trucks to hit friends with, a swingset, barbie stuff, dolls to play with, Mama's old dresses, kitchen set...etc. Outside play was largely confined to the swingset, sandbox, garden, neighbor's trees, play house...etc

We moved to Florida and I had this magic thing called...."cousins". Cousins got you in trouble, had your back, threw things at your back, climbed trees, tricked you into doing stupid things and most dirty!! With REAL yard dirt.

Aside from playing in junked cars, jumping from trees with blocks and hopping off woodpiles, we decided to build a 'fort' we built it on the "Indian burial mound" well that's what we called it at least. It was bordered by 3 smallish Chinaberry trees. We had a wooden front with a crawl through door. I got the old bathroom curtain vinyl with blue and silver flowers (1970 elegant) to use as our curtain on the cut out window. We used a pillowcase for the door I think. As we set up house, I was the Mommy, next oldest cousin was the Daddy and youngest was the baby...also our test product...I told you about this in the junked cars post. Testers were important. In this case we used the youngest because the two cousins I was playing with were brothers and the oldest brother always tells the youngest what to do. In finding supplies for the fort and test products to was no fun to get house stuff we had to scavenge for things. Thus...the garbage pit.

There was a flat dirt spot in front of my house. Mama was going to plant flowers there. I wanted to plant something tasty, Mama was mad that it was sand and SWORE nothing grew in sand...I guess all the grass, blackberries and other things were nothing because I immediately believed that nothing grew in sand because MAMA SAID SO!!!

When I asked naively where we were going to find 'things' my cousin said...the 'old garbage pit' dumb bunny. I asked 'what's a garbage pit?' it's the 'garbage pit dumb bunny' was my answer. 'ok' clear as mud now!!
We went to the front of my house...'where's the garbage pit idiot?' "right there dumb bunny." indicating the dirt spot....
We commenced to digging with my hoe, shovel and pitchfork. We soon uncovered treasures untold!!! Rusty cans, broken upper 10 bottles, broken perfume bottles, a whole perfume bottle!! PAY DIRT! I opened it to sniff smelled horrible like old alcohol and old lady...we put some on the youngest. Then we found some of his old baby food (he was about 3 so it was oooold) we opened it, it smelled like something dead...we poked a stick in it, and sniffed the stick. It still smelled bad. We tried to get him to eat some, he refused. "ok" my 'husband' and I said in unison...both with that evil gleam. We continued digging and found more rusty cans, and broken things...we got cut and wiped the blood on each other's clothes.

We took some treasures back to our fort. I was home with the baby...Daddy had gone 'shopping' and came home with the baby food. We tied the baby to his 'high chair' (tree) and tried our hardest to feed him. That little sucker could fight!! We got mad and rubbed some on his face anyway. It smelled like what I think hades might smell like. We put the lid on and decided to hide it and smell it more later. The 'baby' started to scream and since we didn't want to get spanked we untied him and let him go...tittie baby, tattle tale told on us anyway!!

so, now you know what a garbage pit is....

We also went ditch fishing for old toys...maybe we'll talk about that later

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Complicated Lives.....Part 23

Who’s your Mama

Complicated lives are a bit like an onion…many layers. Or they are like soup everything kind of thrown in there.

What happens when someone goes to the hospital if they lead a complicated life?? Glad you asked. 4 people are in the waiting room…3 women and a child. The ages are 13, 26, and 39….sisters and two kids?? Guess again. Is it Mom two kids and a friend? Nope, not yet…give up???Great grandma, grandma, mom and baby!!! Ding ding we have a winner!

What’s more complicated?…Daddy, Pepaw and Grand Pepaw show up….

He sits down next to the baby.

His wife joins them…Baby’s Auntie sits down next to Great Grandma.

The baby’s Auntie is also his step Mom, and cousin.

The baby’s uncle/ brother shows up because he was married to Auntie before she married Daddy but after they had his brother which is now also technically his uncle and possibly second cousin…it’s getting a bit confusing now…

Daddy’s Mom comes in who is now his Grandma by marriage so that makes him his own uncle doesn’t it??? I can’t keep it straight.

This is not the south…it is a northern town…what do you think people do all winter when we’re snowed in?!

They start filling out paperwork and it gets even more complicated because no one is actually sure what to put down under the family diseases section. His Dad has mental illness, but that also falls under grandpa and great grandpa, so is it immediate or not? He may not even really be the Daddy but his name is on the birth certificate. His Mom suffers from a heart condition but is it his mom, cousin or sister because there have been other changes due to marriages. Grandma has that dodgy liver from the shine she used to drink, but that probably isn’t hereditary, but is she considered an alcoholic?? Great Grandma used to smoke pot but that probably isn’t a drug addiction…her teeth fell out from the meth anyway. His brother has schizophrenia, but does it count as brother or as uncle???

They get called back before they all finish arguing over the paperwork…Baby has a fever and a very nasty cold…he’s almost well by the time they finish the paperwork.

Complicated Lives.....Part 22


Maybe you have mown your own lawn. I am a bit of a priss and I never have. Mama said girls don’t mow lawns…Mama never said anything about power tools and hammers so I guess I’m ok there. But if Mama tells me not to use tools then my husband may be in trouble. Actually that’s not entirely true…he’s been doing better. I can’t really use them now anyway but maybe in the future.

Back to lawnmowers; I know most kids have mown the lawn. Most parents usually teach their kids how to mow. In rare instances the parents are either;

  1. Too drunk
  2. Not there
  3. Asleep

Tater and Junior decide to mow the lawn on their own or at least play with Daddy or Pepaw’s mower while it’s all put together and pretty much working. Of course Daddy and Pepaw are away possibly;

  1. Fishing
  2. Drinking
  3. Hunting
  4. Hiding from the family
  5. Or to borrow a friend’s fun past time…shooting rats at the dump J

At any rate…no adult is near the mower which is actually working today. They fight to determine who gets to start the mower. Junior wins and Tater vows vengeance. He’s always heard girls like scars. Ha haha ha will Junior ever be sorry!!! They begin mower starting ritual. I think something gets sacrificed to John Deere but I’n mot sure. I don’t really understand the mower starting ritual…it involves pulling a string, hearing a cough from the mower, pulling a string, cussing, sputtering, pulling a string, more cussing, hammer or wrench strikes, coughing engine, pulling a string and then the engine springs to anemic life. It gains momentum and then the cats all hide. I think that’s close. Somehow Tater and Junior have learned to do this at the ages of 7 and 8. They start to mow the lawn and it’s kind of fun watching the grass fly out the side…then it happens…an army man gets caught and chopped up. In many yards one of the kids screams and either reaches for it through the side vent or sticks his foot in the vent…at any rate…digits and blood go flying. In this case…Tater sees how to get revenge. He sticks his shoeless foot in there. Blood and toes go flying. Tater and Junior know this is pretty serious and not likely solved with mountain medicine. Their Mama must be told. Tater gets to sit down and scream while Junior goes into hiding for his life. We’ll say Tater lost his toes and Junior lost his butt. Mama will come to the door, run down off the porch hollering, assess the situation, spank the bleeding child, grab it up, holler at it, load it into the station wagon and take it to the nearest hospital all while never dropping the cigarette out of the corner of her mouth, and invoking the name of God. At the hospital said injured child is stitched and patched up still stunned or by now marveling over the changed appendage. Junior is now hiding in the trunk of the nearest junked car because when they get home from the hospital Junior will get it from Mama, then when Daddy gets home he’ll get it from Daddy and possibly Pepaw and Meemaw!! Junior will get it from everyone and may not be able to sit down again. Tater, that little snot, is home from the hospital and tattles on Junior who’s been hiding in the trunk. Tater tells Mama exactly where to find Junior. Tater sits smugly on the sofa with his bandaged toeless foot propped on the dog. Junior gets spanked by everyone, because in the new and improved story…”Juniour helt me down and stuck my foot in there because I told him I was gonna tell on him for startin pepaw’s broke mower!!!” I never knew anyone who’d lost fingers in a mower, just toes….we didn’t talk about that because we thought he was ‘funny’. We had never known anyone right in the head who would willingly stick his foot in a mower with no shoes on….we simply couldn’t conceive of it.

I hope this doesn’t offend any toeless mower folk…I know there really are children who torment others with mowers…I once heard of a boy who put a mower on his sister’s back…It may have been a fib in retrospect. But toeless Tater did exist…I think he only lost 2, we weren’t allowed to stare, ask questions or talk about it and were not allowed near mowers. They still scare me!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Complicated Lives.....Part 21

Cousins in Cars

It was forever ago…roughly the 1800’s. Ok not that far back….think the polyester years, I’ll guess 1976. Around the time the song "Like a Rhinestone Cowboy" was popular and we all sung only one line of the chorus because the oldest cousin among us was 8.

I was a small child, a willful child, an obnoxious brat who’s lucky to have survived. We played dangerous games; we respected cars and trucks as both toys, and potential death traps. In the south when you are related to everyone (everyone in the south is related to everyone by marriage at least) there is no end to complicated lives. Cousins pretend to be married because we are all cousins and that’s just how we roll. Unless we lead truly complicated lives we don’t actually date or marry our cousins. This is another cousin tale because currently I am coming up dry on complicated lives. I may take a complicated break. I digress…

We played in junked cars as a rule. We got to drive cars on our intoxicated relatives laps as young as 5. We got to drive on sober relatives laps as young as 3 but we never held the wheel on our own. We got to drive tractors as young as 5 also. We all learned to drive early because we never knew when we might need to make the family beer and cigarette run, or drive home an intoxicated relative. This was a time before Happy Meals so we couldn’t break for the nearest McD’s for chicken nuggets…heck those hadn’t even been invented yet!!

While playing in junked cars we found LOADS of good stuff!! Old Tylenol and Anacin in the glove boxes, maps, pens, old Certs and other forms of candy, those funny pills that sometimes Mommy takes so we don’t have more cousins, those nifty balloons that come in individual packages and make those long things with the pokey tip on the end (yeah condoms) Old stuffed animals in the trunk, sometimes clothes if Auntie has been really mad at Uncle and is making him sleep in the ‘old tore up Mustang out by the shed’. We found any number of strange things in cars…sometimes even old food!! Bonus!! In the 1970’s there were no expiration dates. Darwinism was in full effect…and “Always sniff it first!” kept many of us alive. If we were unsure of the sniff test we gave some to our cousin, but not the youngest nor the oldest…one of the middle ones.

  • 1.) If they were fine it was perfect to eat
  • 2.) If they got a little sick…then it was probably ok
  • 3.) If they threw up then you should dare each other to eat some
  • 4.) If they ate it, vomited explosively and writhed on the ground you should only get the cousin you hate to eat some
  • 5.) ……if they ate it and died it was REALLY bad and you should bury it in the garbage pit

After we had thoroughly inspected the cars for livability, snakes, spiders, critters, weapons and hazards then and only then, did we pretend to drive them. We made noises for the engine, and they were always loud. There were usually at least 2 junked cars per yard, if not we just played road trip or racetrack…the older or cooler cousins got the better car, the younger or annoying cousins got the crappier car. The favored games for at least 2 car yards were cops and drunks or cops and robbers, sometimes car crash was good for a laugh. We’d often throw things to emulate the bullets that the cops always fired at the bad guys…there were always bad guys!! The bad guys always got caught after a bloody shootout. One cousin always had to be taken to the pretend hospital…someone always ended up bloody for real but we just wiped the blood on the rotted upholstery unless it was vinyl, then we wiped it on the spongy seat material poking through one of the many splits. Alternately we used part of the headliner. After the emergency was taken care of we would play another game…then lunch time.

Lunch was usually bologna and cheese with miracle whip on white bread cut in qarters with kool-aid and sometimes chips. We would go back out to play in the yard…now it was time for a new set of games. During the after lunch game the “tittie baby” normally the youngest cousin would go inside whining, crying and tattling on the cousin it hated the most at that time. That rotten tittie baby took a nap while the tattled on cousin got spanked, then we all resumed our games but we played “big kid’ games then…love triangle and domestic violence were usually the themes in these games. The miscreant would ‘drink and drive’ he would kill one cousin, another had to avenge the death and so on…then it was time for dinner and hopefully a marshmallow fight after the fish fry.

Ah good times!! Man I wish I was 6 again!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Complicated Lives....part 20


Head lice…ok you knew it was coming! We all know of head lice, I think all of us know at least one person who has had head lice. Perhaps you too have had head lice. I had never had lice as a child. Oh no, that special joy and shame didn’t happen to me until I was a caregiver in afterschool care and about 27 years old. How did this relatively clean crazy person get head lice??? Glad you asked! You didn’t? Well you get the story anyway because…this is my blog and as we all know…I just can’t shut up!!

I was minding my own business, getting my head stuck in tables and such when a work friend, Celeste came over to tease me. We shared a common hobby (aside from drinking) and more than a few common friends. She was friends with some people I really didn’t like at all…they lived one trailer over from Celeste. Was the trailer line really a surprise?? My friend Celeste decided to help me dye my hair one night. Celeste was good with hair and I am a sucker for chatting (also a huge shock no doubt!) but It’s rare I find a female I can get along with. Celeste was fun and nice, kind and nurturing, Celeste got along with nearly everyone…even the crazy people next door. Said crazy person, Rhoda was married to one man, Jethro, with another man’s baby as yet unborn. Her husband Jethro (kind but silly man) knew she was carrying another man’s child…in the worst kept secret of the century, the only person who didn’t know she was carrying Fred’s baby was Fred! Rhoda, Jethro and Fred all were good friends and spent time with the Sycamore’s. The Sycamore’s were a VERY filthy family with many filthy secrets, secrets I might not share.

The Sycamore family had a hellacious strain of lice. The kids heads, even the girls, were shaved but those suckers just came back. It was probably the fact that nothing ever got truly clean around the place..little things like, sheets, blankets, clothes, the kitchen…etc etc. These lice were members of the family. They had had the same lice family for years. I think their lice still keep in contact with the baby lice they sent out onto other children’s heads to repopulate the louse world. More than one child was in tears after contracting the ‘Sycamore Strain’ as many of us called it…I digress…

Celeste was doing my hair. She was clean, and didn’t scratch, so I let her use her own brush on me. Later that night I started itching like a dog with mange!! Remember, we covered mange J I went to the bathroom and continued scratching. I thought it might be the dye. The itching was along the back of my head and near my ears. While scratching I felt something, so I pulled it out of my hair. I looked and thought ‘OMG a funny whitish flea. Wait, flea?? Our cat doesn’t have fleas. What the he-- is this thing?’ I woke my husband and asked him. You guessed it folks! It was a louse!! OMG!!! My first louse ever! I felt so, so, stupid! Also dirty!! I called Celeste. She told me she didn’t have lice because her head wasn’t itching. Her husband checked her anyway. She was full of lice!! We sobbed together and started putting the pieces together…

Celeste had done Rhoda’s hair the week before. She also used one of her brushes on Rhoda. Rhoda was good friends with the Sycamore family and spent a lot of time there. I got them from Celeste, Celeste got them from Rhoda, Rhoda got them from the Sycamore’s. I got rid of my Sycamore strain in one treatment. Celeste had really thick wavy hair so she needed more than one as did Rhoda who had long thick wavy hair. We were all sure we were going to have to shave ourselves. The fact remained that neither of the other two knew they were infested. I knew within an hour or two, and stopped the invasion. Our mystery was solved at work when we cried on our boss’ shoulder about our horribly embarrassing weekend……The kicker, only people allergic to louse saliva itch! Thank God for school!! Also lice only attach to certain hair types, African American hair for one strain, Hispanic hair for another, Caucasion…etc…odd truly odd…complicated too!!