Thursday, May 24, 2007


When I worked in an office I never left for the day without cleaning my desk off. Phone numbers were kept on a Rolodex and a month-at-a-glance calendar was filled out and followed. In my day there was ignorance and incompetence but nobody I worked with lied.

Things are different nowadays. This old lady I've become can't read her own handwriting. Can't hold a phone to her ear. Looks at a date and writes it on the wrong month. Last week I organized all my names and phone numbers on a page on the computer. BIG. This week I started following up on who dropped the ball on my feeding apparatus. The world famous post-polio rehabilitation doctor DID send a Letter of Medical Necessity to Amanda, O.T. Twice. The O.T. department isn't answering the phone. The letters will be faxed to Angie so she can submit to Medicare for denial. She may be the ball-dropper.

In the meantime I tried to eat a spinach salad yesterday unsuccessfully. Today it took an hour to get a slice of banana nut bread to my mouth and it has been an uphill battle since then. The tastiest thing I've eaten this week was a bratwurst and twice baked potato Sherrie brought me when she did my hair. Brats 'N Beauty. It works for me. I wish her shop sold durable medical equipment. No lie.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Follow the Bouncing Ball

I've spent the last few days sorting though the ball box to see what needs to be done to get back in the game of feeding myself.

Sadly, we are back at square one. Angie, whose company installs the Mobile Arm Support With Elevation Assist, will request a letter of medical necessity from the post-polio rehabilitation specialist. When he gets it to her she will forward it to Medicare for denial. This was supposed to have happened 4 months ago.

I'm not sure the fellow knows who I am. So I'm thinking of sending a note and attaching my picture. Today I scrabbled through my jotted notes and phone numbers and made up a large print page for the computer. My handwriting is as bad as my eyesight so now it will be easier to follow-up (nag) people.

My neighbor Archie who mows my lawn is going to have knee surgery in July and be laid up until October. People who have mowed for me in the past charge a flat rate for the mow plus whatever they choose to add on to the bill for the price of gasoline. I have a perfectly good Toro mower that is battery powered. They won't use it. Too quiet?

Could be depressing but fortunately the sun is shining and happy little burbles of pleasure keep erupting from my brain.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Downhill Slope

This has been a downhill year. I just called to find out the status of my "Mobile Arm Support With Elevation Assist" and it appears Amanda O.T. no longer works at the hospital who authorized my need for it December 26,2006. Like she dropped the ball. So someone from there is looking in the missing ball box to see if they can get me back in the game.

When Queen was here yesterday she devised food I can snag with my left index finger and get to my mouth. Turkey chunks, cheese chunks and cherry tomatoes. I'm going to show the only existing picture of my left hand because I always hid it because it was lame. This picture was 10 years ago. Cute huh?

Anyway, this left arm has a working elbow muscle and an index finger that can't open but mostly clamps shut like a lobster claw. So everything I eat has to be snag-worthy. My staple edibles of chili, cereal and oatmeal surprise me by not falling into the snag-worthy category. They require endless scooping, raising and lifting by right hand. Too much work most mornings.

I haven't eaten Cheetos corn-puffs in years but opened a big can last night and adroitly nabbed half the can. For someone who has eschewed fast food for years this may turn into a slippery slope.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Post-polio Weight Loss Plan

I've been reading disability blogs and everyone seems to be miserable in different ways. I guess people would rather live with their own discomfort than someone else's. I feel lucky not to have to deal with arthritis or toothache pain.

It's been four months since a request was made to Social Security for a device to attach to my wheelchair which will assist me in shoveling food in my mouth. When they deny me the device then and only then will my private insurance pick up 80% of the tab and send it to me.

Some think outraged calls should be made demanding action. But there is no point in being agitated. As long as I can spear food with a fork I can get it to my mouth so I won't starve. However, it's surprisingly messy to eat cake or cookies with a fork.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Hosta La Vista Baby

I'm feeling quite smug about posting these garden pictures from 1995. Todays picture is of the shady side. The birch tree is now blighted by some disease that caused removal of six larger birch trees out front in 1991. This one will just have to rot or blow down. There are no wires or valuables beneath it.

The Hosta Negrens has been separated many times and shared with friends. As hostas go this is a big variety. It isn't as tasty to Brer Rabbit and is still alive. Painted Japanese ferns,astilbe and bleeding heart were in this circle surrounded by miniature daffodills. I haven't ventured down there in three years so I'm not sure what remains.

i spent a decade crawling around this bed trying to achieve a look that equaled the catalogues. Never happened. But it did give me interests and exercise.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ferns of Yesteryear

It has taken me all this time to scan and post a picture on my own.

There may be a picture of ferns here. If you can see them it's only because someone took a picture. This shady bit of the yard was once fluffy with ferns. Rabbits devoured every last frond and spore. People talk about the damage goats and deer do but rabbits are my enemies.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Reach Out and Spill Something

The microwave sat in the corner of the counter for 30 years. Recently I found it difficult to lift food up the four inch lip of the appliance and onto the glass turntable. I was mulling over solutions to this problem when my beautician/friend Sherry suggested placing it on a lower surface.

In a second she whipped it over to a serving cabinet and swept up the debris that was behind it at its old spot. I spent the next day trying to get used to the change.

If it stays with its back to the wall it is awkward to open. But the server top is heat resistant so the hot dish has a landing space. At right angles it is easier to access but the UGLY back and cord is exposed to the entire room. And the front has no ledge as the micro is an exact fit. Without a ledge for a landing spot my hope of avoiding a boiling spill catastrophe is doomed.

I do have a large acrylic tray that could go under it and extend out. I'll try this today. If it works then I need to dig out the book to see if covering the microwave back with a camouflaging dishtowel would cause it to explode. In the meantime nutritional drinks and bars constitute my meals.

It seems like for every solution there is a new problem. That may be why husbands and cats resist change.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

What Is Going On?

I'm trying to figure out why I don't have time to blog. My conclusion is I start out reading blogs. I like them and go back and read their archives. They link to other blogs so I read those and their archives and so it goes. I know more about these people than my own relatives. I would sooner comment on a blog than answer a personal email.

In the UK there is a site where folks with disabilities write about the subject every May. I am spooked by this because there are some politically incorrect attitudes about disability I have that I never thought of.

When I was 13 people said hurtful things: "You used to be pretty before you had polio" but I never challenged them. It was what they thought. I preferred words to sad eyes. I can't get mad at ignorance.

One of the things I don't understand is why disabled friends want to have the world revamped to include us. There are lots of places I can't go so I don't. This attitude infuriates disabled activists who want access to everything. Presently I'm having to rethink everything I do in this house to keep it accessible as I decline.