Thursday, May 30, 2019

A Crazy Few Months...

Sebbie enjoying the sunlight.

Oh, gracious!  I feel terrible it’s been so long since I posted.  In my defense, things have been crazy!  How?  I’ll explain.

Ren always had the sweetest little face.
              Firstly, it’s been an emotional couple of months.  We unexpectedly lost little Ren, my mom’s bonded sugar glider.  Within a few hours, she was just gone…  It was really tough.  Then, a few weeks later, our Bernese Mountain Dog (Sebbie) started going downhill.  He was almost 12 years old so it wasn’t unexpected but that hardly made it easier.  We found a beautiful burial in a lovely rural area.  They were laid to rest together, which was fitting since both were Mama’s babies that never left her side. 

              Secondly, college!  Balancing what was needed for both UNC and RRCC has been a full-time job!  I did get my summer/fall schedule completed for UNC!  12 credits over the summer and 15 in the fall.  Plus, I managed to end the Spring semester with a 4.0 GPA!  The higher I can keep that GPA, the less of an impact the forthcoming math classes will make…  I know.  Face them with my chin up and a positive attitude.  Busy, busy! 

Then, there was working through getting a housing assignment at UNC.  Due to the wheelchair, I had to work with both disability and housing services, which meant getting both sides to communicate and coordinate.   Don’t get me wrong, they were both sweet and very helpful, but anytime you have that many parties involved, it’s going to get a little crazy.

My new desk space at the apartment!
              In the end, however, I ended up with a lovely 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment that has an in-room washer and dryer and access to a full kitchen (since the dining hall could be a bit dicey for me).  The apartment is handicap accessible too so, yay!  So far, no roommate assignment has been made but it should be interesting once there is.  ๐Ÿ˜Š I have to admit to being a little nervous.  This will be the first time I’ve lived alone.  Plus, there is the disability to now contend with; which, since it is so new is still an adjustment.  I think it’ll be good though!  It’s a great area, with lots of resources, and the college has been amazing.      

My new living room!
I know, it needs curtains and some artwork, but one step at a time.
It has an accessible couch I can actually get on and off of!!!
              Then, there is the new car and wheelchair!  My dada found a 1997 Dodge Caravan with a ramp, swivel chair, and hand controls.  This means I will have an accessible car for college!!!  Dada has been working really hard to get it ready and I couldn’t be more grateful.  It will be so nice to be able to drive again and a relief to have a car I can use when I’m on my own.  I can do my own groceries, medical appointments, etc.…  Or just drive to the classes when it is pouring rain, as it has for the last 2 weeks.

              My new wheelchair should be ready in a couple of months and I can’t wait!  The doctors recently moved me to a manual wheelchair to start building my upper body strength back up.  I found the nicest company to help and help they have…  They currently have me in a loaner chair.  It’s not perfect, but I can get around and it is surprisingly comfortable.  Then, we got my custom chair ordered.  I honestly had no idea so much thought went into fitting someone for a chair!  Strength, posture, weight, occupation, living situation, the list goes on.  In the end, they tweaked the foot plate to help rein in my legs when they are spasming, tilted the chair in various ways to help with the spasticity, adjusted the appropriate height and width, helped with the back height so I’m not hitting my elbows, and so many other things.   As for color, it’ll be a matte black frame, with black wheels and rims.  Very sleek and anti-clashing with my clothes. 

              The unbelievable surprise was getting power-assist for it!  I had thought about it but figured I wouldn’t qualify; however, I did!  Because I am in college full-time and running all over a very hilly campus all day, they wanted me to have it, so I don’t wear myself out completely.  Which means, hills, carpets (a wheelchair nightmare I have learned), and long distances become a lot easier.  Now, the waiting process begins!!!

              I had been taking the manual to RRCC during the week.  The first day, I thought I was going to die…  Those were some very weak muscles that did not want to be bothered and made sure I knew it.  To make things worse, the college is entirely carpeted.  Ok, I get why in theory; however, pushing a wheelchair on carpeting is a ton of work.  On hard floors (tiling, concrete, wood, etc.), once you get the chair going, you can just roll along with little effort.  On carpeting, you only go as far as you push and pushing can be incredibly difficult since the friction between the carpet and your wheels is so high!   That first day, there were times I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere at all.  My speed is not that bad now, but it’s still very tiring.  On the upside, I slept well those evenings.  I did learn my right arm is much stronger than my left, which meant learning to compensate so I wasn’t constantly turning left or going in circles. ๐Ÿ˜Š

              So, as you can tell, it’s been crazy!  Hopefully, things even out a little now that I am moved and settled.  I am looking to start an extension of Healing Fibers Foundation on campus.  It would be a great way for people to socialize, learn about fiber arts, and deal with the stress of university.  If things go well, I’ll get it up and going over the summer.  Wish me luck!

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