Tuesday, July 18, 2006
The Title of This Entry
Just as I never realized "paraplegia" can be partial and temporary, so I never realized people can need to use a wheelchair only part of the time.
Yesterday I had a fitting where they took measurements for a customized manually operated folding wheelchair. There were so many options to choose from and so many considerations to take into account: portability, length of time spent in the chair, terrain it will be used on, etc. I think I'll be happy with it once it's built and delivered. I'll continue to work on my walking, of course, but having the ability to keep up with all you speedy walkers and go farther than a thousand feet without a rest break sounds good to me.
My day was going to be dominated by a doctor's appointment today but they called last night to cancel. The office person said the doctor had to be in surgery this morning. Considering how long it's taking them to reschedule, I'm starting to think maybe he's the one having the surgery. (Perhaps he needs an emergency procedure to relieve his writer's cramp from writing too many Cialis scrips -- he's a urologist)
I'm not really bitter about it, but this is now the third postponement of this appointment. Originally the doctor wanted me back in two weeks but the earliest appointment was six-weeks away. Then they called to push it back to two months. In the interim, they never return my calls. Now, this.
I was actually a little surprised to get a call today from the Social Security Administration offering to help with my application for disability insurance. It's a sad fact that getting a call from a branch of federal government offering help is so notable. I have now spent several hours gathering all the needed info together and there's a lot. It's impressive though how I can rattle off the polysyllabic names for my diagnoses and medications and doctors, their addresses and phone numbers and dates when I saw them or will see them again; descriptions of every job I've held in the last 15 years. (those of you who work in theatre can relate to the magnitude of this). After all that, today I found out Social Security will be giving me about a hundred dollars a month. Now my mind is all aflutter with the possibilities... What will I spend it on? A tank of gas and a burrito? (or maybe just the gas.) Really, though, it's a little extra and I won't pass that up.
Amid the rehab and research which seems to take up all my time lately, one of my great interests is researching rehab research (read it again, it makes sense.) Some of the new approaches to rehab for spinal cord injury (SCI) offer really exciting possibilities. I was looking at the website for Project Walk today, which is a clinic in southern California specializing in walking and spinal cord injuries. Their approach seems really logical to me. They rely on repeated patterns of activity to stimulate the nervous system in order to reactivate the muscles in paralyzed limbs. They have a week-long program to train patients for self-directed home-based rehab. It sounded perfect for me, and this is what I love about the insurance professionals handling my case -- I mentioned it to my nurse-case-manager and she immediately got very excited and wanted to know all about it. Stay tuned.