Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fun In The Sun

It was such a gourgeous day outside we just had to get out and soak it all in. It was brilliantly sunny with no clouds in sight and a high near 80 degrees...ahhhh spring how delightful :) Today my Aunt was visiting (the brown haired one from the pictures on my previous entry) so my mom and I decided it would be the perfect day to show her a beautul little place we love to take Lynelle. This spot I speak of is called Lake Natoma which is a beautul man-made lake (most are man-made in California) about 15 minutes from my house. When we got there I anxioysly ran Lynelle toward the sparling water, I was moving at a pretty good clip when I suddenly went off an invisible raied portion of the sidewalk causing my chair to slam down on the pavement 4 inches belowe. It scared the living daylights out of me but fortuanately I was unhurt and my precious wheelchair was not damaged. After I shook that off We let Lynelle run, swim, and play to her hearts content with a young couples dogs for about 30 minutes. She ran circles aroud those dogs, she is one of the fastest dogs I've ever seen! She's my little greyhound. After thoroughly enjoying seeing Lynelle be a dog we went on a long meandering walk around the lake taking in the scenery, watch the various varieties of water foul, birds of prey, and girls in bikinis ..I...I mean sailboats and kyaks gliding smoothly through the water ;). After we walked we just sat and took in the beautiful surroundings. It was the kind of day that made you happy to be alive. I can't wait to do it all over again.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crab feed pics


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Doctor I need your advice

yesterday entailed another trip to the doctors this time for an examination of my stoma or hole where the trach is incerted to see how it was healing up after the surjury over a month ago. The visit was also to do a trach change which would be the first since the surjury. The doctor had mixed news about my stoma, she noticed it healed fairly well but It also showed signs that my body was rejecting the trach tube. She said since this tube is made out of a different material than the old one my body wasn't used to it yet and was fighting it. she went on to say that eventually my body will adjust and it will just become part of the body and no more rejection will occur, she assured me that this was quite normal and nothing to be alarmed about. Any time you put a foreign object in your body it tries to get rid of it until it realizes that the object isn't so bad. She also noticed some scar tissue called granulation tissue was growing around the trach and she decided to cauterize it with a substance known as silver nitrate. Silver nitrate kills the tissue very gently and eventually just falls off. It does sting a little but it is well worth it to get rid of the tissue which can make trach changes very difficult. After the cauterizing it was time for a trach change only one problem I didn't have my replacement trach! it turns out somehow the item got left at home so the doctor decided since they had no extra tubes to reschedule for a later date in this case April 14th. Not a big deal when it would've been nice to get it over with.

Next we addressed my swallowing issues. We told the doctor that we were eating puréed food that was basically a liquid texture. She acknowledged that there was a significant risks to eating but that was up to us to make the final decision she agreed that it was not reasonable to expect me to eat nothing for the rest of my life and she agreed to do a swallow study. In this case the swallow study was done by inserting a scope with a camera down my nose into my windpipe down to just above my vocal chords. She showed me that there were areas where the food after swallowing was pooling up when it should've been going down into the stomach. This gave me an idea of exactly how risky eating is which is significant but as long as I eat slow and take breaks between bites the risk would be significantly reduce just have to be very careful. the doctor completely ruled out anything other than extreme purée such as a smoothie or a cream soup with note chunks. That made me a little upset but at least I could eat something. I had hoped that I would be a lucky things a little more chunky such as spaghetti or macaroni and cheese but after seeing the video I realized that was not a viable option for me now have to make do with extremely puréed food. There is a risk but it's a risk I'm willing to take for my quality of life.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The CCI Crab Feast

A crab feast might sound like a very strange place for somebody who is unable to eat to be but that's just where I found myself last night. Ordinarily I would avoid such an event since watching people eat is a little bit of a torturous thing but I wouldn't miss it since all the proceeds go to my favorite organization Canine Companions for Independence the wonderful organization that gave me my precious Lynelle. The yearly crab feast held at the Placer County Fairgrounds in the Roseville California is a massive event where hundreds of people who support the organization gather to celebrate and Dine. Besides a delicious feast of crab and shrimp there was a silent auction, a raffle with amazing prizes, and lots of time to mingle and talk to me others who share your passion for the CCI organization. There were at least 300 people there and many many dogs some of whom were in training others were graduate dogs for people like me. This is my first year attending since this is my first year with Lynelle. I attended the event with my mother and my wonderful aunt whom I adore. Since I was not able to eat I didn't have to pay, I just gave my ticket to my aunt so she could enjoy the meal and I just had a smoothly from Jamba Juice to give me a little something to snack on. I am able to drink liquids afterall. The first thing I did is check out the silent auction. After browsing through the various pieces of art and sports and movie memorabilia I came across a very charming painting of three labradors sitting in a row, one chocolate covered, one yellow lab, and one black and they each had a puppy sitting in front of them of the same color which appear to be the same adult dogs only younger. I looked at the sheet and the starting bid was $175 which is a little steep for my income level but I did anyway assuming that I probably would never win I thought for sure someone would come along and outbid me but guess what it never happened I ended up winning the expensive artwork! Lucky for me my mother stepped in to purchase it for me, I will take her back I promise so don't get the wrong idea. I was stunned but the same time happy that I won the beautiful painting. It will be the perfect edition to my bedroom above my headboard. Between placing my bid and winning at the end of the night alot had happened, some pleasent and some downright disturbing. On the positive side I got to meet a variety of incredibly nice women who knew Lynelle as a puppy, they all had very pleasent things to say about her. Now for the not so pleasent. While waiting with my family for the crab meal I had to go to the bathroom. Now you gotta be thinking what's the big deal about that? Ordinarily nothing for the average person but wen your disabled it's a whole different ballgame. When I'm out and about with my Dad it's no problemo as long as theres an accessible bathroom we just cruise into the mens room and he helps me do my buisness. This time hovever I was with my mom so simply cruising into the mens room insn't a viable option. What we do in this situation is have a man go into the restroom to make sure it's empty then we have someone in this case my aunt to guard the door and politly ask any patrons to wait for us to finish our buisness. This usually works fine as people are usually very understanding. This time however my aunt was confronted by an extremely beligerant man who wanted to have none of what was going on. As my mom and I were finishing up we heard yelling coming from outside. The mn was going on and on yelling "WHOEVER IS IN THERE BETTER GET THE HELL OUT!!" "I HAVE A BLADDER PROBLEM" "YOU CAN'T CLOSE DOWN THE ****** BATHROOM!" as we left the restroom my aunt told him "Don't you feel ashamed of yourself?" and the crazed man replied "NO I DON'T" "I HAVE A BLADDER PROBLEM PROBABLY WORSE THAN HIS" I was livid and above all horrified, it took everything I had to bite my tongue all I said was "there's no need to get upset" then I just drove by and left the man standing there like the ignorant fool he was. In all of my life I never experienced such hostility and I'm left stunned. I could have easily let the encounter ruin my night but I refused to let it. I went on mingling while sipping my delicous mango smoothy which really took my mind off the delicious delicacies being devoured around me. After the meal it was time for the highly anticipated raffle. I didn't win but my aunt did she won a $40 fire/watertight safe. After the raffle it was announced that the silent auction was over so I rushed over to the table where I placed the bid and saw only my name. I had won the auction! That was the end of a mosly funfilled evening. I look forward to doing it all over again next March. Aside from any please excuse my language a**holes. Thanks for reading Mitch Ball's World

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Snow Day

Yesterday was another fun filled action packed day in a glistening snow covered landscape. This time however it wasn't just myself, my mom, and Lynelle having all the fun, we were accompanied by at least 50 people and just as many dogs at a Houston in Truckee California for an event known as snow day. This is an event that takes place every March at a house owned by a couple who are CCI (Canine companions for Independence) puppy raisers and breeders. Every year they invite puppy raisers, CCI graduates like myself, breeders, and their canines to their amazing wheelchair accessible home for a day of food fun and conversation. They have a large fenced in back yard where all the dogs can run and play together to their hearts content and I spend hours watching them play with my beautiful Lynelle. There is something very magical about the way they play that captures my imagination and I can be engrossed for hours just watching them run around like the carefree animals that they are. I met very nice people and had a wonderful time soaking up the sun and taking in the sights. I can't explain how amazing it is to watch dogs in their natural environment, it's like they know how to have a better time than humans ever could.we can really learn something by watching them.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

without a hitch

Friday's procedure which I outlined in my previous post I am happy to reportwent off without a hitch. It was far quicker and easier than I ever imagined it would be, I have had anxiety about this for months and it turns out my anxiety was unfounded. The simple procedure started with the nurse giving me a small dose of very powerful drug Versed which alters your consciousness and makes pain much less severe. Getting the medicine into me however was a little bit of a challenge. Once again I needed an IV which for me is not a simple task as my veins are very hard to see and are very tiny so it took three tries to finally get the medicine flowing. Once I was in a medicated blissful state they numbed my throat with a disgusting tasting spray that smells like bananas of all things to make the insertion of the scope more comfortable, they also put a mouthpiece in to help guide the long snakelike camera. I have to admit it wasn't the most comfortable thing in the world but I've had far worse done to me without medication. Next the scope was slid into my stomach and on the monitor set up next to the gurney I could see the image of my stomach on the screen, it was far cleaner looking and empty than I thought. No fluid or anything just a nice pink chamber with glistening walls. After they maneuvered the scope in my stomach I was able to see the mushroom or rubber stopper that was holding the stomach tube in place. Since the stopper appeared small enough the doctor decided just to yank it out after all, 1...2...3 bam! that tube was gone all I felt was a slight stinging sensation at the site which only lasted a split second. I was shocked and relieved at how easy it was I was all worked up in my mind that this is going to be some horrible experience that turned out to be nothing more than a mosquito bite. After the tube was removed they inserted the new tube and it was all over. what a huge feeling of relief I felt when it was all said and done it's a feeling I really can't describe. after the drug wore off they got me back up in my chair and away I went home feeling like I could conquer the world.