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Kate's On Line Journal

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    Ok ladies, it's been almost a month and I miss hearing what is happening to each of you! Kath, update on the story about hubby? Kids? Vicky, how's Bri doing in her apt and at school? It must be beautiful in the mountains in the summer. Kate, how are you and the kids faring with Bruce gone and how is he doing in FL? Jackie, where are you????? Cheesecake, has to be something happening between hubby, kids and your own escapades. Obie, a lot was getting ready to happen in your life -- is Bill home yet? Lilsis? Scarlet? Anyone out there?

    I MISS Y'ALL!!!!!!!!

    P.S. Didn't mean to exclude the gentlemen -- want to hear from you too! Russ, how are you and Steve doing?

    [This message was edited by martha on 06-24-04 at 01:01 PM.]


      Well...we finished school and went through vgal training and I dyed my hair purple which is not the look for a fifty year old gramma. Anyone know how I can fix it? It is the color of the dregs in a bottle of merlot!

      "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us."~~Sartre
      "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us."~~Sartre


        PURPLE!!! Wow, now that's a statement! Call the number on the box of coloring, they are good at helping you.
        Martha, are you in Fla yet? Sold the house?
        I have been busy, trying to work up the worker's comp dealings for Jim. We are actually going to get an attendent! After 4 years! Man, the paperwork is phenominal. They demand that it be an agency PCA, but don't want an LPN that could give the insulin, so I guess I'll have to be around to do that after all.
        The summer here has been beautiful, getting lots of rain lately. All the flowers are happy. I did take Jim to S. Carolina and visited with Jackie in April-she has a really nice house and set-up for Matt. Charleston is so charming, with great food. Of course Jackie's meals were in the gourmet class! We walked along the beach and I have shells for memories.
        We are anxious to get out on the boat, got a grill for it this year that I am anxious to try out.
        I've been missin' you guys, so fire up the pipe, put on some good tunes and let us know what's happenin'...
        Thanks Martha for reviving me!


          Hmmmm, the last time my hair was purple I was in high school and decided to bleach it platinum (boy does that date me!). Calling the mfg of the product is a good idea.

          I did sell my house (27 days on the market hallelujah!) and if all goes as planned will close June 30. I won't believe it till I see the paperwork. Hope to be in Fl sometime the middle of the following week. I closed on the house I bought on June 1, but gave the seller till July 1 to vacate. Very mixed happy/sad feelings over the sale here but life goes on I guess.


            Hey guys...good to hear from you, Martha! What a time you've been through, and are going through. I'm glad the house is sold. Do you have any leads on a job in Florida?

            Summer IS gorgeous here in the mountains. We've been very busy. Of course, trying to get Bri moved to college and signed up for classes while at the same time all hell breaks loose at the library...par for the course! She hasn't moved yet; her lease begins July 1. But we did go through orientation, and she is SO EXCITED. She cannot wait to start classes. All her Michigan courses transferred, so after fall term she will be a sophomore. She declared her major: Criminal Justice. She's only taking two classes this first semester, Speech and Intro to Law Enforcement. She wants to get settled and get used to living on her own and going to classes...then take a heavier load. I'm all for this plan. Hell, she's waited five years to do this, what's one more semester?

            My VISTA term is winding down; I'm done Aug. 23. The library hasn't been able to bring me on full time yet due to budget constraints. If it's meant to be, it'll work out. We're implementing a new circulation system with roughly 65 other libraries...ugh. Talk about a mess! I think I said I enjoy a challenge...but I'm rethinking that! [img]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/img]

            My puppies are just over a year old, and total sweeties. I had to take Heidi to the vet to get a puncture wound sewn up; they race around like demon hounds and pay no attention to where they're going, or what they might collide with!! I guess it's just like having kids; all the scrapes and cuts and bruises happen when they're young. (Well, MOST of the scrapes and cuts and bruises....)

            How's everyone else doing? And PURPLE??? Sorry, I had to laugh!! Mine was green once...

            "God warns us not to love any earthly thing above Himself, and yet He sets in a mother's heart such a fierce passion for her babes that I do not comprehend how He can test us so."
            ~Geraldine Brooks, "Year of Wonders"

            "Be kind...for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
            ~Philo of Alexandria


              Hello my friends, we must be on the same schedule. I was determined to post here tonight and there you all are. I was going to suggest that perhaps our lives have reached a stage where we have naturally moved on. Remember when none of us were working and taking care of significant others full time? It wasn't that long ago. Now I think we are all working and crazy busy.

              Hubby is doing well, he opened a satelite office less than a mile from our home which he has enjoyed. Our son is working for the family business on jobsites as a helper installing furnaces and air conditioners. He says he likes working with his hands (they are so torn up from cutting sheet metal it concerns me) and feels he is learning alot. He prefers it to last years golf course job working for tips and catering to country club types.

              Our daughter has returned to the title company (where I now work) as administrative assistant, so we see quite a bit of each other. Both children will be at Indiana University next year and hope to take a couple classes together. They are pretty close and seem really happy as they look forward to the upcoming school year. We too have orientation in a couple weeks. We really have progressed...three years ago I went alone with our daughter, this time hubby plans to go. Our son plans to do ROTC and pledge a fraternity, hope he can keep his grades up. He was admitted to the honors business program (both children are finance majors, funny huh?)

              We almost lost Kobe about 6 weeks ago, our maltese/poodle. He had a series of grand mal seizures the first of which resulted in my son rushing him to the ER. His body temperature was 110 when he arrived, and by all accounts he should be dead or seriously impaired. He has survived and seems the same as always which is to say the same pain in the neck. His first seizure was 5 years ago at age 2. It seems adjusting his meds has made a difference.

              You might be interested to know we have switched physical therapists in recent months, mainly because of our move and his other therapist switched locations. Interesting to us was the impact this has made for my husband. His new therapist has focused more on exercises and this has resulted in even more return of function in his legs and balance. He is greatly encouraged and we are shocked at how much more return he is experiencing and the improvement in his spasticity. He still swims regularly as he feels so much better.

              I must say good night, working full time is still a challenge and the A.M. wake up calls begin at 6:00. Ugh! I miss you all and think of you often, hoping life is calmer and that you are thriving and all are happy! I would still love to plan a road trip,,, dare we resurrect the Nashville meeting?


                LOL, I was thinking of posting too the last few days, just didn't have the time!

                I think - I have really regained my life back; not always worrying/wondering over Matt, Chris and I actually got to go away for two days by ourselves, thanks to the great aide we have now. Of course, the 'getaway' was aikido camp, hard workouts in 104 degree weather (!), but a real sort of spiritual renewal for me. It was great.

                Charleston summer is in full swing - hot, humid, thundershowers, the every day forecast. Although we really haven't had much rain - I've been spending about two hours a day just watering everything I planted - I'm threatening to rip it all up and plant cactus!!

                So glad to hear all of my sisters (and brother - Russ????) are doing well. Love you all.


                If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa


                  Marmalady, we have been to Charleston in June, very hot and muggy. I took our children into town and to Magnolia Gardens to see the gorgeous flowers and the swamp trail. I can still see it and smell it. Ahhh memories! I think we are all doing so much better that maybe we don't really need each other, but we might!


                    Sorry, I think my post came out wrong. I hope no one took it the wrong way.

                    [This message was edited by martha on 06-26-04 at 09:31 PM.]


                      Yes well ..... so good to hear you are all still "Somewhere Out There" along with me ! This has been a busy busy time for us with dance recitals, Julie graduating from High School and Bill's coming home in May. But it's all settling out now and if the weather would just co-operate and WARM Up [img]/forum/images/smilies/eek.gif[/img] ... life would be good!

                      Something sort of interesting .... Kat and I were doing some serious shopping the other day and it was one of those shopping trips where everything just sort of clicked .... you know the kind I mean ??? .... we just kept finding everything we were looking for without hardly any effort (and costing us a fortune [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]) it was so awesome .... [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] Then I go and say to Kat - as we sipped on smoothies (I had a Wheat Grass shot [img]/forum/images/smilies/confused.gif[/img] ...very interesting) "Do you ever feel like when everything is just going so right - that you're waiting for the other shoe to drop ... like ...when is something bad going to happen - because you know it almost always does [img]/forum/images/smilies/frown.gif[/img] " ! We both knew what I meant and I hated the thought had entered my mind when we were having such a lovely time together and that I went and said it out loud ..... We were sort of pensive and sad for a moment of two and then made a very conscience decision to just move on - so I suppose we haven't allowed that thinking to completely take over our thoughts... sure made me sad for a moment or two though because it was feeling so darn good to feel so darn good for those few hours ...... .... do you know what I mean!!!

                      I do love summer but we haven't had much actual "summer weather" yet [img]/forum/images/smilies/mad.gif[/img] so send some of that hot humid stuff up to Canada Jackie - I'll take it .... I look froward to sweat [img]/forum/images/smilies/eek.gif[/img] after enduring the miserable prairie winter [img]/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] ...... awwwww Life ..... where's that pipe at [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] !!


                      [This message was edited by Obieone on 06-26-04 at 04:23 PM.]
                      ~ Be the change you wish to see in the world ~ Mahatma Gandi

                      " calling all Angels ...... calling all Angels ....walk me through this one .. don't leave me alone .... calling all Angels .... calling all Angels .... we're tryin' and we're hopin' cause we're not sure how ....... this .... goes ..."
                      Jane Siberry


                        You are old friends I've never met--weird, but true. It IS interesting how different all of our lives are since we began this thread a year and a half ago . . . for myself, the last six months especially have been full of "swallowing".

                        Swallowing certain realities, mostly, that I was doing everything in my power to avoid. [img]/forum/images/smilies/frown.gif[/img]

                        I'm going to cut and paste here the post I wrote for Bruce's exercise thread, becuz I'm betting not a lot of you saw it. I just got home last night.

                        I spent the last four days with Bruce (Projectorguy) in Gainseville. Here's my take on the training:

                        1. The folks in Dr. Andrea Behrman's lab are absolutely topnotch! Smart, focused, human, dedicated, and funny.

                        2. This is how the training works: Bruce wears a mountaineer type harness with shoulder straps that attach over his head to a single point. His weight is hydraulically supported (he started out with the machine holding about half his body weight, currently it holds less than a quarter). His arms are free (very important), and he doesn't wear anything on his feet but ordinary running shoes and socks.

                        There's a full-length mirror to his left, another in front of him, and a video camera with a big color monitor to his right. The assistants, who are all PhD candidates gathering data for their own theses on incomplete SCI, take turns at one of three tasks.

                        One of them straddles the treadmill directly behind Bruce and VERY gently guides his hips into the correct weight shift when needed. A second one sits facing him on a little seat at his right side and "helps" his weak right leg to maintain good rhythm and lift. This is done with a gentle push to the back of the right knee when it needs to bend forward and a guiding hand to the right foot to make sure it plants where it's supposed to.

                        I did both of these jobs myself on the last day so I can say with authority that the amount of physical assistance is minimal . . . the difficult part was to get my own hands in perfect synch with the rhythmic walking we were trying to achieve. A third assistant sits at a computer monitor with the controls of the equipment at his fingertips. He can adjust the speed of the treadmill belt and the amount of weight support as needed--and he's recording continuous, realtime data about stridelength and step frequency.

                        All three of the assistants are constantly looking at Bruce's body alignment, the angles his thighs make with his hips, the amount of tension in his shoulders, and no doubt a dozen kinds of details I don't know about. They use the mirrors, the TV monitor, and of course him to try to figure out exactly what's working or not working at any given moment. They give him quiet little instructions (relax your arms, you're not getting a good weight shift, you're lifting your left foot just a hair too soon, etc.) and plenty of encouragement.

                        Each "bout" of training lasts for five minutes, and they try to do 6 bouts of them in a day's work. Lately he's been doing only 4, because of the tendonitis in his right ankle. In between bouts, everyone relaxes. They do talk about the training, of course, but also about anything else that comes into their heads. We had one memorable conversation trying to explain to the Korean assistant, Mansoo, just when it might be appropriate to use the word "buns" in polite conversation.

                        3. There's a very interesting dynamic in the lab between the researcher and the clinician modes of operation . . . these people are of course gathering data. That's their job--to quantify what's going on so that it can be reproduced and eventually become an efficient way of delivering physical therapy to patients with iSCI. But they're also very aware that their intellectual, psychological, and physical interactions with their "subjects" matter a great deal as to what outcomes result from the training.

                        4. The training works. The central pattern generator is really there, and it really responds to carefully delivered instructions. The exquisitely difficult (but not impossible) issue is to find out exactly WHAT those instructions ought to be, and to adjust them in real time. How much weight-bearing? What walking speed? What stride length? What kind of assistance, and when to back off? It's a lot like watching a little kid learn to ride a bicycle . . . with the exact right combination of speed and balancing, off they go. But before they get the "feel" of that, there's always the wobbling and the frustration and the falling. The parent running alongside, huffing and trying to watch and be encouraging and help just enough is kind of like the lab assistants. This analogy is not exact, but it's pretty close!

                        So--that's it, I guess. I just thought you'd like to hear how it all looks from the perspective of a nonscientist with a deep interest in the outcome. It was wonderful to be with Bruce for a few days . . . a strange, sweet honeymoon in the middle of humid northern Florida. [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]


                          Martha, my dear, - How are we ever going to get you to quit apologizing for yourself?? [img]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/img] Valid thoughts, from the heart; and what you said was true - we are all in different places than we were a few years ago; but we're still all family - you are all my sisters (and brothers!)

                          If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa


                            Martha, I knew exactly what you meant and agreed.

                            Kate, how long will Bruce need to be there? Is there any discussion of furthering this research elsewhere, say Cincinnati? It sounds tedious and demanding the utmost patience...I am glad you are pleased with the results.

                            Obie, I know only to well what you mean about being suspect of good times. I hate feeling that way, but it simply can't be helped. We have been blindsided too many times. Friday evening I met my brother at the local pub (hubby was at an all guy cook-out) and I ran into my best friend from grade school. We haven't seen each other in many years. I stayed to chat and after I made some comment wondering how my husband was faring at the party, not the most accessible of homes they questioned why. Surprizingly they knew nothing of what has happened in my life. As the evening wore on and more was shared, they began to look totally incredulous, turns out my life looks like a train wreck, compared to theirs. As they were leaving they kept muttering how happy they were their lives were so boring. I just hope it's not bad Karma, I try to believe it has just been a string of unrelated circumstances and opportunities to learn. Boy are we scholars around here. Heh Obie, isn't great how good you can feel spending money? till the darn bill arrives anyway.

                            Marm, sounds like moving to Charleston has been very positive. I am so glad.

                            Scimom, we are both sending one out of the nest this year, one more orientation for us. Wait till you get hit with those book bills!

                            Everyone is still sleeping here, I've just finished my coffee and it is a spectacular morning, the weather this weekend has been beautiful. Time to walk the dogs, then start Sunday morning pick-up, where I start cleaning up and make enough noise to get everyone up to help (that is the fantasy part, they usually roll over asking me to be quiet.)

                            Hope everyone has a special day!


                              I'm worried about your swallowing. Never noticed you being a swallower; I hope you aren't hitting any major walls. We're here, even though some of us are just lurking. [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

                              I'm so glad y'all are updating. I've wondered where you were. There is a rather large crop of new mothers-of-sci, God bless 'em.

                              You people have inspired me so long and so well. Thanks for that. I'm very happy that the silence has been due to busy fulfilling lives, I hope the mothers of new injuries are lurking and learning from the pros.

                              C5/6 incomplete, injured Aug. 2000
                              Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?


                                Gee, Bethany,

                                Thanks for checking in; nice to know we're being looked after.

                                If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa