Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Experiences

Jerry started taking classes at the community college in the first week of February. Our schedule was a bit grueling with school Monday through Thursday, SCI-FIT in Pleasanton Friday and wheelchair soccer on Saturdays, not to mention homework.  The drive to school is about 45 minutes, too far to drop Jerry and come back home so I am taking classes at the same time as Jer.  I'm loving it, I have a golf and a fitness class, it's a great break for me.  The first hurdle to overcome was how Jerry was to manage homework assignments, the first homework assignment was a bit overwhelming. We purchased software that allows Jerry to do calculus using his voice activation software, it's been challenging for him but he's figuring it out. Jerry really enjoyed his history class and liked the teacher very much. In the 4th week Jerry had an issue with the teacher and dropped the class.  I encouraged him to stick with it, not let the teacher get the best of him however he felt he could not work with a teacher that was so unreasonable.  Jerry has special accommodations for test taking, he takes tests at disabled student services where a scribe will write his answers. He showed up for class on Monday and found that there was to be a test however he didn't have the chance to set up the time with a scribe because he was unaware of the test. Jerry asked if he could set it up for the next day and the teacher would not allow it. The teacher explained the test date was in the syllabic (handed out the first day of school), he told Jerry he would have to take a zero and be more prepared for next time.  The bottom line is Jerry is just trying to figure out how to be a student as a quad, he took classes he thought would be easy, he didn't need them.  The purpose is to work out the kinks and figure out how to manage. As a mom I was ready to march in and have a little chat with that teacher however Jerry would not allow it, Jerry did make a complaint in disabled student services.

Jerry is playing wheel chair soccer (power soccer) on Sundays and enjoying it very much. He plays on a co-ed team with others with different disabilities, some have MS, MD and spinal cord injured.  Jerry's wheelchair is not good for the sport it's far to slow so in the beginning it was very frustrating for him.  The coach has a few extra chairs that people have handed down and offered one to Jer.  It took about 3 weeks to modify the chair to fit Jerry's needs, this weekend he was able to control his new chair with almost no issues. The team had a tournament in Santa Barbara last weekend so Dennis and Jerry made the long haul.  This was the first time since Jerry's accident that he has traveled in a vehicle for more than 2 hours as well as a first for staying in a hotel. Jerry fared well on the drive and slept fine without the alternating pressure mattress.  This was a good trial for travel, our next trip will be a little more challenging as we'll be flying to Atlanta GA in July.

Here's a little taste of power soccer:

video

God Bless!

Katie

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quick Update

I think we may be getting closer to addressing the nausea issue for Jerry. Although we've not discovered the root cause we have found a medication combo that eliminates about 85% of the nausea. Jerry feels better physically which improves his mood and outlook on life greatly. I hope this remedy holds up, Jerry builds a tolerance to medications very quickly within 2 to 4 weeks. For now the pain, nausea and emotions are all being managed successfully.

Jerry begins classes at Cabrillo college in about 3 weeks, I think he's excited yet very nervous at the same time.  Originally Jerry was going to sign up for a history class to learn how to be a student as a quadriplegic, the biggest concern being how to manage homework. Jerry decided that one class was not enough he really wanted to take calculus as well and so signed up for the class.  Now Jerry is becoming increasingly more nervous about being able to handle 2 classes and is wavering on whether or not to drop calc.  I reassured Jer that there is plenty of time to drop a class and he should at least give it a shot. He could attend 2 or 3 classes and then determine whether or not he can handle it, so for now that is the plan. Since I am driving him to school and don't have time to come home, I've decided to take some classes as well. As a new student I got to register for classes last and thus all the classes I wanted to take were full, so I will be taking a golf class this semester.  I'm excited and hope to improve my golf game immensely.

In my last post I mentioned Dennis being in a band and encouraged all locals to join us at the next gig. I just wanted to let everyone know that Dennis dropped out of the band.  Maybe he will pick it back up at a later date but right now it's a little too complicated.  I assume the scheduled shows have been canceled, unless they were able to pick a drummer.

I still have lots of t-shirts, if you were planning on purchasing I encourage you not to wait we are limited on sizes.

Much love,

Katie

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy new year, may God bless you today and everyday of this upcoming year.

There has been a couple of changes to this site I'd like to point out in case you haven't noticed. First we have reached $9,557 for the China fund, at just under $10,000 we are almost 1/4 of the way to our goal of $40,000. Secondly there is a new page for t-shirts, to view the new page you can click on the "T-Shirts" link above or click on one of the t-shirt images on the right. Sizes are limited so be sure to order your t-shirt early to ensure you get the size and color you want. We need to sale 27 shirts to break even but my goal is to sale all 100.

Some of you may know that Dennis joined a band, on January 1st the band had their first gig at Don Quixote's in Felton (Tunes for the Troops) , the band did great and sounded awesome. The proceeds from the concert went to the Army Blue Star Moms who put together packages for the troops. Originally they called the band Curtis, Yadon & the California Kingpins but they had to change the name, I think California Kingpins was already in use. The new name is Love Creek, sorry guys that name has gotta go, ya might want to go back to the drawing board on that one. We would love to see all you locals at the next show Britania Arms in Aptos Saturday January 22nd and Brookdale Lodge in Brookdale Friday February 25th. You can listen to a couple of their tracks by clicking here. Jerry went to the movies with his buddies but was able to get to the concert in time to see them play.  I caught many glimpses of him laughing and having a good time but I think he was laughing at me on the dance floor, ahhh well what are ya gonna do?



Jerry's two year anniversary was January 2nd, it was a day like any other.  We chose not to acknowledge the day as a reminder of a tragedy or give it merit.  We went about our routine as usual and didn't talk about the anniversary of his accident.  I know to some that may sound like denial however I don't see the point in dwelling on the date that marks a tragic event.  We live with sadness for Jerry's loss of mobility, Jerry struggles daily in accepting his new reality, we need to look for the positive not dwell on the negative. So the day came and went as any other day.

Jerry still struggles with nausea on a daily basis but does his best to be functional in spite of the fact, some days are better than others.  Jerry continues to go to therapy at SCI-FIT two days a week and we are looking to have someone come to the house to work with Jerry three days a week.  It would be great to get someone to come to the house to do range of motion, standing frame and FES bike, to give me a bit of a break. 

Jerry begins school in February he'll be taking a history and a calculus class at the local community college.  Cabrillo college is about 45 minutes from our house,  it's pointless to drive him to school and come home so I'm taking a golf class.  I'm excited for Jer and hope that he will not have much trouble figuring out how to be a student as a quad. Calculus homework may be challenging not being able to write out the equations however he has a calculus software that may allow him to work on his homework. 

We have a busy day today the visiting nurse was here this morning to check Jerry's INR, he should be able to get off the blood thinner Coumadin by the second week of February.  Jerry has a doctor appointment in Santa Cruz at 2:45 and my friend Cheryl and I are going to see Willie Nelson in concert tonight at 6:30. It's going to be a bit of a push for me to get through Jerry's appointment, drive 40 minutes home from Santa Cruz to drop off Jerry and be back in Santa Cruz by 6:30.  Dennis and Jerry are going to the San Jose Sharks hockey game tomorrow night they're pretty excited about that, I hope they win.  Go Sharks!!!  That's all for now I gotta get rollin.

God Bless!

Katie