Archive | June, 2013

Doing laps

19 Jun


Today I got a second try in my manual wheelchair, and rolled down to the dining room and back. The picture gives an idea of how far it is. With the encouragement, or should I say prodding, of fellow resident Bill, I decided to try a second lap. With his help engaging one of my brakes, I was able to turn the chair around at each end . After that, I was on a roll. I went for a third lap, and it was the best one yet. Perhaps my pushing technique improved slightly, or else my muscles were warming up. To put the icing on the cake, I managed to push my way over the door threshold into my room. First time ever!

Manual wheelchair

17 Jun

I finally received a manual chair that I purchased some time ago and was having adjusted, and yesterday I gave it a try. I managed to push it from my bedroom up to the dining room for dinner, and then back again. I figure if I try to do this several times a week, eventually I may get a little stronger and more capable. Maybe I’ll even be able to steer!


12 Jun

What can extreme sport participants do upon the Death of a friend?

Spinal cord research

12 Jun

More promising research about a clinical trial in Australia relating to spinal cord injuries

Fading away

10 Jun


In the picture above, I hardly look like I’m fading away. In fact I was having a great time at a party in Invermere BC last weekend. But standing up in my wheelchair is not easy for me.

I am trying to stand for a total of 1 hour per day, and many days I struggle to meet that goal. Why? Because I cannot stay conscious while standing for more than a couple of minutes at a time. It is particularly difficult in the morning and early afternoon, but sometimes will get easier in the late evening just before I go to bed. The short explanation for this is that I suffer from orthostatic hypotension.

That fancy name means that my blood pressure is related to my posture. When I lie down my blood pressure is higher, and when I stand up it slower. That is the same for everyone to a certain extent, but in those of us with a spinal cord injury this behavior is exacerbated. If you want to know more about the medical reasons for that,Read this article.

Some days I am able to stand for up to 2 hours or more, but today I struggled to reach 30 minutes. Each time I stood up I would feel lightheaded within a few minutes. Most of the time, I had enough warning in order to lower myself to a sitting position, but once this evening I drifted off to lala land for a few seconds before I could lower the chair
a fellow resident called the staff member, who came and lowered my chair and was then able to rouse me.

I don’t give up easily though, so I will keep trying to stand as often and as long as I can. Why don’t you all just f-f-f fade away!

Don’t say it

8 Jun

Things not to say to the spouse of someone in a wheelchair:These things

Death in Ecuador

5 Jun

The Calgary Herald has a story on a Death in Ecuador involving a young woman who was climbing the volcano Cotopaxi. I climbed this volcano in late 2009. The route to the summit often changes from one year to the next based on local conditions, so it’s possible that this year’s route has more objective hazard than did the route when I climbed it.

June morning

5 Jun


This is the little slice of heaven that Julie & I visit from time to time, her cottage out near Millerville.

Yesterday we saw the resident muskrat swimming about. On the water or near it are two pairs of resident Canada geese, Barrow’s Goldeneye, an itinerant common Merganser , numerous red-winged blackbirds, Tree swallows and barn swallows , and rarely a Rocky Mountain Bluebird. At the moment, on top of a nearby power pole a red tail hawk is keeping an eye on the situation. Far in the distance, snow-capped Moose Mountain is Lord of the entire terrain. For a change, the air is calm, the morning stillness as of yet unbroken by any breezes.

We sit on the deck and take in the view while sipping a cup of strong Oso Negro coffee. Ain’t life grand!?