More than we bargained for

It’s been almost a year since we adopted the adorable Graham from the SPCA, and I’ve been trying to figure out his breed since day one. All we actually know is that the SPCA put his age at one year and one month and he was found in small city a ferry ride and several hours away. Right from the beginning, he seemed younger, even though his size was about right.

Graham at *1 year and 1 month says the SPCA

The first second I saw him, you may recall, I was struck by his resemblance to the Russian blue colouring. Grey fur with silver tipping and gradation of colour around the nose. Then after a few months pass with Graham getting bigger and heavier, along comes a sad teenage wisp of mane and thickness of the upper lip.

Then, seemingly overnight he was nearly 18 pounds and the mane and tail are getting a lot fuller . His head is bigger too.

Graham now, still not fully grown
Meanwhile, here’s Boo our tiny female, fully grown tortoise shell

He’s now getting so big that my guesses as to breed go beyond just colouring to size , face shape and personality. As for size of cat and paws and shape of face we’ve been looking at the maine coon cat, but still thinking a Russian blue mix, until today when I found pictures of a maine coon cat and the nebelung ( which is the long haired russian blue ) that look almost exactly like Graham.

I feel like we need him to do a 23 and me test to really know what type of mix he is, however he’s an affectionate,gentle, loyal, funny, playful, absolutely beautiful guy to live with.

2019 is looking great so far. Fingers crossed.

First, my favorite band, The Rolling Stones stones announced their tour of the United States, with one date kinda close to me and my head exploded . Then my husband and I decided it was too problematic to deal with the border and I will have the rolling stones on vinyl. Every album since 1971, oh yes I am spoiled and that’s why I married him.

Then, just the other day, my favorite singer, Cher announced that she’s coming to Vancouver with her ‘Here we go again ‘ tour. Both my mom and I immediately went into planning mode, after my head exploded. So happy that mom loves Cher too. It’s now a matter of hoping that the venue didn’t sell all of the disabled seats during Presale.

And hoping my mom (76), Cher (73 on the date ) or I ( at least 5 cerebral aneurysms) don’t die before the end of May. That’s a lot of hoping . And quite a long time to keep my fingers crossed.

*both head explosions were figurative. My head did not actually explode. No bloggers were hurt to make this post.

Things I accomplished today … singlehandedly!

I’m very proud of this mornings accomplishments. First, on a small scale, the photo above of an empty orange peel is proof that I was able to get the peel off of my mandarin orange in one piece and with only one hand thankyouverymuch! No accomplishment is too small to celebrate.

Next on the big scale, I was able to get out of the tub without the use of any hands, and for the first time since the stroke . I just stood up, which is a big deal. So big a deal that, if I’m able to stand up after my bath consistently for 2 weeks, I will be able to cut my at home help down from 2 hours per visit to one hour of exercise based help,as opposed to helping me get out of the tub, and helping me dress, then exercise. It would also mean the ability to bathe whenever I want. Slowly but surely, I’m gaining back my independence.

I’ve been able to dress myself for a while now. It takes more time and concentration than I’d like and I always have to put my pants on twice because the first time they always end up on backwards . The other day I managed to put my knee high sock on by myself, which is no small feet, not that my feet are big but, you get it.

With every accomplishment, big or small, I take a bit more of my life back. And it feels wonderful!

Missing Mick

The Rolling Stones pictured here with Martin Scorsese

Yesterday , the Rolling Stones announced a stadium tour of the United States. The youngest member of the band is Ronnie Wood at 71, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are 75, and Charlie Watts, the drummer is 77. I greeted this news with the excitement of a teenage girl, immediately checking out the tour dates trying to find a city close to me. Seeing no dates in Canada disappointed me. The closest they’ll get to where I live will be Seattle. My husband even agreed that Seattle was doable. I didn’t sleep much last night. My brain kept coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t go.

It’s at this point, I should go back to yesterday morning. I had my care aid in and we got to the exercise portion of the morning. I climbed the 14 steps to the second floor. It was on the 14th step that my left leg gave out and I almost fell. Thankfully, my 25 year old aid has the reflexes of a jungle cat, and she had her arms around me before I got too far. This was the second time I’d climbed the stairs in two days, as I’d done it on Sunday, when my folks came by, to show them. While my leg is getting stronger, apparently it can’t handle 2 days in a row yet.

Getting back to reasons why I shouldn’t go, I’m not a young kid in my 40s anymore, like I was when I saw them play in 2005 on the bigger bang tour. Now, I’m an old lady dealing with the persistent paralysis down my left side, and a far too easily overwhelmed brain. I’m now in a wheelchair, which would be easier if they played a Canadian date close to me. Then there’s the border. I can’t imagine they’d let me in since my pain medication is natural, if you get my drift. I’m pretty sure that I’d have a hard time getting travel insurance, what with all of my pre-existing conditions. And if something did happen, it could very well bankrupt us, south of the border.

My husband agreed to buying me the box set of all of their albums and a record player in lieu of risking my health .

While it’s still a disappointment, the next best thing will be to enjoy their entire catalog whenever I want.

Comparing big stones

65 million dollar ring 19 karat pink diamond

Just yesterday, a ring with a large, almost 19 karats, pink diamond in the middle and clear diamonds on each side, sold for 65 million dollars at Christie’s auction house, setting a record as the most expensive pink diamond ever sold. I showed my husband the article, with photos, about the ring .

Before he could say anything, I said, “You are so lucky that this wasn’t the ring I wanted. ”

And we laughed and laughed.

This is my engagement ring.

Worth far less than the 19 karat diamond above, at 5600 dollars, this is an almost 8 karat morganite with diamond baguettes and pink sapphire accent. It’s not as sparkly, but I’m thrilled to wear it!

I am pleased to announce …

After just one day resting up from over exertion, ( see last post) I was able to climb up 14 stairs to where my power chair was parked, sit down, drive onto the elevator, ride down 1 floor, drive off the elevator, stop, stand up, and walk to my apartment door. All with very little loss of breath. Feeling good today.

After thinking it through, it was far less damaging and even easier than I thought it would be.

Feeling sorry for yourself?

I had the blues

As I had no shoes

Until upon the street

I met a man who had no feet

-Dennis Waverly

This year on my birthday, one of my gifts was 6 hours per week of in home care. It’s been great. 3 days a week, for 2 hours each day somebody comes over, I get into the tub, she vacuums and dusts, then helps me get out of the tub, helps me dress, is with me when I walk or climb up and down one step multiple times, and sometimes I even get a meal.

Night before last, I had a vivid dream that I climbed up to the second floor, so I got the idea to do just that. I parked my power chair just outside of the stairwell, walked in using a heavy quad cane which my aid brought with her up the steps and climbed all 14 steps to the second floor and, since the stairs and the elevator are on opposing ends of the hallway, attempted to walk to the elevator. I did pretty well, making it 3/4 of the way there, before I got so out of breath that I had to stop and wait for my aid to get my chair. It was the most exercise I’d done in one sitting since my stroke, more than 3 years ago. I probably would have made it to the elevator if I’d used my lighter aluminum quad cane, or if the floor hadn’t had carpeting. Walking on carpet is not so easy for me, it clings to my rubber soles.

I was so proud of having my best exercise day. Until I noticed that my right hand and forearm were numb and not responsive. I worried that I had burst one of the aneurysms in my brain and had now paralyzed my only usable hand.

Thankfully, my husband came home early yesterday, so he put a brace on my wrist. I didn’t use my right hand for an hour or two, and it slowly came back to life. Apparently I had exhausted my hand with the handrail up the stairs, followed by using a heavy cane without a break.

As proven by the fact that this blog post is here, my hand is fine. And I’ve thought through an alternative, to make more exercise easier.

Next time, my aid takes the chair to outside the second floor stairwell, while I wait at the bottom of the stairs for her to join me. I climb the steps to the chair, sit down and catch my breath, then drive the chair to the elevator, go to the first floor, and walk the tiled floor back to my apartment, using the light cane. Since tomorrow is next time, and my left leg has been sore all day, it may not happen until Monday, but I will keep you posted. Also there will be another video update as there is some improvement in my walking.

I had been moping about my one handed life, but it’s far better than a no handed life, as my short time with no hands taught me.