Living Life In A Wheelchair

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April 2022 Newsletter Edition

The month of April has been very physically challenging. The rapid deterioration of my right knee joint that started in March has continued throughout the month. As the month came to an end I've found myself with the equivalent challenges of when I lost the function of my left hip joint. I am honestly back to figuring out my day to day life and the logistics of how I am going to do things. It is obvious I am going to require practical help. Over the next few weeks I am going to need to work out what tasks I can delegate and then effectively start filling the gaps my physical challenges are creating.

I placed my next bulk grocery order and had these delivered to my home. The hope is that this provides me with groceries for the next 3 to 4 months. What I purchase are raw ingredients. I make use frozen vegetables, meat and fruit. Then I spend the following week doing my meal preparation. This works out really well as a strategy for co-existing with my physical challenges and chronic pain. I make good use of my slow cooker. It is especially helpful preparing a meal in bulk on day 1, cooling it to refrigerator temperature on day 2 and freezing it on day 3. As a strategy spacing it out works well for me. This is opposed to using a pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot). Having to do my meal preparation faster than this is too hard on my body and leaves me experiencing debilitating pain. It works really well doing my meal preparation this way. Then for the remainder of the 3 to 4 month time frame I am able focus on activities that I enjoy, bring meaning and purpose to my life.

I've had several medical appointments at a specialist facility during the past few weeks. In April I received a custom knee unloader brace. The hope was to stabilize my right knee joint. This hasn't been a successful process. While wearing the custom knee brace to put away my groceries the bones in my right leg went out of alignment. At a follow up appointment I arranged at the bracing clinic it was confirmed I wearing my custom knee brace correctly. In a further attempt to stabilize my right knee joint I was asked to try a knee cap tracking brace. With the injury in my right knee joint I am very concerned with the discoloration my knee joint displays while wearing this. The doctor who performed my regenerative medicine treatment is referring me back to an orthopaedic surgeon to assess if I am a candidate for knee surgery. The focus of my medical treatment has become making me as functional as possible while waiting for knee surgery. I've already received a lot of push back in my previous attempts to pursue this. My right knee joint has significantly deteriorated since the last time I was assessed for this. If I receive push back from the current assessment I am going to have to go to the powers that be against the surgeon. My life isn't sustainable.

In mid April I began hearing noise in the attic above my kitchen. The noise continued during the weekend. This was followed by a hole through my drywall. A squirrel moved into the attic. I was not expecting this. To be honest with the challenges in my legs I've already been maxed out in what I am able to effectively handle. It is going to be too much for me to trap the squirrel, find the entry point and install a one way door for the squirrel to leave. Instead I've applied for discretionary benefits to hire a pest removal service. They are paying for the inspection and waiting to see the recommended repairs before proceeding. At least this will get me to the bottom of what is wrong so it may be addressed.

During summer 2021 the window air conditioner I've been using for several years starting making a racket. I think it reached the end of it's life. With covid going on I am afraid if I don't replace it on my terms I will stuck during the peak of summer and experience the debilitating effects of the heat. I found a model I like and have ordered it. I saw this model when it was first on Kickstarter. It is designed in a U shape. The idea is that the noise involved in cooling the refrigerant is on the other side of the window. This makes it much quieter to operate. The model is now in production and readily available. I found an excellent deal from WalMart Canada: It is a pre-order allowing the savings to be passed onto the customer. I am just hoping I can get through another 6 weeks without it. Overall it should serve me for several years and be worth the wait.

Rocky The Hamster has continued to give me a lot of joy and satisfaction in taking care of him. About a week ago Rocky was running on his wheel as I was just getting into bed. I heard a noise that wasn't normal. I went to investigate. The plastic nut for Rocky's wheel wore out. The wheel broke off and trapped Rocky under it. It was really neat watching Rocky stand with half of his body outside of his sleeping hut while I was figuring how to get it hooked up again for that night. The following day I purchased a replacement wheel for him. It is really neat seeing his adventures, the ability to troubleshoot through his actions and how he creates tunnels. I am really glad he is here with me.