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16 July 2013 @ 02:41 am
All of the things!  
Gah, life has been so ridiculously crazy lately! To start with, since February, Mom and I have been taking care of Grandma 16 hours a day. Yes, that's right: sixteen hours a day. So hopefully you'll understand why I really haven't been around.

I want to say upfront, before some of you (who know who you are) jump down my throat, that I can now, for the first time, say with certainty that we are in the process of getting Grandma into a home. It actually wasn't the 16-hours-a-day thing that made the decision, but the fact that her latest cognitive slide seems to have tipped the balance between "worth it" and "not worth it" to keep her home. So that's now in the works, though I have no idea how long it may take.

Among the other things going on are:


  • I (mostly) finished my Spring semester, finishing with one B, one C+ (but in was in Bio, so that's okay), and one Incomplete (I still need to finish the final paper). I'm hoping for a final semester GPA somewhere in the B range.

  • We* have done a TON of work in the house, even though doing so while Grandma is still here brings to mind the Phyllis Diller quote about cleaning house while your children are still growing (it's "like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing").

  • I have been working on using available tools--psychological, physical, and technological--to try to compensate for some of my special needs. For example, I've been working on using iPhone apps to stay organized, and am looking into seeing whether or not I might be able to get the OT (occupational therapy; physical therapy that increases your ability to do day-to-day tasks) I should have gotten as a child.

  • And, related to the above...I LEARNED HOW TO RIDE A BIKE!!!


Riding my bike!
Me riding my brand-new bike, while my
team-member Frankie keeps watch


For both mental and physical reasons, I never learned to ride a bike as a kid, or a teen, or...well, ever. However, this spring, I read on Ellen Seidman's special-needs blog "Love That Max" about the iCan Bike program, which teaches kids and adults with special needs how to ride bikes by using individualized instruction (seriously, my team was a 4:1...and I was the one!) and customized bikes. The specific program I went to was a "camp" held at C.W.Post for an hour and a quarter five days in a row. When I got there on Monday, I was riding at training-wheels level; I rode on my own for the first time ever on Wednesday, and successfully completed multiple cycles of start-->ride-->turn-->ride-->brake on Friday. I CAN RIDE A BIKE!

(I also won a bike, which was insanely cool, really boosted my self-esteem, and comes in a far, far second to the awesomeness of finally knowing how to ride it.)

And...that's about it. Next up on the agenda: finishing my paper, gearing up for fall semester (taking three classes: Intro to Ethics, Health Services and Policy, and Intro to Skin and SCUBA diving), working on getting back into writing (stay tuned for that one), watching as several of my friends take major (good!) life-steps, and--of course!--riding my new bike!

How about you guys?

Abyssinia,
Barrie

*When I say "we", I really do mean "we": along with the usual gang of misfits (RK, silver_chipmunk, wafflesmcduff), I'd like to send a special shout-out to silver_chipmunk's almost-son-in-law, who barely knows us and yet has been working like a dog, AND helping me with my paper. Thank you, C!
 
 
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
Current Music: Whatever Mom was watching on TV before she fell asleep
 
 
 
ioaniteioanite on July 16th, 2013 09:25 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the bike! It sounds like everything's turning out well for you; I hope it keeps up.
MASHFanficChick: Giggle (Hutch)mashfanficchick on July 18th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Yes, it does seem that way, doesn't it...hmm, I suppose I better start looking out for bad things now! ;-)
lolabobslolabobs on July 16th, 2013 10:15 pm (UTC)
Oh Congratulations on learning to ride a bike, It's fabulous to achieve something that you thought you'd missed your chance on, and it's great that there are people out there who can help you to such achievements.

Well done!
MASHFanficChick: It's ALL fine (BBC!John)mashfanficchick on July 18th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And, yes: the existence of the iCan Bike program is something I am telling EVERYONE about, in the hopes that they can either make use of it or help it reach its maximum potential. Already, I found out accidentally that someone I know might be able to have it help her son! Now I'm looking into learning how to hand-write better, another thing I missed out on learning when I was the "right" age.
rainbowchickenrainbowchicken on July 17th, 2013 12:58 am (UTC)
It's always a hard decision to put a loved one into a home & I'm sure it's the best for all of you. {{{{HUGS}}}} We had to put my mother into one several years ago, and it was the best decision for everyone; she wasn't taking her meds properly & that was making her health that much worse.

Way to go on the grades! I'm contemplating going back next month. Guess I'd better get a move-on, huh?

Congrats on learning to ride a bike! I still haven't, at the ripe old age of 48. lol My balance is pretty much perma-borked because of too many ear problems over the years.
MASHFanficChick: Got Pride?mashfanficchick on July 18th, 2013 07:08 pm (UTC)
*hugs you* Yes, it is hard, but at the same time, it's very much a good thing even emotionally, because the fact that we feel now that it's the right time means that all the other times people tried to tell us to do it and we said "no" really were the wrong times. So it's working out okay. :-)

Uh, yeah, you probably should...but then, I should probably be working on my paper, so there you go! ;-)

And, thank you! I will say, I don't know if iCan Bike could help you, but you could certainly look into it: one of my major problems is balance, and they were able to help me with it. I just don't know if the type of balance problems you have would be something you could train your body out of; if not, you still might not have the balance needed to ride a two-wheeler.
ahaviaahavia on July 17th, 2013 06:12 am (UTC)
Wonderful that you learned to ride a bike.
I will pray for your family and your grandmother.
Ahavia
MASHFanficChick: Alzheimer's Awareness (ribbon)mashfanficchick on July 18th, 2013 07:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, Ahavia, how I've missed you! *hugs*

I have to say that--as much as I hope you know that your prayers are ALWAYS welcome here--I hope I didn't sound as though it's a bad thing that we're looking into home placement for Grandma. It's really a good thing: it means that we have taken care of her to the best of our abilities, even when people told us we were nuts (granted, we are nuts, but that's beside the point!), and that she did well enough with us to stay at home for years after people kept telling us we should "put her away". I think that's something to be happy about and proud of!