Thursday, September 29, 2011


Our boat propeller has taken a beating over the summer. 
We have a brand new one on order.


I was aiming at putting this post on my lake blog but got myself confused and uploaded it to the wrong blog!   Well I hope you enjoy my pretty photograph.  I just love the grays of the water.

I am having a tired, mistake making kind of day. I have been too busy lately. I do that. I have trouble finding my limits and gadging my energy level until it is too late. I am lasting through longer days, but I find the next day I am tired and cranky and make a lot of mistakes and drop a lot of things. 
I had swimming therapy group at 9:00 this morning and I wasn't at my best there either; I lost my balance more than once. One time I wound up with the aquatic therapist grabbing me from under the water to try and get me upright. She told me "It is not wise to keep smiling when you are going under.. close your mouth!".

I think I will go have a nap before I try and do anything more on the computer today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What Next?

Today was my first meeting with my new Vocational Rehabilitation counselor and it went really well. I applied for this government funded program almost 6 months ago and I got the final confirmation that I was in the program about three weeks ago.

 I spent about 2 hours with J.  and we reviewed the program and talked about my expectations and hopes. We talked about possible physical and cognitive limitations in a work place. We talked about my previous work history. It was a very soft, gentle meeting but it was intense at the same time. He explained to me that it really isn't a program as such with regular meetings, but it is a service that will help me prepare to re-enter the work force.

The short story is that I have not worked for a long time and I have no work references left. I am also vary aware that I won't be going back to the kind of jobs I had before. My last job was as a microbiology lab technician and teaching assistant for the infectious disease department of our Medical College. I also worked as a coordinator for a research program about genetic predictive testing for people with Huntingtons Disease. Eleven years ago I quit my jobs when my work hours were reduced.  At that time my father was hospitalized with heart disease and needed a lot of my attention until he passed away a year later.

 I was ready for a career change so I  started an evening college program in Web Design and Development. I only had two more courses required when I got sick. I tried to go back and take a Photoshop class only 3 months after I got sick and it was a huge mistake. I knew my hand wasn't working, but I did not understand at that point that I was suffering from a bunch of cognitive problems. I  was "encouraged" to quit and work on recovery and I have not been back to college since.

My new counselor covered the wide range of options open to me and told me that he wants to put me in a program that will be a 5 day vocational assessment of my skills, experience and interests that will also evaluate my endurance for a work day.  The assessment will be about 6 weeks from now and after that we will meet again to develop an "action plan" for me.

I could be assisted with going back to school for retraining or I could get to try out different jobs and get references through work placements. They will also help me with specific short term trainings, resumes and other work readiness skills. One very real possibility would be to start with a computer training program that they offer at their facility.  It would be for 6 weeks with about 8 other people with disabilities. That would be an easy way back into taking courses and give me something current that could be put on a resume.
He assured me that I can back out of the whole program at any time and that if I try something that is not working out we can switch and try something different.  It is all about me finding new directions for my life and it needs to work for me.

I have no idea where this program might lead, but I am very excited to find out.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How my Lake "to do" list went.

As usual,  I was a bit over optimistic with my plans, but it was still a great weekend at the Lake. The weather was absolutely perfect and having time alone with my husband was very very nice.

My favorite place to be.
We got the laminate flooring down on the screen porch and the difference is unbelievable. We have had an unfinished wood board surface and it was starting to rot a bit around the edges.  We have gone back and forth about what to do about that floor for 25 years now .. we think it is not worth installing good wood planking  but we are still a little worried that laminate won't hold up to weather exposure.

The way this worked was I bent over, picked up a board, waited until I stopped feeling dizzy and then hauled in one laminate plank at a time from the other room. My husband fitted them together, marked and cut them and then I helped him guide the far end of the board into the right spot for a final click into place. I also sat on a chair a lot,  supervised, and admired Bob's hard work. Bob wouldn't let me play with the power tools-- this time.

The dock partially cleaned.
The next big job was the dock.  I actually like  power washing. You stand there and the water pressure does most of the work and it is so satisfying to  see the color of the wood changing. We took turns cleaning  but the work load was a little more even with this project. Mainly I held the sprayer with my strong hand and waved it around and I would switch to my left when my right got tired ---- and 2 minutes later think that was a bad idea when the water started spaying around randomly in the air and I would switch hands back again.  We got the first third of the dock done. I hope the nice weather lasts long enough for me to get the rest of the dock finished. We need to get some sealer/preservative on the wood and repair some weak spots in the planking.

Home exercise was planned.. to heck with that silly idea!  I had done lots of real life exercise and sore enough to prove it! I did do my leg and hip stretches because they actually help lessen my pain.

Guitar.. nope ..... I didn't even take it out of it's case...

My Christmas crafting  is slow and gradual and satisfying. Next week it will involve a hot glue gun.

I wish I could show you a picture of the big pile of branches I clipped for the fire place (no axe or chainsaws involved).. but we burned them as we cuddled by the fire each night. It is now Fall in Manitoba and the nights are getting very chilly.

My dock, ladder and old blue boat.
Last on my list was the swimming. Well, I did climb down my new dock ladder  and I got on to the rock at the base in waist deep water with Bob watching me for safety.  I chickened out of actually swimming, partly because it was freaking cold, and partly because I didn't want to go swimming by myself. Bob apparently figured out the cold part long before me and wouldn't get on a bathing suit. Getting out of the lake was a LOT harder than getting in and involved some panicking on my part. It is very obvious that I still need to work on getting a whole lot more strength in my weak left arm and hand. I don't think I will try this again any time soon.

The approach to my beautiful old swimming spot.
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