Friday, July 27, 2012

Volunteering at The Animal Shelter

Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) Volunteer

Recently I began volunteering at the animal shelter.  I love all the animals, the staff and all the other volunteers.  Right now I am filming videos to promote individual cats for adoption.  I spend a couple hours a week filming at the shelter, then I go home and edit the videos.  For my first video I filmed Nala.  She was a sweet and easy going gal.  Here is my first video as a PHS volunteer.

video

The volunteers are required to wear hunter green volunteer shirts.  Green is not really my color but I am happy to be volunteering.  Here is my new shirt.

back of volunteer shirt

Front of volunteer shirt
While volunteering I take my crutches with me since I will be standing up for a couple of hours.  When I go into the cat condos, I leave my crutches outside in case some cats are afraid of my crutches.  Then I sit on the floor of the condo and film the cats playing, relaxing and doing what cats do.

I also bought a waist apron to put my camera, phone, wallet and cat toys in since I wont have my hands free when I am on crutches or when I am carrying cats.  I thought the apron was a little boring so I jazzed it up a bit.  I dyed it pink and ironed on some cat patches.  Now this apron is a little more my style.
my volunteer apron

Forget bear hugs, cat and dog hugs are the best,  Hippy Angie

Thursday, July 26, 2012

7.5 Months Post-Op

Still in Pain

I am still in a lot of pain.  I feel like managing the pain is an uphill battle.  My hip is always inflamed and the muscles, like my hip flexor, and glutes, are so tight. I wake up in pain, go to sleep in pain, and spend my day in pain.

Despite all the pain I am using my crutches less.  I barely use my crutches most days.  If I need to run to the pharmacy I might grab my cane and if I need to do some shopping I make sure to go somewhere that has powercarts to shop with.

I am definitely doing better than I was doing 3 months ago, but the progress is so slow.  I am nowhere close to where I want to be.  I still can't spend a day at the mall without my crutches and needing three more days to recover.

I see my pain management doctor in a couple of weeks so I will see what we can come up with.  I am thinking about getting a power cart of my own, or a wheelchair.  Something that I can take around downtown, or to the mall or to take my dog for a walk.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My "None of Your Business" Cards Arrived Today

"None of Your Business" Card or Business Card

My cards arrived today.  They are not really business cards since it is not for a business so I will call my cards "None of Your Business" cards.  I can say to people, "Here, would you like one of my "none of your business" cards?", much like people hand out business cards.

Whenever I leave the house I get stopped my dozens of people asking me very personal questions about my disability.  On one hand I think it is important to raise awareness about invisible disabilities and I would like to educate people about my disability.  On the other hand, it gets quit exhausting explaining my condition a gazillion times when I am just trying to go get coffee.  No matter how well I explain my condition no one will truly understand what I am going through.

That is why I thought I would hand out these cards.  When I hand people my card I will direct them to my blog and my blog can answer all their questions, hopefully.  Also, I listed most of my conditions so if people are truly interested they can google it on their own.  My condition is very complex and I am tired of trying to dumb it down to explain it to non-medical people.

So my None of Your Business card will serve two purposes.  The first, to save my energy and time explaining my condition and the second to educate people about invisible disabilities.

I don't plan to hand my card out to everyone, just to people who seem especially interested and are asking a lot of questions.  I will let you know how this goes.  I don't plan on handing them out to the especially mean people.  Mean people suck and don't deserve any of my time.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Buisness Card Anyone?

So today I ordered business cards from vistaprint.com.  The 250 business cards are free and shipping is $8.  The business cards basically have my blog web address on them and say "Invisible Disabilities Awareness"  and the card also lists the conditions I have.  I have so many people asking me so many questions about my crutches, cane, foot, knee, leg, power shopping cart, and handicap parking that I figured I could steer everyone with questions to my blog.

If people are as truly interested as they seem to be, they can check out my blog and that should answer most of their questions.

Kinda silly but I will give it a try.  I will let everyone know how it goes.

Sincerely your silly business card carrying,
Angie

P.S  If you have not read The Spoon Theory please read it here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

People Are So Weird

People are Weird

Some people say the strangest things to me while I am out walking around with any sort of walking or mobility aid.  I use anything from my crutches, a cane, wheelchair, or a power cart.  On a good day I just use my own two feet.

Today I walked into Target without a walking aid and I went to use the power cart since I had a bit of shopping to do.  I do get a lot of strange looks when I drive a power cart and my crutches or cane are not visible (my cane folds up).

A Target employee approached me and he said, "Do you really need that thing?"
I said very politely, sweetly  with a nice big believable smile, "Yes I do,"  and he just kept standing their and staring at me like he wanted an explanation so I said, "I have a hip impingement."

The Target employee said, "Oh that must suck!"

I say, "Yes it does suck."

Target employee says, "Well, it could be worse."

I say, "Yeah, I know.  I always tell myself that," and I do always tell myself that.  I often think to myself it could be worse!  I could lose a hand, develop cancer, god forbid something could happen to someone I love and so on.   You have to count your blessings.

The Target employee then says with great animation and big eyes, "You could need to have a surgery!" and he walked away.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Big Steps

I Went to the Gym for the First Time without My Crutches
 
This was a big scary step for me. The gym is fairly large and even though I can park close I still need to cross a street. The gym is full of stairs and balls flying through the air and my crutches signal to other that "hey, don't through balls this way, I can't dodge." I got to the gym and took the elevator up. I rode the bike then I went for a swim. I even took the stairs down holding on the rail and walking carefully.



My pain levels did go up but it wasn't excruciating. I definitely, without a doubt, feel better than I did last month and the month before. My pain levels have been between a 3 and a 6 for the last month and I have been managing walking around the house and doing housework much better. I still need to be careful. I can't jump or twist or do any dancing. I still need to walk slowly and carefully but at this point I am feeling better than I did before surgery.

I am pretty happy and hopeful about this improvement. I am wondering if I might have a soft tissue impingement due to scar tissue in my hip joint and that may be causing my pain now. I will just have to wait and see.