Saturday, May 28, 2011

"That thing. You know, that thing you do. You go to it..."

"You went last week. That thing. You know that thing... right?"

DG wanted to know: "Why didn't you go to that thing?"

Me: "What thing?"

DG: "That thing. You know, that thing you do. You go to it. You went last week. That thing, you know that thing... right?"

I didn't go anywhere last week. I had an assumption of what he was talking about though, but I wanted to be sure. And since I didn't answer right away, he added: "You know that thing. You dress up for it."

Ah, that thing. My assumption was correct. He was talking about the renaissance faire. So I said, "That was two weeks ago and it was just the small faire." He didn't reply so I continued: "Janesville has a small two-day faire in May. The big faire doesn't start till July 9th." (Bristol)

DG: "Why didn't you go?"

Me: "It hasn't started yet."

DG: "But you have that thing." (I saved up my loose change for six months and made a couple sales in my etsy shop and got myself a season pass- which is the thing he's referring to here).

Me: "I know, but the faire isn't open to the public till July 9th."

DG: "And how long does that last?"

Me: "Every weekend from July 9th to Labor Day. And I plan on going every single day."

DG: "How are you going to do that?"

Me: "Because it's every weekend. Why can't I go every day?"

DG: "Oh. The weekend. Okay."

Then I went on with my photo editing and he went back to his NASCAR (being Saturday, it isn't actual NASCAR, it's Busch. But it isn't even called that anymore. They changed the name a few years ago, but for descriptive purposes in our house, it's still NASCAR and Busch).

A few minutes later he asked: "If it only happens on the weekend, what do those people do all week?"

Me: "What people?"

DG: "The ones you know. Those people... with the pictures." (I have photos on the wall by my desk- people I call friends. One of them, I've known for eight years now- even before I started going to faire. He flies up once a year now for a weekend at Bristol).

Me: "That depends on the people. Some of them are from the area, they have jobs during the week. Some of them travel from faire-to-faire. It depends really. Some of them are touring, but they're also from the area, so I assume they go home now and then. But most of the jousters are from really far away. I have no idea what they do... plus, they have horses they have to take care of, so it isn't like they can just fly home."

DG: "How would they get the horse on the plane?"

Me: "I guess they put them in a carry-on."

DG: "Don't be ridiculous. A horse would need a carrier in the bottom of the plane. Sheesh, woman."

Me: "The guys with the horses have a hard time flying because they also carry swords."

DG: "As long as they don't carry nail files, I guess they're okay."

Then he let it go for a few minutes. Then he asked: "What kind of day job does someone from there have?"

So I told him of the few I knew. A few work in offices. There is one I know who is a student. One of the jousting knights does amazing leather work. Some don't have other jobs, their touring job is their job. He wasn't satisfied. He keeps pondering what they do during the week. I even told him there are rehearsals and training (especially with the acrobats and jousters).

He seems to be calm now. I want him to go to the faire with me just one time. NASCAR has bi-weeks now and then and I think he should go with me at least once. I'd love for him to see some of the shows (Barely Balanced, especially) and see the joust. Meet some of my friends. And, you'd think the ren faire cleavage would be enough to convince him to go. But he's been holding out. Maybe his sudden interest in my friends is the start... maybe he'll go.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Manwich and Meatloaf

For those who don't know, the Disabled Guy almost died. It was in September 2009, which was before I started this blog. It was about six months after my total-knee replacement surgery and if you've never had one, well, they're a bitch to recover from. People recover at different rates and it's a hugely major surgery. At this point, I was walking without a cane, but I had to be careful about how I walked (where I put my feet and such) and I was also slow to stand up- that's important to this little story.

For that do know, you've also read the story in the local newspaper.

So, I had gone to the VA hospital for a regular doctor appointment. That meant, not only was I tired from the hour's drive there and back, I had to traipse all over the damn hospital, because that's how they do things there. DG cooked dinner that night- which I appreciated. He made meatloaf, which none of us appreciated. We're not fans of meatloaf, but it's cheap and easy. The kids really disliked meatloaf and they would always complain about having it. But hey, they don't pay the bills, right?

For some reason, DG had gone to McDonald's that day for lunch, but didn't think it was worth telling us. And when I asked him what he'd had for lunch, he replied: "Soda." *pause* "Cakes and... stuff." I finally got it out of him that he'd gone to McDonald's and we all teased him about "soda. Cakes and stuff." While we were eating dinner, we were still joking, like we tend to do, and laughing about stuff.

DG made a comment, took a forkful of food, and then started to laugh.

About a half-second later, he started to choke. If you've only witnessed choking in the TV/movie sense, let me tell you, it is nothing at all like that. At all. He went from fine, laughing to no sound and purple in a matter of seconds. I know how to do the Heimlich. I used to be certified in the whole CPR stuff when I worked as a security guard (I was a shift supervisor, so I was apparently required to be CPR certified). But you just don't forget it because your card expires, but I digress.

I was sitting right next to DG when this happened. Jase was next to him, but on end of the table. (Jase was 17 then, just so you know). We simultaneously realized that he was choking. I started to stand up, but I wasn't standing up very fast. I had my hand on the back of my chair and I was half-standing and I said: "Jason..." and he was already on his feet.

I still remember what I was trying to say. I was going to say: "Jason, do the Heimlich. I can't." (or "I can't get up"). But, I said, "Jason" and he was already moving. Jase stood behind him, grabbed him and did it, three times. The third time, up came everything.

Yeah, by the way, that's something they don't tell you when they teach this- the person getting the Heimlich almost always will throw up. Everything.

Well, quite obviously, we have not made meatloaf for dinner since. Not once in nearly two years. Not that we're complaining.

Onto the Manwich part of the title. The very second blog post I did here was about Hamburger Sams.

Today is Friday. My youngest daughter works as a hostess in a dinner club and she leaves for work at 330 PM. Jase had his first day at his new job (Gander Mountain!) and I didn't know what time he'd be home. And my oldest daughter is coming home for the weekend (she lives an hour and a half away). So, I decided to make Manwich/Sloppy Joes for dinner and put it in the crock pot so it would be ready to eat any time, for anyone.

I walked downstairs and said to DG: "I'm making Manwich for dinner tonight."

He looked up, a horrified expression on his face. "Why?!"

I glanced around and looked back at him. "Why what?"

His eyes narrowed and he asked: "What did you say?"

I replied: "Manwich... you know... sloppy Joes."

He exclaimed, "Oh! Okay, yeah. Okay."

I had to ask: "What the hell did you think I said?"

"Meatloaf!" and he shuddered. "Uuggh!"

I should have just said Hamburger Sams.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Deck update- Deckdate?

In the most recent "Squirrel Protection Agency" post, I shared photos of the deck's progress. The Disabled Guy had a few days of not working because of rain. And a few just because he "didn't feel like it". Mostly, I think it was because he got a sunburn and he felt like crap for a few days after.

But he's made some progress.

From Ground Level-

The new deck is coming along

Someone once asked me how he does things with only one hand. He uses clamps and such and some of those clamps are visible in this photo.

The new deck...

The other part of the deck, the part that used to be the "lower deck". I hope he finishes soon. I'm getting tired of walking the long way around the whole mess just to take the dogs out.

The new deck.

In case you don't remember the mess and you don't want to click the link to the Squirrel story, here's a photo of that-

I have to come out of the house over by where you can see the red stuff through the railings (that's my truck), then down the steps there, then around the trailer and then through/around that mess of boards and swing frame. I'd rather just walk over to the other side of the deck and open the gate. But with all that crap between me and the rest of the yard, I can't see the dogs. I have to go all the way into the yard with them.

And if you don't think that's something to complain about, then you don't read my fibro blog.
Disabled guy sighting!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Disabled Guy and paper underpants

Last month sometime, we got a packet of forms from the State of Wisconsin. That makes it a bit convenient since we live in Wisconsin. The forms were long and a little complicated. I told DG about it, since we'd have to do them together (some of it required knowing how he felt at that particular moment and such). Then we sort of forgot. A week later, we got a reminder letter, gently nudging us to send the forms back.

Instead, I called the number they included so I could ask some questions before we dove into the ridiculous mess. I dialed the number, then at the prompt, the extension. Then I got the voicemail message of the person who sent the letter, stating the typical "can't take your call because I'm on another line or away from my desk"... I left the appropriate message with both our land line and my mobile numbers. Nothing. They never called back.

A week later, they sent another packet of papers, this one stating we had a doctor appointment- and when I say "we", obviously I mean him- for May 20th. I had to fill out a form saying that DG would go to that appointment. I sent that form back. Days later, I got another form telling me that I had accepted the appointment and that I should return this form to them upon completion of said appointment and they'd send us a check for $11.68. Then the doctor's office sent us a bunch of paperwork that I had to fill out.

All so we could see if the Disabled Guy was still disabled.

A quick run-down: April 13, 1995 a 28-year-old man suffered a massive stroke. The result of said stroke left him paralyzed on his right side. He has no use of his right hand or arm, eventually he started to walk, but with a significant limp. He also had to re-learn how to speak and even now, 16 years later, still has trouble with that part. Within six months of the stroke, he was approved for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and a couple months later, he was approved for SSD (Social Security Disability). He has never had to go to a doctor appointment to determine his disability that wasn't related to the veteran's hospital. So, he's been receiving disability on a monthly basis, since late 1995. And now, in 2011, they decide he needs an exam by a doctor that is not his own, to determine if he's disabled.

The doctor, after explanation as to why we were even there, asked, "Why are you even here?" then after I said I didn't know, he shrugged and said, "Oh well..."

Before the doctor came in, though, we had to do the usual with the nurse. Blood pressure, weight, height... you know the drill. After she did all that, she said to DG: "Now, I'm going to need you to remove all your clothes, down to your underwear, and put on the gown."

When she got to "underwear", DG's eyes darted around and he chuckled, which made me laugh. Before I could explain to the nurse, DG said: "Uhh... well... I don't wear underwear." and he turned a few shades of red.

She said, "Oh, you're not the first and you certainly won't be the last!" and pulled a pair of paper shorts out of a drawer.

DG wasn't too thrilled about the paper underpants. When we were alone in the room, he took off his clothes and put on the paper underpants. At his request, I cropped the photo to his liking (he's not happy with the 220 pounds he weighs). But I also took a photo of him from behind, so you can catch a glimpse of his paper underpants. Which, by the way, he had to keep pulling up because they didn't fit properly.

As you all know, he's a total ham.

Blue paper underpants.

After he changed and climbed up on the exam table, he sat there, swinging his left leg and looking around the somewhat bare room. Then he started making faces. And if I wasn't looking at him, he'd make noises. Fish lips, "blurp-blurp". Duckface followed by a bad impression of the Burgess Meredith "Penguin" from the old "Batman" TV series (I don't know why a duck-face sounded like the Penguin).

DG: "Hurry up, guy. I'm sitting here naked!"

Me: "You're not naked."

DG: "This is paper!"

Me: "Just the shorts."

DG: "Still! That's wrong!" Then back to the face-making and weird noises.

I asked him why he was making noises. He replied, "It wasn't me." When I asked who it was, he answered: "Bob." When I told him I didn't know anyone named Bob, he said: "Well, you do now!"

So, the doctor finally comes in. And I explain to him what I told you all above. More than once the doctor expressed his confusion as to why we were even there. He did the exam, which was typical. Asked if he was paralyzed, how much use of his arm and hand he had, if he could walk, how long he could stand. He asked if he had any trouble with communication. DG said, "No."

I exclaimed, "What!?"

DG: "I don't!"

I said to the doctor, "He does. He's got aphasia and apraxia. I mean, I even write a blog about him called Conversations with the Disabled Guy." (that made the doctor chuckle) And we established that he does indeed have some communication issues, but he can carry on a fairly normal conversation. And that was meant loosely- because obviously not every conversation we have ends up on this blog.

Then he had to ask him ridiculous things like having DG identify things around the office (the doctor's tie, the knot at the top, where we were [DG said "Earth"], ink pen, glasses, and so on). Then he asked DG to repeat this sentence, verbatim: "For a nation to be independent and secure, it needs an abundant supply of oil."

DG's eyebrows went up. He stared intently at the doctor. He raised his hand slightly, as if he were going to grasp the words in the air. "Can I get you to say that again?"

Doctor: *speaking slowly, but not pausing* "For a nation to be independent and secure, it needs an abundant supply of oil."

DG watched him with such intensity that I thought he was going to end up kissing the doctor. He looked at me and I knew that if I said the first three words, he would have picked it up, but I couldn't. That's why we were there- to show his disability. DG said: "Uh... one more time?" So he said it again. And again. And a fifth time.

Each time, DG stared at the doctor, his eyes as wide as his squinting would allow (DG has squinty eyes). And he'd glance at me, then he'd look back at the doctor. And the whole time, he had his hand raised slightly.

After the fifth time, DG said: "For... the... world... the world... has... this ain't gonna happen!" and he laughed at himself. I was so glad he laughed at himself. Because it was downright painful to see that look of complete confusion on his face and not be able to help him.

After it was all over, the doctor said he wasn't allowed to comment on whether or not he was disabled. And he read a statement on his paperwork that said something like: "DO NOT discuss the health of the applicant/patient. DO NOT reveal your findings to the applicant/patient." So, basically, he wasn't allowed to say, "Yup, you're disabled."

I said, "Damn. Now I gotta change the name of the blog!"

And we all three laughed. The doctor told us we were done and DG could get dressed and we could leave.

When the doctor left the room, DG stood up quickly and said, "Let me get these goddamn things off my ass!"

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Squirrel Protection Agency and the Squirrel Bureau of Investigation Part Two

I've been a bit sidetracked this week. I've got my own health issues that I've been dealing with and part of those kept me up till 5 AM on Thursday. Three and a half hours of sleep and I was back up and at 'em for the day.

DG has been rebuilding the deck, as I mentioned before. (his toe, turns out it wasn't broken, but it ended up with a lot of gross blood and oozing at the base of the toenail and he's going to eventually lose that toenail- so there's an image for you). Well, he's also sunburned himself- his "starter burn" is what we call it. Every year, he takes his pale body out, shirtless and just burns himself to a crisp. Then he reeks of cocoa butter lotion- which I hate.

At the end of this conversation, I'll post photos of the deck so far.

DG gets up at 6 AM most days. He's stopped walking since he started building the deck. And by that, I mean he's stopped walking for exercise, not that he's dragging himself along with his one good arm. He gets downstairs around ten after six. By then, I've been up for over an hour and have started what little work I actually do online or something that looks mysteriously like I'm not working. Most days, I go back to bed for an hour nap or even just to lie down. It really depends on how crappy I feel. But I digress.

This morning, he came downstairs, all excited. Because he saw the "witness protection squirrel" from the window on our staircase landing. I said then he wasn't doing a very good job at hiding if not only was he witnessed, but he was recognized. I really think cutting his tail off was a mistake- he's more recognizable now.

Moments pass and I go into the kitchen to get the last of my morning stay-alive medicine where DG starts talking about the squirrel again. I was only half-listening so I asked him what he was talking about.

DG: "I dunno. I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you. They have strict rules about this sort of thing!"

I waited a few moments (because I was taking my medicine) and then I asked: "So, about the Squirrel Protection Agency-"

DG interrupted me with: "SHHHHH!"

Me: "But the Squirrel Protection Agen-"

DG: "They're out there!"

Me: "Who is?"

DG: "The X-files!"

Me: "What do the X-files have to do with squirrels?"

DG: "They're in cahoots!"

He was quite entertained by his "cahoots" statement, so I let it go for a few more minutes. He had to laugh it out. Then I said, "Wouldn't they be the S-Files?" When he didn't reply, I asked, "Are you afraid they're gonna cut your tail off?"

DG wiggled his butt from side-to-side and said, in a sing-song voice: "I ain't got no tail!" *butt-wiggle* "They done shot my ass off anyway." As he walked past me he said, "They shot my ass off and it got scared and all of it came up here." *he patted his sunburned belly*

I sighed and asked, "What the hell is wrong with you?"

He answered with a sigh: "It's been a long morning."

Me: "You've been awake for seventeen minutes!"

DG: "It's been a long seventeen minutes!"

I came back to my desk, so I could scribble down some notes (I didn't want to forget the details of this conversation). From the kitchen, I hear DG exclaim: "Oh, NO!"

Me: "What's the matter? Are you scared of the squirrel mafia?"

He poked his head in from the kitchen: "NO! Shhhhhhh!!"

He finished making his coffee and I finished my notes. A few minutes later, Ceej came downstairs. DG was sitting in the living room, with his coffee, watching TV and I said to Ceej: "The SPA is out."

Ceej: "What does that mean?"

Me: "It means it's been a long half hour since your dad woke up."

DG, from the living room: "What'd she say!?"

Me: "She's talking about the Squirrel Protection Agency!"

DG: "Who told her!? I didn't tell her!"

Me: "She knew about it. There's a leak in your department."

If you're in the Facebook group, you know about the "ET" conversation that followed.

DG: "Here, this is the X-files."

Me: "That's 'ET', it isn't an X-file."

DG: "It should be."

Me: "Are there squirrels?"

DG: "Probably. I can't say. I'm not at liberty."

He's not at liberty to say anything about the Squirrel Protection Agency, the Squirrel Bureau of Investigation, or the S-Files. So whatever you've heard, you didn't hear it from him!

And now the photos...

The tear-down from last week.

The tear-down

He left half of the upper deck in place because of the dogs and for convenience, really.

The tear-down

This is the expanded part of the upper deck (it will all be upper deck when it's all done). But this is so the two parts of the deck meet up without a gate or whatnot. He dug up all those shrubs a day or two ago, put the framework up, then put the shrubs back today. He got done with those and then it started to rain.

The new corner section

The lower-deck, which will be all one level when it gets done.

The other side

The yard!

Our yard...

From Ground level-

From the back part of the yard.

Disabled guy sighting!

Disabled guy sighting!

DG says: "Hee-eeeey!" (he's putting his tools away because it started to rain- without the rain, he works till it gets dark).

DG says "Hey!"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Broken toe...

It seems that the Disabled Guy broke his big toe.

Yesterday (Tuesday for all you later readers), he went to Home Depot to get the wood he'll need to rebuild the deck. And he was gone for over six hours- no exaggeration. Now, it's about a half our to forty-five minute drive to Home Depot (depending on traffic), so if we say it took an hour for the driving, we still have five hours of time AT the Home Depot.

He got home around seven and he was limping. I asked what happened- he's got some just plain old "I'm getting older" arthritis in his knees but won't admit it, so I figured he just overdid it. He said he dropped a piece of Plexiglas on his foot. I asked why he bought a piece of Plexiglas but he didn't- his dad gave it to him last October for some reason. We don't know why. His parents do that a lot, just give him junk they don't want or have no use for anymore.

After he ate dinner (chicken casserole, he had thirds), he took off his shoe and showed me his foot. His big toe is swollen and has a blue-green bruise under the nail. I said he probably broke his toe. He denies it. We had this conversation that I posted on the Facebook page- about the Home Depot employees and why he didn't ask for help.

I asked: "Why didn't you ask for help? That's their JOB!"

He said: "They offered, I said no." I told him he was crazy and normal people would have taken the help. He replied (slightly jokingly): "I didn't want to seem needy."

Yeah, needy. By having employees do what they're paid to do.

So this morning, he's limping bad. Real bad. I told him if it swells more or gets worse, we'll go in to the ER. A trip to his ER involves a sixty-mile one-way drive. And all they'll really do is X-ray it, tell him to stay off it, and give him Ibuprofen. (can you tell I've broken my toe before?).

He says his toe is not broken. But he's in pain. He won't take anything for it, because *wince, groan* It isn't broken.

I said: "You don't know that."

DG: "Yes, I do, it's my toe!"

Me: "True, but I know what a broken toe feels like and you're walking and acting like you have a broken toe."

DG: "I am not!" (cue limping and wincing)

Me: "That's the broken toe walk."

DG: "I'm not dancing."

Me: "I said walk."

DG: "I didn't go on my walk."

I did a real life "facepalm" then. Sometimes, talking to him is a real life "Who's on first" conversation.

He keeps insisting that his toe is not broken. I keep asking how would he know. "You don't have X-ray vision."

DG: "You don't know that! Maybe I do!"

Me: "Except that you don't."

DG: "Yeah..."

When I say it's broken, he replies that it's just "really badly bruised."

Me: "So bruised that you broke it."

DG: "I DID NOT! It was the Plexiglas."

Me: "So you admit you broke your toe."

DG: "NO! Wait, did I? I didn't mean to! I was tricked! THERE'S TRICKERY AFOOT!"

Me: "Yeah, trickery broke the toe on your foot."

DG: "That's not funny!"

Me: "Yes, it is. You broke your funny toe."

DG: "My toe is not funny!"

I told Jase: "Ask your dad about his broken toe."

Jase: "What about your broken-ass toe?"

DG: "I didn't break it."

Ceej: "But he's limping around on it and making pain-faces."

DG: "My face don't hurt!"

So, Who's on first, what's on second and I don't know is on third.

Just now-

Me: "Why don't you think you broke your toe?"

DG: "The toe didn't swell."

Me: "But it is swollen."

DG: "The toe didn't turn black."

Me: "It doesn't have to turn black!"

DG: "It's just really bruised. There's blood up under the toe, that's why it's all black there."

Me: "You broke your toe."

DG: "I didn't break my got-damned toe! I can move it!"

Me: "You can move a broken toe. It just hurts like a sonavbitch."

DG: "Well, it hurts. But I didn't break it."