March 28, 2012

Martha Stewart is ruining my World :(



  I understand how completely random that sentiment seems.  You need to know that I simply cannot stand Martha Stewart.  You're probably thinking: Who cares? And WHY am I bothering you with this? 
I'll tell you why: Because she has personally invaded my world. Okay not my real world.

You have to admit this is not the most flattering image.
    Imagine my displeasure when I signed onto my favorite game, Zynga's CastleVille (where I play as Lady Bren) and there was Martha Stewart. 
    CastleVille is played primarily on Facebook so it has players from all around the world.  I have spent the last two days educating my subjects as to who she is. (Ok they're not really subjects but hey it is CastleVille so I have my Royal Mojo ON) Those that do know who she is fall into two distinct camps.  They either: Really really love everything she does or absolutely hate her.Games.com has an article and poll on whether her appearance will ruin the fantasy.  On different gaming threads there are groups talking about boycotting the game until her "Quest" is gone.  Other threads have gamers completely abandoning Zynga completely over what they feel is a complete sell out. 
   But back to Martha~ Long before her legal issues I simply never got the fascination.  Martha, in my humble opinion, was one of the worst things to ever happen to women.  The way she presents everything as "simply do this" or "of course everyone can" drives me nuts.  While I believe in setting standards there are realistic ones and then there's Martha's.  If you were to actually live your life the way she preaches you would need weeks that contain twelve 46 hour days as well as unlimited resources, a large staff and a family that only comes out for the pictures.
     Her daughter Alexis has built her own fame on having survived being Martha's child.  In her TV show "Whatever Martha" she and best friend Jennifer would bash her Mom's old shows.  Sharing tales of how rude she was to guests or how horribly she treated the staff.  On their weekly radio show "Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer" they talked often about how imperfect they were and unable to live up to the standards created by Martha.  The latest avenue of this Martha bashing career was last fall when the ladies co-authored Whateverland: Learning to Live Here.  Martha Stewart was a producer of both the TV and Radio show.  Talk about a resolved relationship. On her own show Martha said that she found the book to be very enlightening as well as entertaining and encouraged everyone to buy it and make it a best seller. 

    Back to the gaming world issue.  Why would a major image such as herself join Zynga? Surprisingly I have been unable to find much on the joint venture though Martha did send out a tweet earlier today: CastleVille, Zynga's newest game goes live tonight with Martha's Kingdom. Play and visit with me. I am a very cute avatar.

    I understand that for years we've been playing games with avatars of real people... from the Backyard Sports computer game series to any John Madden or any EASports game.  What just seems so wrong is having someone like Martha show up in a game like CastleVille.  While I can most definitely see her wanting to be the top royal beyond that I can't make any connection whatsoever.  Heck we collect Ogre's burps for heaven's sake.  Outside her compensation what benefit is there for her?  Or maybe?? Did someone somewhere think: "Hey Martha if you become an avatar in CastleVille your name/brand will spread more globally so we can sell more towels worldwide?"  UGGHH
     I guess it was inevitable.  Product placement has expanded into the gaming world.  What's next the preschool set:
A is for Apple

M is for McDonald's

W is for Walmart


March 25, 2012

Well it finally happened

     It was inevitable but it seemed as if we were avoiding it.  Then it happened this Friday.  We finally have another driver in our home; Patrick got his license.
     Now begins the discussions of when can he drive, where can he drive, never mind WHAT will he drive.  We only have two cars at this time so I'm sure this is going to create many happy occasions of "why can't I take the car".
Personally I believe Patrick was extremely motivated to get his license this past week as Meg is old enough to get her permit so the race was on, at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Our school system no longer teaches drivers ed so it is up to us parents to teach our kids to drive.  On a funny note they can take a Driver's Education class online! Go figure.
     With having a licensed 18yr and a 15yr old days away from her learner's permit I was curious how different the driving requirements were around the country.  Well my head must have been in the sand on this one as I completely missed hearing anything about the STANDUP ACT. For those of you fellow ostriches:

The Safe Teen And Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act is federal legislation that would compel states to strengthen their laws for novice teen drivers, often called Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws, the identifying bills are:
 S.528 and H.R.1515.  The following is the national standards this bill would like to set:
   • A 3-stage licensing process (learner’s permit and intermediate stage before unrestricted driver’s license);
• A prohibition on unsupervised nighttime driving during the learner’s permit and intermediate stages
 A passenger restriction during the learner’s permit and intermediate stage (no more than 1 non-familial passenger under the age of 21 unless a licensed driver over 21 years of age is in the vehicle) 
• A prohibition on non-emergency use of cell phones and other communication devices, including text messaging, during the learner’s permit and intermediate stages;
• Age 16 for issuance of learner’s permit and full licensure at age 18;
• Any other requirement adopted by the Secretary of Transportation, including learner’s permit holding period at least 6 months; intermediate stage at least 6 months; at least 30 hours behind-the-wheel, supervised driving by licensed driver 21 years of age or older; automatic delay of full licensure if permit holder commits an offense, such as DWI, misrepresentation of true age, reckless driving, unbelted driving, speeding, or other violations as determined by the Secretary.


Should this bill pass in the state of Florida that following would change:
  • Applicants must be 16 instead of 15 when applying for their learner's permit
  • would restrict the number of non-family passengers to 1 until driver is 21
  • restriction on use of cell-phones for non-emergency situations.
 You can go to Safe Road 4 Teens to see the changes in your state.
     Now I completely understand the idea of having national standards.  I truly do not think a 15 yr old from North Dakota with a license is prepared to drive on national highways.  At the same time I understand that in our heartland states many teens are driving farm equipment at young ages, while often those vehicles are primarily driven on private property there are times they need to be on public roads so some type of exception needs to be made. AND I don't think that experience translates to real road/traffic experience.  Currently 8 states issue permits at the age of 14. There are 7 states and the District of Columbia that have the minimum age set at 16.  The remaining 35 states issue permits at the age of either 15yrs. or 15yrs 6 months.
      I do like the idea of restricting non-family passengers but to the age of 21?? YEAH NO.  That goes along with my opinion on the drinking age~ We believe that 18, 19 and 20 year olds are mature enough to vote for a president, get married, enlist in our armed forces and possibly die for our country but not mature enough to drive with friends?  I think that age should be 18.  Prior to Patrick getting his license I found a couple of sites that recommend that a driver log 1,000 miles after receiving their license before they were allowed to have friends in the car with them. Now that sounds like a lot of miles but just 2 days after getting his license Patrick has logged close to 150 miles and we'll see how it goes.
     As far as restricting the use of cell phones why limit it to their permit and intermediate stage?  There are a number of states where it is already illegal to talk on the phone and drive.  And as far as texting...there is no reason whatsoever that anyone needs to text and drive period paragraph!!
     I am a little old fashioned in some of my thinking (big surprise) and beyond maybe to work where does a 16yr need to go by themselves?  Am I looking forward to having Patrick run errands and take Meg to different events ~ you betcha.  (Especially if he stays home next year one of his tasks will be driving her to school :).  Would I let a 16 year old drive the 70+ miles to their YouthQuake Live practice ~ not on your life!! Most certainly not with friends in the car. Unfortunately I think more often than not the idea of letting kids drive goes with the thought that it makes our lives easier if we don't have to drive them here and there.  Well my take on that is the complete opposite.  For the four years that Emily went to school out of county the rides home from school was where we had some of our greatest conversations.  Even now with driving Meg to and from school (by the way she's finally learned no talking in the am~I don't do mornings well :) on the afternoons when Michael picks her up  I feel as if I've missed out on something.  I enjoy picking Patrick up after ROTC or Tennis and hearing about his day one on one.  
     So we have a licensed driver in the house.  It is exciting to see how proud he is and how much he is looking forward to the freedom it brings.  Now all he needs is a car.... that's another blog. 

March 22, 2012

My Personal Perfect Storm

  I feel like my body is going through it's own personal Perfect Storm... 3 major fronts crashing all at once and I'm on the Andrea Gail with George Clooney :(


     The beginning of this week my body was just rebelling against the simple thought of moving.  Shortly after my diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I heard someone describe what the bad days feel like:
  Imagine walking with legs that feel like telephone poles, arms that are carrying 10 pound bowling balls and being so tired you could cry
I can't find any better words to describe Monday physically.  When you tell someone that you have Chronic Fatigue they always assume you just aren't getting enough sleep.  Believe me if that was the solution I'd be cured.
     Many with CFS also suffer from Fibromyalgia, of course I am one of those lucky ones.  Complete with the muscle cramps in the middle of the night that linger longer than any charlie horse should.  While I've had some down days both of them acting up like this simultaneously hasn't occurred in a while.  Thanks to the pharmaceutical company discovering that their anti-depressant Cymbalta seems to bring relief to many of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia  I've been enjoying those benefits.  So where did that relief go?  A mega-dose treatment of vitamin D a while back seemed to have put a stop to those late night muscle cramps.  My recent blood work showed a decrease in CK level (measure of muscle breakdown) so why the revisit of the cramps considering I taking a Vitamin D supplement?  Unfortunately studies have shown that increasing the level of Cymbalta doesn't increase the relief so there goes that option and I want immediate relief as in NOW.
     And just so as to not be left out it seems the more tired I get the more word issues I have. So yeah aphasia's making more appearances than usual. Did you really think my stroke wouldn't rear it's pretty little head?
Put those together and what manifests:
     Guilt.  I'm talking Italian/Jewish grandmother level self-imposed guilt.  My kids are on Spring Break and all I want to do is stay in my room til I feel normal.  We originally were supposed to go away last weekend and that fell through.  I was hoping to get some spring cleaning done and then just "play" the rest of the week.  Meg's birthday. Hunger Games movie premiere.  Beach Day.   Those plans just crashed horribly.  Sure we're still doing things it is just that I really am struggling through them.  And today?  Well today I just can't stop crying.  It started with my daughter being disappointed when friends misunderstood and excluded her from going to the beach.  She's fine and I'm still crying!!
     Of all the crazy things happening lately and believe me the list just seems to be endless something as innocuous as Meg not going to the beach has sent me into a tear fest I haven't endured in ages.  In fact since I started taking the Cymbalta I rarely cry at all.  The only change that I can point to is the addition of because it seems my thyroid has decided to stop working. However we've added a med (buspirone) into the mix for that as well so can't really blame that now can I??

So there you have it my perfect storm

  • CFS
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Guilt/Tears
The only plus in it all is that I'm on George Clooney's boat and hey if you're going to go under who else would you want as your captain?



March 20, 2012

B'fast for dinner March 20th and grape tip

Tonight's Menus:
Upside Down Impossible Casserole and Fruit Salad

Before I get into tonight's yummy meal I thought I would share a cooking tip that makes things so much easier! Whether it is grapes or small tomatoes cutting them in half is one of those tedious chores.  BUT not with my trick.  I learned this years ago from Sarah Moulton.  The fancy tool required: 2 tops from take out soup containers. 

grapes and two soup container lids

place lid with rim up and fill with grapes

place other lid upside down on top of grapes... should be snug fit

using bottom lid as guide slice grapes

Perfect halves!
So dinner tonight was a new recipe I created.  It is a combination of favorites so I am going to call it Upside Down Breakfast Casserole.
Ingredients:

  • 14oz can crushed pineapple drained (I put the juice in my fruit salad)
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1 pound bacon cooked
  • 1 3/4 c milk
  • 1 cup bisquik
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
Set oven to 400 degrees
(I baked my bacon in the oven)

Place butter in 9x13 casserole.  Place in oven until butter melts.  Combine brown sugar with melted butter and spread to thin layer.  Cover with crushed pineapple.  Place the cooked bacon on top of the crushed pineapple, breaking if necessary so all fits... DO NOT CRUMBLE.  Mix remaining ingredients.  Slowly pour on top of bacon.  Bake for 20 minutes or until top is set.  Invert onto serving platter.

Upside Down Breakfast Casserole

Inside shot of Upside Down Breakfast Casserole
Serves 4-6

March 18, 2012

Oh Panera you gave my food GPS :)

     If you've been a follower of this blog you know two things for sure.

  1. I frequent Panera quite often.  
  2. I am very easily entertained.
   So when the two were combined you can imagine my happiness


  In all actuality this post is about the latest in restaurant service but it really entertained me.  Over the last year or so Panera has changed the way they serve their customers.  Originally when you placed your order at the counter and were handed a pager.  You retrieved your food when your pager went off.  Then they decided to go more personal.  When you placed your order you were given a number stand to place on your table and your food was delivered to you.  You'd see the servers walking around trying to find number 5.  I would watch as people would put the numbers on chairs, the floor, one mom had put the stand in her diaper bag.  (See I really do get entertained watching people).
     Well now my food finds my via GPS.  When you place your order you get a pager that looks like the kind that used to light up.  HOWEVER this "Table Tracker" is completely different.  You are given a device, similar to the older pagers, and told to place it your table when you sit down.  This also starts a timer on your order, the idea being your food should arrived even quicker.  When the device hits the table a number on it's top becomes illuminated.  So of course when my server found my food I had to ask how he found me.  There are strips attached to the underside of each table that transmit back to the computer in the servers area.  Back in the servers area the order and table are matched up so the servers know exactly where to go.  Just to make it even better because I am a member of Panera's loyalty club when my food was delivered I was greeted by name.
    Now come on you have to admit it GPS for your food is kinda cool.  And I'll admit that in days gone by I would have had fun moving my tracker to different tables or keep lifting it up and down just to entertain myself which would have definitely annoyed the servers.
    Oh heads up~ Panera has added 3 pastas to their menu.  Today I had the tortellini and it was really good.  The sauce wasn't incredibly heavy and the fresh herbs really set it off.  A small serving is incredibly filling.  I usually get a pick two so I partnered this up with their grilled chicken salad and barely finished either!!
   I so love Panera....

March 13, 2012

Where has the past 100 years gone??



     Okay who was a Girl Scout raise your hand?? Girl Scouts are 100 years old~ shazam.  There are probably going to be a number of posts from great authors celebrating this achievement so I thought of course make this all about ME!! In the spirit of true disclosure and to ensure that I am completely in the correct frame of mind as I write this post I am eating my way through a row of Trefoil cookies.

     I was a Girl Scout for about 5 years.  I remember meeting at Brooke Avenue School for Juniors and Cadets.  My leaders (whose names I sadly cannot remember) had to be angels.  More often than not my mother would drop me off and say get a ride home ; those ladies always did despite how out of the way it was.  Our troops marched in parades for Veterans and Memorial Day.  We sold cookies, went camping and earned badges.  But what I mostly remember about those times was that being a Girl Scout was the great equalizer.  Unlike today where kids seem to be divided into dozens of social groups back then you were either cool or uncool.  I always fell into the uncool group.  However once a week for an hour or so I fit in.  The girls that barely acknowledged me during the week would sit by my side.  We'd work together on the current project talking and laughing the whole time.
   Summer meant Girl Scout Camp.  Oh how I loved those weeks.  First it was day camp and then overnight camp in the Bear Mountains!! Weeks spent in upstate New York meant sleeping in platform tents, whispering during the night, swimming hiking and growing up.  
     Of course we can't forget selling Girl Scout cookies!! This part is going to hurt... A box of Girl Scout cookies in 1975 cost $1 and your choices were Thin Mints, Do-Si-Do's, Trefoils as well as a sandwich creme and chocolate chip. 
     True still today is that sadly once we all hit that cool 12/13/14 age group Girl Scouts just isn't cool anymore. Our time gets taken by school sports and clubs. 

     In fact it you think about it the fact that Girl Scouts not only continue but thrive today is pretty amazing.  During the 1970’s there wasn't very much for girls to do, especially young Girls.  If your family was able to afford it you may have been involved in dance but there weren’t 6 different sports for you to choose from.  No one was taking their kid to Kumon so they could achieve their academic destiny.  Being involved in Girl Scouts really was just about your only option for socialization outside of the neighborhood kids, church and school.  

     My girls both did Scouting for a while, then transferred over to Missionettes (think Church version of Girl Scouts.  It did surprise me that unlike years ago the clicks transferred from school to the troops.  As with all things those in charge determine the "flavor" of the group.  My girls had very different experiences one was fortunate enough to be in troops that were focused on teaching and enriching the girls.  The other unfortunately it seemed was focused on how many badges we could get on their sashes. One major difference it seems all troops have today, at least that's what my friends and I have experienced, is the pressure to sell an immense amount of cookies so the troop can take a great trip at the end of the year.  This for us meant a trip to Orlando.

     All in all as member, parent and leader I have to say my time spent in the Girl Scouts were over-all pretty wonderful.  So congratulations to Juliette Low and the Girl Scouts of the USA on your 100th Birthday.

   Pass the Thin Mints please...
     




Using her Barbie Car and Little Tykes to deliver her GSCookies... She actually received "gas" money

Very bummed can’t find pic of Em sitting amidst her tower of cookie boxes





March 12, 2012

Moms Beware you may not like what you read.....


 This post has been coming for quite a while.  I kept putting it off as I was just afraid the subject might offend some people.  Well it is to the point where I sincerely cannot take it ANYMORE!!!
     Admittedly I am the first to share and celebrate when one of my kids does something pretty amazing. As parents we are supposed to be our kids' biggest advocates right!?!  However when oh heavens when... did we start asking the world to celebrate right alongside us when our kids do everyday simple mundane things like, hmmm I don't know, play in their room like a normal child does.  When did we think that the entire world would want to read a blog devoted to the every detailed moment of your newborn?  (ok I can feel the hate level starting to bubble)
     Now there are admittedly incredible blogs out there about family life.  For instance dear friends of ours recently adopted a little girl from Ethiopia. Following them through that process and now watching how their three children are adapting to their new baby sister is intriguing.  It is also something that 99.9% of us are never going to expereince for ourselves.  Amy taking the time to write her blog This is Us gives us a peek into what that family life is like.  Considering that in today's world it is not as common as years gone by for families to remain in the same state never mind same time zone so I completely understand creating a blog about what's happening for distant relatives; it enables them to remain connected with your kids.  But why would you think you need to take your blog worldwide and try to get followers so you can circulate your childs' bathroom activities and playdates to the blogoshpere I just don't get it.
     I digress....
     I truly think that these "photo-crazed*everything my child does is glorious*isn't my child the best" Moms of today's preschool set are possibly creating the most self-centered generation ever.  Now this is not to be confused with the "Me Generation" which applies to those born from 1970~1999.  According to Jean M Twenge, author of Generation Me:  The  Me Generation has never known a world that put duty before self, and believes that the needs of the individual should come first. This is not the same thing as being selfish – it is captured, instead, in the phrases we so often hear: "Be yourself," "Believe in yourself," "You must love yourself before you can love someone else."  Oh no I sincerely believe these Moms may be creating mini ego-monsters.  Imagine what their lives will be as teenagers (run, run now).
     You may be old enough to remember a very popular poem from the 1970's titled Children Learn What They Live by Dr. Dorothy Nolte.  It encouraged parents to install values into their children.  A few lines from the poem include:
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

     Who could argue with these great statements.  What I believe is that the Moms I'm chatting about have taken each of these statements and fed them steroids.  There has to be some balance.  This is gonna be harsh so you may want to put down the coffee:  Unless your preschooler is a prodigy/true genius (rare) chances are even then they're not the first to do ANYTHING as it has ALL been done before. I'm sorry but it had to be said.  The first time you experience something with your child is special but let's put it in perspective.  Using four crayons instead of three.... not so special and does your facebook really need updating ~ with pics of course??  It is okay to simply and sincerely say "Oh that's nice sweetie" and leave it at that.  I promise your child will not be traumatized.

     What I am saying is if Moms (okay to be fair I am sure there are some Dads out there as guilty) do not teach their kids the life lessons that the world doesn't revolve around them and/or every little thing they do is simply not incredible how are they going to learn to be a part of anything? How will they not develop a superiority complex?  If each and every page of a coloring book Suzie's scribbled on is scanned onto facebook what is going to happen when the teacher doesn't choose one of her pictures for the art show or for even something as simple as the bulletin board?  If scoring a goal against the dog in the backyard is cheered with the same intensity as a World Cup Goal and deserves a blog update complete with pics what is Jimmy going to do the first time the goalie blocks his kick?  These poor kids are destined for some serious meltdowns in their future.
     ~~OK Brain Flash~~  I know what to call these Moms!!  The year 2000 brought us two major reality shows... Survivor and Big Brother.  For the first time every single moment of someone's life was documented by cameras 24/7 for fame and fortune.  That then brought us an onslaught of reality shows as well as the Jim Carrey movie Truman.  So in honor of that wonderful movie I think we should dub this type of parent as TruMoms and TruDads. ~~UMM re-reading this and not so sure so let me know if you come up with something better.
     When discussing this recently with a friend she reminded me ~ Don't forget Tommy is such a miracle to Dick and Jane.  OK sure that's true.  It was a miracle they got married and had a baby.  There were some minor complications along the way but nothing was what we used to call an "Oprah needs to know" miracle.  And let's face it isn't every love story and baby a miracle unto it's own??  If we really want to play that card Miss M is truly a medical miracle however being the third child we have less pictures of her than her older siblings~ so much for that theory.  As with any problem introduced I believe you should offer a solution so here's mine.  I have also simply chosen not to receive every single FaceBook update on a few of my friends currently suffering through this stage.
    So now that I've ranted I simply want to say that if your kids participate in a 15K like Julie's I definitely want to see pics.  If they colored Elmo red... keep it to yourself! (So do you hate me???)

.

March 8, 2012

So excited

Real quick post just have to share
I have finally found a theme for my new blog that I am in LOVE with!!

Of course I found it at 10pm and have been working on it for the last 4 hours.  There's much more to do but I was so excited I just wanted to share what little I have done with well THE WORLD!!!

Please check it out and tell me what you think.....

www.ladybren.com

and yes I took all the pictures myself~hmm should I add a watermark?

March 5, 2012

What the Point of a Pin?


     Have you tried explaining Pinterest to a guy?  They really don't get it. Fantasy football and such no problem however the idea of you sitting in front of your computer looking at food, clothes and crafts that other women have pinned, cause let's face if most pins aren't from the original creator, they just don't get. Well you have to admit when you think of Pinterest through that perspective what is the point???
     Ok I was quite enthralled with Pinterest when I first discovered it.  The idea of so many wonderful resources in one place.  Seeing what my friends were pinning.  Who liked my pins.  Creating different boards.  Oh Pinterest was so much fun.  It reminded me of when the Sears and JC Penney Christmas Catalogs would arrive.  We'd fold over corners to which items we hoped to get for Christmas.  Even into my teens I remember folding over many more pages than I could ever expect to see under a forest of Christmas trees.
   
OOPS~ Sorry I realize not everyone uses pinterest ~ For those of you who are unfamiliar with pinterest the easiest way to explain it is like this~ imagine having a bulletin board for every specific interest you may have.  Then any time you run across something that you would like to "save" you pin it onto your bulletin board.  Now those boards aren't hanging on the walls of your house for just you to see but on the walls of pinterest for many to see.  And you can see the boards of others as well.

     So why are so many not only drawn but addicted to Pinterest?  I think the reason is we can live out many of our fantasies.  What kind of wedding we want (or wish we had).  What's the latest food craze.  We can like things we might be too shy to actually pin ourselves.  Plan vacations without worrying about a budget We can build our dream house and even dress our dream children.

     I don't know if it is something everyone on pinterest goes through but I think I've passed into a new Pin phase.  Instead of pinning just about everything that caught my eye I now actually give more than a moment's consideration.  I have a couple of boards in different categories that have nagged at me.  What's the point of pinning menus/recipes or crafts/dyi items if I am never going to do anymore than just compile boards of pretty picture?  Haven't I done enough wishing/hoping/dreaming without any action?

     So I have created a new board on pinterest and I've called it Real Life Pins.  Everything on that board is something from pinterest that I have cooked, cleaned, worn or tried.  All right I know this isn't a life shattering declaration.  I also know that I am not going to successfully achieve everything I have pinned.  What I do know is this~ we are going to try some new recipes, Meg will wind up with some new headband (whether she likes them is NOT the goal), I am going to try some new crafts and organizing tips.  AND lucky you will be able to see them as well!

     You can find me on Pinterest as Lady Bren (ohh big surprise)!.  If you are not a member of pinterest and need an invitation just let me know and I will be glad to send one your way.

  ~~~Just moved some items around and I already have 6 pins on my new Real Life Pins Board.! Come check it out

March 1, 2012

A Year Later :Rehab Reality

     March 1, 2011 was the beginning of my official recovery.  I moved from the hospital to a rehab facility.  I thought it would be fun to look back at the post I wrote while trying to "adjust" to rehab life.  One quick note on content.... I was spoiled in the hospital by one of the nutritionists who made sure I had a milk shake every afternoon and Miss Theresa was my roommate whose dementia and constant equipment alarms made recovery/rest interesting


Rehab Reality ~ It isn't pretty
All right boys and girls  fun and games are officially over (milkshakes too).  Rehab sucks and I have only been here 8 hours.  There was a big to do about getting me into Brooks Rehabilitation as opposed to a Rehab/Life Center or as we used to call them when I was growing up....nursing homes.
So we get here and I have my own room which is great after the week with Miss Theresa...more about her another time. However I realize that I will eat all my meals in my private room and come back from therapy to a private room ~ which at some times will be beneficial.  But then I start to learn the real reason rooms on the stroke floor are all private.....YOU NO LONGER HAVE ANY OTHER PRIVACY...nothing babe it is all gone.  You are not allowed to use the restroom alone in case you fall. Now I've always said I have not lived a perfect life but even in my worst days I never fell off a toilet!!!  The shower is a party affair as there is not so much as a hint of a curtain. Upon check in they have to examine your ENTIRE body for any signs of bed sores and such. So yes the one bit of privacy is you are alone in a room.
Now when they put you into bed they put your wheelchair on the other side of the room.  (As if I am going sneak into it at night to organize races down the hall ~ been there done that SUFFOLK HALL @ SUNY GENESEO ROCKS) Are you starting to sense the total lack of control going on here?  Yes Yes Yes I can hear all of you worry warts and medical professionals (and I just realized~ man I have a lot of friends in the medical field) saying this is being done for your safety, they don't want you to fall and yada yada yo.....does it sound like that is what I am concerned about at this point!!NO. Remember I have no cognitive issues so all of Bren is in here even if she can't vocally get out yet.
So here's the deal...every time you have to use the restroom this is the protocol you have to follow
1.     Push your call button and wait for someone to answer and ask what you need.  So now at least 2 other people know what's happening (more if any are in the hallway near the nurses’ station. 
2.     They then call your nurse and her assistant.  And if they are in some one's room they hear this call.  So now at least 4 people know. 
3.     The nurse/na then comes to your room when they are done with their current patient (hope you weren't in a rush)
4.     You go through the protocol of properly getting out of bed and into the wheelchair....did I mention you have to wear a seat belt in the wheel chair at ALL TIMES even the 6 foot ride to my private bathroom. 
5.     So now they have pushed you in, helped you stand and wait for it.....
6.     they want to pull your pants down for you until you learn the proper way to do it.  Now I never truly considered myself extremely shy but in the throne room, as my Dad used to call it, yes. I am used to a parade of toddlers and dogs following me there but not in. And this crew~they won't even stand outside the door! The nurses in ICU, the ones changing my bedpan gave me more privacy and believe me I thought that was the lowest point of humiliation...not anymore.
7.     Once you finish you can't flush as it has to be examined and noted. 
8.     They pull up your pants help you into your chair, seat belt on,
9.     finagle you to the sink so you can wash your hands
10. then out to your room over to your bed and finally
11. you are back in bed.
 Did that whole routine 3 times................... I now have a bedside commode.  I figure if I could master one in the hospital when I shared a room and had people coming and going I should be able to do so in my private room.  Oh, yeah, I still have to call someone to watch me use it.

Rehab it isn't pretty and we've only just begun

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