Chair Movement!

This is a post that I have wanted to write for a while.

I was recently chastised for having my hands in the wrong position when moving around. I would like to make it clear that it was by accident, but I do appreciate the note.

It seems like a strange thing. Why would it matter where you put your hands? Should it not be okay to have your hands anywhere as long as it is comfortable?

SURPRISE! It matters a lot. Or, it does if you want to keep your arms in use for a long time, anyway. Please, allow me to educate. I would like to add that this is all experience based, though I will be following up with people with a physio background to make sure that I don’t make egregious errors.

Imagine the wheel is the face of a clock. To propel yourself forward, your hands should be at 945-10. Why so far back? If you keep pushing from 11-1, you are not allowing the full motion of your arms to play out. You are forcing them to start part way through a natural motion and, therefore, will wear out your shoulder joint faster than if you start further back.

This is something that was mentioned to me early in my wheelchair experience, and I thought I was doing a fine job of it. However, I met with an occupational therapist the other day and she pointed out that I start my push too far forward.

Now, I was doing that in the apartment. It is hard to say that I do that when out and about, as it is easier to gain speed when pushing from further back. Having your hands closer to twelve makes it easier for small maneuvers and quick turns. This does not excuse where you have your hands. The possibility of muscle and join damage is present, anyway.

Advantages of having your hands at the right spot? As I mentioned before, speed. There is the vane advantage of improving pectoral muscles. This all does not ignore NOT NEEDING SHOULDER SURGERY!

Last happy update for a month! So, I will leave you with a warning. The next four updates are far from happy. I think the posts are important, but I realize the potential impact they can leave on a person. If you are one who has a hard time with dark ideas and depressing facts, I understand if you don’t check back in. Normal updates start back in June. If this warning has not scared you away, I hope you find the following four updates and funny as I do!

Please consider donating to my GoFundMe or Patreon.

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Pets v. Chair

It is not a secret that I have many pets. My wife and I currently have a Dachshund named Rudy, a Schnauzer named Theo, a Pug named Tina, and a cat named Groot.

Is it easy to take care of animals while in a wheelchair? No. If they decide to run away from me for whatever reason, they can win easily by putting a box between us. I will admit that it is hilarious when they hide under the couch thinking that they won, only for me to lift the couch. Their eyes bug out and they get very docile.

The one thing that is very nice the cat takes full advantage of is that I am always sitting. The cat loves the moving platform in which he gets to sit.

I single out the cat for that last point, but they all love it. He just takes the most advantage of my position.

Issues I have include walking them, but it’s only a minor thing. If they do their business on grass, there are times that I cannot reach it. Luckily, I am usually with my wife and she collects the “gifts” and disposes of them

A Bit Of Light Housekeeping

I updated a link in the interviews page from a YouTube video to the proper web link. I hope that works better for everyone!

At the risk of being hated…

I am writing this paragraph to reiterate that I am, in no capacity, a medical professional. What I wrote below is in the same vein as opinion, and points are speculation at worst, and loose unsubstantiated conversation bits at best. That goes for any medical opinions I have given on this site. There have been many questions regarding my credentials and sources over the years, and I would just like to remind you that I don’t have either.

I am writing this even though there is a great risk of me being labeled more harshly than is necessary. As much as I am going to make this statement in a blunt fashion, the intent is not to offend, but to squash assumptions and set records straight.

I got the meningitis vaccine. If you did not, and got the sickness (and wear that fact as pride), I have little sympathy for you.

I am not saying that I am pro-vaccine. I am far from an anti-vaccer. For instance, I have every shot, but I refuse to get the flu vaccine. I don’t trust it, I get the importance of what they are trying to do, but I cannot see it as necessary right now. Maybe in a few years I will have my mind changed, but for the time being, that is my stance. 

With the meningitis vaccine, I know my position is precarious and seems backwards. It is steeped in half research and questions that no one asked. I realize that I am far from a professional, but hear me out.

Apparently, the vaccine that is given in high schools across Canada is specifically against bacterial menengitis. The assumption is that I was stricken with a viral strain, and the vaccine will not work. Therefore, my attempts to pre-emptively deal with things were thwarted by unfortunate chance. 

What is my point? I just want, maybe even need, to express the importance of mitigating damages. I tried, and was unsuccessful. When I hear someone complaining even though they never tried in the first place, I get very frustrated.

I should not use this platform as a soap box.

I felt like I had to get this out. If you took that risk and didn’t get that shot, that’s okay. I still love you, and I wish you the best of health. If something does go wrong, reacting with surprise is not the proper way to go about things.

That Guy.

(Okay. Last change of this post. You got this.)

Ironic that a post I have scrapped due to being too open and too distant turned out to be a rant on forgiving yourself, but these appear to be the times we live in.

I have spent the last five years battling with the demons that we hoisted upon me when I died.

I read pages, literal pages, of comments talking about what I meant to people throughout the time we knew each other. I was toted as being amazing by someone who, before I came out of the coma, decided that I was no longer worthy of knowing them at all. I have let my wife down just because I am who I am, and she sticks around because apparently I am worth it.

All of these things keep circling in my mind while I try to decide whether I am or not the person I strive to be, or if I am just an avatar cloaking the body of a monster. I have done some horrible things in my 30 years on the earth. Should I keep dwelling on those, or should I accept that I might not be a halfway bad human?

I am very curious if my attachment to what I have done in the past is actually even normal. My mind is stuck on the idea that I, and I alone, realize that I am capable of the dumb-shittery that I have done in the past. I guess, in a way, you can describe me as haunted by my decisions. One thing I will bow to is my arrogance in trying to do this publication bullshit on my own. All of my endeavours in the arts have all been independent. Not by complete choice, but I wonder if because I half know how to do it alone (kind of) I create a kind of false-bravado and tricks me into thinking “I can do it if I just do one more thing oh God I can do it just let me do it this time…”

Fill me in, internet! Tell me if you also experience this loop of self-doubt and self-loathing. Fill me in if you second-guess everything you do, as well! I am in need of vindication that this is normal. I would also like the heads-up if I need to seek a psychiatrist.

Hi! I’m back!

The last two months were some of the most difficult things for me. I found myself wanting to write all the words and give all the news!

I wanted to write, but I refused to not let myself have a break! You probably did notice at least one (or more) pieces of writing, but that was because I was stewing about it and had to get it out!

Otherwise, there was little to report on. There was one personal matter, but I always feel awkward talking about things that heavily impact my life, but also impacts those around me. So, somehow, I kept quiet about it!

I’m proud of me!

ANYWAY! New tier on Patreon that rewards people donating $8+ monthly! If you decide to do this, you get to dictate the major plot points and overall theme of an original story! The first one goes up on the first of next month from the amazing Martha. Mother of Katie, she has always been someone I look up to and highly respect. I just hope she likes what I wrote…

NowIAmDwellingOnThatAndTheAirIsGettingHeavy

ANYWAY!

Updates back to the usual. Thank you for still being there!

SOMETHING I SHOULD EXPLAIN!
I am removing the obligation to release a new ansP every month from the collective Patreon goals. I find it difficult enough to get a piece to a point that I am comfortable enough to release it as it is. I am not going to give myself such strict deadlines. Hopefully, this will keep the stories GOOD as opposed to plentiful.

Condescending

Many things can be taken the wrong way. Maybe you are just telling someone they look nice today, or truthfully saying that things went well. We live in a world where sarcasm and jest has ruined parts of language. This does not even mention context and inflection.

There is one term, however, that will always be condescending regardless of the context it is in.

“Baby steps!”

A term rarely meant in any capacity then that of recognition of accomplishment and a desire to commiserate with an individual, those two worlds illustrate a literal degradation of someones accomplishments.

I got a bit non-plused there. Let me start again.

The term baby steps is almost NEVER okay.In fact, I would only say that I agree with it when the phrase is being used literally or when you have extensive knowledge about what the person is dealing with.

I was talking to a member of the staff here at the apartment the other day.I mentioned how proud I was that I took four steps unassisted the other day. Her reply was “baby steps, right?” I frothed at the mouth as I wheeled from the office. How dare she trivialize what I accomplished?

Maybe I am taking it too far. I cannot release this feeling of my accomplishments being minimized. Baby steps, I realize, are supposed to illustrate that it is a long, argus road. I was proud of those steps! Furthermore, I am stupid proud of the fact that I can move my big toe independently of my other toes.There are so many little things that I am beside myself with a sense of accomplishment about, yet the phrase “baby steps” makes everything seem so much smaller than they might be.

Or, am I putting a bigger weight onto things that are not that exciting?

Am I just pissing into the wind? Or, to use another metaphor, making moutains of mole hills?

Anyway, tomorrow is five years that I have been… in this place? I am not quite sure how to put it: I got placed into my first chair in February 2014, but was basically a motionless ball of flesh before that. Still alive, but barely a footnote on most days. I want to take this moment to thank everyone who has been supportive. I also need to thank people who have refused to change anything for me: they make me strive to be better. I will have proper news for you tomorrow, and tomorrow is actually the aniverrsary of me waking up.

I am exploding

I need to take next month off from ansP, Not because I don’t have anything, but because I want it to be good.

I have written so many different ideas, but I am not happy with any of them right now. I need the month to tweak and skew to make everything perfect. I will make sure that December will have a release,

So, yes: the title is a mild hyperbole. It perfectly describes how I am mentally feeling right now. Too many ideas, no follow through.

With all of that said, people backing me on Patreon for enough for early releases will be sent the rewrite of You’re Not Dead in the next month in absence of a release next month. I rewrote several pages and added some, as well. I feel like I released it too quickly and need to work on it more. As it stands, I am rewriting what I can in haste, and if I get enough interest, I will do an updated release in the next year. After that, I am going to never touch that book again. I am done beating that dead horse, but I need to fix some before I can let myself leave it forever.

Seriously: in the first few pages, I walk to the car, put my cup on the counter, walk to the car, grab some music, and walk to the car to drive away. WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THAT I MADE SUCH A STUPID MISTAKE?!?!?!

Update Time!!!

I usually write blog posts by Monday and have short stories lined up for at least a month. For the first time in a long time, I find myself with a totally empty cue. That is not because I am lazy, but because I find myself with too much in my mind to make a coherent post.

I have written and rewritten this post several times. I refuse to leave you hanging for another week while I sort out my personal life and try to find even a stand of something interesting. Therefore, I am writing this! Is that not super exciting? I know you are having a hard time containing your sounds of enthusiasm and glee.

Know what? I’m just going to put the developments that have come, in rapid succession, over the last week.

  1. I found a new way to step! To make it more exciting: I KNOW THAT IT IS THE RIGHT WAY! I have been walking with my knees locked for the last year. I knew it was wrong, but I could make it KIND OF work for the few steps that I needed to complete when using the washroom or going to bed. DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS A BEND IN YOUR KNEE WHEN YOU STAND?!?!?!? I did not. It seemed counter-intuitive to me. Why, when you are trying to stand, would you bend your knee? What is this magic?! Then, my wife mocked me for stepping like a pirate who has seen better days and explained the mechanics of the leg further than anyone has explained them in the past. Please keep in mind: she was a parapoligic for about a year and re=learned how to walk herself, so she is allowed to make fun of me. Well, let’s be frank, anyone can make fun of me so long as I know that it is in jest. I digress, I can now take a couple of more steps. Still no where near not needing the chair for open spaces, but things feel a little more comfortable AND I feel less silly. Oh, and my knees no longer feel like they are going to explode out of my flesh. So, I guess that’s a good thing.
  2. AMAZON REJECTED ME! By that, I mean the thing I was trying out. If I want to be paid by Amazon for advertising for them, I have to collect sales in my first “X” days. A fair number of them. In a reality that surprises NO ONE: I didn’t even get clicks for the links that I had made available to the public. I do understand Amazon’s wish the govern this, seeing as they already have thousands of people advertising for them. This increases the importance of devices like Patreon to make sure that I can keep doing this. I love writing, and I am always trying to find new avenues to do it. So far, the short stories are going well, and people seem to enjoy them. At least, they do to my “face.” WHAT A GREAT SEGUE INTO POINT THREE! segue is a stupid word.
  3. Story three is taking a lot longer than I wanted it to. I wanted to write something completely original. Like I mentioned in a recent post, I want to dissect and rewrite an old story idea I had originally come up with over ten years ago. In trying to do that, I have come up with literally HUNDREDS of premisses and intro paragraphs. All of which I get so far, then they fall apart. I have written most of them down in a document so I have them in case I need them later, but I am feeling the heat as I want to have the Patreon supporters their copy in just over a week from today.

So, yeah. See how not one of these points are longer than a few lines? Each would make a good blog entry if I could expand it further than just a few lines. I prefir to keep things at more than just a thought or two, though I do realize how just one thought would make things easier to follow.

DAMN MY MIND. BACK TO THE GRIND.

heh… that rhymed.
And so did that…

I guess I should talk about…

…that thing I did over a week ago. I write these a little bit more than a week ahead usually, so news is delayed.

I should just not time stamp all together.

ANYWAY! Tash and I went to Canada’s Wonderland on August 15th! It was hot, it was a long day, and much was discovered. Mostly, eight hours in the sun without sunscreen is a bad idea: who knew?!

Once we got in the gate (which was a bit longer than anticipated thanks to Tash’s work) we got a map and a coffee and started to sort out the plan for the day. We sat under a tree and our faces dropped when we realized that I needed a special pass that I was unaware of at the time. We knew that there would be some awkward bullshit around me being in a chair and whatnot, but we had to come to that discovery on our own. By this point, we had talked to five or six staff who did not even let on that we needed to go to customer service for a piece of paper.

We did what we needed to. The customer service desk was also the hub for missing children as well as general complaints, so we were number three in line, give or take.

FORTY FIVE FUCKING MINUETS LATER and we finally got in the building for the five minuet thing. I hate people.

Anyway, the first hour passed, and we were on our way. Where? Dragon Fire, of course. We figured that it would be a good introduction for the process around everything to do with the chair.

…and the verdict..?

It was all good. A bit strange: wheelchair users were taken up through the exit so their chair was on the proper side to leave the ride at the end. We got to avoid waiting the queue, but that does not mean that we got to skip the line all together. They would base our load time on the estimated wait time for the line. We might be one circuit faster, but we still waited. At times, we would be behind the gate for thirty minuets. It was entertaining usually to see all the workings of the employees as they scrambled to make sure everything and everyone was safe.

There was only one time that was awkward. The ride we were waiting for broke literally the time before we were to be let on. I mean, shit happens, but it was a bit disheartening.

The bitch of the trip was how uneven the paths were. I pulled the muscle in my shoulder trying to keep myself moving in the desired direction, and Tash almost had to bail on a couple of rides from being exhausted pushing my chair up the ramps.

FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS!

The main point that I wanted to say is that, minus sun burns and sore muscles, being in a wheelchair was not a deterrent for going to Wonderland. If you go, just expect a fuck tonne of work getting from point A to B.

INTERESTING REMINDER!

Almighty Human by Hannah Jordan gets released soon. I hope you like it as much as I do!

I am taking submissions for the following months. Please, e-mail me at jay.garden.1188(at)gmail.com for more into!

…and again: I have to thank my Patreon supporters for making it financially viable to release these every month! Next goal is to make sure I can pay someone to do art for each release, since I cannot do visual art in any capacity.

What happens next?

I love being asked that question when it comes to my writing. I don’t know: maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I need to make it more obvious in what I dictate that the point is uncertainty?

In life, you live through events and either never grasp their ramifications, or they go right over your head all together. That is how I write. I never really solve the narrative in the strictest sense. I tend to leave the reader with all the information – all the events – and just come to AN ending.

Is that not what I am supposed to do? Do I do it wrong?

I have been inundated with questions regarding You’re Not Dead (which is fitting because production stopped on the fifth. There are still some copies on Amazon) questioning why I ended it the way I did. The response to that is very simple: it was a reflection on the year I had during the events of that book. The ending is not explicit because I have not found out yet. The only ending I will find is my death.

What I find more interesting was how many people have asked me if the next chapter of Elaine is going to sort out some questions.

Allow me to make this as clear as I can: that was a self-contained story. There is no ‘Part Two’ or happy ribbon to mark it off the ol’ reading list. That was never the point and will never be the point to most short stories I write, I do not see our lives as having an intro, conflict, resolution — or at least not often I know that I, personally, have never been privy to such splendour.

I have run into another issue: Should I stick to my guns for my release schedule of ansP stories, or move it over since I already fucked it up? I am not even asking because I want (no, NEED) to release Hannah’s piece, but I feel like I confused the situation already and I want to fix it. Any thought?

OR WE COULD ALL LOOK AT MY PATREON AND HIT $100 A MONTH SO WE DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT AND YOU GET A STORY EVERY MONTH.