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A Scary Moment

January 20, 2010

So… tonight something really scared the shit out of me. Drew woke up in the middle of the night and was trying to get mine or Melissa’s attention. When I finally came out of my sleep fog to realize what was going on, Melissa had it all taken care of and was laying back down. He needed the blankets adjusted. While some of you may not think that is a big deal, it is to him. If the blankets weigh too heavily on his feet, they can create sores on his toes. What scared me soo badly was what if I hadn’t woken up? What if it was just me in the room and he couldn’t get my attention? A fear pierced thru my body…. Is this some kind of sign – like a sign that I won’t be a good mother one day?

Alone

January 20, 2010

I actually wrote this Tuesday night, just didn’t have time to post it….

Drew wanted a little alone time tonight to decompress, so Melissa and I went to the bar for a few drinks. A very harsh reality set in with me. Drew can’t go to sleep until we come back to the room. He can’t just say, “Okay, I’ve had enough for today” and call it an early night. Just about every move he makes depends on someone else. When’s the last time you laid down to take a nap? Remember how good that felt? Well, next time remember that nap is a LUXURY you take for granted everytime you lay your precious little head on that pillow. And what about that night you spent tossing and turning because you couldn’t sleep. You probably woke up the next day complaining about the bad night’s sleep you had. I know I have! The ability to toss and turn in your sleep is another LUXURY you take for granted.

As I’m writing this, Drew calls out for me – Did he take his night medicine? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to take my medicine. But here’s the difference – I forget, I get up out of bed, go to my bathroom and take my medicine. He can’t. Someone has to put the pills in his mouth. I’m not writing this for you to feel sorry for him. Trust me, that is the LAST thing Drew wants. I’m writing this because of the basic functions we have in everyday life that all os us take for granted. And while he is literally busting his ass so that he’s not just another number on disability, working every breathing moment he has to make something out of himself so that people don’t see him as Drew the quad but Drew the brilliant artist, CNN is reporting about what message Michelle Obama’s fashion choices are sending America!! Really?? Are you serious?? Seems like we need to get our priorities straight. Maybe CNN needs some time alone to decompress!!!

Are You Serious????

January 20, 2010

This trip really is just the opportunity of a lifetime!! Yesterday we spent the day at Warner Brothers studios on the set of Two & A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. I am officially recanting anytime I said an actors job was easy. Seeing things from behind the scenes gives you a whole new/different perspective. They have to do several run-thru’s, camera blocking, get notes on how everything looks, do another run-thru. The process keeps going and going. And I had no idea how much time and work go into the set designs. The set designers actually help create storylines thru their visions and creativity. It’s simply amazing!! And even though they were working and “in their zone”, the actors still took time to visit with us. That really meant a lot to me. Personally, when I’m in the middle of a big project at work, I don’t want to be bothered. So, acting and the whole production of what you see on television is a hell of a lot harder than I ever imagined.
Very similiar to Drew’s life. Traveling with him and spending 24 hours a day with him really gives me a different perspective on things. I could only have imagined how hard life is as a quadrapalegic, but the reality is that it’s a hell of a lot harder than I could ever have imagined. And I’m just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Drew, you are one of the strongest people I have ever known!!

The Come Back Kid

January 18, 2010

If you have never been to an NBA game before, I highly recommend you go. Those guys are HUGE!! But what an electric game!! We had the incredible opportunity to sit in the suite at Staples Center. So the Lakers came out of the gate like something fierce, ready to stomp on the Magic. When they weren’t looking, the Magic snuck up and took the lead. That’s a little bit how my disease works. I come out of the gate swinging and kicking some ass, but when I get too comfortable or complacent I’ll get blindsided. If you are around Drew you will see him constantly moving. Part of that is for his comfort in the chair. But another part of that I feel is so he doesn’t get blindsided, so someone doesn’t sneak up on him and take the lead.

And let me tell you it would be very difficult for anyone to take the lead from Drew. Just as the Lakers had to stay focused, up their defense and nail the offense, Drew has to do the same thing. Hollywood is a very competitive market and a dog-fighting industry. If he isn’t constantly on top of his game, someone else could sneak in and take his spot.

Many people thought Drew was down and out after his car accident. And I will go ahead and say there are a lot of people I know who don’t have the strength, courage and determination to fight back from near death. As Drew says, “I kicked that 18-wheeler’s ass!” Yes sir, you did! You may not be on that basketball court playing against the Magic my friend, but you put on a much better show just being able to experience your life with you.

Reality

January 18, 2010

We went to go visit a friend of Drew’s that lives by Hollywood Blvd. He lives upstairs and the elevator there is one of those old ones that you open the door and pull back the gate. Cute for those old timey apartments. But not so cute when your wheelchair won’t fit in it. I’ll admit it really has been awhile since I’ve faced issues like these for me. It makes me want to fight to get building codes changed and immediately go into pitbull mode. Maybe that’s just the bitch in me, or the over-protective friend. Drew just laughs it off and gives LA credit for being very handicap accessible, even more so than other cities in America. I’ll admit, he’s a lot more forgiving than me.

So while he is visiting with his friend Melissa and I are walking around outside. On Hollywood Blvd are several of the “stars”. Out of habit I take a picture or two. Right as I’m doing that, this guy walks out of Popeyes and laughs at me. “You must be a tourist.” Trying to hide my very obvious southern accent, I give him a cold “Eat Shit” look and explain that no I am not a tourist, I’m simply trying to get footage for a documentary. As soon as he turns the corner, I grab Melissa to take my picture under the Hollywood sign. Am I that transparent? I really hope not. Otherwise my reality is that I will get eaten up alive out here.

Drew Stops Traffic!!

January 17, 2010

So, we’ve landed and true to form, Mr. Dramatic could not wait to make his mark again in LA – so he stops traffic!! Ha! Living with MS, I am aware of many amenities that people take for granted. Traveling with Drew brings that to a whole new level. Even makes me feel like I need to go to confession and say 50 Hail Mary’s for how I have lived my life so selfishly. And I’m not even Catholic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First, Delta leaves Drew’s wheelchair on the tarmac and its raining. This chair is his legs. Melissa and I were feverishly trying to get it dried off before we moved him into it. No one likes to sit in a wet chair! That would be like Delta dumping a big pitcher of water in your lap before you were allowed to get off the plane. Thanks Delta!! Then we got to wait 2 hours for them to finally get his shower chair off the plane. Really????? Why it didn’t come off with the rest of the luggage is beyond us. Many of you that follow this know that patience is not one of my virtues. Instead of Drew getting frustrated or angry, which he had every right to, he is smoozing and making jokes with the Delta guys. Lesson learned…. not only from a personal level, but a business one too. I know a lot of you travel every week with your job, I used to myself. Take a que from Drew!!

So… this brings me to him stopping traffic. We have a handicap accessible van as our rental car. The rental company sent over a van to pick us up. Well, the lift that comes down for Drew get in the bus can’t go down on the curb, it has to lay down on the road. So with a devilish grin on his face, Drew drives off the curb and into on-coming traffic where all the hotel and rental buses are coming to pick up people. “I’ll just wait right here”!! Ha!! I could not stop laughing at him. Buses were driving by looking at us like we were crazy. Nope, not crazy, just need you to think about how someone in a wheelchair travels. It’s definitely more entertaining than the average bear! But again, a lesson to be learned here – no matter what life throws in your face: HAVE NO FEAR! Be brave enough to drive out into oncoming traffic if that’s what it takes to get you where you need to go!

 We arrive at the hotel to the most fantastic gift basket in our room. It looked like one of the gift baskets the celebrities used to get at the awards shows. Time to kick back, have a drink, enjoy some cheese and crackers and just soak up that we are in LA!!!! That’s right – WE ARE IN LA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Watchout California!

The Flight to LA

January 17, 2010

First, can I just tell you how silly excited I am about this trip to LA. I’m going with Drew and his sister Melissa for a little vacation and to get some business done – get Redneck Ninja’s pitched!! Drew called me a little ball of energy when I met them at the bar, I think part of that was the entire pot of coffee I drank. Ha!

I’m reading this article on the flight about Anderson Cooper. In it he says, “You can’t predict how you’re going to respond when someone starts shooting or when suddenly your rights are taken away.” It immediately takes me back to my trip to Pakistan. When the very freedoms our soldiers are fighting for I lost the second I landed on foreign soil. The fear that invades you just by stepping outside to stretch your legs and walk down the street – will I get shot? kidnapped? As my mind was taking a dreadful walk down memory lane, Josh Grobin’s song “You Raise Me Up” comes on my iPod (yes, I know….a little girlish, but he has a great voice!) and I look over at Drew peacefully sleeping. It hits me that we also don’t know how we will react in the face of adversity. When you run into that brick wall called reality that you can’t move from the neck down. All of a sudden I feel like I’m in some Hollywood drama – listening to this song and tearing up over how surreal this moment is. I am going on the trip of a lifetime, getting this opportunity of a lifetime because of Drew. A man who can’t raise his own legs because of quadriplegia has raised up my hopes and spirits for the future. And while I have my Flip video camera to document things, it is not possible to capture this moment. “You raise me up to more than I can be.”

As I’m trying to soak all this in and hold it together so people don’t think I’m crazy, the rest of first class is worried about the score of the Minnesota – Dallas game. This may be one of the few times in my life I honestly don’t care about football. (besides, my Colts won yesterday…..)

Now I’m brought back to my own personal reality as I start to sneeze watching the flight attendant bring me another drink. Where is my Zyrtec??? I guess no matter how hard we fight it, we end up like our own mothers…. allergic to alcohol!!

Time to enjoy my next drink, find a good show on the tv to watch and we’ll be in LA soon!!

It’s a New Year

January 6, 2010

Okay, I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy to finally say goodbye to 2009. What a horrible year! Hence, I know 2010 will be such a better year. I’ll even go as far as to say I think this will be the best year I’ve ever had! I won’t bore you with listing out my New Year’s Resolutions, most of which none of us keep anyways. But I will give you a hint and say this will be a record breaking year!

So make sure your seatbelts are strapped tight – it’s going to be a crazy, fun and adventurous ride this year. One I think you will very much enjoy, I know I will…. And it gets kicked off with a big bang of me going to LA with Drew.

Buckle up, hold on and just remember – THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s Flooding

December 7, 2009

So… I’ve received a few emails asking where I have been over the last several weeks. I had to lock myself away to get prepared for a big test I took on Saturday. Now that it’s finally over, I can get back to life and back to writing. What has been interesting to me over the last two days is wiping the clouds away from my eyes and seeing reality again. I feel like I am looking at it through new eyes. So much has happened over the last month and I kept pushing it away, I had to stay focused on what I was doing and there would be plenty of time to deal with it after I took my test.

Now that the test is over, I feel like I’m in the middle of a flood. I finally decided to just go for it. Not going to law school was always one of my regrets in life. So I took the LSAT to see if I have a shot of getting into law school.  I’m 32 years old and this feels like the first time I have truly gone after one of my dreams. This was something I wanted for me and not one that someone else had for me. And at the end of the day, I may not get in, but at least I can say I went for it. How many others can truly say that??

It’s hitting me how I finally just got up off the damn floor. My mom would argue that my body has really needed more time than I am willing to admit to recover from heart failure. Maybe so. But for me, I feel like I hit a point where I had to just dare myself to get up off the floor. The old saying, I was tired of being tired. And I decided that I was no longer going to sit around and wait for someone else to make a decision about my life. Take that however you want. I refuse to settle in my life – whether it be with a romantic relationship, a job opportunity or a friendship. People who settle don’t have enough confidence in themselves that they deserve the best. I know I do. I know I deserve more than what is currently my life. I know I deserve better than how I’ve been treated in relationships. And I deserve better than what some friends have given me. I also know that nothing comes handed to you, you have to work for it. I’m prepared to do that. And I am also more prepared now than ever to start dropping the baggage that has been holding me back. Some of it I kept around because honestly I was too tired to deal with it. Some because I was worried there wouldn’t be anything else. Some I wasn’t sure if I would know how to live without it. So, like I said, I know I deserve more, I’m ready to fight hard for what I want and prepared to drop all the baggage holding me back. And I make no apologies for it.

The ironic thing I guess is how much just bullshit I pushed aside and said I would deal with it after my test was over with. Now that it is, some of this “stuff” really is just bull that needs throwing away in the garbage can. Why do we weigh ourselves down with dead weight? When someone treats us like crap, why do we continue to subject ourselves to it? Who gave anyone the right to play tug of war with your heart? We always make sacrifices for friends, but we need something back and they “don’t have the time” then why do we continue to make sacrifices for them? Why don’t we stand up for ourselves more? Maybe it’s because sometimes we just can’t let go of the past. And the realizations of the past changes how we view everything in the present.

But sometimes the things that we are most afraid of are the things that will bring us the most happiness. I’m holding on to that one. There was a part of me that was scared to be free, scared to take a chance. And even scared to face some strong realizations about my past, so that I don’t keep viewing the present in the same distorted eyes. Not anymore. A friend posted the best quote today on facebook that just sums all of this up, “Sometimes the greatest act of courage is being honest with yourself and living in that honesty.” I’m finally being honest with myself, and I’m going to live it.

Complete Randomness Late at Night

December 6, 2009
  • It’s 30 degrees outside and I refuse to turn on my heat. I wrap up in sweaters, scarfs and mittens while sitting in my apartment, but I refuse to turn on the heat.
  • I have never shopped at TJ Max or Marshall’s, but their commercials are so good I just may have to check them out.
  • Not all frozen chicken is created equal. Seriously, Purdue is the best.
  • I dread having to go to Wal-Mart. It drives me up the wall.
  • I’m really digging boots this season.
  • Am I the only one who doesn’t care that Oprah is ending her show?
  • I’m sad football season is almost over.
  • Raspberry ginger ale is addictive. I promise. If you try it, you will be addicted.
  • I have a weird feeling that after January I will be a huge Lakers fan….. 😉
  • Atlanta just had a run off for the mayors race. The loser is calling for a third re-count. Really? A third? Because they miscounted the first two times???? I’m all for a re-count when the results are close. They did that. You lost. Move on. (And I didn’t vote in this one, so i honestly didn’t care either way how it turned out)
  • Really hate obnoxious sports fans. For some reason this football season has brought the worst out in people.
  • I’m over the news coverage of Tiger Woods crash/infidelity. He messed up. It’s really none of our business. But I will say the comedians have come up with some really funny jokes.
  • I can’t figure out how to turn on the fire in my fireplace. I realize the easy thing would be to ask, but I want to figure this one out on my own.
  • I keep losing my chapstick. I’ll buy two or three tubes and still lose them. They’re like pens, they magically disappear.
  • None of the people on the SCANA Energy commercials can dance. They all look stupid, just my opinion….
  • There are no hog lips or snouts in SPAM. Wow, really? Just everything else but the kitchen sink. That stuff should be banned.
  • The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog” uses every letter of the alphabet.
  • Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women.
  • I really, really want to meet Shane West.