Saturday, December 26, 2009

NYCSCIA Holiday Party

This year I got to celebrate with the crew at Galways Hooker's pub downtown. I was dropped off harshly by an African driver, leaving me right in front of a non-accessible entrance. Everything from how he put on my seat belt to how he got me across the street was either inefficient or downright dangerous. All I could do was shake my head.

I came super early and was the first person there so I went up to the bar and made friends with a guy named Jeff who worked upstairs. I wanted an eggnog with a shot of Maker's Mark, but no egg nog! So Jeff got me a glass of cabernet. It wasn't that great and just after a third of the glass, my head hurt, so I drank water for the rest of the night.

Slowly, other wheelies came in from Beth Abe and my buddy George, who informed me we had a reserved space in the back. I was wondering how all these chairs were going to fit in the bar! The bar was very high and already I had issues setting my drink down and feeding a drink to my man, Surg, a high level quad.

The high point of my evening was playing a game of pool, something I've wanted to do for months! They had 2 pool tables and I played in a game of doubles with George, Eileen from NYSCIA and her friend Pearl. To my surprise, George had never played and I told him that I used to play a lot. I had no idea how I was going to work it as a quad and indeed, it was very hard! But the eye coordination was still there and I immediately got two shots in! It wasn't graceful the way I held the cue stick, but boy there was just enough follow through to make everyone watch those balls go in beautifully, with precision! But that was about it, the other shots required more umph, more power behind it that I didn't have. Another goal accomplished!

I was very content to just hang out with George, his wife, and Ro and whoever was in the vicinity. I was tired and lost my voice and it wasn't even 8pm yet! It was very warm where we were and I was sweating under my turtleneck. I opted to wear only my columbia vest since I knew I would be warm, but still! It was almost like a Tau party without the cigarette smoke. I steered clear away from Beth Abe people. The closest I was to them was on the ride home on flippin' accessaride. This time, the driver was African-American, and super rushed to get home. So rushed, he was going the speed a car would go and swerving on the road! at some points, I was yelling for him to slow down, but of course, no one could hear me. I was so anxious about getting into an accident and I know that's not of God, but it's those moments where it's hardest to trust. Luckily, my dad was there when we pulled in helped me into bed.

Most disturbing was my urine was unusually bloody. Not just a few spots but the entire bag seemed tinged with blood, which could explain my lethargy during the night. I told my father to tell the nurse while I freaked out thinking what it could be. Since then I've been taking my cranberry pills religiously and lots of water. I think it was signs of a nasty UTI coming on.

I gave out the last of my gifts at the party--coffee! My father and a volunteer helped me wrap and ship out my gifts to friends. Christmas was pleasantly spent with my new roommate, Marilyn. Dad brought a turkey dinner from Whole Foods and Chocolate cake! To top it off, we had a *bit* of traditional coquito (rican egg nog + rum). We had colored lights around the bathroom door for that feeling... we got gifts. Dad was very sweet to get Marilyn gifts as well, body lotion and lip balm, aromatic candles (even though we can't burn them). He really worked hard to make us a nice Christmas evening. The next day we slept in because we didn't want to be bothered with the grumpy staff--I mean come on! I was having a lot of pain too so I just didn't want to be on my ass.

Right now, I'm enjoying some of my favorite gifts. I got a gift card to Barnes and Nobles so I swiftly got Crazy Love by Francis Chan and his second book, Forgotten God. It covers how American Christianity generally neglects the Holy Spirit and biblically sound doctrine. We don't give all of ourselves to Christ as he deserves and calls us to live as disciples. There's so much more I can write on that, but I'll save it for the next blog!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

pressing toward the mark

It's been a while and a lot has been going on. I'm enjoying my new ipod! already I've learned to post video on the podcast, check it out! Latest download is Casting Crowns, a dynamic rock christian band and it's great to have portable music!

My therapy program here ended and I need to continue especially for trunk and balance control. I have a difficult time holding myself up in thte chair and propelling all day and it's depressing. I need more therapy.

Yesterday was the monthly SCI support group meeting. We go around and say what we're doing, goals, etc. I did'nt really feel like sharing. I don't feel anybody there cares. A couple of guys share and they talk about how they've gotten closer to God all this but it's clear they still dabble in the world. I hear one kid talk about how high he gets and he's sporting this marijuana ring, and he says how he used to be down about being injured but his friends said life goes on he should "do him." Now the whole "do me" mentality is far from christianity and I told right there on the spot. I told him, Jesus came here to be a servant, not to "do him." No one needs to be a biblical scholar to know that. The two tried to tag team it, justify it like it meant to do what they enjoy--which it does. But they included music, poetry, weed. They just threw that in there! Like the serpent in the garden, they make it sound so innocent and well, God never said...I've had issues with these things as well and I had to seriously pray about them and ask God to lead me to His truth. When I made the commitment to follow Jesus, His spirit began to convict me and it's been hard! Reallly hard! But clearly His word says, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23. But this is the process of becoming a new creation. I'm learning we're constantly being sanded down and a big part of thaat is through fellowship with other believers. You can't just have a bible and wing it. I realize this kid is not in fellowship, maybe I should invite him.

I still struggle with my shortcomings. I don't always give people much grace. I've been praying about this. I've been praying to forgive those staff who wrong me, for God to have mercy on them. Most of all, I pray for God's angels to protect the residents here while giving me the wisdom to navigate the system.

It's getting cold and I don't like going out but I just got scheduled to continue therapy at mt. sinai 2 days a week! I hope it goes well...