This is what I drank in training, and the Ironman. Now it's the Goofy Challenge

Friday, February 23, 2007

Technological help for the Traumatic Brain Injury survivor

All I can say is WOW. I am a little over whelmed at all the equipment I received from Assistive Technology's Grant I applied for last semester. Here is a picture of some of the stuff, the hard ware

It is the software though, that is crazy, I have a program called Inspiration, I don't know how to explain it. I am trying to upload an image I can make but it's a little harder than I thought. I haven't spent to much time on it. All I can say is it's like my board. I can put in a main theme, and then link things to it.
Here is the website for Inspiration I just don't have the words to explain it. It also comes with a spell check program, that works independently in the computer. What that means is even as I type this there is the Blogger spell check, but I can click on this even right now, and it spell checks any program I am currently running. It also makes sure I have use the right word. For example sometimes I type the word phonetically. So I want so say psychology, and I type sikologie, or aphasia, and i type afashia. Sometimes the word to can be to, two, too. I get confused where if goes. So it can check that I have used the right "to,too,two". It also speaks to me. So I can hear what I just typed now, and see if it makes sense when I hear it. I can also play a document I have downloaded from school and hear it, on top of seeing it. As I type my word documents or essay's I can play them back to myself. It's very cool.

I received a digital voice recorder as well. So I can sit in class and record the lectures, and download it. I can then search the voice documents for words the teacher may have said, or try to find the different places that word may have been said.

I got a printer, and a really cool Language Master, that kind of looks like a calculator but I can type in words and will repeat them out loud, kind of like a Steven Hawkins voice.

The Laptop is a Dell Latitude, Core Duo, it is made to be able run several programs at once. I purchased a digital router ($44.59) and hooked it up at home. So I can sit in my bed with the laptop but still be able to have my old computer to access the Internet, and run other programs.

The point being I can go to class, set up my computer and record the whole class, both by sound, and video. So when I get home I can go back over the class. It's so cool. I even got a backpack that fits all my school books, and the computer.

On a side note, I have made my message at home from my Language Master. So it sounds like a computer voice.....I am a little weird. I wonder if I can download audio files to the blog? mmm Anyway it's really cool.

My grades have gone up from 3/20, to 15/20 in Biology. I have a midterm next week. I haven't even started my psychology paper yet. I am kicking ass in Math.

The neighbors above me are still intense, they have been a little quieter, and have till the end of the month to get out. My landlord called me to ask how I felt if they stayed longer. Apparently they are finding it difficult to find a place, in the same price range, by the end of the month. While I totally get that it's hard. They are not the ones who have to live next to them. They are constantly having large groups of teens over, party's till 4 or 5 in the morning. When you try to talk to them, they threaten you, and insult you. They have had the police hear night after night. They have had so many chances, we are beyond a second chance, which I am totally all about, even a third if there is good intent. This would be a 13th or 14th chance. Plus they don't seem to have any remorse. The only time they show any remorse is when it is hard for them to find a new place, or it's in there best interest. So I told the landlord if they stay even for an extra 15 days, it sends the signal that it's OK. There is no consequence. To add to that, I really don't give a shit. If I hadn't been threatened, If I didn't have to put up with them night after night, maybe I would have some feelings toward it.

The wedding planning is going on. Mandy has found a dress, and is very excited. What is hard is to not be to involved in sertain aspects of the wedding. I want to be involved, and be suportive, but there is some stuff I just can't do.

Over all this week has been better, new toy's, my clinic is doing great, It was an intense few last weeks. There were times when I wanted the world to slow down so I could catch up. I just kept on showing up. Things are looking a little more positive!! Yeah

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sun Run Training Clinic

This is a photo of the 10kl clinic group on our 8kl Sunday run. The half marathon group ran with us today, as they were short a clinic instructor. They had a 9kl run today, and the 10kl clinic had a 8 kl run. We wound up running about 8.4kl to try and meat in the middle. The weather was perfect for a nice 10 and 1 run. It was cold to start, but dry. The rain came out perfect just as we all got back to the Running Room.

It was quit a site to see all the people from the 2 groups running down the street. I got a little slack on the run route today, as there were some hills added in. In my defense I didn't plan the route! I was using a pre-planned route from one of the other runners at the Running Room.

For a few of the runs I have been biking in before hand. It's an ideal 5kl ride from my house to the Running Room. So I get a nice 10k bike ride and then, depending on the days run, up to about a 10kl run.

I am still finding fitting school/training/work hard to fit in. One thing I forgot about running is how it grounds me. I am putting all I have into everything going on each day, so I can only do what I can do. My mood is a little better about school. If I try my hardest, and can't "get" the class. This may be a sign that it's not for me.

I slept like crap last night. I don't know why, it was quite, I was rested, my neighbors have been fairly quite. There have been no police for a couple of nights. They have been evicted and half to be out by the end of the month.

Mandy was not violent during her sleep attacks on me ;) I think I am still in shock at how much more is going on this semester. I have rescheduled my week, so it was the first week at the new schedule, of less hours at work, one forced rest day, and then two days of tutoring. I am looking forward to next week, I have two days off school, so I will be catching up on my reading, and studying. I just want to find my feet again, and feel like I am in a position to take information in.

I am waiting for a laptop to come from Assisted Technology's. It's a grant I receive that provides me with some tools to put myself at an even keel for school. I am hoping this week goes a little better than last, but I am not expecting much. It's been a constant few weeks of crap. I must say again if it wasn't for my time with Mandy, and my running/biking. I think my head would have swelled inside my skull again. I have been looking in my mail everyday for the last week as I am excited about the Chicago Marathon Book to come. They did a little interview of me and what I have been through and I am apparently in it. So in a way I feel weird yet I am excited at the same time. That is another blog entry at another time about how we focus on what tragedy's people overcome, instead of the people who work just as hard every day and never get noticed. But then I think I would complain about winning the lottery. Why not 1.2 million instead of 1 million.......

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Overwhelmed, and Tired

Well it's been a little while since I updated my blog. Here is what is new; I am failing two of my three classes at Douglas. I am arguing with the government about my disability income. I have put up with the tenants upstairs, partying night after night. I have been threatened. There has been another tenant beat up. We have had the police here 4 nights in a row. We had some little punk pull the fire alarm in the building and then jump in his car and take off at 1:45 am in the morning.

We have had night after night of noise from the punks above me. There is a constant group of 14 to 18 people in a one-bedroom apartment, all about 16-18 years old. Now I am no moral authority, I really don't give a crap what you do. But when you wake me up, when I have to go up there night after night, when I get threatened, and yelled at by some 16 year old chick, who wants to see "her man" fight me. I call and wake up my landlord. I call the cops.

After calling the cops, I then got a nice "your a f*&%'ing rat" comments from these really tough, little small town white girls that think there gangster. You are from Canada people. You are White. You are not a "gangster", you would survive about 3 seconds in a major city, or gang infested area. Plus you are not my blood, your not my friends, if calling the cops when I get threatened makes me a rat, then your damn right I am a rat.

I started training a 10kl clinic at the running room, as I have had to take more time off work to focus on school. I am really enjoying running again, and I love running with a group of people. Being a clinic leader is definitely a learning curve, and it's allot more than just mapping the runs, and going out with a group of people. It is also going to help with the reduced income I have, as account of my having to drop shifts at work.

As far as school is going, it's had its ups and downs. I got really sick a little over a weak ago. I was either throwing up, or had massive diarrhea depending on the time of day. It completely overwhelmed me. I couldn't run, couldn't go to school. It was intense. I tried to use the time I was sitting in my bed at home to at least read, but my brain was so foggy I couldn't take in the information.

So I feel like I am a week behind in classes, and trying to catch up. The classes are moving at such a high rate of speed. I am taking a Biology class that is very intense, and I forgot to add my lab times into my schedule. It's another 8-12 hours per week. I just literally don't have enough time to do everything that needs to be done.

I had the worst day ever on the week I was sick. I tried to get to school, and made it to my Biology class. Just as class was starting I felt myself getting ready to puke. So I run to the bathroom, and vomit all over. Come back to class as it's starting and the teacher takes one look at me and sends me home. I had received a message from the government about my disability check a day or so before, and they required some additional information about my income and were withholding my cheque until they received it. I head to the office on the way home, dressed like crap, and feeling horrible, but thinking I have some free time might as well get this done.

I wait in line, and talk to a worker, who says I have not giving them the correct information. I let her know that I had given them all school, and income documents a month ago, just to avoid a situation like this. She advises me they don't have the information. She has me wait to talk to someone else. I wait in line (20 minutes) and wait to see some dude. I fill him in on the situation, and he says they have no documents of my income for the previous months, or my student loans. I tell them to write exactly what information they require and I will go get it.

I let the gentleman know I have a memory problem, so that is why I need it written it down. He laughs, and makes a comment that "I wish I could get money from the government for my poor memory to" This is the same guy who has said "I wish I could my poor memory declared a disability to" a few months ago. This pisses me off, but I take the letter and head back to school.

I wait in line at the Financial Aid department, and speak to a lady there. I tell her I need this information; she says they already gave it to me last month. I tell her I know, but the government doesn't have it so I need another copy. I head back down to social service. (the financial aid people at Douglas rock)

I wait in line (20 minutes) and talk to a different lady and explain why I am there. She takes my information and tells me to sit down. An hour goes buy. I get up and ask her how much longer it will be. She says that I have already been seen? I advise her I have not. She finds this humorous.

Now remember I am very sick. I should be at home. She looks at the information and tells me it is not the required information. I let her know (showing her the letter her co-worker rote) that this is exactly what I was told to get. She says it's not. I am getting frustrated. I clarify with her, exactly what I need. I head back to Douglas.

I wait in line at the Financial Aid office at Douglas; I speak to the same person, in Financial Aid, and let her know the Government employee, says I have the wrong information. She literally highlights the information she has giving me and rights "this is what you need" on it. So the worker will be able to interpret the information. She also rights a step-by-step way to read the information for the social service worker. I head back down to the Government. I throw up on the way.

I wait in line again (49 minutes) this time there is a gentlemen who is very upset, and defiantly from the rough area of town. He is freaking out, and the security guards stand close to him while he screams and yells, and threatens to kill the world. Eventually he calms down. I am seen and told to wait. I sit down and don't wait to long until my name is called. I hand in my documents, and this time they say they have this information already. That they don't require this, and to come back tomorrow. I think my eye started twitching at this point.

I advice them I can't come back tomorrow as I work. I am coming today because my rent check is going to be deposited by my landlord, and if I wait to come back, I will not have enough funds in my account for rent. I will also have NSF fees from my landlord, and my bank. I am told to wait again.

My name is called rather quickly, and I am told there is a check for me. The female who tells me this holds the check in front of me, and goes on to make a comment that "if you had giving us this information before, this wouldn't have happened". She then informs me in an accusatory tone "that I am going to be reviewed for my income".

I lose it at this point. I advise her that I gave the exact same information over a month ago. I have filled out all documents correctly, and if the comment "I am going to be reviewed" is meant to frighten me, it doesn't, as I have done nothing wrong. "If on the off chance, I do owe a fund, that’s fine, I will pay them back". I then went on a rant that I have never been so insulted, talked down, and treated like a second rate citizen. Her final words to me were "right a letter to the government".

Not only did I right a letter to the government, I contacted her boss, and am making a formal complaint. I have never talked to, or treated someone, with such disrespect or incompetence, I would be fired from my job. Why is it that Government employees feel like they can treat people like crap because they job is hard. My job is hard to. If I can't handle the job, I am either fired or I quit. Only employee's of the Government feel like there is some obligation to make life and their job easy for them. Like work is supposed to be some cakewalk of joy, and happiness. It's called work for a reason people!! Do your job. If you can't, quit. It's so fucked that the way they treat the system is that; if they are unable to do there job, if they suck at it, or if it's just not a good job for them; That the rest of the world is supposed to change what there expectations of there job(the social service workers is) responsibility's are. I mean can you imaging being busy at work, being stressed, and telling your boss, and customers, that it isn't fair. This is to hard, they need to change the requirements of the job to fit me better!! Only a freaking Union/Government person thinks that there employer has some obligation to make life easy for them. Yet these undereducated people have the right to act as some moral authority on what I am doing! They get to decide if I am working to hard or not hard enough. Where is the "treat people like you want to be treated" line of thinking here. I would love for them to have to put up with there own bizarre requirements in order to get a paycheck. To bad I can't take stress leave on a disability income!!

One good thing about this is my love for running seems to come out when I am getting frustrated at the world. Whenever I am pissed off, or feel like I have no control, I run. I seem to run better on the days I am upset or angry. I find myself biking from home to the running room, going for my clinic runs, then biking home. It's burning off some of the frustration. My marks are so low in school, I have no where to go but up. That's about it for now.

I am adding a Video of my apartment. I don't know why, I just wanted to.