Amber's Abode

oh, I've been to the desert on a plane with no food...

Well, now that I'm finally back online, time to update my blog for myself!  :-) I was going to try to write a few blogs and backdate them, but I decided I don't want to do that anymore.  One blog to get you updated will be better and easier to read:

On October 26, I did the most crazy, wonderful, and scary thing I've ever done in my life.  I got on a plane by myself.  One-way ticket so that I couldn't look back even if I wanted to.  Which I didn't.  In the cab on the way to the airport, we were literally hydroplaning.  Torrential rains.  When I got to Sky Harbor, it was in the upper 70s, and some people still wore a coat.  I still remember laughing at that.  The plane ride was awesome.  It was late to the Portland airport, but my friend Gene met me there to keep me company while we waited, and I met a lady named Audrey who liked crossword puzzles.  Which kept my brain occupied and away from being nervous at what I was about to.  But the people that put me on the plane by transferring me let me sit in a window seat, so I got to see above the clouds, and when we got above my new home, it was dark and very beautiful because of the lights.  We were up so high at first that the whole city looked like a lighted circuit board.  I will never forget that day.

Landing and getting to see and hug Daniel for the first time in two months, and doing the same with my friend Christina for the first time in around two years was awesome as well.  But that was the last awesome moment for a while.  Because both of my friends noticed that I wasn't looking or feeling very well, so we went straight from the airport to a hospital called banner desert.  Hence the short blog from Daniel about how much he hates hospitals.  We did leave there eventually, in case his blog is still leaving you hanging.  :-).  But he hasn't had much time to write in it, because he's been with me pretty much every day since.  It's both romantic and necessary at the same time.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

They admitted me to the hospital for 14 days because I had the flu, after a flu shot before you ask, and not the swine flu, two bladder infections, which I didn't even know was possible; and really bad bronchitis.  All at once.  And everybody in Portland kept telling me this was normal I was fine and giving me another pill.  In short, I was really sick.  And it really sucked.  But at least in Arizona, they were actually doing something about it.  And I have been relatively healthy ever since.  But I keep getting ahead of myself.

My least favorite part about being in the hospital was being in the hospital, instead of out in the sun exploring my new home.  I also hated the breathing treatments every four hours day and night.  Especially the night ones because it was so hard to sleep at night.  I would just get to sleep when they would come back with their stupid mask.  One of my unreasonable fears is things covering my face, so that was torture.  Eventually they figured out that they could use a different attachment and blow the fog past my face for me to breathe in, and that was better.  The nurses hardly ever listened to anything I said, let alone the doctors.  But it helped to have Daniel there most of the day every day.  They listened to him.

My favorite funny moment was when a nurse panicked because I was bleeding.  I reassured her that it happened about once a month to most women my age.  She looked straight at me and said, "oh, I didn't know people with disabilities had menstrual cycles!"  I'm not kidding.  At which point I was a little evil and asked her if I could use one of the outlets above my head to plug in a vibrator.  She left the room really quickly without anything more.  I never saw her again.  I didn't really want to, so it worked out.

After the hospital, after they realized no way in hell or anywhere else were they getting me back on a plane to Portland, they transferred me to what I would call an adult foster home.  I'm now in my second one of those because the first one lasted two weeks because the family that ran it realized that I was way too aware for their crowd.  They were all dying, and one lady repeatedly asked who everyone else was every time they reentered her field of vision.  So they kept suggesting that I go to another place, and the day before Thanksgiving, it became an order.

So here I am in Scottsdale, a long way away from Daniel's door even one way, but he still comes to see me every day, mostly because English is not the caregivers' first language, and we need to make sure they are actually doing their job.  But they are nice here, I have a bigger room with room for my computer, they set up Internet for me, totally crappy speed notwithstanding, and most of the time the food is pretty good.  The only thing I do not like at all is the forced bedtime between seven and 8 p.m..  But I am learning a lot about the Philippines, the culture, and a little of the language and food, which gives the caregivers no end of entertainment.

But it is hard because I have a roommate, there is no real wheelchair accessible shower, and no locks on the doors.  So Daniel and I, by excruciatingly annoying necessity, have turned into shopping and appointment buddies only, pretty much.  It's really difficult when you're around the one you love every day, but are not free to show it as fully as you would like to.

Eventually, soon I hope, I will move to a better place more suited for me in Tempe, which is where the college is and where the public transportation all converges.  I've gotten set up with most of my doctors and specialists.  The only exceptions are an eye doctor, because when I went to my referred appointment, they couldn't help me because the equipment is not wheelchair accessible, and I can't transfer into an office chair, where all the equipment is attached; also the urologist, who looked like he was barely out of high school, didn't even examine me at all, and then lied to my face three times that he did examine me.

But the best part is that I am getting a physical therapy!  Yesterday, I sat on the edge of a high mat with no support helping me with balance without starting to fall for five minutes, according to the therapist!  I was amazed.  The time before that, it was 3 1/2 minutes so I'm getting stronger.  I'm healthier in most ways as well.  And I can go outside every day, and go into the sun almost every day.

I am happy, and even my family seems to have come around a little.  At first it was pretty bad because they were all angry at me for leaving without asking for their permission or advice.  They even started a comment war on Facebook.  I'm not kidding.  It was like high school meets Jerry Springer all over again.  My father would cry and leave you don't love me anymore messages on my voicemail.

But somebody must have talked him around, because suddenly he is so happy for me and Daniel is the best thing since sliced bread.  Which he is, but not previously to my father..  It's so weird.  I'm not even sure if I prefer the real anger or the fake sunshine up the butt routine.  For now, I will take sunny ass, because it's much easier to deal with.

Merry Christmas to everyone!  It's going to be a good one for me, quite a contrast to being snowed in last year.  Daniel and I are both going to my uncle and his family's house for the day.  It'll be my first family Christmas in a long while, and I'm so looking forward to it.  I'm so happy they have accepted Daniel.

Thank you to everyone for all the help and love you have given so far on my journey.  Especially Daniel himself.  I love you and I would be nowhere without you, like a hiker without water.

I have to go get ready now, but for now, you all caught up.  Blessings to you all!

I have the best blessings of all this year: I am surrounded by love, true love.  And I am truly, finally, home.

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