09 June 2020

Channeled


We've been watching blackscreen and nature relaxation videos for a couple of months now to help Lizard get to sleep in the evenings.

We started out with wind because, for whatever reason, the sound of whistling wind calms him and helps him fall asleep. We slowly branched into rain, thunder, wind chimes, crackling fireplaces and even a couple of lightning videos. Turns out we mostly need blackscreen to be able to sleep, so the lightning was beautiful but not helpful.

Last weekend we had one whale of a storm. Wind gusts of up to 94 mph were recorded just a few miles south of us. I think we had some of those. But the official speed recorded in a metro town 10 miles north of us was 80 mph.

While we were listening to the wind, I realized I could record my own relaxation video. Before I could get my camera set up, Lizard had fallen asleep. I played my newest video for him the next day, and the sound of the wind put him right to sleep again!

Perhaps that means my videos are boring? Ha ha ha!

Because the videos others shared helped us, I thought I'd upload mine, hoping I might be able to help someone. The 3-hour loop I created wouldn't upload because it's too long. I authenticated my account (which I've been avoiding for years now because I didn't want Google to have my phone number), and I still can't upload long videos or even change the thumbails. Perhaps I need to spend more time on YouTube before I can get fancy. I guess I could drop a title slide in at the beginning...

The initial video is about 17 minutes long, I think. That's when my camera battery died. I retreated to my home office to download and charge, and the wind coming in my view window sounded very different. Plus, there were birds right outside the window. I stuck a new battery in the camera, and rain began. I recorded again until the battery ran out, and here's my second YouTube video! With no pictures!


One day while waiting for Lizard to be ready for sleep, I started watching an underwater relaxation video. Boy, did I ever get hooked!!! When Lizard arrived, he, too, was impressed by the beautiful and soothing sea life. He had never liked any of the music relaxation videos until then. The next night, I searched for desert southwest relaxation, and I started playing a drone video of Utah's national parks for Lizard. Oh, did he love that! Put him right to sleep!

Soon, he was seeking out his own relaxation, not only at night, but also during the day when his restless legs were giving him fits. He's taken a strong liking to Fiji, Tahiti and Bora Bora! The water is SO beautiful!

Back in April, we were taking a little bike ride each day after I finished my work from home. We'd been building mileage every afternoon following his rehab for a brand new knee he got for Christmas. His knee is doing great, but the surgery really set back his Parkinson's, and he has struggled this entire year.

On Thursday, April 30, he was able to ride 12 miles! I was SO excited! I thought we were on the right track. I thought we'd be able to build up to at least 30 miles and be able to do partial organized rides next year. (Ride the Rockies is now incorporating one-day rides and shorter one-day rides for people just like Lizard, who can't do 90 miles in one day.

On Friday, May 1, Lizard couldn't get his leg over his bike. Literally overnight. Just like that.

On Saturday, May 2, he could no longer walk without a cane. We had to start all over, just as we did the day after his knee surgery.

Throughout May, his balance, coordination and comprehension continued to deteriorate. On his birthday, mid-May, he asked me if I thought he would lose his legs. One of the advanced symptoms of Parkinson's is leg heaviness, and that, combined with the anxiety Parkinson's magnifies, resulted in Lizard eventually believing he is going to die. As our state slowly began to open, we were able to get in to see the neurologist (and I didn't have to wait in the car!!!), and after some testing, the neurologist was able to convince Lizard he does not have ALS.

More tests have been performed, cognitive and speech therapy has begun, physical therapy has shifted from strengthening and conditioning of the knee to overall balance and coordination, and more tests are on the way.

I still hope Lizard will be able to get back on his bike one day, and I hope he will be able to ride, even if it's only a few feet. It would do so much for his confidence. He has basically been without joy since May 1, and I'm doing everything I can to bring my husband back.

One of the things I've done is replace the old recliner we bought the day I was released from the hospital back in 2004 after my emergency back surgery. The chair served us well, but it no longer offered lumbar support.


We tried to give the old chair away but had no takers. (It would have been gone in minutes in my previous neighborhood.) I had to pay a junk dealer to haul it away.

Next, I had to make room for the new zero gravity recliner with electric assist I ordered online. I paid for premium delivery because I knew neither of us would be able to get that baby to budge. I arranged for delivery in two days.


By the end of the workday on delivery day, we still had not heard anything, so I called. It took at least 45 minutes to get to a real person, all the while being told via repetitive recordings the furniture store was indeed open for business, but buy online and have your new furniture delivered right to your door! When I finally got a real person, I was told we weren't on the schedule at all. I explained this chair was for a disabled person, and we really need it. They offered us a week earlier delivery than what was available, and I once again confirmed we had paid for premium delivery because neither of us could assemble or move the recliner.

The following week, I finished my work from home and called the furniture store again because we'd not heard a word, and I knew they wouldn't be delivering in the evening. Our state still wasn't officially opening back up yet. I know there have been furloughs, layoffs, hour cuts and probably an onslaught of business as opening day approached. But they'd already taken my money from my account, and we'd scheduled, but had no chair. Lizard generally is not able to sleep on a bed anymore, so we really needed that chair!

I was informed the store had sold out of the chair we ordered. Once again, I explained this is for a disabled person, and we need it as soon as possible. I was told we could pick up a showroom model about 40 miles away. I asked how we would be able to do that with no truck big enough and neither of us being able to lift. Our only option was to wait another week.

Last week, the chair finally was delivered. To the curb. I was working, but I heard the truck, so I ran to the porch to supervise the move. I was shocked to see the driver and helper prepare to leave after taking the gigantic shrink-wrapped box off the truck. I told them I need them to set it up and remove the trash.

"We can't do that because you didn't pay for premium delivery," I was told. I pulled up the receipt on my phone and headed over to prove to them I had indeed paid for them to set up the chair and remove the box and plastic afterward. I had checked my account that morning, and I noticed the furniture store had taken another ten dollars out of my account. I informed the driver. He said it probably was for gas, being as the chair was coming from the extreme northern end of the metro area.

The two workers cheerfully set up the chair, removed the trash and were gone in less than about ten minutes.

Lizard took a while to learn how to work the new chair but is a very happy camper, and the chair is where he's been sleeping for the last eight days.




A couple of days later, I received an email asking me to rate the furniture store.

I think not.

I've told Lizard I will take him on a tropical vacation if he will work hard on his physical therapy homework. I told him it probably won't be until next year, but that will give him plenty of time to work toward getting back on his bike, if he can. So now he's looking up tropical mountain biking trails.

We would not be able to do this level of cycling, no matter what, and we are both totally against mountain biking off-trail. But boy, is this ever inspiring and motivating!!!

2 comments :

  1. Love these videos. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Deb, what a saga to get that chair! I'm so glad it finally arrived and that you were there to make sure you got the service you paid for! Happy dreams to Lizard, and here's to that tropical vacation!

    ReplyDelete


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