Living Life

Jesus, Me, and the Kitchen Table

Voting

Today my husband and I set out to take part in one of the most fundamental duties as a citizen of the USA… we went to vote.  Going to vote for us is not the quick 10 minute thing that it is for most Americans.  But it was still a good experience.  I took the oath so I could read the ballot to Richard (he’s blind) and mark it for him.  Other than some little mix-up with which ballot they gave him…had to do with precincts…it wen smoothly.

Richard and I got seated at the little booths.    A lady was next to us and I could tell she was trying to concentrate.  I felt bad that I was going to have to read out loud to Richard. So I told him I would do mine first and maybe she’d be finished before we got to his.  When I started looking over the ballot, the woman overseeing the voting booths told me they had a machine to help read the ballot if I wanted to use it.  I had forgotten about that!  So we moved to another room and I put my ballot into the machine.  It begins loading the ballot info and then you have to choose “English” or “Spanish.” Once you do that, the screen brings up the first “contest.”  It reads the position and then lists the candidates.  There are buttons on the side to move between candidates and make a selection. You can also see it on the screen and can adjust the print to a quite large size.  If you want to use just the speech, you can turn the screen off for privacy.  I really did not care, so I left the screen on!  And I was wearing headphones, too. When you’re finished it lets you review your selections. If everything looks right, you select the option to mark the ballot, and it marks your choices.  Pretty cool!  All of the buttons on the machine are tactually discernible. So it would be pretty easy for a totally blind user.  I enjoyed having the speech and the large print together.

Richard did not want to fool with trying to use the machine.  He’s not as used to that kind of technology.  But I did put his ballot in and used it to help me read it to him and mark his choices.

As far as getting around in the wheelchair, it was pretty good for the most part.  There was one hallway that was a little snug because there was a water fountain sticking out, and the hall was narrow.  But other than that, no big deal.  Everyone at the polling place was very nice and thanked us for coming to vote.

Happy Voting Everyone!

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Graduation Day

Ever the last two months I have spent nearly every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon in physical therapy. We have been working on improving my transfers from the bed to the wheelchair, or as the case is in therapy, from the mat to the wheelchair. I have also been doing exercises that strengthen my arms and shoulders including my triceps. Having strong triceps really helps with the transfers. Additionally, I have worked on my core strength and have done exercises like partial sit ups and isometric exercises to strengthen my neck. Today when I arrived my therapist Jim told me that it was the end of two months of therapy and he would evaluate where I was and where we want to go from here. So after doing some working out and then several tests we determined that I have gotten a a lot stronger since starting therapy and that I have mastered my goals including making independent transfers. So today was my graduation day from physical therapy. I will continue to work on strengthening triceps, biceps, shoulders and knack using home exercises and also possibly working out at the fitness center. So with a handshake and a hug we all wished each other a happy new year and that was that!

This is the most perfect timing anyone could expect. That’s because the last time I was at Baylor to visit my PT, Kaylea, from there, she challenged me with being able to make transfers independently by my next doctor appointment in January! She had me promise to come by and demonstrate it for her! So hopefully in a few weeks when I go see Dr. Hamilton I will be able to do just that.

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