Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The "Blue Line" Blues...

Hi all! So, many people always ask how do I travel or get around if I need to go someplace. Most of the time my family takes me, especially if it's to a doctors appointment for Haley Jean. Or I also use PACE door-to-door service. However depending on the weather I may take public transportation such as the train or bus. Using my power chair is easier for me because the physical strain of pushing my manual for long stretches at a time can be difficult & painful. Not to mention the rough terrain of the ground throughout parts of the city. Holes, cracked concrete & uneven slabs are unsafe for riding.  One day, I had to pick up a script from Rush's PICU for Haley Jean & fill it at the pharmacy. I didn't set up transportation arrangements ahead of time & my sister was busy so my only option was the bus & the "L". By the way, the weather wasn't the greatest, it was raining & cloudy. My chair CANNOT get wet otherwise it may malfunction. Under these circumstances, a mother's duties never end. This is the main reason I'm raising money for a vehicle so I don't have to deal with the madness of public transportation....http://www.gofundme.com/6p5vb0 No one realizes the hassle it takes for a person in a wheelchair to get to & from by using the Blue Line to the Medical Center Stop. First, getting from my place to the Forrest Park stop has been eventful, as many times before I've gotten down there only to find the elevator is out of order. Which means either I just head back home or take an alternate route on the bus. Anyhow once I arrived at the Medical Center stop, I found that the Pulina stop has a turnstile, not a wheelchair accessible entry-way. Of course the nice bus station attendant didn't tell me that  I couldn't get out on that end & it took 10 minutes to get to the top of the ramp & back down. In order for me to exit the ramp I have to go 2 blocks west to Damen Ave. then come back 2 blocks east to get to the hospital. I asked the attendant who was there by the time I was heading home why was there a turnstile & not door I was shocked to hear the reason being that the city or CTA doesn't want to pay  a human to man that station such as that of the Damen entry. So after gathering my thoughts & dignity I decided to time & record my route back to the train from the hospital. The sign outside the Pulina stop says "Wheelchair access 2 blocks West" I have finally had the chance to record & attempt to debunk that "2 blocks WEst" crap ASAP!!! Below is the link to my youtube video of the nearly 20 minute trek back to the "L". While it may be 2 City blocks total, the mileage is clearly much longer. After finally making it to Damen my phone battery cut off, & almost my chair battery. A hassle is an understatement. While I was not doing any manual labor, I couldn't imagine anyone else in a self-propelled chair being forced to push that long exhausting length. needing just to get to the train. Why doesn't the city accommodate us when many people using that stop have some level of physical limitation? It's a hospital for Christ's sake!!!!! It took me 20 minutes to get to the platform, when the average person's travel time is significantly less. I emailed CTA about my findings but never recieved a reply. I'm hoping the Mayor sees my blog & video & make some changes. I began using that stop after I had my daughter & was going to visit her in the NICU very often. Some nights I'd leave the NICU after 10pm & make the long journey alone. I pray this message reaches the right people that can & will make changes to improve the Pulina street Blue Line L stop so that all can utilize if freely & effectively. Click the link below to see me in action....:)




Sunday, March 8, 2015

Man Down...

Well it's official (in my opinion) I have a couple fractured or bruised ribs... After a very restless night I'm finally up & its 3 PM. Haley Jean knows if something is wrong, she reaches for me & whimpers. It's kinda cute! But it also hurts my feelings because as a mother you want to always be available to your children. A cold or flu is one thing, the pain of fractured ribs is a horse of a different stripe. I'm sure you're wondering how it happened. Well usually I don't go into detail or of fear of creating sensationalism but here goes.... Blowing up balloons! Yep that's it.... I blew up about 30 balloons last week for Haley Jean's 2nd Birthday. You will never fully understand the amount of stress that puts on sensitive rib cages. Then you wanna know what put it over the top..... I zipped my coat! Yep.... I zipped my coat due to the cold weather, I shouldn't have done that but I did & now I'm laid up a few days. This is why I never dress properly in the winter because the pressure it puts on my chest is pretty intense. I do it because I get tired of hearing... "Hey where's your coat.. Or zip that jacket its cold out" seems trivial but hey, when you hear things long enough you start doing things to avoid the conversation. This is one of the hardest parts of being a mom with limits, you can't be there in the full capacity like you want. I can't hold our pick her up & even more heartbreaking is that I have to rely on others to help us. I don't like obligating people. Oh well, guess I'll lay on the couch a few days with Haley Jean right next to me. I will simply do what I've done before.... Wait it out. It's not as bad, there are breathing techniques to get accustomed to as well as sitting positions. Going to the ER isn't an option... They'll keep me for 6 hours, do xrays & find NOTHING due to my less-than -average skeletal make. Ever seen a chest XRay of an OI patient? Looks like a train wreck .... Well ya just can't really tell what's what, unless it's a clean break. Otherwise you're screwed. Not sure what's worst, the pain or the expression on the ER Residents face when they can't really help. I always reassure them it's not them it's me... Only good thing is the pain meds: ) At least then  I can have a little relief..... Until then......: P

By the way...;)