Practical Matters for Physically Challenged Gardeners #15

Midland City, AL

Welcome to Practical Matters for Physically Challenged Gardeners #15. On this thread we discuss the day-to-day challenges of gardening and otherwise enjoying the outdoors when there is also some sort of physical limitation to contend with. Contributors here may be anything from mildly mobility challenged due to aging to those gardening from wheelchairs. The visually impaired can range from “can’t see those little seeds like I once could” to blind. Also, there are those coping with the energy deficits that are a part of Depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and heart/lung ailments. We are a diverse group. Feel free to join in.
We came from here. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1236334/
Photo 1,2 and 3. Crepe Myrtle
Photo 4 and 5. Trumpet Vine

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Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Thank you, Nadine, for continuing this thread!

I thought I understood the interaction between MS and heat from Boston -- I was way underinformed. Heat when it's 103* or 108* is HEAT. The 90* heat in Boston that made me have to go inside and have a cold drink was nothing. I could recover in an hour or so. This heat is blinding!!! I mean that metaphorically, of course, but there are people with MS whose vision gets better and worse with heat. My brain stops working, my body ceases to function (what little function it has left) and I fall asleep. Yikes!!!!

On the other hand, now I know what Crape Myrtle looks like first hand, and about fire ants and armadillos. Who knew? Love to all.....I feel like I left everyone back in Boston.

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Carrie, We could all do without knowing about fireants. Am so glad they have'nt made it up the mountain.
Do like I do in summer. I stay inside from 9 AM till 7 PM unless i make a mad dash to my car.
I bought some yarn yesterday at Walmarts (ON SALE) and have been crocheting all day.
Jim called to see if i were still alive.I apoligise for hybernating. Depression is still king around here. Should get the results on some tests and do some more this week. The sleep test should be intresting. Am taking plenty to read as the TV goes off at 9:30.They said i could bring a stuffed toy but not my dog Cricket.LOL But I will be out of pocket Tuesday and Wednesday.
I was told I needed to walk everyday. But my knees won't hold up to walking. Probably would if I lost 30 lbs. Also can't breathe so good in hot air.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Do you like blueberries, Carrie? I heard somewhere they help people with MS adapt better to stress conditions such as heat. I’ve don’t know of any scientific data that backs up that claim. However, I do know blueberry leaf tea was used to treat MS before there were effective pharmaceuticals. There is even a recipe called MS Scones. I suppose because it contains both blueberries and evening primrose seeds. Evening primrose was also once used to treat MS symptoms.
Jim called Vickie to make sure she was okay. She is hanging in while her doctors try to sort out some serious health problems. Nadi and Jim have let their DG accounts lag while we get some bills paid off. I have to tease and torment them in private now. It was much more fun teasing and tormenting them in a public venue. Lol.
July, August and December are our garden vacation times. I gather from things Debra said it is much the same there except for the humidity. Vickie mentioned serious drought conditions in her region. Is the DFW area experiencing drought as well? Wish I could share our rain. The ditch alongside our road is filled with water from this morning’s rain. I’m dreading what I will find when I go out to check for erosion damage.
We are preparing for the fall garden. We are going for edible landscaping in a big way. I’ve ordered ‘Bull’s Blood’ beets and giant red mustard greens for their maroon foliage. Planning to order ‘Bright Lights’ kale and a selection of colorful lettuces next month. Nadi says we should use the French name for an ornamental kitchen garden. That way what we are doing will sound hip and edgy instead of just frugal. So…we are planning our pottage (po-TA-sha). lol. There is a professional chef who maintains that the reason no one ever raves about British food is because 18th century garden fashion in Britain relegated their patages (kitchen gardens) to hidden places away from the house. Whereas, the French kept their ornamental kitchen gardens front and center. The easy access to herbs and other ingredients plus the visual inspiration of the pottage drove the development of French cuisine. I thought that was an interesting theory. k*

mulege, Mexico

Hi - I've made it safely to Chula Vista, gotten tested, and seen my GP. Thursday I go to knee replacement surgery class and see my surgeon in the afternoon. If he clears me for surgery it will be next Tuesday.

Carrie, how can you think that you left ANYONE behind? We are all still here.

Vickie, depression is a b...ch. Don't every let anyone tell you otherwise. You have company, even when you hibernate, so there.

hugs, katie

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Now I'm gonna cry, Katie. My stiff upper lip is trembling.... My dose of Wellbutrin ('invigorating' anti-depressant) was lowered because I completely stopped sleeping when they took me off all the muscle relaxants. There's an extremely delicate balance between muscle relaxers, caffeinated coffee, Wellbutrin, sleep, Ambien (which doesn't put me to sleep, so that's out) and stress which got all screwed up after surgery March 20 and is still not fixed. I think I'm sleeping enough (which is a change) but I'm not sure if I'm taking enough Wellbutrin, because I've been feeling weepy recently. On the other hand, I think I'm under enough STRESS to break anyone.

No flowers here.

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Carrie, Is'nt there anything they can offer you besides Welbutrin. I was put back on prozac and it was much better. Course I know we are all different in how meds affect us.
Having your whole world upside down does tend to be stressful. Hang in there.
My hospital stay was postponed untill tonight.Since I was up allnight I should sleep.Yeah!!
Thanks Katie bear.We'll be thinking of you.Have you made arraingements for recouping?

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Thinking of both of my sisters in surgery. ((Katie)) and ((Vicki))

Vicki, I NEED A DOCTOR! When I get a neuro-pharma-psychiatrist (or whatever), I am sure ALL my drugs will be re-evaluated and doses adjusted. I'm waiting for the Neuro dept. of SE Texas something to talk to the Rehab Dept. because that's the dept I hand delivered all my records to. I carefully made sure I gave them my physical copies of MRIs, office notes, my 18-page questionnaire, blahblahblah and they're saying they don't have it! I mean, the Rehab Dept has 'em but the Neuro Dept doesn't. (Down the hall.) Grrr.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

It seems like Jim ends up physically taking records from office to office ever time his VA doctors and civilian doctors interact. The offices usually blame it on his name. There are a lot of Jim Smith’s in the world. He says he would change his name if he really thought it would do any good.
Ooops! Writing in Office Word and having someone else post what I write obviously doesn’t work well. SOMEONE forgot to check for new post before putting mine on. I’m experimenting with running the NVDA program and the Zoomtext program together. They are playing amazingly well together. Well enough to give me access to the web again anyway. It drives Nadi up the wall when both programs start speaking at the same time, but that is a good thing. She finally returned the headphones she borrowed. ;-) Henceforth, all mistakes are my own.
Amen to Kb’s comment on Depression. It can twist around and bite you on the backside even when you have the symptoms under control. Just having Depression complicates and worsens other health problems.
You face change more bravely than many people I know, Carrie. Nadi grumbles for weeks if I do so much as move the furniture around. I’ve met quite a few people like that.
Will you have much trouble once you are back home, Kb? Are there many steps or stairs in your house? I’m so glad sprawling one-story houses are the norm here. I use the w/c ramp to the deck more than Jim does.
It is raining AGAIN and the low lying areas are already flooded. Man, do I ever wish it was possible to send you some of our rain, Vickie.
Cleaning and sharpening our garden hand tools today and praying for the rain to go elsewhere. Reading a funny book about the challenges of suburban gardening. Children, neighbors and not-so-wild life. Look on the bright side, Carrie. If you have armadillos digging up your yard, you probably don’t have skunks. I’ll write the “I Hate Ants” song down for you. Maybe, you can set it to music. Lol. k*

mulege, Mexico

I'm scheduled for surgery on Tuesday. IF IF IF. My friend Steve who said I can stay by his house had a mild heart attack. I don't know if he will be able to take me to and from the surgery. Also, I'm having some car/foinancial problems. I sent Steve an email a while agao and told him what's going on. Worst case scenario is that surgery will have to be rescheduled either for later this month if they have an opening or for the fall sometime. I commited the Worst Kaiser Sin - I totally spaced out on an apopointment with the surgeon. He may never forgive me. I had such a great orthopedic surgeon for my hand surgeries I'd forgotten about the more common surgeon's ego. Oh, well. if it all works out he'll do a good job on my knee and I'll havve a rapid recovery.

I might not be online for a few days but will keep you posted as I'm able. Meanwhile, I'm haning on and in.

hugs, katie

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

Katie, you are and will continue to me in my prayers for a smooth surgery and quick rehab and recovery. Mine is coming soom...month or 2 maybe.

Sheri

mulege, Mexico

Thank you, Sheri. kb

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Hi Sheri,
Am thinking about you Katie Bear.You're keeping your surgeon on his toes. Good for you.
Keep us up to date as you can.Our thoughts will be with you both.
Oh Kay, Me oh my! ETex has both skunks and armadillos. The GOOD news. They don't have bears. LOL BAD NEWS- They also have a few alligators.
Glad to have my tests behind me. Just have to wait for results. One nurse told me I may as well get use to the idea of using a breathing unit for sleep.If thats what i need for get up and go------So be it.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Scared the heck out of me when I was mowing the lawn, I came too close to the web and it started shaking the web so i would see it. So i got my camera and took its picture we named it a Morse code spider lol (dots and dashed all over it)
In the second picture you can see the spinner on the back of it's belly.

Kay cant do any thing on the web rt now so I'm Amargia for now. (Jim)

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Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Hey, Jim! Nice to "see" you! I'm auditioning for The Dallas Symphony Chorus on Sunday! Yikes!!!! On the one hand, I am positive I won't get in. On the other hand I might get it, and it's worth a try, right? Maybe? And I can always blame the wheelchair if I don't get in.

Very sad about Kay and the www. I didn't have a phone for 2 days and I went CRAZY. I would jump out a window if I didn't have internet.

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Thats one mean looking spider! Hugs to Kay.
Hope all goes well Carrie. Do they know you are a composer also?
Could'nt do without my puter either.
I adopted a lil black kitten today.
She's one week old and only has one eye. I went to the animal shelter looking for a white cat to adopt. They were going to put her(the kitten) down. Could'nt help myself, She's adorable. Left the white cat there.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I don't KNOW anybody yet to know I'm a composer. If I knew a soul, I might mention to him or her. I think I am going to join a book group.

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

Vickie, what a blessing for you to rescue that tiny black kitten. You two will deffinately bond tightly. My bottle babies have always meen my closestand sweetist velcro babies.
Sheri

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Hi all have not been diligent Iv been in the dumps a bit my leg is acting up twitching and such.

Carrie I Hope all went well on your tryout Sunday. If they passed you over because of the w/c, it is there loss.

Vickie I will bet that cat will love you so dearly that you will be happy together. You did the best thing for it. now it has a caring soul to love.

Hi Sheri hope you and your fur babies are doing well.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

They passed me over, I believe, because I was 25 years older than everyone else trying out AND because of the wheelchair AND because I am not taking lessons currently AND because I am a much too cerebral person--my brain works well but my body (including my voice) aren't up to the challenge. Ie my voice stinks, compared to people with REALLY good voices.

Vicki, how is your new kitten liking life chez-Vicki? Good call....black cats are the new "little black dress."

Hope you're feeling better, Jim. Went to the MD with DH this am; he's doing OK, but he needs better pain meds--Cymbalta isn't working for him. He got referred to a "spine center"....we'll see. Still trying to get my records coordinated at the MS center here!

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Carrie, The loss is definately theirs.I am serious!
My black kitten is really known as a black tabby, I have learned from a cat lady. If she were a male,he'd be expensive as they are really rare. She went to group therapy with me yesterday. Tomorrow group is going to a museum and LongJohn Silvers. Jackie kitten can't go. DD is going to babysit.
Jim, Hope you get to feeling better.Being in the dumps is the worst. Think I'd rather be beat.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

OMG now I have some kind of allergic reaction going on that nobody understands. Spent until 2 am yesterday night at the ER explaining (over and over) that we had just moved here, that I don't have a PCP yet, that I had a similar systemic allergic reaction to IV methylprednisilone in 1999, and FINALLY got an IM shot of decadron (dexametha-whatever, substitute for methylprednisilone, around 1:30 am. Grrrrr. The triage nurse said (at 8 pm) all I needed was a few Benadryl tabs (to Ray; not to my face). To my face she told me about her uncle with MS "who didn't do so good." Grrrrrrrr.

Those of you living with depression, it stinks! I'm so ANGRY that I'm depressed. Or I'm so depressed that I'm getting ANGRY. De Nile is not just a river in Africa.

Vicki, my last cat (before DD #2 became deathly allergic) was some sort of tabby -- dark brown -- looked almost kind of like part Maine Coon cat. I used to adore my cats, before kids. My DH is not a cat fan, and in the end, he was doing most of the care and feeding. We gave the cat to my mother. DD #2 is STILL deathly allergic, and she is way more allergic to dogs than to cats. (DD #1 traded 180 lbs of horrible boyfriend for two dogs. Definitely an improvement, but I'd like to see her with a humanoid.)

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

My doctor called yesterday to give me the results of some recent test. He wants to start me on testosterone shots., but wants to consult another doctor about dosage. It is normal for older men to have a drop in testosterone levels. But, if it gets too low it can cause serious problems. Doc says I will probably feel more energetic after starting the testosterone shots.
Kay is trying to memorize all the “hot keys” so she can navigate online without having to click in boxes or on symbols she can no longer see. She is frustrated she can’t learn new things as quickly as she once could.

As part of our goal to be debt free in two years, we are attempting to grow half of our food. It looks like we will be eating a lot of potatoes and kale. Making the effort will b3e interesting even if we fall short of our goal.
I’ve heard “purse dogs” are THE fashion accessory in California. But cats have too much dignity for that..unless you make it worth their while. Cats are independent souls, but they can be bribed. Jackie, the pirate cat, could be a unique fashion accessory.
Carrie, you might want to check out the book club meetings at the major chain stores like B-A-M, Walden’s or Barnes & Noble. Every one I’ve ever been in is w/c accessible and most have bulletin boards near the front of the stores telling when different book club meetings are. I like independent book stores better, but they aren’t all w/c accessible.
WoW butterflies sure love my zinnias got a good shot of one in flt. (Jim)

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Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Jim, I've read about older men having a drop in testosterone levels. Never met one who would admit it--bravo to you! I guess it's a balance between the nuisance of the shots vs. the added vim and vigor the testosterone gives you. How often, could you administer them yourself, or do you have to commute to the MD all the time? Several MS meds are administered through self-injection, from daily to weekly.

The @#%$!&*%#@ MD at the ER Tues. night wrote me a scrip for a dosage they no longer make! Spent all day yesterday getting that straightened out, went all the way up to driving to walgreens last night, talking to the pharmacist, taking the physical piece of paper back to the hospital, getting a new scrip which was written for the ONE DRUG I KNOW FOR SURE I AM ALLERGIC TOO! Yeeesh. Got that Re-Re written (for a steroid I am not yet allergic to). I am certainly on a steroid trip, folks, please excuse the caps and screaming and raging! It's not me. It's this stupid fiendish medication. But I am also extremely mad at the stupid ER trip. Grrrrrrr.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

I'll Say Carrie one bad experience there. Very poor doctor to not keep up on a discontinued medications. My BIL, a pharmacist, thinks Druggists should do all the prescribing and doctors just diagnose he says there is no way doctors can stay current on the fast changing medications out there.

As far as the shots, they will administer them. Not sure of the frequency as yet. But not having bigger breasts than some women would be nice. Plus the fact that the pain will go away. hopefully no more surgery to remove the lumps in my chest. They hurt!

Is there an organized group of people With MS in D/FW area. If not maybe Debra and you should start one, gather troops to battle bad Doc's lol (Jim)

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Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

Jim,
those lilies are exquisite. What are they. Don't believe I've e ver seen these b4!

Birdie

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Yes, Sheri, flowers and plants!!! I wish I were not on these stupid drugs so I could think about something besides my own self for a minute. Jim, I think your BIL is quite right. Walgreens has saved me twice in a month now from bad prescriptions!!! Plus, your testesterone shot also sounds like it may help...all the best good thoughts going your way. I was not bright enough to put that together with the surgery you had before, but it makes sense.

I've been trying to calm myself down with soothing music and heavy meals--you know what I mean, the kind that make you need a nap--but I'm still pretty wired.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUfi0ts_D-0

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

So very sorry,Carrie.
I love soothing music.
Hey! Hey! I'm more than willing to help clean up the American Health Care system. It's really bad when WHO rates it#39 in the Industrial world.
You might like to try an herbal tea. They're mild.
Hugs Jim.
My kitten did not make it.Of course i cried. She will always be special to me.
The pink zennia is awesome,a beautiful shade of pink.
Not much more to say
Vickie

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Oh, Vickie! So sad for you today. Hugs and gentle arms. The text (to the music above) is from a Requiem mass, it's the part where the angels come down to take your soul to paradise to live with angels for eternity. Hope you feel as sad as you need to only for as long as you need to and then maybe go get your white cat? Poor Vickie.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Ah-h-h, that’s sad, Vickie. Kittens have a perilous existence the first few months. We bought a cute little silver and black tiger-striped from the pet store. She was sickly from the start and died within the month. I’ll never get another kitten from the pet shop.

That is Lycoris radiata , Sheri. There are so many flowers with the common name spider flowers. I have to admit it looks more spidery than Lycoris squamigera which is what I always called spider flower. We’ve settled on calling L. radiata “spider flower” and L. squamigera “surprise lily. .We are agreed unless a true lily known as “spider lily” shows up. lol.

We are prepping for Tropical Storm Isaac. It is expected to be Hurricane Isaac by this evening. It looks like it is going to make landfall along the Mississippi coastline at the moment. Isaac is a big guy. We will be catching the feeder bands. More heavy rains and we are already saturated. Flooding is our concern, not the winds. Hope it brings some rain to Texas and Arkansas.

The Culligan man came a few days ago so we have a good supply of drinking wanter. Checked the generator this morning. Plenty of groceries so we are ready. Kay is out doing what can be done to lessen erosion damage. We have had an unusually wet August.

It has been cool enough the tomatoes have started producing again. Beans and peas are in the ground. Still isn’t cool enough to start the fall and winter crops. Another two weeks, probably.

Not sure of this ones name is it popped up on Sunday got it's picture. Hope and Prayers for all who may get hit with the Hurricane. (JIM)

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mulege, Mexico

Hi Everyone, Just stopping in quickly to let you know my surgery went well. Everyone is impressed. Had the staples removed today. I'm still groggy from anesthetics and having to work the muscles but I'm doing fine. Back soon. hugs, katie

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Hip, hip, hooray, Katie! (Or knee, knee, hooray?) That's good news. I remember having staples and being so surprised that they weren't stitches. Thanks for stopping by.

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

I chickened out again and caned the preeop MD appt again..
I am so happy that you are doing so well.

Sheri

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Sheri, joint replacement surgery is a BIG decision, actually any elective surgery is a HUGE decision. I think it's wise to wait until you are sure you are ready.

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

Glad it all went well and great to hear from you Kb.
I was reminded. Debra had identified the above in a past year they are Oxblood lily or school house lily or more appropriately red hurricane lilies.
I did not think it would do so much damage being a cat 1 but the size really hurt too massive it moved a lot of water.
Carrie are the feeder bands reaching you with rain.
I can understand how you feel Sheri I keep putting off my back surgery. (Jim)



Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

If that's about the weather, Jim, it seems to rain every few days here, but I am definitely cut off from the weather much more than I ever was before. I stay in my air-conditioned house and when the visiting nurses come, I ask them how it is "out there."

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

I gathered a gallon of muscadine grapes yesterday. I should be able to pick another gallon tomorrow. What ticks me off is they came from a wild vine and his vine produced better than the pampered ones in my yard and the hybrids I purchased. I will try to take a cutting from the wild vine I'm harvesting and save some seeds from it. Nature is thumbing her nose at me!
If it is anything like it is here, Carrie, you will want to hug your AC another 3 weeks or so. Only mad dogs, Englishmen and Kay willingly go out in this heat. I'm betting you will like autumn in the south.
This is as close as I gotten to gardening lately. It is my mini Zen garden. I make my own bamboo rakes.

Vickie, does anything in this picture look familiar. (Jim)

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Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

We drove up to visit my DD at UNT today--joking to ourselves that there should be a thunderstorm where the 103* and the 105* fronts meet in the middle of town! (Two different thermostats....) I thought the really hot days were over, but I guess not. DH jokes that instead of going to First Parish once a week, we go to First Cash Pawn and buy used DVDs once a week. I'm not crazy enough to go out in this heat, though.

I like your zen garden, Jim, very soothing!

SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL(Zone 8b)

When the kids are around, little plastic dinosaurs and My Little Pony figurines find their way into my Zen Garden so I’ve started creating mini landscapes fit for dinosaurs and magical ponies. It has been an unusually wet summer that has given me plenty of “grass” (moss) for these mini landscapes.
My Zen Garden has led to unraveling yet another southernism when I heard creating a design in my Zen Garden referred to as “Jim is piddlin’ in his little sandbox.” Between this and an article in Southern Living about the fine art of piddlin’, I now have a clearer idea of what is meant when a southerner says “Oh, I’ve just been piddlin’ around.”
How is your new crochet project going, Vickie? Have you ever done a big crochet project like a bedcover or afgan? My neighbor in Panama City made them and gave them to the fire department. They sold her work for funding or gave them to people who had lost everything in house fires. Looked like a lot of work to me. Sure can’t be classified as “piddlin’ around.” Piddlin’, I learned, can’t be anything useful. It goes like this: Doing laundry is work, but arranging your socks according to color and type is piddlin’, Another southern linguistic mystery solved. I’m another step closer to being a proper southern gentlemen. (Jim)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Jim, I got halfway done with a crochet blanket several husbands ago, when I didn't want to actually make a slipcover but just make a throw to cover the ugliness of a sofa. It was the sofa on which I spent a month on my back, when I was wrongly diagnosed with a slipped disc, before someone else made the correct diagnosis of MS. I remember the sofa--and the crochet project--well. If I had started off with a smaller first row, it would have been finished for sure!

I had a ...brain freeze.... the Harrison Ford character from star wars living in a pot with a 'Guacamole' Hosta that was sent to me by a DG friend who has now passed on. RIP, old friend. Isn't it funny how you can start by talking about My Little Pony and I wind up thinking of my departed friend whom I met years ago on this forum? Vickie, what is your new crochet project? Did anyone else get a scarf from Steph (scraps)?

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