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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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About pogoboy

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  • Birthday 03/06/1959

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  • Location
    Elgin, Texas USA
  • Interests
    Fencing Canoeing Staying fit and active

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  • Membership Type:
  • Amputation Type:
  • Amputation Date:
    26 April 1992
  • Amputation Cause:
  1. pogoboy

    ACA Conference 2006

    I've never been to an ACA conference. Not that I'm not interested, just seems like I'm always saving up for something else, but maybe this year I'll go? Who do I need to contact about possibly doing a wheelchair fencing demo/clinic at the ACA conference this year? Mario aka pogo
  2. pogoboy

    The Journey

    It's nice to occassionally read about someone's experiences, traveling with "special considerations," (sounds better than special needs,) turning out well. Not that it shouldn't be the norm, and preparation and good communication with the airline people is key to ensuring a better flight and when necessary change over/transfer experience at the airport or train station. If you're an amputee and travel with a wheelchair, (as I do most often,) gate checking your chair is your best assurance that your chair will be stowed last and not treated as merely luggage or baggage and treated more roughly. I'm not sure how other amps deal with all the removable parts on their chairs when they surrender their chairs at the gate, but I (try) to remember to remove anything and everything that can detach or possibly fall off in the baggage compartment - and finding a place for these things in my carry on or storing them overhead or underfoot at your seat can sometimes be problematic also. I have mentioned in other posts, but I will mention it again here, that my wheelchair preference is a rigid frame wheelchair as opposed to a standard folder, but to be honest this is somewhat of a lifestyle change even for wheelchair users. There are less things to come off or fall off of the chair or need to be detached before the chair is stowed on the plane. I also travel with forearm crutches and very infrequently with my prosthesis, (although I have been known to bring it along on some of my epic voyages.) My mentally is "whatever it takes" to get there, with as much kindness and consideration to all the support personel, because they are the ones that are going to make your travel experience more comfortable and enjoyable. In contrast, when I drive I almost never allow others to help me, whether that means loading groceries, my chair in or out of my vehicle and so on. If you have a routine and most of us do, it's far easier to follow through with that then get off track with someone else's well-meaning intentions. You know what I mean. I think that just about sums up my thoughts about this aspect of disabled living. Cheers, pogoboy
  3. pogoboy


    This is what get's pogoboy around. It's not too flashy, but when I first saw it, I was a sucker waiting to be had by the car dealership. (I thought, well it should get better gas mileage being a 6-cylinder, but I was wrong with the 4 x 4 and all.) It's been great for hauling all of my stuff like wheelchairs and a canoe. Last spring I was in the wrong place at the wrong time on three different occassions and as a result sustained major hail damage, but as you can see, the bodyshop did a great job restoring it to looking almost brand new.
  4. pogoboy


    Dear Ed, They put in a very modern light rail system throughout most of the city of Athens and as I remember, it was fairly accessible by wheelchair although there were areas where the curbcuts were not all too user friendly. I made the mistake of going to the acropolis in my wheelchair and it's a good climb in a chair in addition to the fact that the road is paved with cobblestone and you can only go so far, then you have to take an elevator. I didn't go up as there were so many people in wheelchairs that day, it would have taken literally hours. (I should have taken my crutches!) There were many lovely cafes and restaurants at the base of the acropolis from which you might have a good view of the Parthenon. I accidently wandered into the agora and found the temple of Phestos. I didn't make it to any of the islands on this particular trip, but I wish you all the best in deciding where you might go and how you spend your time there. Cheers, pogoboy
  5. pogoboy


    I noticed most of the postings on this topic took place a while ago, nevertheless, I see a few people still responding so I'll put in my two cents about getting around. I'm a RAK, R-HDHP so wearing a prosthesis isn't my favorite thing to do. I can go days, if not weeks without wearing my prosthesis and I notice when I do put it on, I'm much slower and not nearly as nimble without it. My primary mode of getting around is a light weight manual wheelchair - the sporty kind with a rigid frame. I haven't had a folder in years and will never forget trying to be cool as I was speeding through a common area at a university and decided to do a quick 180 degree turn and suddenly found my folder collapsing and myself on the floor. After that I decided that rigid frame wheelchairs were better for me and they also make better sportschairs if you're into recreation or more serious competition. When I use crutches, they are the forearm variety although as I'm closing the gap on 50, (I'm 46 now,) I'm beginning to re-evaluate using longstrand crutches which allow you to make better use of your hands. Since my nickname implies I'm into hopping, "pogoboy," I'll own up to the fact that I hop far more than I should and I have met a few amputees over the years who cautioned me to take better care of my one remaining lower limb and avoid hopping as much as possible. Personally, I don't think much about what I look like, being in a chair, or on crutches or wearing a prosthesis and the most important factor is how much effort is it going to take and/or how long will I be out and about and what am I going to feel like afterward? I think we all manage as best as we can with what we got - just like everybody else and occassionally when that able-bodied person holds the door open for me, I say, "thank you," and hobble through. Hell, I even hold the door open for other people sometimes myself. I've made some pretty dumb mistakes over the years and you would think anyone who has suffered the loss of a limb or more would learn to take better care of their bodies, but we do tend to get caught up in the moment and press the envelope. So long as we understand the consequences and not take it out on others when we exceed our physical limits. Life is about choices right, so choose wisely or choose capriciously. You can always make another choice.
  6. My sincere apologies for the page loads or lack there of. I don't know what the problem is either and sometimes it times out on me too. I suppose it's time for me plunk down some bucks and launch a "proper" new website. (I've been wanting to do this for a long time so that I can stream some video on wheelchair fencing.) HPHD hemipelvectomy hip disarticulation. R-AKA Right above the knee amputation I finally took my laptop into the shop and will try to check in as I am able to post or reply. Sincerely, pogoboy
  7. I just happened to see a really cool video on PBS about the transportation plan for the I-35 corridor and it looks like there's a light rail system in the works to be built between Austin and I think it was Leander (as the terminus.) I don't remember how far south the rail will extend and I don't think there's even been any ground breaking on it yet. Not to discourage anyone from moving here, (central Texas,) but it's already pretty crowded and in my opinion, it's a whole lot easier to get around in Houston even with more people because there are more options to travel east and west as well as north and south. In and around Austin, your options are limited, although they are trying to come up with solutions to move the people around. I don't really differentiate between opportunities for amps and mobility-impaired persons (in general.) There's all kinds of wheelchair sports basketball, tennis, fencing, lots of good roads to go cycling or handcycling. All kinds of waterways - rivers and lakes so if you like acquatic sports... In the general area we have two constant temperature springs that stay quite cool in the summer. San Marcos River and Barton Springs. Barton Springs is located in Zilker Park in the middle of Austin and there's a great hike and bike trail that is always being used and full of people, dogs, fresbies, and kites. If you like music, there's all types of bands playing around town and in neighboring cities. It gets really hot here in the summer and it almost never snows. We have tornados and occassionally some tropical storms, but mostly we are almost always on the verge of another draught. Let me know what other info I might be able to provide you about the area. pogoboy
  8. All serious kidding aside, above all else, (and granted what's funny to us personally, doesn't always translate into something we can relate to others,) we all have those experiences that give us pause to laugh at ourselves and acknowledge the humor in the human condition. Especially after loosing an arm or a leg or more. I have or had a friend once who is on a sip-and-puff power wheelchair, "Dave," and he really amazed me with his attitude. Dave couldn't do much with his body except a little shoulder shrug and then of course there were his facial expressions. In the early days, Dave and I fought on the same side (for truth and justice) and I am not sure what happened but, (in my opinion) and that of a great many more of his former friends, we came to the conclusion that he sold us all out and joined the good old boys club. (And much like our sitting president, I am sure he thought he was doing the right thing.) I moved on both emotionally and literally. When last I saw him - it was clear - the distance he established between himself and others was taking its toll. I hate to feel sorry for anyone especially someone in a wheelchair. We all hate pity don't we? I miss my friendship with him and his good company. It's strange how a little politics can change us and drive us further away from the people we love and care about - I'm not sure why I am sharing this and it wasn't my intention to draw on this particular memory, but I suppose everything we do - hopefully we can draw a lesson from and as long as we have the capacity to think and consider, but mostly feel - as I learned first from this former friend of mine - in the end all that we have is our attitude. Thank you Dave for teaching me that so that I can share it with others and keep it close to my heart and center when I am on the road and maybe it appears I am so far down the road, I don't know whether I am coming or going - but still have some semblance of humanity about me and still have the capacity to care about others and be respectful to them where ever I go, whomever I meet.
  9. Oh, I almost forgot to mention - Please don't ban me just yet! I'm not really so talented and I'm much older now so really I've practically lost all of my charm, (that is if I ever had any in the first place.) I do enjoy a good bit of humor now and then and I haven't even picked up a saber in quite a while. pogoboy
  10. A sudden flurry of activity or maybe that's the problem with being in a different time zone. I think the expression here is if you snooze, you loose. What do you say in your neck of the woods? I can't say as I mind anyone posting in this thread. Greetings to one and all. My laptop is, I believe in its last throws and I may need to start shopping for a new one very, very soon. I suppose there's always the local library if I feel the urge to share a thought or two with someone online. I had an adventure on the M20, yes I believe thatis where it was some many years ago when I was visiting England. I was staying with an American friend of mine in a little area, close to London. I don't know what they call the region, maybe Middlesex or Uxbridge - the town is called Ickenham, does that sound right, anyone? Anyway I was preparing to go on an adventure. One of the early ones I think I may have eluded to earlier. And I was doing a bit of commuting back and forth on the M20 into London to get ready for my trip to the continent. This is back when I had two legs and did lots of cycling. It seems every time that I ventured into town, it didn't take long before I lost my way and found myself trying to figure out how to find my way back out of town again and back onto the M20 and back to my friend's house. I do remember the Hoover plant somewhere along the route. I did manage to find my way to Victoria Train station and I suppose that is as good a place as any to begin an adventure. That I'll never forget and or visiting a few local pubs to discover what the locals prefer to drink. I just now started to drink Guiness again after all these years. I don't really want to be too long winded as I don't have anything exciting to say - and really was quite surprised that my laptop hasn't winked out just yet. Thanks for your patience and indulging me. Cheers! Mario aka pogoboy
  11. JohhnyV, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some of your methods to keep us on the positive side of our energy meters. I have been thinking lately about relationships and how they can affect us and even as you said when we are out and about in a crowd. Even this can be pretty overwhelming at times. We all have experiences in our lives that trigger powerful emotions and the things we associate them with – well – the sooner we learn to recognize the causes – the better we are able to cope and hopefully master our responses. I am 46 now and cannot say that I am completely immune to the din of the crowd or their cacophony of emotions that swirl around us like so many eddies and currents and counter-currents. I love the water and I am a great swimmer, but I have a healthy respect for it just like I do for masses of people, for they will surely drown or asphyxiate us if we don’t occasionally come up for air and/or learn to tread water as needed. (I haven't shared this in the forum yet.) When I was 14, my father died quite suddenly due to a misdiagnosed deep vein thrombosis that resulted in a pulmonary embolism and coronary on Oct 11, 1974. The memories of that day are still rather cloudy. Only a few things stand out - like the prevailing feeling of discomfort and irritability that clung to me like wet clothes throughout the day. And when I arrived home, I couldn’t quite understand why there were so many cars parked along the street, in front of my house and in the driveway. There, was my sister and some of her friends sitting on the lawn. The green of the grass seemed cooler and inviting, but I didn’t stop and I continued walking toward the front door. Somehow these were pieces of a puzzle that my mind couldn’t quite fit together and it only served to irritate and confuse me further. When I entered the house, it seemed darker and much more crowded, than usual. It was full of people I knew and people I didn’t know. All I could think of, was, “Where is my mother?” and “What are all these people doing here?” I saw my mother and began to make a beeline toward her when I was intercepted by Mrs. [buchany.] I could hear her words, but I couldn’t associate them with her lips moving although she spoke softly and deliberately to me. I‘m not sure that my mind could wrap around the idea – but somehow I already knew what she was going to say –“Your father is dead!” I flashed back to earlier that morning and the last view that I had of my father down the hall, getting ready for work. He was in shadow and I could only see his silhouette and hear him coughing and I thought to myself even then, that he didn’t seem quite well. Now everything made sense in the most horrible way and it was as if I was under water and had to get to the surface immediately – I was out of breath. I couldn’t breathe! I ran out of the house and down the street to the park and my swing where I often went to seek safety and gather my thoughts. This time was very different and I had already begun to spin an elaborate fantasy where my father had really gone, no doubt on some kind of clandestine operation in defense of our country. I felt the breeze I generated with my each and every pull and push of the metal chains that now I clung to for their safety and rhythm that they generated – bringing my heartbeat to an acceptable pace – calming me at least for the moment. Long before I became disabled – I suppose I was a wreak and it’s been a slow recovery for me throughout my life, knowing full well, there are so many experiences that I never shared nor will ever share with my father. It’s molded me into the person that I am today. I am much better with crowds now and occasionally enjoy a good major league basketball or baseball game. The things we take for granted and/or bury just beyond our consciousness, these are the things we have to learn to acknowledge and watch out for – especially when they trigger responses. We all have emotional scars and a reaction based on our own individual histories and it all has some impact on who we are and how we deal with life. I am a glass is half-full sort of guy and although I have some dark streaks in my past, I do feel that the dimensions of my personality and my character are only that much deeper and richer for my life’s experiences. It’s o.k. that we are not invincible, that we are human and suffer the human condition, but also there is so much beauty and uniqueness in each and every one of us – and it gives me great hope and pleasure to experience this too – especially when it’s least expected. I wish each and every one of you a good and safe journey – as we are all special and have the capacity for all the things that make life worth living… Mario Rodriguez aka: pogoboy
  12. I suppose not being a frequent publisher on forums leaves me feeling a little inept when tyring to figure out how to publish my pic - basically the same one I used for my avatar to settle all claims on who I look like most. (Probably me.) Anyway, I keep trying to publish a pic, but all I seem to be able to do is provide a link? The link is to my website for wheelchair fencing - The site is in need of a little tidying-up and good housekeeping, but you can discover that for yourself. Just in case this doesn't work, I'll list the link for the website and I was able to manage a link in the index to the pic at the top, right-hand corner with my email info. Sorry that I'm not more resourceful. pogoboy The picture (below) http://mywebpage.netscape.com/wcfencer/page9.html My website (below) http://mywebpage.netscape.com/wcfencer/index.html
  13. Imaginations run rampant - again a pleasant fantasy - alas - I am nothing more than a middle aged - although young at heart - man. Ah, to be twenty-seven again... That was about 2 years after my original diagnosis. Here's a photo - not the most flattering, but I don't seem to have many photos of myself.
  14. Not to change the subject as I am very flattered by your post and quote, but I am currently waiting to receive a new power supply for my poor old laptop - all that traveling has taken it's toll and staying online has been extremely tedious for me. The idea and/or expectation of something is almost always more exciting than when it happens, because of course, it's over before you know it, and savoring those precious memories is all you have left. That's the way I get right before I leave on one of my trips - butterflies in the tummy - maybe a slight irregular heartbeat and then that longing for being on the road again. It's both practical and romantic to be in the moment and as fleeting as our lives can be - what's the expression - I'm in love with the idea of being in love? I heard something recently about eating dark chocolate and how it releases the same chemicals in our bodies that we get when we are in love? Has anyone else heard this? I do l-o-v-e dark chocolate, even more than I like milk chocolate. You know I don't think I would be doing you any favors my dear to accept your proposal - sight unseen - as I'm not the catch or any kind of catch that you think that I am - but it is a lovely idea and I think I could ruminate over that and hold it in my arms and rock it back and forth for a while before letting it go again so that we can all continue on our seperate journeys... I suppose if I am in love with anything, it's just what's around the corner - clear skies, or threatening thunder and rain. I have visited your site recently and read about your accident and miraculous recovery and you truly are a lucky girl as I am quite the lucky boy to be sitting here in front of my laptop typing away! Wishing you a wonderful day whenever you return to read this message... Most humbly yours, pogoboy
  15. pogoboy

    I realy like this forum

    Hi to one and all, I haven't been a member very long, but I really like this forum. FYI - I might need to do some major repairs on my pc and/or replace it so if I slip off for a while I'll be back as soon as I can. I've enjoyed reading everyone's posts and hope I can contribute as much as I'm getting out of being here. Take care, pogoboy