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eddie103

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About eddie103

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  • Birthday 05/29/1952

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    Winnipeg, Canada

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  • Membership Type:
    Amputee
  • Amputation Type:
    bilateral aka 2003
  • Amputation Date:
    Jan 2003
  • Amputation Cause:
    vehicle "incident"

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  1. The Adventures of ED

    :::2011 in Review::: Well 2011 is drawing to a close soon. I thought I would write to all to tell of my high points of this year. Some of the following is repetitious so just skip those parts if you have read them before. The months of January and February did not entail much. I just tried to survive the winter. I had been home ever since the previous September and I found the winter extremely long, cold and boring. I continued to play music at the local bar here every Friday night. I always have a good time on these evenings and have made many close friends because of them. Towards the end of April, I decided it was time to try to learn how to play a six string guitar. I ended up buying one and have been learning things on one ever since. Throughout the rest of the year, I have bought and sold so many guitars until I finally finished this guitar bug as of December. I now own three Martin acoustics, three basses 1974 pristine Rickenbacker 4003, Breedlove acoustic / electric and a Hofner violin bass), a Telecaster, a violin and a mandolin. In time I hope to learn a few things on the later. In March, I travelled to the Caribbean once again for a 10 day cruise on board Holland America's MS Noordamn. I met an awful lot of fine people who keep in contact with. Maybe I will sail with some of them again some day. Rather than writing about the trip, I will include a document I had written concerning it: Last year while in port, I was docked beside a Holland America ship. I looked at the deckware and it was all new and the impression I had was that it “interested” me. Now traditionally, Holland America was known then as catering to an older crowd and I have never bothered with them. While at the airport, I struck up a conversation with a young female thing I ran into there..........................."How was your holiday?.......................What cruise line etc"............"Holland America" she answers......."How was it" I ask......"Really good" she says………. "The best time she ever had had." So based on this conversation and an itinerary that interested me, I decided to book a trip with the Holland America line. Over the past year I considered cancelling it but ultimately decided to actually go. This was to be the first time I have cruised totally alone and if I found that I was to have a good time, I would consider continuing cruising, and if not, perhaps this would be my last cruise and I would then find something else to do in my future. This was to be my fourteenth cruise. So, I arrive at the airport......wheel myself around.............and find a human waving the Holland America sign. "Is this where I am to be?" I ask.................."Yep" she says........... "Well, I'm going out those doors to have a smoke......come and get me when you're ready"......................Later, I turn around and she says "We're leaving now..........follow me over there and we'll catch the bus"........so off we go. Now when I travel, I wear legs, am in a wheelchair and drag my own luggage along behind me (kind of like a trailer). So.......I'm standing up..........looking around and say to myself "Crap, where's all the young people??" I'm behind an old guy......he's telling the bus driver...." I NEED the front seat". I'm saying to myself............ "Pal, you've got frickin' legs, if anybody's gettin' a front seat.......it's ME!!" but I say nothing. So we all climb up the steps in the bus while I am telling myself that this cruise was a BIG mistake. All of a sudden, the movement of the line stops..........what's going on??? Turns out that some woman ahead has dropped her oxygen bottle and her old husband is scrambling to hook her up again!!!..........................."This cruise is a BIG mistake!!!!" I get to the ship, get on board, find my room, settle down, de-leg myself and head off. There is NOBODY in the hall and I have a hard time finding anybody. Well……… I find them all the next a.m, in the buffet. They don't see me.............I am fast in my chair..........so I whistle all the time hoping that they will hear me. I end up smacking two of them in the stomach with my fist before they fall on me....................I'm sorry.......it's a reflex now. It took a couple of days (as usual) for people to get used to me.......after that I was ok. On the first day at sea, I met Celine. She was on a scooter and has no legs...........so off I go to introduce myself (I'm a sucker for another amputee). We talk a bit and then she asks me.........."Does it get any better?" As soon as she asks this, I know her story……..she’s a newbie. "Why do you say this" I ask. She says "Well, I wish I could get into my bed (on board) but it is tooooooooo high". I offer to come to their room to offer my advice.............but I am a stranger. The next day, we all hook up in the smokin' area and off we go to their room. I spent about an hour and a bit flopping around, showing her how to get into bed on her own. I talked about her wheelchair, life as I know it, and other things. The next day, I run into her and she says "she got into bed........by herself". I tell her........"Everytime you can get out of the scooter or wheelchair and sit on a real chair or sofa..........do it. If you stay in the chair.........you will die in the chair. Every day after when I would see her, she was in a normal chair......being human. I am pleased. I met a lot of people on this ship. I learned a lot about life from them. I know that I can go for as long as I can go.............regardless of my situation. On this cruise line, all is accessible..............no worries. The service was more than I have experienced, the food was far superior to what I have experienced and the entertainment was better than I have experienced. I WILL be on this line again......many times as I am now approaching the age group of this line’s clientale. Now before I go, I must tell you the final story about Celine. Now up to this cruise, her husband has been doing 100% for Celine.........................good on him. So the last day before the cruise was over was to be the "island" day. I ask Celine if she is going a shore..... "No" she says. "Why not" I ask.......... "Well there's sand and whatever. I tell her to get her ass on the island ...........no excuses...............there's concrete to wheel on and no reason why she cannot be there. Well, the next day we all meet on the island and have a great time. ...................consumed a lot of stuff at the bar etc. Well the day ends and most people are gone so we head off to the tenders to get back to the ship. We're in line waiting and George shows up. "Have you seen Celine?" he asks. We say " No"........... "I can't find her " he says. He's pulling out his hair with worry. Later, he comes around again. "Have you seen Celine?" ............"No" we answer. So we are on the tender. Along comes George again…..even more frenzied. "Have you seen Celine?" ........."No" we answer "and if she was on board, she would be sitting here with us". So I tell George "If it was me, I'd get off this boat, keep on looking...........I'll ask at the main boat to see if she is on board"............ So off he goes............. I get on the main ship.............."I need to know if anybody from room 8032 is on board" I ask. They say “Yes”........ I say " Are you sure. Well you need to radio to onshore and let the crazy man know that MAYBE his wife is on board." I get to my room.....call 8032 and Celine answers. "Celine, Celine.........you've been a bad, bad girl!!!" She says "She knew it was time to go and she was so excited and pleased to make it all the way back to the by HERSELF"......... I said "Well maybe you should tell George what you are doing from now on. He’s still on the island, out of his mind with worry, looking for you". We all had a good laugh over this. Later George tells me that he checked every washroom on the island looking for his wife..........................I told him......................"You know George..........Celine is now free..................methinks you will need to put a GPS locator on her!” Celine gained a bit of her freedom during this cruise and it is a direct result from meeting someone else like her………only “more seasoned”. When I find myself in the position of affecting someone else’s life in a “good” way, it gives my life some value. ED The months of April and May were pretty normal................yard work, regular life...getting fire wood ready for the winter.......the bar every Friday night........fighting wood ticks. In June, I ended up in Kansas City for the annual American Coalition of Amputees conference...........had a great time.........met many more people with limb loss.....made many more friends............managed to do the entire event in full articulating arty legs....was very proud of myself.......never made it to the dance floor....next time! Met a pretty young thing in Kansas City from Texas who I took a liking to. I have since made her a “personal project” and have been mentoring and guiding her in her journey as a newbie amputee as well as I can. I have high hopes for her. I would like to visit her and her family in the future, perhaps attend her wedding one day..................we'll see. Finished off Kansas City attending my first.....and last NASCAR race.......interesting but I don't understand the madness that surrounds NASCAR. The following is from a document I started at the beginning of my road trip from the province of Manitoba to the province of Nova Scotia in my home country, Canada. I left in early July and returned at the end of August: :::There and Back Again.............Again!::: Well, time has come again to travel across half the North American continent. This time, I am travelling with a new dog (same breed as My Lucy.......Golden Retriever).....named Ella. She is only thirteen months old now and still a pup (albeit........80 lbs worth). Now, it is not everyday that a bilateral above knee amputee travels alone across this great distance (about 7,000 kms return), alone with his dog. Since Ella is a newbie at this kind of trip, I have been conditioning her for it. For the last while, she has “come for a drive” everywhere I have gone. So far, she seems to like the car I have thought of every possible situation that could happen with her and I feel somewhat confident that all will go well. The two of us are driving in a 2010 Honda CRV. I'm not in love with the vehicle, but it suited all my needs when I bought it. At the time, I needed a vehicle that would carry my chair fully assembled to use when I do need one, room for my dog (she rides in the back seat, has plenty of head room and can stretch out when she wants or hang out the windows, a fit for me.............that being there's room for my kit and the cruise control button is on the right side of the steering wheel for me. Tonight, the car is packed except for the morning essentials. I am carrying a suitcase, laptop, guitar, a junk bag, dog stuff, my wheel chair is totally disassembled, my big C Leg units are stored and there is a “Forty of Forty Creek” rye ('cause they don't sell this fine stuff on the east coast. There are a 6' leash, a 20' retractable leash and a 30' cable tie (attached to the car) that Ella will be hooked up to. In the event that she expectantly bolts, she will have to drag the car along with her if she wants to get away................NOT! So, tonight we will sleep and will head off at whatever time........once Ella has done her morning business. We have an eight hour drive to accomplish in order to make our first stop. Away we go.............. :::Day One::: Well, we started off ok. Got up and about around 6:30 a.m. and were finally on the road by 8:30 a.m. Drove about ten kms down the road and realized that I did not have Ella's vest.....hesitated a bit then turned around and went back home to get it. I need her to be as safe as I can offer. The first two hours of driving seemed slow and long.......started to hesitate as to whether this is a good idea or not. Ella enjoyed herself hanging out the window as we clipped along. Finally got a coffee into me a few hours later. We stopped quite often to stretch and let Ella roam around. My cable tie is working out great. In a short period of time, we got our travel groove on and almost made it to our first stop......Thunder Bay. About 100 kms short of that goal, we ran into trouble. Some ditz had authorized some putz to haul the bed part of one of those huge dump trucks that are used in the oil sands. There were two police escorts for this thing. This thing covered both sides of the highway as it was dragged along. Even on the passing lanes we could not attempt to pass it. Then, of course, we ran into road construction...........which brought everything to a halt on both sides of the highway while we waited for the road crews to undo what had done so this thing could pass. I ended up taking a side road.....got lost and by the time I figured out here the hell we were, I had already passed Thunder Bay. I was forced to drive further. Today, Ella and I drove over 800 kms which is past my tolerance. So now we are holed up in a motel and Ella is doing soooooooooo good. Tomorrow, we do the hump.......over Lake Superior..........a long, hard drive :::Day Two.......the Hump::: Well, we actually slept quite well in this motel. In the morning we were on the road by 4:30 am. Now I have travelled the Hump a few times in my lifetime and it is always hell. Highway 17 is two lane, 90 kms / hour and quite twisting and turny the whole way from Thunder Bay to a place called Sault Saint Marie. There is not much in between these two points.......a few Indian reserves and a couple of real small towns. Places enough to support a gas station and that's about all. The country though is spectacular. The drive is historically, very hard..........a distance of almost 700 kms between the two points. The Hump is meant to drive through........to make it in one stretch.......to survive not going off the road. This time, something happened that I still cannot explain. For the entire distance that day, there was not one truck in front of me and there was not one travel trailer as well. Traffic in the other direction was almost nonexistent as well. Strange....................but I ended up my day's “journey” way too early......arriving in the Sault before noon. Well, that was way too early to call it quits that day so I drove on......... I found myself with the possibility of reaching a place I used to live in when I was a teenager......a military base called Petawawa. So I drove on and ended up there for the night. I drove around looking at old stuff I used to know some forty years ago........experienced it, savoured it, was glad I did it etc. It was so late in the day that I decided to just sleep in the car for a bit. It was always my intention to sleep in the car here and there and I had a plan...........but it didn't work.................. I had figured that when I ever stopped and decided to rest in the car, I would simply take myself apart, lower the passenger seat back flat, crawl into the back seat, kick Ella's butt to the front seat, and I would then simply stretch out in the back seat because I can!!! Well, we tried this.....but Ella doesn't “like” the front seat...............then it was also very hot out still so I left the windows opened for the night breeze. Well, it wasn't that long before I was attacked by Ontario mosquitoes in mass...........ended up closing the windows almost shut. Ella flipped out and came crashing into the back seat so I gave up and crawled into the front and tried to get comfortable.......................not!!! I guess I feel asleep but was later woken by Ella growling...........look out the window and see a cop car rolling up beside me.................lower the window and I explain who and what I am doing etc. The man says......”Well, have a good night Sir.” This day I had driven over 1200 kms. :::Day Three..........Friggin' Quebec::: The province of Quebec is a beautiful part of my country. It is full of French people who have bent the laws of this land to their advantage over the years in order to “maintain their language and heritage”. I am a product of the generation when our government made my country a bilingual country.......French and English as the official languages. Fine! Shortly thereafter Quebec passed their own laws and made English illegal in the province. I have had a lip on at this province ever since. So when I drive through Quebec......I drive through Quebec, In order to do this, I must travel through the city of Montreal, hop over to the south shore and head up the Gaspe peninsula until I hit the province of New Brunswick. It is a long haul. Now in order to get to the south shore to hit the main highway up the peninsula, I need to bisect Montreal, find “the tunnel” and then get on the other highway. To date, I have never found the tunnel, for whatever reason and have always frigged up going through Montreal. This trip was no different. So in order to take the tunnel, everybody says “just stay in the middle lane........just stay in the middle lane!” I tried......all of a sudden there's a split in the road, the signs are all in French, we are travelling really fast, the same as everybody else............I see the spilt.........right says ???...New York.......the left says..........Champlain Bridge. So I take the left 'cause I am not going to New York! Once again, in the end, this was the wrong decision. Ya, I'm on the south side of the river but am no where near the main highway I need to be on. I spent over two additional hours driving, after asking some of the locals (who don't know their left from their right), where and how to go. I saw some fine areas of the province mucking around the wrong roads after being given directions (sometimes |I think on purpose) that were blatantly wrong. At last I was on the proper road. My intent was to stop off around Quebec city to visit some friends who I had met on my last cruise ship. In the end, I missed out on that also. I got cut off from the required exit by some putz and after the fiasco in Montreal there was no way I was going to turnaround on that friggin' highway. I intend on trying to meet them when I do my return trip. I finally made it into the province of new Brunswick and drove until I made it to Moncton. I should not have driven this far. I was quite fried by the time I arrived. By day's end, I had travelled another 1300 kms. Yep.................Manitoba to Nova Scotia......3500 kms........three days. I will take my time going home. ================================================================ I intended to add to this narrative but events during my stay on the east coast dictated that I did not. Firstly, I will write about the good things that I managed to do and enjoy. I stayed at my mother's place for most of my time on the east coast. I did a little work on my brother's log cabin that he has been building as a sanctuary from the troubles he lives with. Ella chased her ball about 18 billion times up the hill. When she got hot, she would stand in a rain barrel of water to cool off. Of course, she discovered that a ball can float so she would drop the ball in, hop into the barrel and splash around after it. Now it seems there are a few rocks at the bottom of the barrel that she discover were there. So Ella goes bobbling for rocks and ends up blowing bubbles while under water. It was hilarious. I played along with a bunch of local older folks one evening up on Lemmon hill. I had carried a six string guitar along with me for events such as this. The old buggers even got me to sing a few times! I enjoyed this as music is again now a large part of my life. Towards the end of July, I attended the 40th anniversary of the East Coast Bluegrass and Old Time Music festival. I was mesmerized by the quality of the music and talent. There were over 12 blue grass bands playing there over the weekend and they were all great. I fell in love with this style!!.....and bought every souvenir, CD and other stuff that I could find. I have hopes of getting to this level of expertise some day on my own machines. I did all the usual "down east" things that happen all the time. .......went to several garage sales, the flea markets etc and I ate an awful lot of fish and chips. The fish in that part of the country is fabulous and I can never get enough of it when I can. The fish here (back home) is nowhere near the same. My weekend meeting with some thirty old high school friends was a very good time. We have not seen each other for some forty years........Christ where does life go????. Ended up playing bass with one fellow one night and six string with another the next. I felt I did quite well seein's how I have just restarted playing last year while these fellows have been playing ever since high school. Shortly, after that weekend, I started to finish my plans for the east coast before driving home. I left my mother's place (not to return) to travel to Prince Edward Island to visit and tour a round with an female friend. I had a good time there and spent three days. As I was leaving to continue my journey, the phone rang.......it was for me....it was my brother in law........telling me there was a severe problem back down in Nova Scotia so I returned there. I will not write about this further other than all was dealt with and I just had to leave again for my own sanity. I left for home the next morning deciding to negate those other persons who I was to meet as originally planned. The first day, I drove 800 kms, took a hotel so I would be fresh the next to take on Montreal...again!!!! The second day I made it to Sault Saint Marie (before the hump again).........took another hotel. The third day I drove from there to home.....................17.5 hours driving time........some 1400 kms hard driving. It took me three days to recuperate. My total mileage on my car was 11,273 kms or some 9,000 miles!! Not bad for a guy with no legs. So that was my trip......some great...........a lot of S..T for no reason........but what is........is. The fall has been quite nice out this way. I'm on the phone all the time calling all who I have met. I made it out to Calgary for a weekend in November to visit my daughter in her new place. I need to get out there more often. November also brought a bit of a surprise. I unintentionally won a situation with my insurance company with little resistance from them. As a result, I now posses a new Kabuto 26 HP diesel tractor c/w box blade, snowblower, front end loader, mower. Now all I need to do is learn how to use the thing. I am sur it will be of great value to me in the near future. So now, it is December.......I'm getting ready for Xmas as best I can.............and then the year is done. So that's what I've been up to.............not bad for an invalid. Merry Xmas my friends................ ED P.S. 2012 is already starting to book up. I'm in the Caribbean at the end of January, middle of March and beginning of next December all on cruise ship. December's cruise is a short one..five days only so I may try to extend it at one end or the other. This cruise is forming up to be the first “amputee” cruise. As of now, we have 62 cabins booked........hoping for more...........and may make the news down there. Everybody I know is on board so it will be great. Kinda feel sorry for the other passengers though 'cause they have no idea we're coming! I'm going to try to get a trip in maybe end May or early June to Texas for a few days. I've also been invited to an event in California next fall.......nothing firm but I will make it happen as I would like to visit those folks also.
  2. Cruising on a ship

    I do not find cruises overall, any more expensive then let's say, an all inclusive.................although my bar bill on board is always huge!!! I just function really, really well on board a ship and meet an awful lot of people. With this last booking I made for the ACA endorsed "amputee cruise" that's happening next Dec 2012, I will have booked three cruises for next year. I will mention though that any kind of trip does cost me more then a regular human being 'cause I travel alone and must pay the "single supplement" for my trips...............an aspect of me that truly sucks!! ED
  3. Cruise questions

    Sorry.....I've been occupied........another trip I'm on.............. Tips.......the subject can be many to a newbie. I suppose then dividing line would be between a chair user and not a chair user.......in my mind. Regardless of what amp you are, you are already responsible for all the tips etc that you need to survive and get along.......so that's taken care of. -When arriving on the ship, you need to be prepared NOT to have anything or require anything in your luggage until the end of the first day. It takes ALL day for luggage to be sorted out and delivered. - It will take you at least a couple of days until you retain your bearings on a ship......so carry your map or learn the ship's info system....otherwise you will never find your favourite bar again. I am constantly lost on any ship but it doesn't bother me. By the end of the trip you will finally have your bearings etc but then it's time to leave. -When first arriving on a ship, find your room , drop off what you can and head up to the top or pool deck for departure.............it is an experience for the newbie!! -IF you are a chair user and IF you are travelling alone as I do................get the damed lifepreserver down from the TOP shelf of your wheelchair accesssible room (pet peeve of mine on ant ship...............they just assume you are travelling with a normal and that you are F---d) -It is the law of the sea that every trip has to have a lifeboat drill.........so we all will be required to don a life preserver and find our lifeboat staions etc...............actually it's a hoot.........but it does suck wearing one of these things while wheeling so I just drag mine behind me. Other then that, there are no other tips per sec........except.............one's bar bill can add up real fast whithout one realising it. IF mine comes in under a thousand on a longer cruise then this one......I am happy. ED
  4. The Adventures of ED

    :::Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb ::: I, in my personal experience, believe that any health care system in place today that I am aware of, is designed and set up to keep a "modified" person.........crippled. Now, I know that the intentions of the health care system are good and that they are concerned about one's safety etc, but their intensity is so great that it can, and does, permanently cripple people. Definition: "modified person" - anyone who is changed from their original issue or state of being, be it through stroke, amputation, becoming paralyzed, sickness, disease, or any other life changing event. All persons who fall into this category must become aware of what I am stating. If not, they will become a victim of the system and the quality of their life will be affected. There comes a “Point” in everyone's recovery that a decision MUST be made, that one MUST be aware that a very important and lifelong personal decision MUST be made. ===================================================================================== To amplify my views, I offer the story of "Tweedle Dee" and "Tweedle Dumb"………………… "Tweedle Dee" and "Tweedle Dumb" are two younger women I met when I was fresh cut. We were all in the rehab hospital at the same time. All three of us, as well as many others, were trying to regain our lives. We were running on adrenaline. Both "Tweedle Dee" and "Tweedle Dumb" were around the same age. Both of their injuries were a result of separate motor vehicle accidents at around the same time. Both girls are paralysed from the mid chest down. "Tweedle Dee" is single. "Tweedle Dumb" is married with children. We called these girls "the Bobbsie Twins". All three of us, and others, were offered and accepted what the health care system deemed necessary for all of us to be what we would be..................to "recover" from our injuries. Many people know what happened to me and what I am.......but that is another story. So time passes, and "Tweedle Dee" and "Tweedle Dumb" are completely healed and are discharged from the rehab hospital to live their lives as they will be. At that point in time, occupational therapists came into play, phycologists came into play, social workers came into play, home care workers came into play, other professionals and advisors, experts and companies came into play, insurance companies came into play. There are so many people employed on this planet because of people such as "Tweedle Dee" and "Tweedle Dumb" and myself. All of these "experts" told the girls what to do, how to do, what is available what is not, what to NEVER do!!........ and the girls began to live their lives. -==================================================================================== There comes a “Point” in time in any "modified" person's life where they have to choose to either accept what the" experts" say, savour it, understand it, consider it and then decide to accept the “experts” guidelines as gospel or tell them to piss off and the individual then pushes his or her own envelope. "Tweedle Dee" has done this either consciously or unconsciously. "Tweedle Dumb" has just accepted what the ”experts” said. Today, " Tweedle Dee" lives on her own in her own home. She hauls her ass out of that chair to get on the floor, to stretch out, to move. She sleeps in a bed of her own choosing. She works her body with weights and washes her own floor. She transfers herself to bathe. She drinks beer like any man and then some, has made a trip to the Caribbean completely on her own, drives herself around and manages all aspects of her own life as well as she can. She wheels herself around in a manual chair and is as fast as I am!! She has a "quality" to her life. Ya, I know, and she knows, life can still suck at times but then everybody's life sucks at times. "Tweedle Dumb" has a power chair ('cause the experts told her so and it is "easier"), now suffers from pressure sores and is to remain in bed 24 / 7 until they heal (maybe), still sleeps in a “hospital” bed, does not do anything 'cause everybody else does it for her, has a Hoyer lift and other humans to get her in the tub."Tweedle Dumb" has put on weight. She has not travelled and relies on systems to do what she has been told she can not do. "Tweedle Dumb" has accepted, to date, what the system tells her WHAT she is. "Tweedle Dumb" is crippled! The truth is, the system can, and will tell you, what you will be…to a minimum standard only! It does not tell you what you CAN be!!! To avoid being a "Tweedle Dumb", I would advise all "modified" persons to seek out and be aware of others who are similar to themselves, who are what I call "seasoned" in their situation………….those beings who have had time in their current state………………who have made it past this “Point” I talk about. See how they are, talk to them, and realize what you may become. Some of these others will be "Tweedle Dumbs"........but many will be "Tweedle Dees". Learn from them and remember them when your "Point” in time, occurs.................because it WILL!! We are all different.......and yet.........we are all the same. This is a true story. ED
  5. The Adventures of ED

    ::: Past The Point::: I have written much over the years. I started the “Adventures of ED” as part of my process…………of becoming what I am, of what I will be. Initially, these adventures were to tell of my progress, to yell about what I have done, to tell stories as I evolved. The “Adventures of ED” has served me well and perhaps others along my way. Today, I am “seasoned”. By that, I mean………… I am what I am. I have been a BAK (bilateral above knee amputee) for almost ten friggin’ years now. I may become more. I may not. My “Adventures” have ended. Today, some nine years after the fact, I intend to use my “Adventures” as a vehicle to state certain things and opinions that I have come to learn and believe. Today, the 8th day of July 2011, I am well past what I call “the Point”. The “Point” was a time in my life when, for whatever reason, I chose not to hear and accept the professionals most learned opinion. I chose to try to be what I am and will be!! The professionals told me that I would never walk again, that I belonged in a power chair, that I could not stand on my stumps, that I am totally buggered, that I MUST rely on the efforts of others, that I am below normal human status. I chose not to accept this and I have exceeded this "Point". So now, I will use the “Adventures of ED” as a vehicle to challenge the system, to encourage others to be what they can be. I will use the “Adventures of ED” to pass on what I do, what I achieve, what I am!!! When I fail…………it does not matter………what matters is that I tried. I can only pray that in my lifetime, Heather Mills continues this site so that my ramblings may be read by by others…………..hopefully to their benefit. In the meantime, some of what I write is going to South Africa, to the United States, to Australia, to the UK. As such, it soothes my soul. I would encourage any “seasoned” amputee, no matter what their configuration is, to write about themselves and their journey . I will occasionally continue to post for as long as I can and spew about my life. I am ED and I am content with myself. ED
  6. Cruising on a ship

    :::Travel by Cruise Ship::: I have been, to date, on 15 cruise ships. Some trips, I was whole, the last several, I have been “modified”. Cruising is my choice of travelling. I enjoy the people I meet and I like the changing day to day itinerary. All inclusive resorts kind of bore me. I can only drink so much and I am no longer a beach person. It usually takes two days for the rest of the ship's population to get used to me and the sight of me. After that, I am one of them and they seek me out! This is because of my attitude on being what I am. I am not shy nor ashamed nor conscientious of what I am. I am ED......alive and superior to most. I maintain many friendships today with people I have met from all over the world. I arrive at the dock via whatever means. I check in, register, give them my luggage etc and head up the gang way until I am on board the ship. Now some of these gangways can be a bit steep. To date, I have not been pushed up one.......................people offer but I refuse. Again, perhaps some day I will let someone push me on board. I spend time finding my room, doff my legs 'cause I've been in them for a long time and away I go exploring the ship. First stop....the bar and available smoking areas. These become my favourite hangouts. My luggage will be delivered to my room by day's end so IF I need anything, I carry it with me for the first day. I have been on Celebrity.....never again, Royal Caribbean several times (not for a while yet), Princess many times (but I find their quality has suffered over the years), never on Carnival yet (a much younger party crowd) and have recently settled on Holland America for several reasons. Holland America is kind of known for catering to the “older crowd”. Now not everybody on board is mega old but many are. In fact, on my last trip, two of them died at sea!!! I find that as an amp, I do not find myself fighting for an elevator and their ships are never crowded. The quality of service is great and the quality of food IS superior. I had the best porterhouse steak of my life on my last trip. On any cruise ship, I function extremely well.............in legs or in chair. I get off at every port and because I can walk, I go on selected shore excursions no problem. Most times, I find myself at some incredible local bar and indulge myself in a lot of rum and watch “young things”. I always smuggle a wee bottle of local hootch under my ass when I return to the ship. The ship's security has never caught me to date. I am a happy camper if my bar bill for any cruise is under a thousand dollars!! I will cruise until I can not! ED
  7. I had a talk with the guy wearing one at the ACA conference..............Bill, I think is his name. Nwo, I have been aware of what was in play over the past few years. The Genium is the end product of a knee build for the US military. So, I says to "Bill".......is there really much difference between this and th C leg2?............which I wear. "Well', he say "there's longer battery life"..........not a factor to me. "It's water proof to three feet depth"..........not a factor to me. "Hey", I ask "how many modes does it have?" I ask. "Six" he says.......... "Do they shift from one to another automatically, like they were trying to get it to do?" I ask..........."NO" he says.............not a factor to me!!.........I have two modes and have never figured out the second one. "How much", I ask.................."ABOUT TWICE THE COST OF THE C LEG2".....is the answer. My opinion, I see no advantage so far in this knee over what I already have and am still trying to master. It's also my understanding that the Otto Boys are still going to market the C Leg2 as well as other cheaper thingies. I think that they would have been better off trying to improve their service and quality of repair to the products they already had. Methinks I may look further into the Plier 2.0 unit. People seem to be quite happy with it so far. ED
  8. The Adventures of ED

    Gee thanks you guys...............first of all Neal, you won't even give me your phone number to add to my "I'm half in the bag, I must call everyone in North America list!!" and Marcia.............I never new!!!......of well, sucks to be me!! As far as a speaker at a conference.......you all know I am a bit shy. I call myself a "closet BAK".......not like some of the others who flaunt what they are!! I do much better just jabbering at the bar!!!.....and hey...........I'm working on a new song called "I was made this way".............by Eddie GaGa!!!! may need some help with some of the lyrics but will get the bsall rolling in a bit....... ED
  9. The Adventures of ED

    :::A Little Flash of Genius:: I write this a little after the ACA conference in Kansas City. I could write about the conference, and how “good” I was during that time. I could write about all the new people I met and how many great times I, once again, had while there. I could write about meeting all my old friends, how they remember me and how the experience totally reboots me every time I am there. I could write how, it seems, I have influenced several people..........yada..........yada.......yada. I choose to write about an experience I went through with a one legged woman I met named Anne. There are times in my life that I am “sharp”. ...................that my wit is perfect and blunt as well as true!! I believe my meeting with Anne was one of those times. Sooooooooooooo............. At the end of the day.......which I do not remember, after walking all over the place in my big legs............no cane!!!.........going from “zero to ninety”(in my mind) all weekend long!! I strip the legs off and headed to the bar........(I don't “drink and walk” although I did experiment with this combination on another night!!!.......(hey I've got to learn my limitations!!) So, I am in the bar talking to all these other people. I am using my chair. I get up and stand on my stumps 'cause I hate being shorter than anybody else...............and we start talking. During the conversation, I meet Anne............... “I really envy you..............travelling all over the world etc” she says. “What do you mean?” I ask. Well, she says that she has only travelled once since loosing her leg and “packed” her leg as luggage!!! She would like to do more but she is afraid of what MIGHT happen if she wore it. “What could possibly happen?” I ask . “But, what if this”, she says and......”what if that etc, etc, etc”. I answer her and tell her to simply wear her bejesus leg at home, sit in a chair for six hours and see what happens. IF anything happens.......learn it, experience it and deal with it! We talked about many situations that she would generate an excuse for, and I would immediately respond with an answer that made her think. At any rate...........off we go........................ The conversation led to what, I personally believe........and I do not care if I am right or wrong 'cause I know I am right!!!! (and Anne either laughed her butt off or simply said “I never thought of things that way”): * I do NOT consider myself “handicapped”.............that is for the too old, too fat, too ugly humans of this planet. I consider myself “modified”.... I am “an almost” master of cutting edge technology. ... a thing that very few get to experience or achieve. I possess a skill set now that I never had when I was just plain old, boring normal. * The others of the human race stares at me NOT because I'm F---K-d.......they stare at me because they are in envy!!! I do what average humans can not! They stop ME and say that I sooooo inspire THEM!! * Some sub humans “Wannabee” me or are so “Devoted” to my very existence and others find me soooooooooo Sexy!!! * I am higher up the evolutionary scale.......if I need a new part, I simply replace it. Those other lowly humans need to suffer by being cut up if they need a new knee..........I do not!! * I look at the majority of other humans my age and they are weak, flabby and old!! I do not look my age. My body is strong from morphing to my metal. * I belong to a select group of people who, when they get together as they did in Kansas City recently, can out dance, out party, out talk, out laugh and generally out do any group of average humans! Collectively, we are true social butterflies. We embrace each other and acknowledge and admire the abilities of those we meet regardless of their configuration. We use and wear our kit that costs more than a normal's new car. * I have soooooooooooo many advantages over the lowly human being. .........I don't need an RV. I can stretch out in the back seat of any car. I float in my own bath tub and do “laps” if I want. I will never drown....it's impossible for me. I can share my bath tub with any woman.........and there's room for her!!! When I stub my toe....it doesn't hurt. I need not worry about arthritis in my knees or artial disease, bone cancer in any part of my legs, ingrown toe nails or athlete’s foot. Mosquitoes don't bother me. Dogs can chew on me all they want. I can fit into any crawl space where other lowly human will whack their heads and complain about their stupid knees. I wear shorts in the winter while other sub-lings moan about the cold. And on and on and on.................... Yep, life is great when you are a superior human being ...........when you are an “Amputee”. All amps need to realize this truth. Being blessed with the ability to adapt and overcome the experience of becoming a superior human, being a master of an artificial leg or arm or two, a master of the wheelchair, a master of crutches, the cane, the walker..........needs to recognized by my fellow peers. True AMPUTEES are superior......that's it..............that's all!!! ED
  10. On my way....providing we can land!!!!...............I'll be pissed if some damned tornadoe ruins my plans!!!! ED
  11. Cost of the C-Leg in the UK in 2011

    To Paul: I am a C leg user.......actually a set of these things. Fortunately, I am funded where I live. I have just received a new set of the second generation C leg. I chose these as I only have experience with the first generation and I do not have enough life left in me to start all over with some other kind of kit. In the past, my first set (generation 1) were constantly out for repair. Between returning them, setting up with a loaner, waiting, and winter here, I lost a lot of time on these units. After much waiting for whatever is to be in the market place, I HAD to settle on the generation 2 C Leg. So, we (the insurance company and I) bought the new knees with a 5 year warranty. ..............At least they are covered for five years........after that the repair bill went from a constant $4,000.00 to up to $14,000.00 at the end of the life span for the first generation set. Research indicated that the failure rate with second generation was far less. OK...........so my new set have both been in the shop for air and leakage after a few months of ownership. C Legs DO NOT like to be NOT used!!!! As well, the Otto people here stated to me to expect a life span of five years for a C leg............after that replace them!! The C Leg unit is a great thing............once they are set up accordingly and once the user masters them..........BUT!!!!.............they are expensive to buy...........VERY expensive to repair............and expensive to replace........................FYI......... ED
  12. The Adventures of ED

    :::Off to the South Carribean..........Again!::: Last year while in port, I was docked beside a Holland America ship. I looked at the deckware and it was all new and the impression I had was that it “interested” me. Now traditionally, Holland America was known then as catering to an older crowd and I have never bothered with them. While at the airport, I struck up a conversation with a young female thing I ran into there..........................."How was your holiday?.......................What cruise line etc"............"Holland America" she answers......."How was it" I ask......"Really good" she says………. "The best time she ever had had." So based on this conversation and an itinerary that interested me, I decided to book a trip with the Holland America line. Over the past year I considered cancelling it but ultimately decided to actually go. This was to be the first time I have cruised totally alone and if I found that I was to have a good time, I would consider continuing cruising, and if not, perhaps this would be my last cruise and I would then find something else to do in my future. This was to be my fourteenth cruise. So, I arrive at the airport......wheel myself around.............and find a human waving the Holland America sign. "Is this where I am to be?" I ask.................."Yep" she says........... "Well, I'm going out those doors to have a smoke......come and get me when you're ready"......................Later, I turn around and she says "We're leaving now..........follow me over there and we'll catch the bus"........so off we go. Now when I travel, I wear legs, am in a wheelchair and drag my own luggage along behind me (kind of like a trailer). So.......I'm standing up..........looking around and say to myself "Crap, where's all the young people??" I'm behind an old guy......he's telling the bus driver...." I NEED the front seat". I'm saying to myself............ "Pal, you've got frickin' legs, if anybody's gettin' a front seat.......it's ME!!" but I say nothing. So we all climb up the steps in the bus while I am telling myself that this cruise was a BIG mistake. All of a sudden, the movement of the line stops..........what's going on??? Turns out that some woman ahead has dropped her oxygen bottle and her old husband is scrambling to hook her up again!!!..........................."This cruise is a BIG mistake!!!!" I get to the ship, get on board, find my room, settle down, de-leg myself and head off. There is NOBODY in the hall and I have a hard time finding anybody. Well……… I find them all the next a.m, in the buffet. They don't see me.............I am fast in my chair..........so I whistle all the time hoping that they will hear me. I end up smacking two of them in the stomach with my fist before they fall on me....................I'm sorry.......it's a reflex now. It took a couple of days (as usual) for people to get used to me.......after that I was ok. On the first day at sea, I met Celine. She was on a scooter and has no legs...........so off I go to introduce myself (I'm a sucker for another amputee). We talk a bit and then she asks me.........."Does it get any better?" As soon as she asks this, I know her story……..she’s a newbie. "Why do you say this" I ask. She says "Well, I wish I could get into my bed (on board) but it is tooooooooo high". I offer to come to their room to offer my advice.............but I am a stranger. The next day, we all hook up in the smokin' area and off we go to their room. I spent about an hour and a bit flopping around, showing her how to get into bed on her own. I talked about her wheelchair, life as I know it, and other things. The next day, I run into her and she says "she got into bed........by herself". I tell her........"Everytime you can get out of the scooter or wheelchair and sit on a real chair or sofa..........do it. If you stay in the chair.........you will die in the chair. Every day after when I would see her, she was in a normal chair......being human. I am pleased. I met a lot of people on this ship. I learned a lot about life from them. I know that I can go for as long as I can go.............regardless of my situation. On this cruise line, all is accessible..............no worries. The service was more than I have experienced, the food was far superior to what I have experienced and the entertainment was better than I have experienced. I WILL be on this line again......many times as I am now approaching the age group of this line’s clientale. Now before I go, I must tell you the final story about Celine. Now up to this cruise, her husband has been doing 100% for Celine.........................good on him. So the last day before the cruise was over was to be the "island" day. I ask Celine if she is going a shore..... "No" she says. "Why not" I ask.......... "Well there's sand and whatever. I tell her to get her ass on the island ...........no excuses...............there's concrete to wheel on and no reason why she cannot be there. Well, the next day we all meet on the island and have a great time. ...................consumed a lot of stuff at the bar etc. Well the day ends and most people are gone so we head off to the tenders to get back to the ship. We're in line waiting and George shows up. "Have you seen Celine?" he asks. We say " No"........... "I can't find her " he says. He's pulling out his hair with worry. Later, he comes around again. "Have you seen Celine?" ............"No" we answer. So we are on the tender. Along comes George again…..even more frenzied. "Have you seen Celine?" ........."No" we answer "and if she was on board, she would be sitting here with us". So I tell George "If it was me, I'd get off this boat, keep on looking...........I'll ask at the main boat to see if she is on board"............ So off he goes............. I get on the main ship.............."I need to know if anybody from room 8032 is on board" I ask. They say “Yes”........ I say " Are you sure. Well you need to radio to onshore and let the crazy man know that MAYBE his wife is on board." I get to my room.....call 8032 and Celine answers. "Celine, Celine.........you've been a bad, bad girl!!!" She says "She knew it was time to go and she was so excited and pleased to make it all the way back to the by HERSELF"......... I said "Well maybe you should tell George what you are doing from now on. He’s still on the island, out of his mind with worry, looking for you". We all had a good laugh over this. Later George tells me that he checked every washroom on the island looking for his wife..........................I told him......................"You know George..........Celine is now free..................methinks you will need to put a GPS locator on her!” Celine gained a bit of her freedom during this cruise and it is a direct result from meeting someone else like her………only “more seasoned”. When I find myself in the position of affecting someone else’s life in a “good” way, it gives my life some value. ED
  13. My First Trip

    Hey Neal............ I have, once again, been without my C leg units for a long time. Now I have new ones so I've decided that I AM taking them for function on the cruise ship. I can think of no other facility on earth that would be best for me other than this cruise ship. Stairs..carpet........tile.......wet floors...............every hallway (1000's) have rails etc. Once I gat the layout of the ship and recouperated from the inital bar, I will be in legs...........no cane..............if it KILLLS me. Other than that...........CU in Kansas City......smoking area...............two(2) beers ..............STAT!!!!! ED
  14. My First Trip

    Hello Ann.............long time!!!! So, here's another observation as to how times a re a changing.............cruise ships!!!! I've been on several (13 so far).............started cruising while I was whole and continue since I've been modified. You know, in the beginning, people used the stairs on these ships. It was part of the fun of getting to where you wanted to be and perhaps wear off some of that food!! My last two trips have been a little different...........seems like everybody now uses the elevators. I've gotten used to it though..........I just ram myself into any elevator filled with grey whole bodies. I tired of politely waiting for an elevator only to find them "full". As well, often these same people ask about my legs and I answer that I think everybody should have a set (knowing and hoping that some of these people WILL for one reason or another!!) I am heading out to the South Carribean on a 10 dayer this Sunday and will write my report on this trip whaen I get back. ED
  15. My First Trip

    Not sure if this is the place for my following comments.......at any rate here goes.............. Now I know the subject of "handicapped parking" passes has been addressed before on this forum. At times, it stil bothers me that the human race continues to abuse this system......................but now................the whole bodies have discovered ANOTHER "advantage" of being "buggered".... On my last two trips I have noticed a marked increase in the number of greyheads now being wheeled ahead of the lines, preboarded and handled. They have discovered that if they simply ask for a chair, from their position, it is an advantage to them and they are taking it!! I se them get on the plane, walk around, function no problem and as far as I can see, they are good. I get sooooooooooooooo pissed at people who abuse any system. I am a proponent of the entire "handicapped" system being revised. Take all the blue spots......paint them grey..............and allow anybody who is NOT a wheelchair user to continue to use these spots. Let THEM continue to get pissed off at each other.Just give the real chair users a specific spot ........just one .............at the end of the parking lot if necessary..........we can wheel!!!...........but we need the room to load and unload the chair. I often go "fishing" at the mall. I manage to get a blue zone spot............do my bussiness and then sit there a bit.........placard on my dash (ya, ya, I know "to be displayed while parked".................not hung on the mirror for all eternity while driving!!!!!) while I settle down and then wait for someone to yap off.......and then I let them have it!! Now, I have an open mind. If a person uses even a walker of cane.......ok. If they limp..........ok. If they arre really elderly......ok. But if they are whole bodied..............not using a chair or walking aid............and they have the nerve to comment to me.............."excuse me young man but you are parking in the senior citizen's parking"...............I GET PISSED!!! And now!!!!.....I'm starting to compete with them at the friggin' airport!!!......Let the wheelchair wars begin!!!..............I will win 'cause the greyheads just can't keep up with me!! ED
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