The Mountains Declare

We went to the mountains in the beginning of October and I thought it couldn’t get any more beautiful.

Then we went to the mountains in the mid-October and I thought it couldn’t be any more beautiful – the water running and blowing leaves of many colors…breath-taking!

Well past the peak colors in chilly mid-November, a gaze out my window today displays brilliant yellow, gold, red, green and deep brown and makes me appreciate…it can’t get more beautiful!

Autumn adoration does not come easily to me as its presence ushers in dread of a frigid ‘quadriplegic’ winter when I long for elusive warmth and bundle in my woolen wardrobe. Today, and hopefully for this cool season, it’ll be different. I pray each chilly breeze is accepted and embraced. May my heart be open to the total beauty of creation.

As our families gather together to give thanks to the Almighty for the blessings he’s provided, I pray that gratitude will be the spirit of the whole year…of our whole lives as we share our blessings with those in need and alone – and as we welcome the season of celebration and anticipation. O Come O Come Emanuel!

Sending warmth your way today….Madge

Now for my scripture memory friends, lets snuggle by a fire, drink cocoa and memorize a verse or two! Pick your own or use mine!

Search me O God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps. 139:23-24

Keeping it Real – Quadriplegic Cough

Keeping it Real – Quadriplegic Cough

There are times my disability smacks me in the face and knocks my feet right out from under me. This week has been one of those weeks. I have a cold…that simple rhino virus that many people fiercely fight off without missing a beat. ‘Well say it ain’t so!’ the quadriplegics exclaim.

Because of the paralysis, our respiratory systems are compromised. Congestion in our lungs is difficult to extract because the muscles don’t contract to force enough pressure to productively cough. Developing pneumonia is a possible danger and the leading cause of death for quads.

The simple cold is a serous matter. Proactive zinc and vitamins have helped me avoid a cold for several years, but somehow this rhino crept up on me. I’m always hopeful that prayer, rest, water, vitamins, ginger tea and chicken soup will do the trick quickly, but inevitably the dreaded antibiotics seem to be the added dagger that fights off the bronchitis and threat of pneumonia.

Friends, family members and office mates are heroes as they rescue me with an ‘assisted cough‘. Brent was out of town the other night when my cough was starting – two of my best friends slept over and effectively assisted with my cough, ate popcorn, played on computers, and crashed (thank you Naomi and Krista).

Brent has turned a few heads when he’s helped me cough in the store or at church! At a glance it can look like CPR or spousal  abuse!

For emergencies, I keep a note written in my phone that says ‘I need help coughing and may not be able to talk before we clear some congestion. Please press my diaphragm with the palms of your hands as I exhale. We will need to do this multiple times and you will push harder than you think you should’.

I haven’t had an assisted cough for a couple hours and I’m off to get more water. My motto for the day: “March on my soul, be strong.” Judges 5:21

I’m glad you read this post…don’t be afraid…you can help me cough…press hard, just don’t break a rib – Just kidding!

Comfort in Cold Weather

Autumn is unwelcome weather in my life.  I don’t mean to be a grinch because I realize many people love the cold weather. I’m all for the temperature to cool from 98° to 78º, or maybe even 72º, but once we drop lower than that, introduce a few showers and cool winds….ugh!  I’m such a wimp. And autumn is a sign of the inevitable upcoming winter! I try to be positive about cold but just need a little time to vent. As the cool blows in, clothes become cumbersome and it is nearly impossible for me to stay warm. Sometimes it’s hard to sleep because I’m cold. It’s just a side effect of most high level spinal cord injuries. Often, the brain is not able to correctly interpret thermostat signals from the body.  I think I’m cold even when my temperature is actually fine.

Things I dislike about fall…
– I’m nearly always cold…well I think so anyway and that’s what counts.
– Fall is the beginning of cold, yikes! Winter is coming!
– More layers of clothes makes getting dressed/undressed more difficult and time- consuming.
– Tahoe wants to play outside, but it’s cold so we play less.
– Every year I burn myself trying to stay warm.
– I get obsessive about searching for ‘warm’ solutions. It wastes time.
– I buy more wool socks, shirts and sweaters even though I have enough.
– Wool is expensive.

Enough rant.  I have hope.  My medicine of adding gratitude is in order.

Things I love about fall…
– Our wedding anniversary.
– Trips to the beach…if it’s warm!
– Trips to the mountains.
– Pumpkins.
– Bonfires.
– Tahoe loves cool weather.
– Children love to play in the leaves.
– Snuggling with Brent and Tahoe.
– The air is crisp and clear.
– Trees are extravagantly colorful.
– Stars are bright.
– Wool. The soft kind.
– Two of my nieces birthdays.
– Hot soup.
– Hot water.
– Heat.
– Pedicures are unnecessary.
– Online shopping for wool.
– Did I say I love wool?


Today I’m thankful for fall and glad I’m alive to experience another one. It’s therapeutic for me to realize that all the reasons I don’t like cold weather stem from my perceived temperature and comfort. I let cold impact me more than I should. Maybe I’ll find a new way to enjoy the cold weather this year. That’s my resolve.

Are you warm and cozy today?  Got any ‘keep warm’ tricks to share?