Merry belated Christmas everyone! I hope everyone’s holiday was filled with yummy food, fun times with friends and family, and a little R&R. Growing up, my family and I always spent Christmas visiting family in Rhode Island and Massachusettes. This year, however, was the second year we stayed home. Instead, my grandparents came down and celebrated Christmas Eve (at Longwood Gardens!) and Christmas day with us. Tonight my aunt, uncle, and two cousins are coming down for a few days. It should be a fun weekend! So now, without further ado, here are a couple of highlights from my Christmas that I wanted to share…
Christmas Eve definitely started off on the right foot at therapy in the morning. I set my personal record of 1,502 steps in the Exoskeleton! I recently started using the Exo every Monday. It’s essentially a robotic suit that helps step your legs, but it won’t step without feeling some sort of muscle activation first. I have to constantly think about weight shifting, squeezing back, and kicking out or the machine won’t go. Sounds simple, but it’s actually really hard! My therapist likes to challenge my stronger leg (lefty) by decreasing how much help the machine gives me. Sometimes it feels like I’m walking through quicksand! Good thing I got some stepping in before I ate all of the holiday treats my grandma brought later that day.
I got some really nice gifts from family and friends for Christmas this year. But one I wanted to mention in particular is the Instyler straightening hairbrush that my mom got for me. My mom and I are always on the hunt for new gadgets that will help increase my independence. Let me tell you, doing your hair with one hand is nearly impossible. Sure I can brush it, but I always have to ask my mom or one of my sisters to straighten it or put it in a ponytail — and I’m pretty picky about how I like my hair. When I first saw it, I was a little skeptical, but it actually works really well! It’s not heavy or bulky and you just brush it through your hair as you normally would. It’s definitely a great alternative to a normal straightener for people who’ve lost the use of one hand due to a stroke, spinal cord injury, or amputation.
Another gift I received, from my grandma’s partner Prakash, is a book called The Emotionary: a dictionary of words that don’t exist for feelings that do. Being a writer, I always get a kick out of creative, quirky stuff like this. Here are a few words that I think we can all relate to:
- AMBIVICULTY (ambivalence + difficulty)
n. The anxiety of having to make decisions
- TRAFU (traffic + snafu)
n. A wrong turn or exit that puts one in bad traffic or gets stuck in a construction zone
- NAMENESIA (name + amnesia)
n. The experience of forgetting one’s name literally one second after they’ve introduced themselves
- FLOSSICHISM (floss + masochism)
n. The unique pleasure/satisfaction one gets from the pain induced by flossing
That’s all for now! I hope everyone enjoys their last few days of 2018. See you in 2019!