“The Royal” Graciously Invites “The Commoners”

28 04 2011

“The Royal” Sir Windsor B. Derby would like all of his favorite “Commoners” to join in the “Royal Windsor Wedding” tomorrow, bright and early!

“The Queen” asked me, Sir Windsor B. Derby, to carry the soon-to-be Princess Kate’s train.  Other members of the Royal Family believed I’d be a fantastic ring-bearer.  But, being a true British gentleman, I was concerned my dignified demeanor might steal a moment of Kate’s glory…so I politely declined, but will be attending with the other “Royal Windsors.”

Today was a beautiful day for tea to prepare for the excitement of the coming nuptuals of my fellow Windsor family member and countryman, Prince William, and his soon-to-be bride, Princess Kate.

“Hip ~ Hip ~ Hurray! Cheerio I say!”

Anyone can enjoy “High Tea,” so I invited a commoner to share in the experience of strawberries, cream, English biscuits, and of course, delightful tea.

As I am “Sir Windsor B. Derby,” I am of pure “Royal” British Cream Golden Retriever lineage.

“The Commoner’s” heritage is different though. She descends from a mixed lineage ~ Dutch, Scottish, English, Irish, and German.

Obviously, this commoner is quite impressed to have tea with a member of the “Royal Windsor Family.”

 

Please remember the “Royal Wedding” is a formal affair, so black ties, cravats, and of course, the “Windsor Knot” is quite acceptable by the English gentry.

Of course all the Windsors have formal invitations to attend the ceremony, but I welcome ALL to join our celebration by watching it via television or other media.

I look forward to seeing all the other members of the “Royal Windsors” in just a few hours!  Cheerio now!





Keepin’ At It

25 04 2011

One of the results from my brain injury setback in January, is that my mobility struggles more frequently.  I must “keep at it,” working to help my brain reconnect those signals.  

In this video, I am working to progress with walking.  Windsor does have a mobility harness which helps me to balance and walk more easily, but in this clip, he’s wearing his vest and yet can still help with my balance.  Windsor helps me to walk with more stability, to cross the street safely, and he performs a medical alert.  My talking is limited from my brain injury, and is even more reduced from the setback.  I do not verbally communicate to Windsor much because it takes great concentration for me to focus on my steps.  Notice how Windsor still knows what to do even with my limitation(s).

Sometimes service dogs’ work is a “game” to them and their tail wags alot.  Here, you’ll witness no tail wagging, as Windsor is concentrating on the seriousness of his work, something he does with great pride.  Before we cross the street, you’ll see Windsor blocking me and studying something coming towards us.  He is not distracted.  The camera was unable to show that he is watching a bicycle approach and pass us.  You will see the bicycle pass us safely, and then of his own initiating, Windsor moves into the “Heel” position on my left and determines when it is safe for us to cross the street.  This is amazing for any animal to determine, even more so by the fact that Windsor has received no formal training as to do this.  His instincts, his protection, and his care astounds me daily. 

The hooded sweatshirt I’m wearing is made with special fabric and helps to protect me from EMFs, something I greatly struggle with daily.  It is from http://lessemf.com/





Windsor & I Play “Peter Pan” ~ I Get Better!

11 04 2011

As you are aware I have a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  At the end of January (2011) I experienced a life-threatening setback due to a satellite dish installation at our neighbors’ house that went awry, causing a high amount of EMFs (electro-magnetic fields) into our house that retraumatized my body/brain.  Hence, I was unable to update my blog with the “Amazing Busies” that happened prior to the setback.  My brain/body is still traumatized from the setback, but I am making progress, ESPECIALLY this week!  (When I’m able to in another post, one day I will write about the cause of it and hope to “educate” people in regards to EMFs and electro-sensitivity.  For now, I’m still too traumatized by all the events to express them.)

One of the results from the trauma to my brain in January is that I struggle with where I am and who people are, even though they typically are part of my normal routine/patterns in life.  For example, somedays I know who my brothers are, somedays I don’t.  Somedays I’m not sure who my parents are, but they’re here to help me get through it.  I’ll ask, “What’s this?”  Someone responds, “It’s a dog.  It’s Windsor.  He helps you.”  I’m lost.  I’m disoriented.   It’s very frightening to me.  I’ve cried and cried at times over this being so frightened not knowing where I am.   I may be in my bedroom and not know it, not know where I am.  I may be paralyzed in the shower, not knowing where I am.  This is new for me, not something I’ve experienced amidst all the other life-changes since my TBI from 2003.

This new trauma to my brain caused my mobility to digress.  Once again, I’ve been working to drag my legs a few steps, trying to balance, striving to place one foot in front of the other with help from a person and my service dog, Windsor.  That progress is coming along nicely now after 2 months, not stable, but showing constant improvement.   I’ve once again been working to speak whether struggling through stuttering, slurring, or working to make sounds.  Reading, processing the words, grasping sentences, recalling the information has been on my daily therapy list.  In the past week, I’ve remembered how to spell and my fingers are clicking into writing here!  JOY!  I’ve forgotten many of my daily routines, so I’m back to working the basics, not knowing some days how to brush my hair, how to brush MY teeth (but I did remember Windsor’s one day), how to pick out and change clothes, how to cook (I do well making breakfast, but that’s it), working to remember ALL my meds, and more.  Don’t ask me to write my name with a pen.  It won’t happen.  I don’t know how.  So, I’m working to progress once again in many areas.

This working to progress includes my parents and some caregivers walking and walking and walking the neighborhood with me.  I spent a number of weeks stepping just a FEW feet outside the house and then not knowing where I was, where to turn, how to go anywhere.  Last week, my father walked a good part of the lake here with me, working to help me establish “old patterns.”  I’ve walked this lake THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of times over a 20+ year span.

Two mornings ago, Windsor and I attempted (and I can say HE succeeded!!!) to walk the lake BY OURSELVES (while I wore my new hooded sweatshirt from http://lessemf.com/ that helps protect me from EMFs, had LOTS of brain meds in me, and carried emergency numbers/medical info, etc.).  My mom knew I would be on the lake.  I knew she would be praying for me as I worked at this accomplishment.  If I was too long, she would come find me.  I’ve mentally practiced walking the lake for weeks now.  I’ve verbalized how to get around most of the lake.  I was ready!  I needed to do this!

I did REALLY well getting down the first, long major street.  I can visualize Windsor then helping me to turn left and cross the street.  I went up a slight incline….and from there….I was lost.  That is a very scary feeling.  I took a deep breath and while doing so, Windsor began to gently, thru a controlled pull, lead me as if he was a guide dog.  How did he know I was lost?  I followed where he took me and prayed to God to help us be safe. 

 I sang….a version of the Peter Pan song.

“I’m following the leader, the leader, the leader

I’m following the leader, wherever he may go.

I WILL be home this morning, this morning, this morning

I WILL be home this morning, because God tells me so!” 

Right God?  In the Bible there is a verse that says, “God is our refuge and strength, a PRESENT help in trouble.”  (I do not know where it is located.  Due to brain injury issues I’m unable to read my Bible and rely on verses I memorized pre-accident in 2003.)  I know God gave me strength and BOTH Windsor and me help.  I have NO IDEA where Windsor took me.  NOTHING looked familiar for quite some time, but I’ve learned over the past weeks of this setback to trust Windsor.  He’s one smart cookie and I truly believe God has some angels helping him know what to do even when I can’t express to Windsor what I need.

After quite some time of playing “Peter Pan,” I suddenly recognized a palm tree!!!  I was close to the zoo!  That’s what I call the fish pond!  I told my mom we were going to walk around the lake, go to the “zoo,” then around the stores to get home.  My question is, “How in the world did Windsor know to go to the zoo?”  Angels watch over Windsor B. AND me! 

Over these weeks when I’ve been lost, I tell Windsor, “FIND HOME.”  But, I hadn’t said this to him yet.  When we made it to the zoo and watched the colorful and gorgeously created fish, I “reoriented.”   I was then able to mostly find the way to the store.  But, while standing outside the store I got lost again.  “Oh dear Lord, where to?  I don’t recognize anything.  Where am I?  Oh Lord, please help us.”  “Windsor, ‘Find Home.'”

It takes great faith for me to trust a dog to lead me when I can’t lead him, direct him by signaling verbal commands such as, “Left, Right, Back Up, Cars, Safe~Cross Street” nor by signaling non-verbal commands because of my own physical inability.  I still don’t know how Windsor got us home.  The store is a 1/2 mile away.  I thought we were supposed to pass a school on the way home.  I looked for that one “familiar” landmark, listening for children, looking for school projects in windows, but we never passed a school.  I’m not sure how he got me home.  I just followed Windsor, my miracle mobility, medical alert dog.  He’s not a guide dog.  I’ve trained him in some basic guide techniques, but this miraculous ability of his goes beyond what I taught him prior to this setback.  I’m SO THANKFUL for this ability of his right now.  I TRUST HIM!

We believe that as I continue to be faithful with my brain meds, the Brain Protocol, and all the directions I follow since this setback, that this disorientation will decrease and perhaps disappear.  For now, it gives me great compassion and understanding as to what some of my other disabled friends experience with this disassociation and a way to pray not only for myself, but for them also.

To God be the glory!

“Peter Pan” Christy and Miracle Boy, Sir Windsor B. Derby





Amazing Month of Busies (Part 1): “Walkin’ the Town”

22 01 2011

In the past month, Windsor and I have been walking farther into town INDEPENDENTLY, without a caregiver. They are our “Adventures” and represent more evidence to my brain healing progress on the Brain Protocol and to Windsor’s ability to care for me by himself.

We’ve walked to local businesses like a favorite cafe to get bagels (for me, not Windsor B.), Home Depot, and the bowling alley.  We know people along each route whom I can ask for help, the layout of each business, and some of the employees, who know my condition in case I need help.  Twice, we made a 4 mile round trip.  My walking can be very slow, so even though it took me three hours to walk that 4 mile round trip, it was a fantastic adventure and feeling of success for both Windsor and me.  He’s proud to take care of me and I’m so grateful for his ability to take his work seriously.

Twice in the past two weeks, Windsor and I have walked 1.5 miles to the bowling alley where I go for therapy.  (I’ll share more about the bowling therapy, it’s affect on my brain, and Windsor’s “bowling talents” in my “Amazing Month of Busies (Part 2).”)  Normally, we are driven to and from bowling, so walking there is a new “Adventure.”

Windsor and I are working on some basic guide dog tasks that are further assisting me even though Windsor is a mobility/medical alert dog.  Walking to the bowling alley challenged both of us and our abilities as we crossed 5 major intersections and at least 10 driveways into businesses where vehicles enter and exit constantly.  It takes great concentration for me to think through all the “safeties” of the moment while coping with the noise outside and the fast movements around me.

Just crossing the street at a light requires a deeper amount of concentration than I used pre-brain injury.  Now I have a learned sequence or “crosswalk procedure” to follow:  push the crosswalk button, cautiously turn back around while “finding” my balance, get set up physically to walk safely down the crosswalk ramp, wait for the green-blinking OK signal to cross (WATCH CAREFULLY!  Do NOT go on the non-blinking, red-hand signal.), check for cars and whether drivers see us before we begin walking, etc.  All of this alert thinking is major stimulation for my brain.

In addition, I must be prepared if Windsor alerts me to a seizure-like episode coming on.  I must stop the crosswalk procedure immediately, OBEY him, and wait until Windsor gives the “OK signal” that the episode has passed.  Then I go back and begin the crosswalk procedure again, starting with pushing the crosswalk button.  Sometimes, I’m mentally overwhelmed “checking for all the safety factors” amidst busy traffic, but I do relax about my seizure-like episodes because of Windsor’s medical alert/response expertise.

On our first “Adventure” walking to the bowling alley, we came to a major intersection, one we’d never crossed before.  While watching for the “Green OK To Cross Signal,” a man in a truck drove into the far right turning lane, the lane closest to us.  He did not stop behind the crosswalk line as is the proper and legal driving action.  He continued to drive into and thru the crosswalk, stopping partially in the intersection, completely blocking our safe way to cross the street. I noticed the man see Windsor and me, so I waited hoping he would reverse his truck since there were no other vehicles in the lanes around him, nor coming from behind.  Alas, my wish did not happen.

The “Green OK to Cross Signal” continued to blink, so even though the man did not reverse and make clear our way, I gave the “Let’s go” command and Windsor led me around the truck.  What then surprised me was that Windsor maneuvered me out of the intersection and back into the crosswalk boundaries.  I’ve been training Windsor to find crosswalk ramps for me, but I’ve never taught him to walk IN~BETWEEN the two solid crosswalk lines.  I was flabbergasted as I, once again, witnessed Windsor’s high level of intelligence to think safely for us.

I marvel at Windsor’s “giftedness” as a service dog and how he continues to mature and learn.  I was amazed at how Windsor found a way to solve the crosswalk problem.  I believe angels and a higher heavenly being, the Holy Spirit, watch over me, watch over Windsor, and help Windsor make wise and safe decisions for us.  Sir Windsor carried on getting me through the crosswalk, helped me to balance and stabilize getting up the ramp, and moved into our preparation sequence for the next crosswalk we needed to take to clear the intersection.  Windsor was SPOT ON leading me thru each challenge to get to the bowling alley which helped me relax and continued to build my faith, trust level in him.  That’s my boy!  We made it to bowling ~ by ourselves ~ INDEPENDENTLY!  Who cares that it took us an hour to walk the 1.5 miles?  It was an amazing adventure walkin’ the town!  Whee!!!  (Stay tuned for Amazing Month of Busies (Part 2):  “Bowling ~ Spare, Strike, and UH-OH!” coming in a few days!)





A Season to “Go Tell It” in 2010

2 12 2010

 
Here and below, is the facebook link to click in order to see our new video.     http://www.facebook.com/v/165577280147215   Making it was a special time to reflect on my healing progress from the past few weeks.  I’m still overwhelmed watching, just as I was making it, when I realize…

  • I spent years living in a dark, quiet room by myself due to complications from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 2003.
  • I spent almost 4 years in a wide-brimmed hat, with 3 specialized glasses for photosensitivity, and a dark towel covering my face in order to endure the torturous car ride to medical appointments.  Being unable to walk, I was then taken from the car to the doctor’s office by wheelchair.  Then in my constant, “round the clock” agony, I’d be returned home to my darkened, quiet room.
  • I spent one year being unable to ride in a car at all.
  • I spent years being unable to walk.  After having started the Brain Protocol, in Feb. 2008, I began to “teeter” for periods of time, making it downstairs, and beginning to walk on my legs.
  •  In Dec. 2008 I began to be in a car again for 1-2 miles at a time.
  • Look at me now in Nov. 2010! ~ car rides, walking, being in public ~ Here’s my thankfulness to God, many people’s prayers, and the BRAIN PROTOCOL!  I believe none of this progress would have occurred without those three significant parts in my life.  There’s so much to be thankful for this holiday season!

    Click ON the facebook link below to enjoy a VIDEO of some miracles from healing over the past weeks! 

     http://www.facebook.com/v/165577280147215

P.S. I believe the long car ride was made possible due to faster brain healing since I started going camping every night!   (“Going Camping Every Night” is explained in https://hopeforchristy.com/2010/11/21/sweet-dreaming-in-my-campground/.)

Are you still looking for the perfect give for an animal lover?  Windsor was selected to be in a SERVICE DOG CALENDAR!  He’s “Mr. August” which coincidentally, happens to be my birthday month.  If you’d like to view and/or purchase the calendar, click here  http://www.cafepress.com/pleasedontpetme.487655278?utm_medium=cp_social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=PremiumShopPDP





Windsor’s Medical Alert and We Ride the Escalator

22 11 2010

Many have asked, “What does Windsor do to alert you?  What does an alert look like?”  It’s hard to capture the moment on film PRIOR to the alert to an episode starting.  However, we were filming about our preparation as a service dog team to ride an escalator when Sir Windsor began to alert me.  Windsor’s medical alert begins at 1:07 and ends at 3:36ish.  This shows one example of how he alerts me if I am standing.  He alerts differently if I am sitting or lying down.  Following the alert, I continue discussing our preparation for safety on an escalator and then we demonstrate our escalator techniques as a service dog team. 





Sweet Dreaming in My Campground

21 11 2010
I’m officially a camper!  I’m completely addicted!  I camp more NOW than ever!  I camp EVERY night!  My bedroom is my official “campground.”  I’d love to truly camp in the great “outdoors,” as I’ve treasured those moments in my past, but doing so every night is a bit unrealistic! Camping in the great outdoors even once right now would be too much change to my routine, a struggle for many with TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries), and is well beyond my physical limits, but apparently there is another way to bring the camping experience to my very own bedroom!

In the past few weeks here, many changes to reduce electrical issues (EMFs=Electric~Magnetic Fields) during the day and the night have been made to the house.  A building biologist, who is an EMF consultant, and a team of electricians have been my “camping guides.”  After analyzing the house, the two primary rooms from which I operate had a high amount of EMFs emitting from the wires in the walls, floor, and ceiling.  There were 2,500 milliVolts of electric field exposure within 8 feet of my bed ~ under me, over me, and beside me!!!  It didn’t matter how many items I turned off or pulled out of the wall ~ tv, computer, stereo, power strips, lights, etc. ~ phantom electricity still runs through the wires in the walls, floor, and ceiling. 

The high milliVolts made it easy to see why I (and many people) am struggling to “break through” for more physical, brain/body healing.  The EMF team set out to reduce the milliVolts to be UNDER 100.  Eventually, they reduced the electric field exposure to now be at 60 milliVolts when I sleep!!!  This major reduction in electricity SIMULATES CAMPING in the wilderness, away from cell phone towers, power lines, and more.  (To learn simple tips you can use in your house, please visit http://www.createhealthyhomes.com.) 

By taking electricity away from impacting my body, it improves my quality of sleep, thereby allowing my brain and body to “recharge” in hopes to bring more and faster healing, especially to the physical issues that cause me to so struggle with electricity.  It is a great hope that “Camping” with the reduced milliVolts will allow my pineal gland, a very weak point in my brain, to heal, to relax with less stress, and in turn produce more melatonin, a much needed hormone for proper sleep and restoration. When the “switch” in my room turns off the electricity, there is an instant “Aaaahhhh….” as I feel the relief instantly.  Somedays, I leave it off in the daytime, enjoying the relief when I’m awake also.   
 

The "Camping Switch" to turn off all the electricity, including what's in the walls, floor, and ceiling is on the right. It is currently in the "On" position, so electricity is in normal operation mode. The left switch is for the light in the room and can only operate if the "Camping Switch" on the right is in the "On" position.

I’m still adjusting to when the “Camping Switch” is turned on and the electricity instantly bolts back through the house.  I’m so sensitive to ANY electrical change whether in the house or in public that my breathing can stop, my legs can collapse, and I can experience unbelievable pain.  I’ve found it’s easier for me to go outside and come back in after the switch has been turned on and the electrical change occurs within the house.  In time, with more healing, we hope that will become easier on me.  In the meantime, Windsor is learning to turn off and on the switch as I need it.  It’s interesting to note the impact the switch has on my parents.  They too “feel” a difference in their sleep, waking up more rested.  I believe Windsor is having more well-rested sleep because he is brighter, more energetic, and more ready to learn and work each day.

Some of you may remember I experienced a major and dramatic setback at the end of May due to a cell phone being on in the house. (Cell phones, cordless phones, laser devices, “wireless” electronics are some of the devices not allowed in here.)  That one painfully excruciating and frightening incident left me extremely susceptible to many problems with electricity and I lost about two years of ground I’d made in overcoming certain problems.  It made for many difficult moments for me and for those around me throughout the summer and into the fall. Physically, I lost “much ground” as I struggled to speak, could not cope with much electricity, needed help with many basic daily tasks, could not walk beyond a few steps for about a month, and more.  I was primarily housebound again and bedridden many days.  Emotionally there were moments of discouragement, frustration, and crying to God via my silent words at not being able to be part of this overwhelmingly, electronically filled world.  At the same time, medically, emotionally, and spiritually I’m thankful that I was not and am not without hope. 

An example of brain progress is that I made Windsor's candy corn costume. It took me 6 months to process how to make a gentle leader for him. This vest only took a few weeks. Windsor REALLY ENJOYED people taking treats from his pumpkin bucket!

 

One of the fruits of this hope is the precious “camping” gift, the process of which began on my August birthday, which was one of my “rougher” days physically.  A dear friend, who has been a prayer warrior for me on this journey, has researched electricity and the impact it has on the human body and functioning powers.  With his knowledge and his contacts, he provided all of this new help within the house, for which I’m beyond grateful!  Over the past months, I’d been discouraged at times to have to “repeat” ground I’d already covered in the past three years of healing on the Brain Protocol and I didn’t have too many “New Brain Busies” to share.  However, since the “Camping Switch” was put in, I’m bounding forward again in my healing process, and many around me are SURPRISED at what I’ve been able to do!  In a few days I’ll post a video that shares and shows some of the joys!   

So “Sweet Dreams” to everyone! Thank you for your support, your time, and your encouragement!  I’m off to my campground where I camp in my own bed, with my own comfee pillows under my head, and with a certain fur~ball who’ll be next to me or close by to alert me. Oh! I see he’s already beat me to the campout! “‘Sweet Dreams’ everyone!”

Camping gear ready? Check! Fluffy pillows, comfy bed, active mobility/medical alert dog ~ optional tennis ball.