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Blog Title: What I Learn About Living From My Chronic Illness by Shelley Peterman Schwarz
Chronic illness changes every aspect of your life. In my blog, I reflect on my 30+ year journey living with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). I share thoughts, insights, and lessons learned that hopefully will help you or someone you know. - Shelley
By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Sunday, March 23, 2014

Wisconsin State Journal newspaper logoWhen my husband Dave retired last June after working for the State of Wisconsin for 42 years, we looked forward to spending more time together enjoying all that our wonderful community has to offer.  We had no idea how this year’s severe winter weather was going to restrict our lives.  Even as hardy mid-westerners, we found ourselves counting the days until our 2-week Caribbean cruise in February.  For the past 20 winters, we’ve been “cruising the Caribbean” because it’s always warm (78°-85°), the ships are wonderfully accessible, and the staff is so helpful that my husband Dave, (my main helper), can truly get a vacation.

 

When you have a disability, traveling anywhere always requires more thought and planning, and even then, there are unexpected glitches.  However, that doesn’t  rarely happens on a cruise ship.  From the moment we board the ship, we are greeted by friendly staff who offer us champagne and it sets the perfect tone - prepare to be pampered and taken care of.

 

For two aging Baby Boomers, one with a severe disability, a cruise is the ultimate vacation. Dave unpacks once and every day the scenery changes.  Our floating city has everything in one place; our hotel, fabulous restaurants, nightly world-class entertainment, live music to satisfy everyone’s taste, first run movies, classes, lectures, games, and demonstrations of all types, (ice sculpturing, napkin folding, chocolate carving, glass blowing, etc.)

 

The fitness center, Zumba by the pool, the walking track, and the indoor and outdoor pools offer opportunities to get up and move. On the February cruise, I used the pool lift to get into and out of the pool every day.  It was beyond fabulous!  (I was happy I could exercise because I had come on the ship as a passenger and I didn’t want to leave as cargo!) Dave enjoyed the casino and my mom who came with us enjoyed the spa treatments.

 

I greatly appreciated my large handicapped cabin because I could rest when I wanted to and the accessible bathroom meant I could be independent as well.  On this cruise, the credit-card cabin key automatically opened our cabin door and a wall switch inside the cabin opened the door for me when I wanted to go out.

 

Automatic doors were everywhere so I could visit the library, play bridge in the game room, tour the ship’s galley, or take a computer lesson without a companion.

 

Although there were about 3,000 passengers on our ship this year, it never felt crowded.  The cruise lines have perfected “crowd control.” And, no matter which food station I approached, a smiling staff member carried my plate and silverware as well as served my food selections in the quantity I requested. One day I asked my friendly server his name. He responded, “You can call me Honey.”

 

Next time I’ll share more cruise information about additional amenities specifically for people living with chronic illnesses and age-related limitations.

 

In the meantime, speaking of cruises, I want to share with you that this year Dave and I are planning our first cruise to Alaska, August 15-22, 2014, aboard the Celebrity Millennium,  and I invite you to join me on this escorted trip offered by Middleton Travel.  Visit Shelley@MakingLifeEasier.com or Middleton Travel, (608-831-4664) for more information.

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Sunday, November 03, 2013

Wisconsin State Journal LogoIn my previous columns, (to read, go to www.Madison.com and search Shelley P Schwarz), I explained that last March, I applied for and received one of the Adaptive Sports Association (ASA) - ski scholarships administered by the Madison West Kiwanis Club.  As I mentioned, I’m a Baby Boomer (66), living with a severe disability (I’ve had multiple sclerosis for 30+ years.) I don't have use of my legs, and my arms and hands have limited strength and dexterity. I am definitely not what you would consider a prime candidate for a ski adventure!  

 

Today I want to share with you the grand finale of my fantastic experience.

After 3 runs down the “Bunny Hill,” my instructors felt I was ready to go up 2 chair lifts to a height of 11,000 feet.  As I prepared to have my sit-ski (with me in it) lifted onto the chairlift, I watched my son Andrew, a very able skier, get on the chair lift ahead of me.

 

What a perfect day in my life this was! Having my 37 year- old son, Andrew, with me was enough to make my heart burst with joy.  The previous day, Andrew called to tell me that he was flying to Durango to meet me.  He had airline reservations, a hotel room, and a rental car.  I was speechless!  It seems he was thinking about my adventure and thought, “My mom is doing this amazing thing and no one from our family will be there to see it.”  Ronit, my wonderful daughter-in-law, encouraged Andrew to follow his heart and join me.

 

Riding the ski lift to the top, breathing the cold, crisp air, and seeing snow-capped mountains in the background filled me with awe.  Who would have thought that someone like me would ever be able to have an experience like this?

 

As I stood with my son and 3 ASA volunteers at the top of Durango Mountain, I cried tears of joy, overcome by the enormity of this moment.  It was very spiritual and "otherworldly."  A stillness and peace overcame me. I felt surrounded by white light. I felt like I was no longer disabled. I felt "whole" again--empowered, and stronger than ever before.

 

I skied for 4 days before it was time to go home. I had the energy and stamina to keep up the pace all day and to go to dinner with the ASA gang and participants in the evening. That’s highly unusual for someone with MS, because fatigue is a MAJOR problem.

 

How has this experience changed me?  I proved to myself, that I was strong, determined, and resilient enough to leave the comforts of home to literally “climb a mountain.”  I know now that when you open yourself to life's “possibilities,” something magical happens. 

 

Months later, I see that I am thinking less and less about my "disabilities"--they have faded into the background. But the personal power, that feeling of "CAN DO" that I had lost along the way, has come back to full strength.  I am ME again! It is a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

 

If you or someone you know would be interested in “Skiing with Shelley,” join me March 6-10, 2014 on a return trip to Durango, CO. For details visit www.middletontravel.com.  Email Shelley@MakingLifeEasier.com

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Sunday, October 06, 2013

Wisconsin State Journal LogoSome people walk into our lives and change us forever. But sometimes our lives our touched by someone we will never meet. Ethel Allen, who passed away at the age of 98 is a woman I never knew, but this wonderful woman gave me back a piece of ME that I thought was gone forever. 

 

As you may recall, last March I was awarded an Adaptive Sports Association (ASA) - Adaptive Skier scholarship by the Madison West Kiwanis Club.  The scholarship was an all-inclusive, expense paid trip to Durango, Colorado to attend the ASA winter ski program. Since 2007, Ethel Allen’s estate has provided the Madison West Kiwanis Club, with 4 scholarships each year for people with acquired disabilities in the Madison area. (See below and learn how you can apply.)

 

When I returned from the trip, I promised you that I would write about my experiences.  I'll devote this column and the next two columns to those experiences and how skiing changed my life.

 

As an aging Baby Boomer living with a severe disability, I don't have use of my legs and my arms and hands have limited strength and dexterity, I'm not what you would consider a prime candidate for a ski adventure.  So, you can only imagine my family's reaction when I told them that I applied for and received one of the scholarships. How could someone with my level of disability go downhill skiing? A trip like this with all the challenges seemed impossible to them. 

 

All I know is that from the moment I heard about this opportunity, I knew I wanted to apply.  (Actually, I applied for the scholarship in 2010, but was not awarded one of the scholarships. I was, however, encouraged to submit my application again.)

 

Because of my severe disability, I'm not able to travel independently, I need a companion to go with me; someone who knows and understands my limitations. The scholarship covered only my costs; I would be responsible for the cost of my traveling companion. I was extremely happy that personal trainer (Is my “personal trainer” too boastful? Should I say “exercise buddy”?) for the last three years, Hannah Carimi, would be joining me.  

 

Shortly before the trip, the Madison West Kiwanis Club held an informational get-together for past and present scholarship recipients.  I learned that I would not need any of my own equipment. All I needed to bring was long underwear; EVERYTHING else was provided.

 

We would fly from Madison to Denver then to Durango, (a distance of about 350 miles.) In Durango, an ASA volunteer would pick us up in their wheelchair accessible van and drive us to our hotel. 

 

In my next two columns, I will share what happened on the slopes, how the experience changed me in ways I never could have imagined, and a huge surprise I never ever expected.

 

Until then, if you’d like to know more or hopefully apply for the ASA - Adaptive Skier scholarship, go to the Madison West Kiwanis Club Website: http://madisonwestkiwanis.com/ and click on Our Scholarships.

 

 

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wisconsin State Journal newspaper logoWe recently lost a beloved and important family member -- “our" dog Chueco (pronounced “Schway-Ko”; Spanish for “a little off kilter.”)  As often happens when we lose someone we love, we find comfort in remembering the good times. One of my favorite memories of Chueco was the time I took him to a “pet psychic.”  After all, haven’t you ever said, “I wonder what my pet is thinking?"  I thought maybe going to see a pet psychic would be a chance for me to find out what Chueco was thinking.

 

I probably should explain that I'm not really a pet lover.  I’ve never had a dog, cat, bird or fish of my own.  Chueco wasn’t even my dog.  When I took him to the pet psychic, Chueco really belonged to my 27 year-old son, Andrew who adopted Chueco four years earlier when Andrew was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Chueco was a mutt-puppy; a mixture of who-knows-what who was trying to find his way in the world.  My son and Chueco bonded heart and soul; both depended on the other for survival.  I credit Chueco with keeping my son company in his remote and isolated village where he lived for more than two years.  It was a difficult time for my son, made easier by this easy going, wonderful, loyal, dog.

 

So what did the psychic say?  At first, I thought her words were pretty general and could have applied to anyone’s animal.  But upon further scrutiny, well… you be the judge.  The psychic’s words are in italics.

 

Chueco knows he’s on vacation with you. (This was true. Chueco was temporarily staying with my husband Dave and me. After the Peace Corps, Andrew left Chueco with us for 6 months while he backpacked through South America.)

 

He likes you alright but he thinks your foods and the smells in your house are very strange. Considering I told her that Chueco was from the Dominican Republic, this was not what one would consider “psychic information.” However, my husband and I cook interesting meals and my husband was always putting drippings and scraps into Chueco’s bowl “to make his dog food more interesting.”   These scraps included leftover curried chicken, wild rice with saffron, vegetables and tofu with Thai peanut sauce, red cabbage with apples and wine, etc., These were regular fare in Chueco’s bowl.

 

Another psychic observation: Your son and Chueco have a strong bond and he really misses your son. Chueco is saying, “Enough already. It’s time for Andrew to come home NOW!” 

 

Andrew had been gone for 3½ months and was scheduled to return in a few months so the psychic’s words did not make much of an impression – until I got home. When I open up my E-mail, the first message was from Andrew.  He was cutting his trip short and coming home 2 months early! He missed Chueco!  It hit me as a little eerie especially after the psychic's words earlier in the day.

 

However, the best part of the psychic’s visit was that Chueco and I got closer.  I know it sounds funny, but it was true.  Chueco has always been a “guy’s dog," responding more to Dave than to me. Chueco rarely paid attention to women.  In fact, he could be rather haughty and distant where women were concerned.  Whenever I tried to approach Chueco in my three wheeled scooter wheelchair, he always moved away and out of my reach.  Yet after the visit to the psychic, Chueco let me pet him and scratch his back. He even found a place in my office where he could lie during the work day and be close to me.  There was a complete change in our relationship. He became my dog, too, not just Dave’s.

 

Do I think the psychic really talked to or for Chueco? Who knows? But you have to admit it’s a fun story and a cute memory of a wonderful dog.  Rest in Peace, Chueco.

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, February 18, 2013

Wisconsin State Journal newspaper logoAt this time of year, I'm always at risk of the getting a bad case of the "Winter Blahs." In Wisconsin, we are not even half-way through the winter and the overcast skies, frigid temperatures, and cooped up feelings of "cabin fever" has everyone feeling "Blah."

 

This is when I take out my list of "Take care of Shelley" ideas.  I have learned that if I don't take care of me, I run the risk of my "bad mood" irritating and alienating the people I love. And, I'm always happier (and healthier) when I do something nice for myself. Here's my list...

 

Do ...

 


By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, January 28, 2013

Wisconsin State Journal newspaper logoI got it!  I am so excited!  Last month, I learned that I was awarded one of the 4 Ethel Allen Adaptive Ski Program Scholarships offered by the Madison West Kiwanis. The scholarship gives people with disabilities the opportunity to take part in the winter sports program offered by the Adaptive Sports Association (ASA), an organization that has been providing skiing, snowboarding and a variety of "sit-ski" instruction to people with disabilities for 25 years.

Shelley sit-skiing
 

To apply for the scholarship, I had to fill out an application and be available for an in-person interview with the Madison West Kiwanis selection committee.

 

 

During the interview, we talked about the realities of this opportunity – the stress of air travel, the intense ski program instruction, and the risks/challenges of being a person with a disability. Yes, there would be experienced ski professionals to help and instruct me, but what about the “unexpected” and my ability to handle the ups and downs inherent in an adventure of this kind?  Could I give them an example that might address these concerns?  YOU BET I COULD!  And, this is one of the stories I told them.

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Shelley hiding under a blanket I want to be a fun grandma to my five grandchildren, (ages 3-7). Even though I have a severe disability (due to MS), and use a 3-wheeled Amigo scooter to get around, I still want to play with them and be a part of their lives.  I may not be able to be the grandma I want to be, but I can still be fun to be with!

 

That's me playing hide-and-seek.  I "hide" and they squeal with delight when they find me.  

 

 

See more pictures of a "fun" wheelchair grandma...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, December 24, 2012

Wisconsin State Journal newspaper logoAt this time of year, we reflect on the many blessings we have and consider how we can share our bounty with others who are not so fortunate. I'm very grateful for the many blessings that fill my life. My husband has been employed with the state of Wisconsin for more than 40 years; we live in a beautiful house; our children are college graduates who have good jobs. (What more could parents ask for?)  And, I realize there are people in this country and around the world who have far less, which brings me to today's column: "A Time for Sharing." 

 

I was born and raised in Wisconsin and have lived here all my life. My husband Dave was born in the Philippines during World War II. He came to this country at the age of three when his father was hired as a rabbi in Benton Harbor, Michigan. His parents lost everything twice: once when they left Germany, and a second time, when the Japanese bombed the Philippines. Coming to this country was a miracle of sorts for them, and Dave and his family has always been grateful to be naturalized American citizens.

 

Seventeen years ago, I was looking for a seamstress to make some clothes for me because my multiple sclerosis (MS) had weakened me to the point where shopping for clothes was impossible.  Through a series of serendipity events, ...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Friday, December 14, 2012

Doctor's waiting roomWhen reading newspapers, books, or magazines in a doctor's/dentist's waiting room, a hair salon, or even at home, resist the temptation to lick your fingers to turn the pages. It is a significant way to transfer germs.  Here are four tips to me page turning safer and easier no matter where you are.

 

1.  Simply blow on the ...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Ever since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, family, friends, and healthcare professionals have been telling me how important it is to exercise.  Sometimes it actually felt like people were nagging me and I often thought, "You have no idea how exhausted I get just getting dressed. Even the thought of exercising, exhausts me!  I can't imagine any positive effect from exercising because I'd be in bed all the time trying to recover."

 

But times have changed and I am doing better. I have put exercise back into my daily routine. Sometimes "my exercising" is just picking up and doing things around the house. Bending, reaching, grasping, lifting, and stretching as I go through my day are "my exercises..." 

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, November 26, 2012

Wisconsin State Journal logoWell, I did it!  I turned in my application for the Madison West Kiwanis Club, Adaptive Ski Association’s (ASA) Scholarship, in hopes that I will be one of four Madison area residents with disabilities selected to participate in the program. This unique opportunity has been provided since 2Sit-ski photo006, when  Ethel Allen, a well-known scientist, University of Wisconsin alumna, and former faculty member, passed away at 98.  A provision in her estate called for a distribution of funds to the Madison West Kiwanis Club to be used exclusively for ASA scholarships.  The scholarship includes round-trip airfare from Madison to Durango, Colorado, five nights lodging in the Durango hotel, meals, four days of ski instruction, lift tickets, local transportation, and all necessary ski equipment.  For people like me who use wheelchairs and are unable to walk, we will learn to "sit ski." 

 

I don't know if I will be lucky enough to receive one of the scholarships, but I can tell you that it has gotten me to dream again. It's easy when you have a disability to focus on what you can't do and what things you are missing out on in life. But...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Thursday, November 15, 2012

UW Foundation building-site of interviewToday at 3:00 pm I have my interview with the committee reviewing the applications for the Madison West Kiwanis Adaptive Ski Association’s (ASA) Scholarship.  I applied two years ago, in 2010, but was not selected to receive one of the four scholarships.  However, I was encouraged to apply for the scholarship again.  (Last year our family vacation conflicted with the ski program dates.)  So this year, here I am - again!

 

In the information about the scholarship, it explains that their "ideal candidates" are adults:  Shelley in standing frame

  • With an acquired physical disability.  I have an acquired disability (multiple sclerosis.)
  • Regularly participate in athletic activities.  I do this 3-4 times a week.
  • Are able to travel by air to Durango. (See the video-traveling by air)
  • Are new to disabled skiing or snowboarding.  The last time I went skiing was when I was 5 months pregnant with my daughter; she's now 38 years old.
  • Can help "spread the word' about the program within their communities and support organizations."...
By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Friday, October 19, 2012

 Pencil with eraserIf your fingers are stiff or clumsy and you have trouble turning the pages in a book, try using...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jordan arranging roses

 

"Gwamma, can we do a pwahject?" my granddaughter asked me, referring to her upcoming visit to stay with us.

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Shelley riding a horseIt is easy to stay home when you have a chronic illness. I was a master at making excuses for not going out -­‐ it’s too hot, too cold, too far away, too much walking, too noisy, etc. My favorite was “no one will miss me.”

 

People who don’t have a chronic illness don’t realize what an effort it takes for someone with a chronic illness to go out. I'm lucky that my husband and care partner knows that if I stay in the house too long, I get sad and depressed so he pushes me a little.

 

But my husband isn’t always around to take me out. When I gave up driving,...
By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Thursday, September 20, 2012
  I love going to the Apple Store at the mall and learning new things, but the noise in the store is way too loud for good concentration.  Last week, I went to the Apple Store and my "genius" for that day brought out a headset for me to use to edit the video sound track I was working on.  OMG!!!  What a difference in my ability to concentrate while I was 
By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I try hard to learn new things, especially computer technology, because it gives me an easy outlet to the world, a world beyond my disability. However, I have cognitive (thinking) problems as a result of MS so learning new material is not easy. Yet, I'm willing to do what it takes to master new computer skills because of the freedom I feel.  I especially enjoy connecting with people and learning how they are surviving and thriving with their chronic illness.

The only problem is that I've always been hard on myself - even ...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Tuesday, August 14, 2012

At a family reunion in Chicago a couple of years ago, everyone walked to Navy Pier for a ride on the 150 foot-high Ferris Wheel with its spectacular view of Chicago. As husband, David, counted the number of tickets we would need, my nephews and son asked me if I wanted to go along for the ride.      

  

              


I admitted that I would love to go. (I wouldn’t have even brought up the subject because of the accessibility issues and had already planned to stand guard over the strollers and diaper bags while the parents and kids went on the ride.)  But the “boys” wanted me to go and were insistent that we could do it! They were so eager to help; how could I refuse?

So, in front of everyone...

 

 

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Friday, August 10, 2012

If a new magazine or newsletter sounds interesting, call or write the company and request a sample issue. Many publishers are happy to provide you with a complimentary copy.

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, July 30, 2012

  I love going to the Apple store for the One to One classes whenever I can.  I either go with a friend who has her own class or project to work on or Dave drops me off and then goes on a bike ride. (One of the secrets to my happy marriage is giving each other space to pursue outside interests. I can't go biking and Dave has no interest in spending more time on a computer.  (Work is enough.)


My current interest is learning how to edit movies. Yes, I often need more than one session to learn...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, is a book I never thought that I would read, let alone not be able to put down.  It's hard to say you loved a book when the premise is 24 children fighting in mortal combat until there's only one survivor. 

 

The Hunger Games is the first book in the series, followed by Catching Fire and the Mockingjay.  Written initially for young readers, the trilogy has become a runaway bestseller with the movie of The Hunger Games currently in theaters.

.

                                                     

As soon as I finished The Hunger Games, I

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, July 23, 2012

In this life, we don’t always understand why things happen the way they do.  It’s human nature to ask, “Why did I get multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, cancer?  What did I do to deserve this?”  Chronic illness isn’t a punishment for something we did wrong nor is there anyone to blame.

 

Even if we believe the illness isn’t our fault, it’s easy to be depressed, to go inward, to stop going out, and to cut off connections with people who have been in our life.  However, the person we hurt the most when we do that is ourselves.

 

When I found my world shrinking, I ...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Friday, July 13, 2012

Don't miss out on playing fetch with Rover if you have limited strength or range of motion. Chuckit!® and Chuckit! Jr.® allow you to throw a standard-size tennis ball without having to bend down and pick up the ball. Made of lightweight and durable plastic, the Chuckit!® has a "claw" at one end that allows you to pickup the ball without bending or straining your back to reach it. 

     The Chuckit!® fetch toy

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Thursday, July 05, 2012

I don’t know about you but I often question whether or not I am “losing it.” A name I can’t remember, an appointment that I missed, or the items on the grocery list that I forgot at home, all have me questioning my memory or lack thereof.  Are my problems normal?  The totally unscientific test below was fun to take and although it has no basis in fact, my successful completion of it gives me hope that right now I’m OK. Good luck!

 

Just scan with your eyes. 


1-  Can you find the letter C among this group of the Os?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO 

 

2-  Can you find the...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Thursday, June 14, 2012

   

Last October, Debbie, (my office assistant), and I spent one night at the Cabin in the Woods at Mirror Lake State Park and ever since I've dreamed of taking my family there to camp.  It was a pipe dream or something for my Bucket List; realistically, it probably wouldn't happen. 

 

And then, through a series of coincidences an opportunity to make my dream come true materialized.

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Wednesday, June 06, 2012

When I’m engaged in activities I enjoy, I totally forget my problems and limitations.  My newest fun activity is blogging, posting, and adding and editing photos and digital movies. Learning new technology is a creative outlet for me.


 

But it’s not been easy and I’ve been back to the Apple store every week, most times sheepishly asking the (young) Apple Genius’s to repeat what they taught me the week before...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Tuesday, June 05, 2012

I wanted to join my friends on a horse drawn carriage ride through the streets of historic Charleston, South Carolina.

 

    

 

However, getting into a carriage is difficult because I can't walk or transfer independently. So, the only way for me to go on the ride, was to have someone lift me.  Watch how the staff of Palmetto Carriage Tours helped me onto the carriage...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, May 14, 2012

When was the last time you got "carded?"

Last week, Dave and I went to see a movie.  He dropped me off at the door so I could purchase the tickets. When I asked the ticket taker how much that would be, he said $9 per ticket. Then, I asked if there was a discount for seniors. He replied that there was for people over 65. I told him my husband and I were over 65...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, April 30, 2012

I've been hooked on Sudoku ever since I had a few minutes of quiet time at my daughter Jamie's house and I found a little booklet of the puzzles. Jamie encouraged me to try them and I was hooked IMMEDIATELY...

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Monday, April 02, 2012

When was the last time you got "carded?"

 

Last week Dave and I went to see a movie at the theater. He dropped me off at the door so I could get in line to purchase the tickets. When I asked the ticket taker how much that would be, he said $9 per ticket. Then, I asked if there was a discount for seniors. He replied that there was for "people over 65." I told him my husband and I were over 65 and  he couldn't believe it.  So, I offered to show him my picture ID.  To the teenage ticket taker, l didn't look my age. I was thrilled!

 

Then, last night we went to see another film, "The Artist." This time when I asked for two tickets, the ticket taker looked at me and said, "Two seniors?" What a bummer! The high I experienced last week from last week's ticket seller sent me crashing back to reality.

By Shelley Peterman Schwarz on Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I loved going camping when I was young and sleep-over camp was the highlight of my summer.

 

However, since becoming disabled, I thought that camping with a disability was impossible? How could I, in my three-wheeled Amigo® scooter wheelchair, with no use of my legs and limited use of my hands, EVER enjoy the rugged beauty of being surrounded by “raw" nature, smelling leaves and fresh air, enjoying the special taste of food cooked over a campfire (even a simple roasted marshmallow)?

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