TRIP 2017

Update #18 - August 23rd
Rockford, Illinois
Mission Trip 7,075.28 miles (11,320.45 km)
Year Total : 5,124.05 miles (8,198.48 km)

August 07 : Rockford, IL to Rockford, IL : 00.00 miles (00.00 km)

Trip Total: 7,075.28 miles (11,320.45 km)
Year Total: 5,124.05 miles (8,198.48 km)

After a session of occupational therapy around 10:30 am, I got a visit from a social worker telling me that I was going to be released from the hospital in the afternoon. This threw me for a loop because I didn't know of any place where I could go on such short notice. I thought I was going to go into some place for rehab but because I was between medical insurance coverage this was sort of out of the question. I started scrambling on my cell phone to call some of my new contacts and friends in the religious community here in the religious community to see if anybody had some ideas on where I could go. I even called up some of my contacts around the country to see if they had any ideas.

Seeing that this was an emergency, I reached out to my attorney. After being put on hold for about six minutes, another person in the office told me that they couldn't do anything for me. Because of this and other concerns that I have, I'm strongly thinking about firing this law firm and signing up with another one (hopefully a Christian one in this part of Illinois).

The fear that I had was that I was going to be placed in the homeless shelter system here in Rockford. I was told that the main shelter in town was pretty bad and you were in constant observation (almost like you were in jail). I was told that all of my belongings would be scrutinized and pieces of it could be confiscated without no chance for getting them back after leaving the shelter.

After getting a dozen phone calls in, the physical therapist got me up and walking out in the hallway. I walked maybe 180 feet. During lunch, I got a call from a new friend (Gretchen) who is the associate and congregational care pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church here in Rockford to tell me that she had found me a place to stay through another new friend Wayne who has a ministry helping rehab the homes of migrant immigrants. Maria Silva and her family offered to take me into their home for as long as I needed. Maria has done home health care before.

Also during lunch, another of my new friends, Teresa - parish nurse of Central United Methodist Church came by to visit with me. After finishing up lunch, Teresa helped me put clothes on. It really was great to finally get underwear put on again. I even get some tennis shoes put on. Two carts were found so all of my belongings and gear could be moved out of the room.

Around 3 pm, Gretchen arrived to transport me to Maria's house. I got wheel-chaired down to the main entrance of the hospital. It was a little tricky getting into the front passenger seat in Gretchen's SUV. From the hospital, it was about a 22 minute ride to Maria's house which is East of the downtown area in a new subdivision near the airport. When we got to the house, I had about a 100 feet walk up the driveway and front entrance way sidewalk to the three steps that led up into the beautiful tri-level house. After spending about thirty minutes sitting on the sofa in the living room, I had to maneuver myself a flight of seven steps. In the hospital, I never got any rehab on how to get up steps.

The room that I got is really nice. The walls are purple and there is a large window looking out on the large backyard facing the North. It's so nice looking at grass and trees instead of buildings and asphalt. The bedroom is actually the bedroom of the little two year oldgirl named Genesis. Genesis sleeps in Maria's bedroom. On the top of the four drawer dresser, there are three Cabbage Patch Kids looking down at me along with a large metal Eiffel Tower painted pink. There are more stuffed toys including a large Minnie Mouse on top of a toy chest to the right of me on the other side of a night stand.

From the bedroom, I've got a short walk across the hall to the bathroom. I've been able to get out of bed without assistance and using a walker I've been able to get myself into the bathroom. I made about five trips to the bathroom today. When I get back to my bedroom, Maria helps me move my feet off of the floor. I've got my laptop connected to the wifi and there is a large flat screen tv hanging down from the ceiling in front of me. Maria has been feeding me really nice Mexican food. I've got plenty of fluids to drink.

This is a big family. Along with Maria, her (common-law husband) Paulo (owns a Mexican grocery store in the area), and Genesis, there are 4 boys (Paulo's through a prior marriage). between the ages of 15 and 23. The second oldest boy is slightly mentally impaired. There is also a small Maltese dog (named Romeo). Maria and Paulo should be getting married next year at their Catholic church. I got to meet a lot of their extended family last night and some more this morning.

I'm making leaps and bounds in my recovery. For the past four days, I had a bout of constipation and also I wasn't fully able to empty out my bladder. I'm happy to say that both of these problems have been taken care of. It is really nice being able to stand in front of the toilet and go. I'm really happy not having somebody observe all of my moves (I had to ask for privacy in the room bathroom in the hospital), not to have any more blood thinner shots in my stomach, or have pressure cuffs on my feet to help prevent blood clots. I've got my privacy but there is a baby monitor in the room. I was able to put on clean underwear and put back on my sweatpants.

I've been invited to stay for as long as I need. The only thing that I got to do is to help out some way with the grocery bill. I've got about seven more weeks of healing to let my shoulder blade and pelvis to heal. The road rash that covered most of my forehead is pretty well gone. There are some possibilities for future housing during the Winter.

August 14 : Rockford, IL to Rockford, IL : 00.00 miles (00.00 km)

Trip Total: 7,075.28 miles (11,320.45 km)
Year Total: 5,124.05 miles (8,198.48 km)

I was pretty surprised that I fell asleep around 9 pm because there was loud music playing out in back. I stayed asleep till around midnight. I woke up a couple of times during the night to get to the restroom. I woke up around 5 am. Maria got me some breakfast around 7:30 am.

Around 10 am, Wayne came by to tell me that he was moving me to another location. The extended family suggested that I move on because I am an extra burden on Maria. Starting tomorrow for five days, Maria will be gone most of the day to the county fair working a food truck selling Mexican food from the family grocery store.

Wayne told me that he found me a room at the Alpine Inn. Wayne called up law firm to see if the insurance company would pay for a room. The law firm told Wayne that we should connect with Plaintiff Services in Williamsville, New York through their 1-800 number. Plaintiff Support provides pre-settlement (non-recourse) and post-settlement funding, so that a person has the proper funding to assist them during and after the time the case settles. The money will be payed back after the settlement is complete.

Maria brought me some lunch into the room. After I ate, I started to pack up my things. Maria helped get my clothes in the panniers. Wayne came by around 2 pm to pick me up. Before going downstairs, Wayne took a picture of me and Maria. I was quite surprised that I was able to get down the stairs unassisted. I could have probably gotten down the steps myself. Marie and Wayne got my things out of the house into Wayne's car. On the way to the motel, Wayne went through the drive in at BK to get me a chocolate shake. The motel was just a few miles north on Alpine near the corner of Bus US 20 (State Street) which is the main street through Rockford. I'm about three miles East of the downtown area.

The room is pretty good. It's big enough to have two queen size beds. The motel and room is pretty good. The room is only four doors away from the back door of the breakfast dining area so I don't have to walk clear around the front of the motel and go up some steps.

August 23 : Rockford, IL to Rockford, IL : 00.00 miles (00.00 km)

Trip Total: 7,075.28 miles (11,320.45 km)
Year Total: 5,124.05 miles (8,198.48 km)

I'm kind of bummed out that I was able to make my appointment with my orthopedic specialist yesterday afternoon. None of my new contacts here in Rockford were available to take me to my 2 pm appointment with Dr Zwodlowzki. Yesterday morning, I got on the web to check out the local taxi services. I picked Checker Cab because their website said that they were reliable. Around 10:40 am, I called them up to schedule a 1 pm pickup.

Around 12:50 pm, I got myself up to the front of the motel to wait. The cab didn't show up at 1 pm. I waited till around 1:15 pm before I called back the cab company to find out where the cab was. I was told that they had stopped at the motel and they had waited for me for five minutes but I knew that this wasn't the case. When I told the guy on the phone that they didn't show up , the guy told me that I was a liar and I should take my business some other place. I had to reschedule my appointment till 3 pm next Tuesday. I think that I've found another person here in Rockford who could get me to next Tuesday's appointment.

I'm not sure that I want to do any serious exercise until I get a nod from my orthopedic specialist. I'd like to find some resistance bands. My recovery is getting better. It's getting easier for me every time I get in and out of bed. My stomach muscles are getting stronger again. I'm able to sit up without the use of my hands. It's hard to believe that 24 days ago I wasn't able to really move any part of my body. With regards to my feet I had to have two people move my feet. The nurses in the hospital had to use a sheet to move me in bed.

I'm able to dress and undress myself without the use of any special tools. I do use the rung on the walker to help me tie my tennis shoes. The stitch in my left side is getting less painful. I don't feel any pain from either my left shoulder or right pelvis. I've got five prescribed pain pills left and I'm stretching them out. I'm taking one before I fall asleep instead of taking them during the day. With regards to being in bed, I've been able to turn onto my side. I can't wait till I'm able to sleep on my stomach again. This is my normal sleep position.

I'm walking a lot more each day. Around 6:15 am, I make my way down to the office for breakfast. The only help that I get is for somebody at the desk to open the back door for me. Once I get into the breakfast area, I'm able to get breakfast for myself.

Early last night, I walked up to the street corner about 800 feet away to get to the CVS catercorner from the motel. I needed to get a few food supplies. There weren't any crosswalk warning signs but I was able to get across the roads okay because there were turning lanes. There was also a patch of grass between the sidewalk and the parking lot of the CVS to get across. This also included several curbs that I had to get up and down. I got the bought food back to the motel with a cloth shopping bag. The trip took me about a half hour. This was the farthest that I got away from the motel unassisted. Hopefully by next Tuesday, I'll be off the walker and using the cane with the four feet more.

I was able to get a grant from Plaintiff Support for some financial assistance while I wait for the settlement with the guy's insurance company. The check was made out for $2,000. I'm trying to get a ride to either Freeport or Elgin where there are branches of my bank Triumph Community Bank. Both of these towns are between 50 and 60 miles away from Rockford. This would be a lot better for me to get to one of these bank branches instead of me trying to and opening up an account at another bank here in Rockford. The grant is supposed to be paid back through the settlement.

A couple of you requested that I give them my current temporary address for maybe cards and letters. It's been almost a week and a half and only two cards have shown up. Here is my temporary address here in Rockford.

Alpine Inn
4404 East State Street
Room 204
Rockford, IL 61108.

I'll probably here between 4 and 6 more weeks. An e-card would be nice.

The next update will be posted between August 30th and September 06th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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