Monday, November 12, 2007

UPDATE 2 RUSSIA TRIP 3- long one*

Today is SUNDAY!!! We finally made it a week! And thursday, we're blowin this Russian JOINT. So I had an injection tuesday and saturday and they both went well. Just been doin therapy and gettin massages (ps my massagist is def. into chicks and loves massaging my boooty but I sure don't mind haha). They have me doin more difficult therapy this time; more focused on strengthening my tricepts and back muscles. The doctor in charge of rehab came to our room wednesday wanting to examine me to check all my muscles out, how well i breathe, checked my wrists, my tricepts....

Anyways, he said I have more strength in my wrists, biceps, triceps, and back. He made me get on my stomach, back, and sides and told me to try and lift my head to see what muscles were working and how active they were. He said my top back muscles seem to be working now and that my very top ab muscles flinch when i try to lift my head and that these muscles were inactive last visit. He also said I seem to breathe somewhat better and that my hands/fingers have muscle development now- more in my left. My therapist told me that I sit up straighter in my chair this visit too. So YAY!

I sure did eat chef boyardeee wednesday! We've been killlling the market- bought ham, mayo, lettuce, american bread, cokes. And it is sooo cold outside (def. not 4 us Texans)!! Thursday we went into the old freakin hospital to do an EEG (brain) test. Haha Billy was trippin over how old it is. I did an interview thursday also- HOLLLLYWOOOOD!! We ate some McDonalds & ordered pizza too- not like home but it worked. MAN we are ready to come home! Haven't been doin much else except hiding from some of the odd patients here. MY friend from Baylor Rehab is here, Eric and we met some cool people from michigan... anyways- I'm out. love, T

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


We arrived safely to RUSSSSIA on sunday. I hate that we are 9 hours ahead... We flew from DFW to Atlanta to Moscow, on Delta, with no flight delays or problems, no aisle chair transfer issues.. mainly b/c Billy and his strong arms came XO.

BUT one of our luggages was damaged and also our clinic driver wasn't there to pick us up. This was a first. He is usually there all eager to get us. SO my mom, Billy, and me were STUCK in the airpt not knowing the language... and all these Russians kept coming up to us asking us things. Omg it was a big wow moment definitely. Atleast we know the russian word for "NO" which is "Nyet".

Monday was a Russian holiday so we just chilled all day. Tuesday, I got my first injection (a double dose) and I had killer therapy. We've already had some odd food served... we keep getting bread with cheese slices or salami slices on it for breakfast. Haha Billys trippin out over that! And yesterday, they served salami olive soup with lunch. I refused to eat that!! Don't you guys wish you were here?! haha

Friday, November 2, 2007

5 Yr Anniversary!

Billy and I celebrated our 5th anniversary together on October 25! Happy Anniversary Billy!


So our next trip is here already! We are actually leaving tomorrow morning. Our flight leaves at 11 AM. This trip, my mom and Billy are coming. Billy hasn't been yet. We are first flying to Atlanta, GA and then connecting to Moscow, Russia. We will be gone from Nov. 3 - 16. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. :) I will keep updating here while we are there.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

They celebrated their 22 anniversary September 21! And Happy b-day Uncle Marty!

Happy B-day Billy!

Billy's b-day was September 14! He turned 23! Happy b-day babe, love u! My Aunt Becky and her friends came down too... haven't seen tthem in over a year.

Sooo My B-day was August 21!

Yay! I'm 20! Our good friends Linda & Bill Nelson also had a birthday with me! I had 3 birthday dinners... it was sooo fun! We went to San Miguels in Mck, Tx; Joe's Crab Shack in Plano, Tx; and Cheddars in Plano, Tx (which was the best!!). I had a great birthday & it feels good to make it to 20. Thank God every day for your life and being alive because it can be taken away in an instant.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Short update since been home

Hey. Well I guess you figured out I'm home already. We've been home since 2 fridays ago. I've been so busy & exhausted lately... just with the time change and then therapy. Thanks for all the support and prayers; very appreciated.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Update #3

So what is today? Oh WEDNESDAY... Yayyy friday's almost here!

Well monday was a weird day. After we woke up and ate, the head hancho of the clinic and probably 7 more doctors came in with our GROOVY translator, basically discussing my case and their thoughts. They kept saying "Da" which means yes so I started saying it. Haha it was so funny. Something we noticed that they do here is wink... some do it with one eye and some do it with both eyes at once. It is like saying "Hello" or smiling, which we now know. At first, it was kinda odd; we were like wondering why everyone was winking at us. When all the doctors came in, they were all winking at me. So I started winking back and they all started laughing and speaking Russian. And nooo the translator did not translate that part!
And we SURE did go buy bacon at the market and fry it up for lunch. We brought a hot plate (a portble burner). So we opened the door, fried bacon and put on some prodigy music. I got my 2nd injection monday... the double dose. The 1st injection wasn't a double dose. And we got a picture this time. Just FYI: after an injection, I have to lay still for 6 hours. And the injection also drains ALL the fluid from my body, "let me tell ya"... as mom says. So by the time 6 hours was up, it was 9pm so I just stayed in bed the rest of the night. I did get a slight headache but it wasn't too bad.
Tuesday, I drank so much water it was ridiculous. Oh annnd we ordered pizza from Sbarro... was sooo good! Then I had therapy with Natacha. Most of the girls here share my sister's name, Natacha. I LOOVE my physical therapist. She is so fun and makes therapy fun. She even plays cool music that I listen too during therapy. Tuesday, all we seemed to do was dance :)

Then me and Tacha went to the market. I bought a headband and a shirt :) And yeah that was our excitement of the day. Today, I got a massage & I loove my massagist too. She's sweet and calls me "My Tonya." Mom went to the market and bought us more bacon, ham, 'American bread', and eggs. We had ham and cheese sandwiches and they were the BOMB! And tonight, we're definitely making BLTs... yum! I had therapy for about an hour and then went for a brain test, "EEG. " Now we're just hangin out watching Friday Night Lights that our friend here, Mike from Oklahoma loaned us.

Please continue to pray for us. XO!

Dad & Mom's Birthday!!

My parent's birthdays are this month. My dad, Gerry's birthday was July 16 and my mom, Nelda's birthday is July 21. We missed my dad's b/c we're here in Russia :( & mom's is the day we return. Sooo HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM & DAD! I LOVE YOU BOTH!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Arrests May Bring Closure To McKinney Murders

July 13, 2007 McKinney police arrested 3 men for the quadruple murders of our beloved friends and/or family. Two of the men are from north Texas. Hopefully they arrested the right guys this time. Praise God for this and may God be with their families. This first url has a short article about it and 4 short news videos. I'm so sorry Austin, Matt, Rosa, and Mark. We miss you and hope&pray for justice. Isn't that odd that this happened on friday the 13th?

Peace & God Bless, T

New information as of Monday July 16, 2007:

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Update #2

We started saying random things outloud now since nobody understands us. Is pretty entertaining actually.

I got my first injection of this trip tuesday and it went smoothly. I had a headache afterwards like last time and felt dizzy but thats expected. I will most likely get me 2nd injection early next week. I had a test done thursday where an awesome neurologist sends shock signals throughout my body thru the nerves. And he speaks good English. He told me he was researching stem cell on google and my name popped up, my stem cell page. Isnt that weird? He was telling me how impressed he was :) My doctor told me that the results show my fingers will come back so yaay!

We went to this bar/ pool tables place... (that was cool)on thursday with this Spanish/Russian patient named Ladimir. Hes probably 50ish and his wife came and this other patient and his friend... mid-twenies(they only speak Russian & live in Moscow) They both are inlooooove with Tacha. So we get there and there are some steps but we still managed to get in. They ordered french fries for the first appetizer which was shocking but tasty! They served it with mayonaisse... it was gross. The second appetizer was sliced salami, raw bacon, and ham served with bread. I've never ate my bacon raw and I refuse to start now. The dinner was like chicken and vegetables mixed together with some kind of herbs all over coals. We were there for 3 hrs and came back to all the gates being locked and had to walk forever to the only gate still being guarded. It was just a really odd night.

Today, we went to the Red Square, Souvenir strip, and the HardRock Cafe. At the souvenir strip, I swear here were 20 brides & grooms & there parties there. We found out that alot of people in Russia go there after or for their wedding on Saturdays. The Red Square was beautiful... lots of architecture. We ate nachos n quesadillas at the Hard Rock Cafe. But the tour cost $200. We had fun today.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Update #1

The flights went sooo well. I was comfortable the entire time unlike the last trip. Once we got to Russia though they started pissin me off. This guy was tryin to follow us & help us only so he could get his expected $40 tip. And he kept pushing me and wouldn't stop. I was tryin to tell him I can push but he wouldn't stop. I ended up losing mom n tach b/c he was in such a hurry! I had to be real straight fwd and tell him No but I had to keeep saying it. He got the hint but got pissed off and shook his head. They expect large tips from Americans.

When we got out into the Russian world, Tacha was trippin out on the cars.. how they drive crazy. But when we got to the clinic, it was about 1:30 pm but we went straight to bed b/c we were up for like 24 hours.

This morning I got a full body massage in bed and I got a new Physical Therapist but I start tomorrow w/ her. And the best news is that I'm getting an injection after lunch Alex (my translator) said!!! Sooo yay! Wish me luck n please pray for the best... it's a double dose injection.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


We originally had plans to leave today on a flight out of DFW at 8:30 a.m. So we all got up at 5-ish and arrived early. We did have a 30 minute delay boarding though. And then we did the same process- I boarded first and then was transferred into a seat. I sat in the middle between Tacha and Mom, who are accompaning me this trip.

BUT after sitting without takeoff for 2 hours, they tell us the flight is cancelled. And we couldn't get another flight to take us to ATL in time so we couldn't make the connection to our other flight taking us to to Russia. So, we came home & have to try this again tomorrow. We got our flight scheduled for the same time tomorrow.

Monday, July 2, 2007


Our family friends, the Nelsons joined our church & got baptised June 24! Congrats you guys... big step in your faith & your lives.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I made the Dallas Morning Newspaper today!!

The article is about how some spinal cord injured people are going abroad for help with recovery. It made the front page too! Please guys, check this out either online or buy one. It would mean alot to me.

Dallas Morning News Article Online

Love you guys, T

PS Don't be afraid to write me!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wildflower festival

The Wildflower festival is Richardson's art & music festival. They are going to have bands, food, drinks, radio stations, shopping, and much more. I'm planning to go atleast 2 days! It is this weekend (May 18-20).

Monday, May 14, 2007

Billy's Family

Billy's Memaw, Aunt Bobby, and Uncle Kenny flew in on Tuesday from California for Mother's Day. We've been spending alot of time w/ them!!

Mother's Day 07'

So we went to church & the sermon was all about moms of course and how important they are. And I persuaded my mom to go to 'The Taste of Addison,' and it was soooo much fun. They had all kinds of rides, paintball, shops, food stands... restaurants from all over the area, bands playing loud music, and even a few look-alike characters. Haha we saw a Johnny Depp impersonator in the Pirates of the Carribean outfit, a Harry Potter impersonator, and a Where's Waldo impersonator. When I get my pics developed, I'll post a picture of them all. I got a Tshirt and 2 cool headbands.

I even ran into my friend Taryn, which was cool... so we hung out.
Also our friends, Bill & Linda & their son Wade (who I grew up with) and his friend were there hanging out with us. It was so fun, really.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Dallas Morning News

OMG! The Dallas Morning News interviewed me today. I'm so excited!! Her name was... well I guess IS Kim Breen. She seemed really interested in everything. I'll let you know when it's published. :)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Are the MAVS gonna make it??

I am a BIG Mavs fan but... they need to WIN!! They've won only 1/4 to the Golden State Warriors. I just can't believe it. It's sooo hard to watch them lose. :(

PS My dad's mom is coming in town this months for a week. Maybe I can get some homemade southern cooked food!

APRIL 25, 2007!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 was mine & Billy's 4 1/2 anniversary!! yay!! We went to Pappadeux in Richardson, TX and it was soooo good! On billy's prom in 2003 and my prom in 2005, we went to Pappadeux to eat. It's like our favorite seafood place. Oh AND I got flowers!! :) Can't wait til October 25, 2007!
I love him!! :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I was in the McKinney paper... TWICE!!

We made it HOME!!!

This is RUSSIA!!

Our ride home was alittle better this time. They had a TGIFridays inside the Russian airport!! Our flight from Russia to NY was hell b/c apparently my butt is too fat for the seat and I had a couple inches of my right cheek hanging off the seat and it was very uncomfortable & gave me dysreflexia the entire flight.

When we got on the flight home, guess who we sat RIGHT next to? Michael FREAKIN Irvin!! And he sure was trying to sport his black velour and gucci luggage. He wore all black, shades, and a hat. He was trying to hide behind a newspaper too. He goes off. When he got up to go to the bathroom, I KNEW it was him. He is sooo TALL.

We got in late, at 10pm. I was sooo happy to see Billy and my sister that I started crying. You just don't really appreciate anything until you lose it. I feel like God keeps stressing this lesson on me.

Guys, you should be so thankful for what you have- your home, the food you like, your life. Being in Russia made me appreciate even the little things, like being in my own bed and just the smell of Texas air. I feel that this happening to me- you know, me becoming paralyzed- would atleast make you appreciate your legs, your fingers, sensations in your entire body... You guys are so lucky; and you don't even realize it. That tears me up inside. I would give anything to move just one finger or one toe. And most of you take everything in life for granted. I just hope this has caught someone's attention :).
love you all, T

Update #5 (Injection Success)

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Wow I got an injection yesterday... 10,000 stem cells!! But its a slow process... normally 2 years, sometimes more; and I have to return every 3 months, continuing hardcore therapy & injections. We have planned 2 double injections for my next trip. A double injection is one injection w/ 2x the amount of stem cells. So my next trip will be a total of 40,000 stem cells!!
I had to lay down, off my back for 6 hours!! It was ridiculous. I tried to lay on my stomach but my neck & back muscles arn't strong enough so that didn't work and it made me ache everywhere that I can feel. I was in bed all day thursday and half the day friday. The injection side effects were a headache and an overall weak feeling... and I sure did get the effects.

It takes 10 days for the stem cells to reach the injured site. BUT... I told you about that cyst on my spinal cord right inbetween my injured area C4-C6. And if there is anything on your spinal cord, it can prevent the full potential effect of the stem cell treatment. So unfortunately, I'm gonna have to have surgery sometime in the near future :( which is expensive. I'm hoping we can do it in the states & that my insurance will pay for it.

Last Tuesday, we went out to the cool part of Moscow... and shopped. Thank God!! We went to this souvenir strip and used every bit of our money. Their currency is called "rubles" and there are 25 rubles to $1. We went sight seeing also and it was so awesome to get out of the clinic area. Wow dad found his Mt. Dew and got so excited. And OMG I finally saw a black person... and it made me feel like I was closer to home but he didn't speak Eng. And I need to get home ASAP. There's ONE english TV station and they show the same thing everyyyy day. I'm like, I know there's different stories... or is the same thing happening every day?? Gawwwdd I feel like I live here and I've aged 40 years.
We leave SUNDAY. I CANT wait to eat some chicken fried steak & Mexican food!! Dad said, "All they serve is meatloaf; with everything!"

Info About Russians Part 2

Wednesday, March 28, 2007






Update #4

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

So since my last update, I've pretty much just been doing therapy and getting my arm/ hand massage. When I heard about massage for the first time, I was like all excited. But my massage therapist actually hurts me. He claims that he barely touches me (he speaks alittle English) but... you know how guys are...! He said it hurts so much b/c I don't use my arms as much and that I need therapy w/ them. So when I get home, I'm going to do hardcore therapy... probably at HealthSouth and I need a massage therapist.

SOOOO on Friday, we went across town to get an MRI done to my neck. It took forever to get there and back, like 2 hrs in traffic. Moscow has twice as many people as DFW, 6 million total, so there's alot of traffic. When we got to this hospital, I had to take my bra off.. and that was a big ordeal (b/c of the metal wiring) and I had to be carried from another room into the MRI room. Apparently, my chair had too much metal. But anyways, my MRI turned out normal. It showed my spinal fluid everywhere in my spine except from C4-C6; which is why I'm paralyzed. However, it did show that I have a cyst inbetween my injured site which can complicate my injury and withhold my potential stem cell treatment recovery :(

On Saturday, we went down the road to a supermarket with a Michigan couple staying at the clinic also. I don't think we have anything in common at all. Every time we mention something we like or enjoy doing; they are against it. Like I ate some Mac & cheese and the man made a big deal about how bad & fattening it is. I was like... I guess I'm fat; and I was over it instantly, but I don't think he was. Haha, me n mom were laughing. But anyways, they had little shops- like Trades Day- set up outside infront of the store but what they were selling did not look appealing. I couldn't even figure out what some of it was. ewww. So we went inside, and guess what we saw? A LONG row, right when u walk in of Vodka and beer. And their food is so different. I saw a bag of cheetos, but the cheetos had no cheese. And there is no such thing as our white bread... like Mrs. Baird's. All they have are little itty bity breads; almost like french bread but 1/2 the size.

Sunday, a missionary family (origiinally from Alabama) came to visit us. And wow, they brought us some lettuce, broccilli, and RANCH! I was homesick from my fattening ranch. Then, the family prayed over us, which really lifted my spirits.

Sunday night, a hemotologist came and put a "catheter" in the artery of my thigh! I couldn't even look. It is similar to an IV u get at the hospital except there is an input & an output (a Y connection) . This is necessary for the blood transfusion that was performed today. They hooked me up to this huge machine... through the catheter in my thigh. And they drew my blood, filtered out my stem cells and put my blood back into my body. Wow, you shoulda seen all my stem cells!! Thursday is INJECTION DAY!!!
The 'pinkish' part is my Tonyalicious stem cells.

Update #3

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hey Hey~

I guess I'll start w/ yesterday. So I finally started therapy and my therapist doesn't speak "a lick of English" my dad keeps saying. He smells like B.O. too unfortunately. He began working with my hands and arms; stretching them and such. Then, I did stretches and bicep/tricep workouts.

After that, I had this test done called TMS to see if my nerves were still active. When a person becomes paralyzed, the nerve signals to the brain are lost. So, the person can still have active nerves but the signal has just been disconnected at the site of injury OR your nerves can become nonactive and this is what this test is determining. The neurophysiologist places these patches first on my legs/hands; then on my head. These patches are hooked to his computer and a shocking machine. Everytime he would send shocks to my body, the computer would record results. When my legs were shocked, I couldn't feel it of course but they would jump all over the place. When the left sides of my hands were shocked (w/ palm facing up), my thumbs would move. When the right sides of my hands were shocked, all of my other fingers would move. So, my entire nervous system is still active. yay! That means there is still hope. However, when he shocked my head... which felt like I was being struck by lightening (oh yes I got a picture)...
there was only one response- my left hand's thumb. By shocking my head, we found out that my thumb is still connected in some way in my nervous system which was literally a complete shock. We weren't expecting any movement.

And today, we FINALLLLY got the confirmation that tomorrow, they will begin the step by step treatment process. However, it won't be til next week that I get the stem cell injection. We spoke to the doctor in charge of it.

Wow and I say gonna alot but no one here can understand it or pronounce it.

I had an MRI taken today of my brain and guess what? I'm normal. My mom said she didn't believe the results... We had to take my nose piercing out and it hurt sooo bad b/c it was dry.

We went to the market again and I bought a headband but my dad bought 2 lbs of ham. haha We couldn't figure out how to tell them 1/2 lb. And guess what we had for lunch? Cabbage and meatball soup. And what about dinner? Mystery meat w/ rice. Doesn't that sound scrumptous? So we all just ate ham.

Info About Russians

Monday, March 19, 2007

Man these Russians sure are different... culturally. WOW.

So I told you about the hygiene thing- they dont wear deoderent or brush their teeth... Now I've found out more.

They all smoke and wear sandals w/ socks. There is a stairwell in the Clinic that ALL the staff & even almost all the patients go to smoke at. It is INSIDE!!! They also enjoy odd food, repeatedly. For example, every morning we get a piece of bread w/ bologna on it w/ milk. Their milk tastes like it is straight from a cow's udder; it's reaaal thick and creamy and eww.
Their greens consist of cucumbers and cabbage; so does their salad. There's no lettuce, no corn, no carrots... no anything but potatos, cabbage, and cucumbers. And they keep serving meatloaf meat... Ive had it about 5 nights in a row. They call it my diet... its just unbearable.
No one is happy either except the food lady.
They drink instant tea and coffee all day. Oh and they drink tea hot.

Russians don't bathe w/ rags. They bathe w/ gauze... like medical gauze. Is that how u spell it? So this is what we've been bathing with!!

And alot of women dye their hair red, orange, or burgandy. The men look like they need to shower... OMG! ANDD the men love to show their chest hair. I guess it makes them feel sexy but its wierd b/c its my doctors that do it and they're... not young.

Update #2

FYI: These are my updates I wrote from Russia... I'm leaving them "as is".

Sunday, March 18, 2007

This is my translator, Alex & my Dad in the back, the woman was the one that performed electrical stimulation (E-Stem) on me, and my Physical Therapist (PT).

HEEEEYYY guys. I so desperately need to hear someone that speaks Texan.

Well Sunday was not fun at all. I woke up with autonaumic dysreflexia... real bad. Just FYI: Autonaumic Dysreflexia (AD) is the summary of the symptoms I get w/ pain or discomfort. For example: If you drop something heavy on your foot, you feel it and it's painful. With me, since I can't feel it, I get these other feelings/symptoms- sweating, hot flashes, goosebumps, pounding headache, just overall bad feeling. I had AD bc my catheter is having problems. I had to be in bed ALL day but my doctor gave me a pain pill that knocked me and my pain out completely the entire day. I've never had a pill like that. WOW. *Im gonna try to get the Russians to say "wow." lol However, today was a good day. I got up and got a massage on my hands/ arms. Then, a TV Crew from LA, California that is filming a documentary on stem cells filmed/interviewed me and my dad. But yay, Im gonna be in a documentary. The guys filming work with universal studios and said to expect the film at the end of the year. YAY!!

Then, I unfortunately had to go to the urologist for an examination. You know, I'm only 19 and I've had so many doctors and nurses and PCA's that had to "examine" me for whatever reason. It feels very uncomfortable and I'm still not used to it. There was like 5 people in there!! Like its really hard for me to deal w/ all these doctors, nurses, therapists... seeing me w/out clothes on. I feel like I'm on display and that I've been completely robbed of my privacy and modesty. I almost feel vandalized... esp. with the male doctors. But, I guess that comes with this horrible injury. So, the transfusion process will actually be tomorrow or wednesday. Please pray for the best, love you guys.
This is my dad and me in our room.This is my mom, me, and one of the Russian nurses.

PS Thx to my neighbors for the food; it's definitely coming in handy.

Update #1

Saturday, MARCH 17, 2007

Wow. thats all I can say about this place. It is amazing how far advanced Russia is in technology but how far behind they are culturally. I noticed that not many Russians wear deoderent so I asked this guy patient here from California, that speaks English and Russian if they don't wear deodorant here, and he said NO, they don't AND they don't brush their teeth. I don't really understand why, but anyways . . .

There is always someone knocking and coming in the room non-stop. And a lot of the Russians look pissed off. It's like common courtesy to smile when you make eye contact with someone in America but when I do over here, noboby wants to smile back at me. When I went to go get an xray, this Russian lady was real friendly and real happy for some reason but I didn't know why b/c she spoke NO English at all; and I started laughing and she pulled me into her as she was laughing too. It was a big wow moment.
This test is called EEG, looking at my brain.

This guy that keeps lifting me, does not smell good, or smile. But we gave him a praline from El Fenix to see if he would smile and he did lol. I just talked to my neurologist and they said I will start the stem cell process soon! They are going to hook up this filtering machine to me that will draw my blood and filter out the stem cells. Then over a few days, they are going to harvest my stem cells (enough for 20 injections) to be about 5million. Each time I come, I will get 2 injections. I have to also do hardcore therapy and continue it at home... its gonna be a lot of work!

I just cant get over how the guys that lift me when i have to go to xrays and stuff DEFINITELY dont wear deoderent and I get a big whiff of it everytime!! Today was the first time we got to go outside the Russian Clinic. I've been doing tests everyday. On thursday, they stuck this huge needle in my spinal cord and got a sample of my spinal fluid. Then they made me go straight to bed for 6 hrs (i had to be off my back). That put me out. Oh yeah they do have a mcdonalds. We ate food from there today. mmmmmm fish filet and fries. It was the bomb... really.
We went to a Russian market a couple blocks away today. They have some wierd & very unique stuff. They have rows of raw fish and meats and veggies and fruits. But the meat is like hanging from a string. It's disgusting. The outside market sells scarves, jewelry, clothes, purses, cigarettes, & drinks... normal stuff. Some things are cheaper for example, a carton of cigarettes out here is $10 vs. $40 in the US. And they have no tax out here.

LOve yOu aLL, T

The trip TO Russia

Well, if you haven't heard already, the worst part of our trip was the plane rides. Our original plans were to fly from DFW to NY to Russia. Well when we got to NY, they couldnt find my chair; so we waited on the plane an extra hr PLUS we had to wait for everyone to get off before I could get off.

And just FYI: to get in my airplane seat, I have to get onto this little bity chair thing thats like half the size of my butt, if that.. to be wheeled through the airplane isle b/c my chair is too big. Then they have to transfer me into the airplane seat. Once we arrive at our destination, I have to be transfered again on that little chair and then again in a manual airport chair and one more time into my chair.

So when we got to NY, the guys lifted me into the isle chair, but they almost dropped me. AND the little dolly chair had no where for me to put my feet (I mean, I can't move them myself) or straps to keep me in the chair (b/c I cant balance on my own too good). So here I am in this chair, w/ my feet dragging under me and me almost falling out. Plus, they sent a boy that was not strong enough to lift me. I was like trippin out b/c when he "lifted" me, he actually just dragged me & my pants started to come down. I was completely mortified and hysterical. And I was having Autonaumic Dysreflexia the entire trip (sweating, high blood pressure...). So then they transferred me into an airport chair and I was crying b/c of what a hassle it was.

We went to our baggage claim area (about a 10 minute walk) and there my chair was... but it wouldnt even turn on!! My dad had to mess w/ it. Everything was Go, Go, Go. We could never just relax. We had to hurry b/c our flight to Russia was about to leave. We had to get on this airtrain thing to go to our Delta gate. We ended up getting on the wrong airtrain and we were already running late bc of the b.s. we had earlier and we missed our flight :( So since American Airlines made us miss our flight, they paid for us to stay at a hotel and gave us dinner vouchers for $10 each but we ran into another problem at the hotel b/c each plate was $30!!! So basically American Airlines completely ruined our trip to Russia in one day.

The next day, we found out that we had to fly to France first and then take a connecting flight to Russia. The Delta staff in NY were so nice and eager to fulfill my needs :)
I don't even know where to begin with the France ride to Russia... wow. They put me in a seat where half of my thigh was hanging out of the seat. So, once everyone was onboard already, they decided to put me in another seat. Well we were crammed tight and couldn't even move. And we left an 90 minutes late b/c they were destroying my chair trying to disconnect the battery when all that was needed was to just have the chair off. My blood pressure was up b/c I was so uncomfortable so I couldn't sleep. And when we got to Russia, they dropped me on the floor!! I started crying again; they dropped me on my legs, I'm surprised they're ok. But hey, we got there safely and we sure did sleep good that night but what a hassle huh?