Dixie Peach: The Interview

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Interview

Sheila offered and I took her up on it. She offered to ask me five questions and I'd answer them here for y'all to see. Her boyfriend is also a quadriplegic so it stands to reason that some of the questions pertain to that topic.

Read and learn, folks. There may be a pop quiz later.

1. How would your life be different if B would of never of been injured? (How was B injured, anyhow?)

Wow. I reckon everything would be different, wouldn't it? I met him many years after his accident (while he was in the army he fell into a swimming pool in one meter of water and landed on his head) so it's possible that I never would have met him had he been healthy (he and I refer to his non-spinal cord injury status as him being "healthy" although technically he's not unhealthy but instead has a permanent's just easier though to say "healthy"). However if all were the same except for him not being a quadriplegic I imagine we'd have kids, travel more, maybe even live in America. I think the closeness of our relationship would be the same but a spinal cord injury is so invasive in the life of the quadriplegic and those around him that I would say that virtually everything would be different.

2. If money weren't an issue, would you ever consider moving B, your mother-in-law and yourself back to the states? Along the same lines, if you all did move back to the states, where would you choose to live?

How much are we talking about when we're saying that money isn't an issue? Enough to pay for the sort of health insurance we require? That's the main reason we live in Germany. There is no way we could ever move to the US because there is no insurance company that would accept B. It's the reason why I most likely will always live in Germany - I have reliable health insurance here that I won't lose. I would have nothing in the way of health insurance if I moved back to the States.

However if we did move back to the US for whatever reason, I'm sure we'd live near my family in Mississippi. I like having family around.

3. Who taught you how to knit? How long ago? Have you ever wished you had learned a different hobby even though you enjoy knitting?

My mother first taught me how to knit and purl when I was around 10 years old. Just knit and purl. Couldn't cast on, couldn't bind off, couldn't make anything and stopped knitting completely until about 2 1/2 years ago when I bought a copy of Stitch 'n Bitch, bought some needles and some cheap yarn and taught myself the rest with the aid of the book. Knitting is certainly more fun when you can actually produce something.

I have learned other crafts - needlepoint, counted cross stitch, crewel - but I didn't take to them like I have knitting. It suits my need to be able to do it spur-of-the-moment because I never know when B will need to interrupt me and I like being able to make something other than wall hangings and pillow covers.

4. What is the one thing as a child / teenager you said you'd never do / say when you got older? Have you done / said it and thought, "Hm, I said I'd never do that."

When I was young I thought I'd never marry a man who wasn't a Southerner and I wouldn't live outside of the South. I wouldn't even date non-Southerners. The first time around I married a guy born in Mississippi and raised in Florida and Texas. Obviously him being Southern didn't help. Now, of course, I met and married not only a non-Southerner but a non-American and I certainly don't live in the South. I don't even live in southern Germany.

5. What is the one thing about B's injury that you knew about, but didn't truly understand until you had to deal with it in person?

I guess the thing I had explained to me but didn't really get until I had to help with it was the bathroom thing. I don't discuss this much at all because I don't like to compromise B's dignity but I wasn't sure how it would work until I saw in person how it would work. It doesn't involve diapers and it doesn't involve him ever spontaneously losing control of his bodily functions and that's all I'm really comfortable with saying about it except to add that it doesn't freak me out at all.

And Sheila has asked me a bonus question.

I was curious about how you go about getting B into his chair. I use a Hoyer lift for Tom, and it works wondrously well. (I can lift him by myself, with no Hoyer, if I absolutely have to, but prefer someone else with more confidence to do it.) Our Hoyer was provided for us through insurance. Along the same lines, is there an elevator in your building? How do you get B outside?

B is a tall man (or do you say "long" in you're unable to stand?) - he's 6'4". He's got these wildly long legs and it means that he doesn't fit in a lot of standard wheelchairs - they're simply too short for him. Here's his wheelchair:

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We used to have a Hoyer lift but it was more trouble than it was worth. First, B didn't like the feeling of being suspended in the lift - it freaked him out too much to have it swinging while getting him into position to lower him into the chair or into the bed. Second, it barely fit between the bed and his wheelchair and we struggled to get things into position. We finally gave up using it at all and after a few years when I accidentally stubbed my toe on it for the zillionth time we called the insurance company to tell them to take it away.

When we want to get B outside I have to rely on help. B's a foot taller than me and I simply cannot lift him high enough on my own to get him out of bed and over the arm and controls of his wheelchair. My MIL and I can lift him - I get him under his arms and she gets him under his knees and we pick him up and pull him over. We, however, try to get help from others. If it's a nice day and we want to go out we call friends who can come over and help me pick him up and get him in the chair. Some of the taller, stronger guys can pick him up on their own. If anyone helps me get B in his wheelchair, their drinks are on me for the day!

Sometimes there's no one available to help me get him out of bed and into his chair. Those are the days when we just stay indoors and appreciate having a nice home.

We do have an elevator in our building. Although our apartment isn't made specifically for a handicapped person we can still live in this building because the doorways are wide enough and B can get in and out of the elevator. My MIL's apartment also has an elevator but you have to take a half flight of stairs either up or down to reach the elevator so B's unable to go to her apartment.

Now it's your turn to play if you wish:

Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” I will respond by asking you five questions in the comments here on this post so check back here. I get to pick the questions. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interview me Dix! Its Tiff, I can't sign in for some reason

11:13 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

Well done! Your answers are superb!

I understand about your hoyer issues. in our previous apartment, it was always in the way and an exact dance to use it. But we managed, thank goodness (I have a bad back).

And the bathroom thing, yeah. Enough said. At least you got an explaination before you got there. It was just dropped on me like a ton of bricks.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Here's your five questions, Tiff -

1. How did you become a hockey fan? Is it a more recent passion or have you always followed the sport?

2. You became a mom at a relatively young age. Do you think it turned out to be an advantage for you or a disadvantage or in the long run did your age not make much of a difference?

3. I know you love all three of your kids but are there times when you feel closer to one or another child, perhaps due to a special circumstance at the time?

4. California's your home but if you were going to move to another state, which would you prefer to move to? And what foreign country would you want to move to if you had to?

5. You've got a talent for quilting. Is there a part of quilt making that you like best or feel is your strongest talent? What part do you like least?

12:13 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Oh Dixie, what a fabulous idea! I learned so much about you -- and about B -- in your interview! if you have any interest as all, I'd be honored to be interviewed by you... and promise to pass it on.


12:52 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Carol, I'd love to interview you!

Here you go -

1. You have the opportunity to spend the day with a relative who has passed on and who you've never met. With whom will you pick to spend that day?

2. When things get tough, what characteristic that you possess can you rely on best to help you through it?

3. You've got 24 hours at home alone with no kids and no husband around. What are you going to do with your day?

4. Is there anyone from your past to whom you wish you could extend an apology? Tell who and why if you wish.

5. Is there a film that's a little cheesy/trashy/raunchy/dumb/sappy or any combination thereof that you secretly like and will watch at any opportunity? And tell us which on it is!

1:16 AM  
Blogger Molly said...

Great! Questions answered that would never have been asked in our polite company:) Thank you very much for being frank and forthcoming.
As Carol so sweetly said, I'd be honored to be interviewed by you if you have any interest. If you're tired of thinking up questions, I understand.

2:40 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Dixie, my chicken papricosh will have to wait... I can't wait to give your great questions deep consideration. Thanks so much, "Ms Couric"! ;-)

Stand by for my answers (on my blog).


4:29 AM  
Blogger Hilda said...

Dixie, as always I'm in awe of your love and dedication - but then again, we know B's worth it.

If you'd like - I'd love to be interviewed by you.


5:59 AM  
Anonymous Kara said...

I'm all for a good interview. It helps that I seem to have a distinct lack of items to discuss lately. :)

Questions, if you please, Maestro. :)

6:37 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Molly, Hilda, Kara - I am honored to interview each of you. I need to go get my hair done and stuff like that this afternoon but this evening I will leave questions here for each of you!

1:24 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

If you have the time, I would love to be added to your list of interviews. NO hurry though. Loved your interview. And I can't wait to go and read all the interviews from your comments. Your questions are great.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Princess Cat's Pajamas said...

Ooh (jumping up and down in the back, hand waving wildly in the air) me me me! I would love to be interviewed!

8:56 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Molly, here are your questions -

1. I know you love horses. Is there one horse you owned or have ridden that stands out above the rest in your memory?

2. How do you like to entertain - throw large parties or have intimate dinner parties with just a few people or something in between?

3. "I really tried to fight it, but what the hell I like it..." is a favorite line of mine from a song. Do you have a bad habit that you probably should fight but you don't because you like it?

4. You're out to dinner and seated at the table next to your is your favorite actor/actress/singer/sports figure/whatever. Would you approach that person and if you would, how would you do it?

5. What's your favorite cocktail?

10:17 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

Cool, Dixie! Thanks. I'm getting my answers together right now.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Hilda, my favorite Cuban-American! And yes, I do happen to know a lot of Cuban-Americans so you really are special to me! Here are your questions -

1. I want to visit you and have you plunge me into the Miami Cuban-American scene. Tell me three things you'd take me to/have me hear/have me eat/whatever that would get me knee-deep in that culture.

2. I met my husband online. You met your husband online. Was there a time when you didn't like to tell people where you met him? Do you feel more comfortable about it now? And since you did it long ago, do you feel like one of the pioneers of the met-him-on-the-internet crowd?

3. I know you attended an all-girls school. What would you say is the greatest thing an all-girls school education gave you?

4. You're bi-lingual and live in a city where English and Spanish are both spoken. Are there times when you don't speak English and what times are those? How do you decide on whether to speak English or Spanish in a given situation or is it more automatic?

5. What's your favorite way of comforting yourself if you're feeling down?

10:43 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Kara, you're next! Here are your interview questions -

1. Hearing on the car radio We'll Sing in the Sunshine by Gale Garnett is one of my earliest memories. What's your earliest musical memory?

2. How are you about doing things alone? Going out to eat, go to the movies, etc. Do you do it? Enjoy it?

3. I've loved the Beatles my whole life. Who was your first musical passion?

4. It's been over a year since you turned thirty. What about being in your thirties has surprised you?

5. I know you love knitting. Do you have a supreme goal sort of project that you declare you'll knit one of these days?

11:02 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Marsha, Mississippi's newest resident, here are your questions -

1. What would be your best advice for a military family moving overseas for the first time to help them adjust?

2. What's the primary thing you'd like for your daughters to know as they grow up?

3. Did you have any daydreams as a child about what job you'd like to have when you grow up?

4. Do you think that having the experience of living overseas and having traveled quite a bit and also having a daughter with Celiac disease has made you better as being flexible and able to improvise?

5. What's your favorite part about living in Mississippi - so far?

11:17 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Kitty, you're up next. Here are your questions -

1. You're talented at learning languages. What do you think it is about you that gives you that talent?

2. This is the second time you've come to Europe to study. Is there a difference between your time in France and your time in Switzerland?

3. What would it take to get your to cut your hair in a pixie style?

4. Would you consider living in Europe permanently? Where would you like to live?

5. What's a coping skill you use when you are feeling overwhelmed?

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Hi Dixie, This was a brilliant idea, whoever thought of it. I'd love to participate but I don't know if you have any more questions in you after all this. Lemme know. <3 L

4:56 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

Thanks Dixie, for including me and your questions are great. I have finally finished my interview.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Lisa! How could I consider leaving you out? Here are your questions.

1. You have to still live in Germany but you get to move to another city. Which one will you pick and why? And if you moved back to the States and go to pick any place to live, where would you and your family settle?

2. I love the chocolate in Germany and I wish I didn't since I could gorge myself on it daily. Have you found anything here that you love but wish you didn't?

3. When I was a child I read the Little House books and could imagine myself living in its world. Is there a childhood book that you were that taken with?

4. Have you ever me a celebrity? Who did you meet? Is there a celebrity of any stripe that you'd like to meet?

5. What have you found to be the most effective way of disciplining your children? You've got kids in a wide age range - has your disciplining style changed over the years?

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Excellent questions, D. Very challenging. I'll get right to work. :D

11:03 AM  
Anonymous titankt said...

Dixie, I have a follow up question to your interview, if you don't mind.

What is your emergency plan for getting B out of the building? You say you can't lift him by yourself, but do you have arrangements with anyone if the building should be on fire or some other reason you have to evacuate? Just so I don't worry...


7:34 PM  
Blogger Twango said...

What a cool idea with the interview. You and B are quite lucky to have each other.

If'n you are still in the mood, I'd love to be interviewed.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Katy - Luckily B and I live in a building where the walls, ceiling and floors are concrete plates and so fire jumping from apartment to apartment isn't as common, although it's still possible since the fire can get between the spaces in the plates.

How I'd handle a fire would depend on where the fire was located. It may be safer to stay put and have the fire fighters rescue him. However if I did have to get B out of harm's way putting him in a wheelchair would be too time consuming. What I'd do is tie B to his mattress with some heavy duty cord I have set aside for this situation. Then I'd pull him and the mattress onto the floor and drag him out on the balcony or out into the hallway.

If getting him to safety isn't possible then we'd simply have to take our chances. I wouldn't leave him though. If he stays, I stay and there is no compromise regarding that.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Twango, I'm always in the mood for an interview. Here are your five questions.

1. What five things, whole dishes or even just preparations, do you think all people who cook should learn to do well?

2. You're going to speak to presidential nominees from each party. What concerns or issues that directly effect you and/or your children would you ask them to address?

3. How have you evolved in the past five to ten years that makes you feel as though you are a better person or causes you to be more comfortable with yourself?

4. Fill in the blanks: In the future I want to _______ more and _____ less. Expand on your choices, please!

5. I know and, much to the chagrin of many, others know as well that I could talk for hours about knitting, even to non-knitters. What topic can you start on and talk about for hours?

10:42 PM  

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