Lane went skiing!

First time back on the mountain and it felt great. Nothing like the wind in my face and the amazing views of Tahoe. A big Thank you to Alpine Meadows and my Aunt Sally and The Princess.

 

 

Looking For A Holiday Gift For Lane? Help Sponsor The Next Step In His Recovery

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As the year draws to a close it has been one a many accomplishments for Lane. As always he works on his recovery on a daily basis. In the last year he has taken his first steps unassisted in a stand up walker, been able to feed himself, started hand therapy and is slowly regaining function, and has dramatically improved his overall physical strength and wellness. Many of you have reached out to his friends and family about ways to help during the Holiday Season.

The best way is to support Lane in his recovery sessions. You can do this via the following site where you can sponsor his different workout or recovery sessions. Thank you to all that have contributed through thoughts, prayers, friendship, and financial means. May Lane have a great 2016!

http://www.plumfund.com/medical-fund/loving-lane

 

A Different Perspective On Lane’s Recovery

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My name is Lindsy, and for those who don’t know me, let me give you a quick version of who I am. I am the gal who spends the majority of my time with Lane. Caring for him, helping him, supporting him. I’ve been around him since almost the beginning of his story (minus being halfway around the world). I have a different perspective to Lanes journey that I would like to share with you…

For months now, I have expressed my thoughts on Lane’s blogs and how infrequently he posts.  Life is hectic crazy busy.  So why not have the people who are close to him, the people who live day in and out interactions with him write a post?  I put my foot in my mouth on this one.  He decided I should write the first post from an outside perspective.  If you follow Lane’s posts, you know how well written they are, and to be quite honest, I am a better talker than I am a writer.  So bear with me as I attempt my first ever blog post. 

Last August was when Lane moved in with me, and I knew topically what would take place and how non-stop life would be, but I never in a million years imagined it would be what it is today.  First off, I would like to say I have never lived with someone who I couldn’t wait for them to move out as quickly as they moved in.  This is not the case with Lane.  I could not be more happy and content to have him around.  This house feels much more like a well lived in and loved home knowing there is someone I actually enjoy coming home to.  We definitely have our moments, and I by no means am perfect and am very much human.  This for me, has been the biggest learning lesson in more than one way.  I am learning who I am as a woman, in relationship with a man that is paralyzed, as a friend, and as a caretaker (which by the way, I do not like that “role name”).  I sometimes wonder how Lane puts up with all my craziness, but he does a great job at it.

Enough about me, more about him (this blog is his right?).  I forewarn you this post might be a little longer than normal since it has been awhile since the last update.  I want to focus more on the non-physical aspect of who Lane is these days first.

There is another side in which is helping Lane grow.  It can be labeled as Eastern medicine.  Before Lane’s accident, he was a Western medicine kind of person, needing things to be tangible.  Since his accident, he has really opened himself up to a belief that there is more out there that is not always visible to the eye.  His theory is “If it doesn’t hurt, then why not try it”.  Over the past year and a half, he has tried and currently treats with the following:  Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Acupressure, meeting with an Herbalist, and Reiki.  The changes are not always right away, but overall I can see how each one of these areas has helped him claim bits and pieces of his body back.  More importantly, his mind.

As you might imagine or know, this road Lane is on, is not an easy one.  It can get a person down and can easily make one defeated.  There are definite moments in time where life just plain sucks, but Lane never lets it last long before moving to the next task at hand.   Lane meets with a Life Coach, John, who is helping with the mental aspect of life.  This teaching is helping Lane focus his mind in the present, not the past and not the future.  It is also helping him learn how to “stop and smell the roses”.  John has challenged Lane to focus in on the positives in life.  An easy way to do this is by keeping a gratitude journal.  Part of the way I can remain supportive of this, is to participate in daily gratitude and to also keep a journal with him.  We record three gratitudes or thanksgivings of the day.  As each day goes on, it becomes easier to find the positives throughout the day.   

I know from being in the inner workings with Lane, that life can be hard since he is not able to do the things he used to.  He can’t go to concerts or sporting events and be heard, there is no job to talk about, friends continue to get married and have babies (I for sure know the feeling on that one!).  It comes down to watching sports or going to a movie, both which he enjoys, but truly misses being able to get up and go somewhere.  Lane and I have twice gone to an ADA friendly walking trail in Nevada City, and let me tell you, it was nice to get out and be away from what has become “the norm”.  Truly, no matter what the social event is, you know Lane will always be there and love to attend, but sometimes it is nice to be outside the box of what daily life brings.  If you ever want to change it up, we have a great book “A Wheelchair Rider’s Guide” of all the ADA friendly trails in the SF Bay and nearby coast.

Last weekend we made it out to BORP (Bay Area Outreach and Recreational Program).  This is a non-profit organization that provides and promotes adaptive sports to people with disabilities.  It is located in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park.  When you walk up, you see a garage filled of a couple dozen bikes, followed by a larger garage filled with at least 100 different bikes from recumbents, to hand cycles and even tandems.  Greg, who oversees the program, set Lane up with a rigged bicycle just for him.  After making some minor adjustments, he was off!

 

 

To touch lightly on the physical aspect of Lane’s recovery, he truly is a rockstar.  He has added pool therapy and pilates to his weekly regime.  Between these two, I am able to see a big difference in his core strength.  Pool therapy allows him to be weightless and ables him to have different types of movement that he cannot do in the gym.  His therapist Kristen is very knowledgable and allows me to get in the pool so I can learn what to do if we wanted to take what little spare time there is and jump on in.  He travels weekly to Lafayette and works with Stephanie at Absolute Center.  She is truly amazing at what she does and has endless patience.  She introduced us to a local gentleman in Sacramento, James.  His approach is a little different as he adds myofascial release techniques to his routine with Lane.  All of these people really help him to relearn how to keep his posture, how to perfect movements even though he cannot always feel what he is doing.  Over the past few weeks I have seen tremendous improvements.

Overall, Lane continues to persevere and defy the odds.  Everyday he grows more, whether it be physically, spiritually, or emotionally.  I can see how it is easy for my fingers to keep typing and typing.  But this must come to an end.  I hope you enjoyed my first post and update.  There is much more in my head, but I will save that for another time and place.

 

More Progress And In Need Of Some Familiar Faces

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Ed note: Lane is in his second year of largely having the same routine, with the same people around him, and experiencing some of the same physical limitations as he continues his recovery. With that said, if you’re in Sacramento area or stopping through, it would MUCH appreciated if you could spend some time with Lane as the added personalities, conversations, and routines are a breath of fresh air to Lane’s spirits as he continues to make progress. We’re counting on you to help make the rest of this year and less monotonous so Lane can continue taking steps (literally and figuratively with his remarkable recovery.

“We do not remember days we remember moments.” -Cesare Pavese

Summer is almost here which means hot weather, baseball, and lots of opportunities for moments.

Lots going on in my life on many fronts although it does seem like the same thing over and over again.  As always I am busting my ass in Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT).  I will get to my progress in a moment.

Over the past few months I have been to a few large social functions with my friends and family (Concerts, games, bbqs).  These are a great way for me to see everyone and connect real quickly.  Don’t get me wrong I greatly appreciate everyone showing up and supporting me.  I would like to find a way to get that support to carry over into a more intimate one-on-one or small group setting.  I really miss my personal connections with my friends.

I realize that it is summer and everyone is busy however if/when people have time even if it is for a few hours or even a few minutes stopping in and saying hello, having lunch together, or getting out of the house is great for raising my spirits.  Some of the feedback I have gotten is that people don’t want to stop by because they don’t want to be an inconvenience.  It is not an inconvenience, please come by, go to PT with me, hang out, whatever.  Text is usually the best way to connect just don’t always expect a prompt response.  This whole no hands and arms thing makes it a little difficult for me to fire away on the keyboard.

So back to my progress.  American River College ended in May so I am picking up more sessions at SCI Fit.  In addition I am doing some additional pool work which I love.  I have been utilizing the FES bike and Standing Frame at my house which is really helping to keep me active and improve my overall strength. Below a video of my progress.

On the OT front I am making more of a concerted effort to first off attend but second to work on gross motor functioning.  As menial as it may sound my current goal is to be able to feed myself.  With that goal in mind I have been using a custom wrist mount thing to attach silverware to and attempt to get things into my mouth.  Needless to say it is a work in progress.  I am also working on bed mobility exercises so that I can get to the point where I can roll myself in bed and aid those that are helping me with putting on clothes, getting in and out of the lift, and overall comfort.

From a what have I done lately to support myself front:

I met with the Canine Companion Program and I am in the application process of getting a companion dog and having it trained to meet my needs.  This is a double edged sword since I have no idea what my abilities will be by the time the dog is trained and ideally if I did not have to have a companion dog that would mean I’ve fully recovered.  Also, I attended a spinal cord conference in the Bay Area and met with different doctors, vendors, and others with SCI and fell like I learned a lot.  Coming up this summer I will be attending the US Senior Open in Sacramento at the end of June so if anyone will be there let me know (you can use me for me handicap parking!)  In addition to that my schedule is relatively open so I am open to anything.

To reiterate my biggest need right now is seeing some familiar faces and spending time not talking about my progress or how I am doing but just hanging out.  I hope to connect with you all soon.

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Help Wanted- Can You Help Out With Lane’s Recovery?

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As Lane’s recovery continues to progress, the simple volunteering of your time would be very much welcomed. We’re currently in the process of building out a schedule outlining driving Lane to various appointments and periods where Lane could use some additional help and company. We’d love if you could help be a part of that effort. If you’re able to volunteer 2-3 hours of your time, please send an email to to jedwards1855 at gmail dot com with when might be a good time for you to help out.  Like many things, the contribution of your time is VERY significant and will hopefully be very rewarding.  We hope to hear from those in the Sacramento area or stopping through and appreciate your continued commitment in assisting with Lane’s recovery.

Come Celebrate One Year Of Progress With Lane

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For Lane, and more than likely for all of us, this last year has been a year of struggle and triumph, pain and perseverance, tears of sorrow and joy, but most of all, it’s been a year of growth. Throughout Lane’s journey, we have seen many friends and family step up to the plate to do whatever it takes to get Lane where he fights to be everyday – on his feet again. Thank you for all who have played a part in his journey.

That said, there is much more to be done. Last year, Lane could not attend the Loving Lane BBQ to kick start fundraising activities to get Lane home from SE Asia. This year, we want Lane take part of a BBQ that celebrates his progress to date, and kick off his second year of recovery on the right foot.

Please join us Saturday, April 25th at Noon for a day of food, friends and fun as we toast to Lane’s progress so far! This will be a kid, and of course, dog friendly event, so please bring the entire family!

For more updates, please check the event’s Facebook page here.

Springs Brings New Progress And Optimism

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“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.

– Muhammad Ali
That pebble in my shoe has been my struggle with remaining optimistic throughout this process.  Like most people I have my good moments and my bad moments and I am continuing to push myself to have more good moments,

As I mentioned in my last update I had a FES Bike scheduled to be delivered to my house.  Well it showed up and I am very excited.  After an afternoon of training the FES Bike is fully functional and I am using it as often as I can.  Lyndsy was kind enough to convert her guest room into a private gym for me so I have the standing frame, FES Bike and a few other pieces of equipment in there.  It like my own personal 24 Hour Fitness.  The bike is really amazing in that I wheel myself in, someone attaches up to 12 different electrodes to the major muscle groups in my arms and legs and the machine starts sending electrical impulses into my body.  The end result is that I can pedal both arm and leg components of the bike which helps to rebuild muscle strength and retrain my body on how it works.  I am very grateful that the FES Bike became a reality for me and know that it will continue to be a big part of my recovery.

I mentioned the standing frame that my mom got me in my last email.  According to the PT/OT people the standing frame is one of the biggest pieces that I was missing in my recovery.  Essentially I get placed into the frame which allows me to “stand”.  In turn my full body weight is on my bones and I am actually vertical rather than in my chair or flat in my bed.  Since I have started using it I have noticed a reduction in back pain and am enjoying a new perspective/view on life.  I try to get in the frame at least a few hours every day.

I recently got on a new insurance plan which has opened up some new doors for treatment. I actually now have a Physical Therapist and Occupational Therapist that are specialists for SCI Injuries rather than generalists.  I am feeling optimistic about how my recovery will progress now that I am able to work with them more frequently.

I am excited that day lights saving time is over and I can now spend Monday afternoons on the golf course with my “boys” from high school and hang out like old times.  While I obviously can’t swing a club yet I enjoy being out in nature and the back and forth that goes on between my friends and I.

I’ve been busy with recovery focused endeavors ranging from American River College’s gym where I am doing a lot of strength building to SCI Fit where I am focusing on walking and standing on my own.  The strength in my arms is continuing to increase and my steps are becoming more like real steps and I am able to use the walker to get around the gym with little assistance.

As April is around the corner I am approaching the one year anniversary of my injury.  I am living proof that the saying, “Your life can change in an instant” is true.  I appreciate everyone’s ongoing support of my recovery and the sacrifices that people have and will continue to make to support me.

Happy Spring.

 

A New Year, A New Dog, New Progress, And New Optimism

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Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”- Francis of Assisi

Happy New Year and Ground Hog’s Day to family and friends!  I hope this update finds everyone healthy and happy heading into 2015.  Let’s just say that 2015 has to be better than 2014.  At this time last year I was headed to Thailand with adventure, personal growth, and an open mind.  Needless to say the first few months provided that, April, not so much.

It has been a rough start to the New Year for me.  As I sit here and reflect I try to remain optimistic and upbeat but I honestly have to say that has been a difficult task.  Last week I had to say goodbye to my 4 legged best friend Trapper.  I have had him since he was a puppy and he has been with me through thick and thin.  A black lab beast that I could wrestle and at the same time cuddle with.  I imagine he is up in milk-bone heaven frolicking pain free.  Putting him down was one of the toughest things I have had to endure but I am at peace knowing that he is at peace.

Not that Trapper is replaceable but I am now entertaining the idea of getting a Companion Animal and have temporarily adopted “Humor” who is a trained Companion Animal to see how I do.  If things work out I will hopefully have a new best friend in the very near future.

Its been about 6 weeks since I last checked in.  Since then I went through the holidays spending quality time with family and friends.  Between numerous family get-to-gethers and outings I have been on the go.  I was fortunate enough to take a trip up to Tahoe with Uncle Perry and my cousin Jennifer which was a blast.  Its been a long time since I saw snow.  I am thinking I may need to get a chair that has tank treads and or skis to make the next trip up more adventurous.

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My Christmas present from my mother was a new Standing Frame which allows me to become vertical which is helping with my strength, bone health, and gives me a different perspective on the world around me.  I try to get in it daily to relieve the pressure on my spine and improve my circulation.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the fundraising campaign and I am happy to report that the funding goals were met by family and friends with a huge boost from Morningside Recovery.  My brand new 12 Channel FES Bike should be arriving at my door in a few weeks and I am absolutely ecstatic.  I look forward to doing more PT in the comfort of Lindsy’s home and continuing to push myself.

So, on the topic of PT.  I have been making slow and steady progress.  American River College re-opened after the winter break so I am going there a four times a week in addition to SCI Fit, the gym, and at home exercises.  All the hard work is paying off.  As of this update I am up and walking with assistance and forearm canes around the gym floor.  My steps aren’t pretty but they are steps none the less.  I have progressed from not being able to move, to being able to sit up, to using a standing frame, to steps in a walker, and now steps with forearm canes.  Hopefully by the end of the year I will be walking with little to no assistance.  I am also able to go upstairs at the gym and do more weight lifting exercises on my own as my strength increases.

Another new development is as of my last update I had received a new power chair with a chin mount drive.  I hated that thing so I was motivated to do something different.  Well I accomplished that.  I can now drive my chair on my own using the joystick (I always told my mom that video games would pay off but she never listened) as I have made enough progress with my right hand to be able to grip and control the stick.  Needless to say I have a newfound sense of control that I had been lacking and needing.  With the added ability to drive my chair I made some modifications to the Big Rigga Mobile (that’s my van) and took out the front passenger seat (I should say someone else took it out for me, I haven’t made that much progress yet…) and am now able to drive myself into the van and clip into the front passenger area.  Riding up-front reminds me of driving with Trapper and having the window down only my tongue does not flap in the wind.

I have been looking to reach out more and connect with others who have had similar injuries as me and have attended support groups in both Placerville, Sacramento, and Davis.  Not sure what to think of all this yet but I will continue to be outgoing.

People continue to ask what they can do to support me.  I have seen every movie out in theaters over the last 9 months so aside from being my friend and staying in contact, I really enjoy getting out of the house and being outside in nature.  With that being said if/when anyone would like to hang out lets do it outside.  At the park, in the hills, the river, etc…  My new chair has a long battery life and moves fairly quickly so I am up for whatever.

As always thank you to everyone for your continued support, warm wishes, and thoughtful cards, texts, calls, and emails.

Again,  Happy New Year to all of you.

p.s. Happy Birthday to my step-mom Carole who has been a great support over the last year.

Slow And Steady Progress Headed Into 2015

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!! Wishing all of you a Happy Holiday Season and a Wonderful New Year.

So, it’s been awhile since my last update and a lot of that is due to my schedule and not a whole lot to update on. My days have become very routine with the monotony of physical therapy, doctor appointments, and general life stuff. As much as I would like to update everyone on my progress I am feeling frustrated with my lack of drastic improvements. It sounds bad but I had expected to be further along by now and have to be reminded by others how far I have come. It is still a tough pill to swallow. I will make a better attempt in the New Year to be more forthcoming with the good and the bad of my life so stay tuned.

Biggest news is that I finally got my new wheelchair!!!!!!

With regards to my physical health I am healthy for all intents and purposes. I continue to work out at SCI-Fit and my steps continue to improve. I am now able to do multiple laps around the gym and have started taking steps in the walker without the trainer in front of me for balance. In addition, I am doing the Lite Gait Treadmill which is essentially a treadmill with a contraption over the top that suspends me in a parachute harness which holds my body weight. With this set-up I am able to take more steps and it is easier for the trainers to correct me as I go. I have been working out at the local gym for strength training which is nice since it is right around the corner. I am definitely getting stronger and doing a lot of load bearing exercises for my shoulders. I am also working out more actively on the FES Bike at SCI-Fit and it is working wonders on both my arms and my legs. There are videos of this on www.lovinglane.org.

In addition to all the physical therapy I am actively involved with a chiropractor who specializes in SCI patients and this has been a tremendous benefit. I am also still involved in acupuncture and massage therapies.

The things that keep me sane are spending time with family and friends and feeling “normal”. Over the last few months I have been to a few NBA and NFL games, multiple Sunday games at the Simmons Home to watch the 49ers completely tank, and I have seen about every movie that has been released! My brother came up in November and we went to the Abilities Expo in San Jose which was comprised of vendors from across the nation that work with SCI clients. I met with my chair manufacturer, the FES Bike manufacturer, and several other vendors. I also went to a presentation on cannabinoid use for SCI which was very interesting (projectcbd.org)

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My brother has been up to stay with me a few times and on his last visit we went to the Abilities Expo and my friends surprised me with a suite at the San Jose Sharks game so I got to see all my Bay area friends. Thank you very much to Brenna for organizing the whole thing. In addition, Joel and I were able to watch the 49ers last win of the season versus the Redskins to the new Levi Stadium which was awesome.

I am spending the holidays with family, going to the mountains to my mom’s on Christmas and my brother and his wife are coming up for the weekend so I will do another Christmas there on Saturday plus an Edwards Family Christmas on Sunday with all the uncles, aunts, and cousins. I am looking forward to all of this.

Thank you again to everyone who has reached out with support, thoughts, and prayers. I really appreciate the phone calls, emails, texts, visits, and well wishes. Things have definitely gotten tougher over the last few months mentally so all the support is appreciated.

Once again Happy Holidays!

p.s. If you haven’t heard my family is trying to raise money to purchase a FES bike for home use. If you are interested in donating or know someone/company that may be interested please reach out to my brother for details (Joel 714-615-5915 or joeledwards1@hotmail.com)