“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.
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.