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)

 

Happy Birthday To Lane!

LANE GONG

As Facebook may have told you, today is Lane’s birthday. It’s been a crazy year for Lane full of plenty of changes and plenty of highs and lows. We’d like to wish Lane a Happy Birthday and hope this next year continues with further progress on the physical and personal development Lane has experienced this last year. We’d also like to thank everyone for their support whether it be financial or emotional with a special thanks to Lane’s family, Lindsy, Josh and Irit, and the many healthcare professionals that have played a role in Lane’s recovery. Happy Birthday Lane!

 

 

Zumba, A Country Club, Some Family Time, And More Progress

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What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson  (No relationship to Lindsy)

This injury has left me with lots of “Firsts”.  I never thought I would try Zumba let alone Zumba in a wheelchair.  Low and behold there I was dressed in neon from head to toe “Zumbainig” in my chair on the dance floor with 100 other people as the DJ played bass heavy music and lights flashed all around me.  A huge thank you to Corene Marshalek and her team of volunteers for organizing, hosting, and participating in an awesome fundraising event.  Loving Lane Zumbathon 2014 went doesn’t last Friday at the Capital Athletic Club in Sacramento.  What a site it was.  It reminded me of the days of pegged pants, donut socks, and leotards.  I am very grateful for everyone that showed up to support me in my recovery.  This was the most successful fundraiser to date and one that will hopefully occur on an annual basis moving forward.

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It’s been an interesting few weeks.  Lindsy went on vacation and my brother and mom stepped in to fill her role.  My time with my brother was nice as it was really the first time we have spent quality time together since the beginning of the year.  I finally got to experience Del Paso Country Club (thank you to Terry McDermott) and while I couldn’t play I was able to drive myself around the course and stay out of the sand traps as you can see below.  We got to hang out and see some movies, eat lots of food (this was a kale free vacation for him), and actually be brothers and talk about sports, life, and Thailand rather than my recovery and Loving Lane business stuff.

After my brother left my mom came down and stayed with me for the week.  It was actually quite pleasant being with her.  Probably the most amount of time under one roof since High School and the nice part was she couldn’t ground me for anything.  I have to remind myself that I am still me mentally and emotionally just not quite myself physically yet.  Thank you mom for reminding me.

I have been working out daily and the results are definitely paying off.  Between PT with Aunt Sally, SCI –FIT, stretching with Karen and Lindsy, and now American River College and the weight training program my triceps have finally decided to come alive and are firing (this was my last muscle group to wake up).  I can almost get my hand to my face and am relishing the day I can brush my own teeth and pick my nose (feeding myself will be nice too). I still do not have function but strength and flexibility are improving as is my ability to do flexion in my hands.  I should hear this week whether or not I am approved for aquatic therapy, if I am I have the perfect speedo picked out.

I am doing laps in the standup walker around the gym and my steps are improving (see video below) I am also practicing steps backwards.  I look like a very awkward Michael Jackson Moonwalk impersonator.  I am also working hard at SCI Fit on being able to stand upright on my own as well as hold myself upright in a sitting position.  The work is hard but I am seeing results which keeps me motivated.

I got confirmation today that my new power chair should be here in two weeks so things are moving along on that front.  The rest of my days are spent watching the 49ers disappoint, spending time with friends, and hanging out with Trapper.  I am glad the heat of Sacramento has subsided and am looking forward to fall.

Thank you to all of you who continue to support me.  I can’t do it without you. Also below a thank you note from my Aunt Sally for those who made Zumbathon a great and successful event.

Zumbathon Thanks!

Thank you all for participating in some way with the Neon Zumbathon last night ……. for your attendance, support, donation, caring of both Lane and myself and the Edwards’ family by attending the fund-raiser last night at the Capital Athletic Club…or for your generous donation to helping Lane rise from his wheel chair and one day, when he can, do the Zumba with us.

It means so much to me that you were there either with your donation or to dance for Lane. It was our goal to raise enough money to pay for 6 months of spinal cord injury rehabilitation (it’s about $2,000/month) that is not covered by insurance and is “out of pocket” so we have to raise it … someday, when he can, Lane wants to go back to work and we need every nickel and dime that we can raise to get him there.

with heart and deep deep appreciation,

Lane’s Aunt Sally

Making The Rounds And Seeing Familiar Faces

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Believe you can and you’re halfway there” – Theodore Roosevelt

I’m soooooo excited!  

The 2014 NFL season is upon us, the 49ers have a new stadium, and I have a TV in my room.  Life is good.

I went up to San Francisco last week to meet with Dr. Chou my spinal surgeon and while there had the opportunity to have lunch with the nurses that took care of me in the ICU (they are a patient and caring group).  Everyone at UCSF was ASTONISHED by my progress.  In retrospect I have come a long way from the ICU in Bangkok when the spinal doctors told me I would never regain any function.  I also stopped by and visited Dr. Crew and the team at Valley Medical Center where I did my acute rehab last Friday to say hello.  They were very impressed with my progress as well and appreciated me stopping in.

I had a great week at SCI-Fit which has been a huge help in my recovery.  I started weight training this week and in a few short months I should be looking like the Governator in his glory days.  They have really been working with me on my steps and maintaining proper form.  It is difficult work since the feeling is still not there but I am making progress.  I start American River College this week and am taking an adaptive PE class for weights as well.  Back on a college campus looking as good as I do I should have no problem with the ladies.

My social calendar has been full as well as my PT calendar.  Being active and social is a huge benefit for me.  I went to a fund raiser (thank you to Dan Cronin and Brenna for organizing) up at Ridge Winery with my caregiver Karen.  I was able to see a lot of my Bay Area friends that I have not seen in a long time.  It was a great turn out and a big thank you to all of you that attended and donate raffle prizes.  I am looking forward to this month’s fundraiser in Sacramento.

I also was fortunate enough to attend the weeding of my friends Kyle and Carolyn over the weekend in Sacramento.  Congratulations to the two of them.  I had a lot of fun and can do some amazing donuts on the dance floor.

All-in-all things are going well.  Lindsy has been very hospitable and I love being around Trapper.  Thank you to everyone for their ongoing love and support.

Next Event: Zumbathon

http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e9m8s7hq88166034&llr=ayo5gqbab

Progress One Step At A Time

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself”.  – Mark Caine

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I took my first steps in a walker a few weeks ago and yesterday was another milestone.  I made it a full lap around the SCI Fit building (about 40 steps) unassisted.  It is a really weird feeling as I have to concentrate and literally say to myself, “Lift your leg, move it forward, set it down” over and over again.  The other interesting part is that I cannot feel my legs when I do this so I am moving forward but not getting the tactile feedback.  I never thought I would be in a walker before my mom!

As I mentioned in previous emails I am doing a lot of physical therapy and am surprising everyone including myself with my progress.  Another big milestone I achieved recently was being able to sit up un-assisted for 5 seconds.  I did not think this was a big deal however my trainers at SCI Fit said that it was huge as they work with clients that it takes them years to achieve that success.  So I must remind myself that what may not seem like a big deal to me is actually a huge deal.

Some other physical things that have gone on are my collar is officially off for good so as long as I don’t sip-and-puff my way off any more curbs I will never have to have that collar on again.  I also underwent surgery last week to remove the catheter and have it placed directly into by bladder through my stomach.  So, that is a little weird but for my long term health it is great.  Unfortunately I did not receive the penile enlargement that I requested but at this point I can’t use it anyway so maybe that will be a future procedure.

My chest and lung muscles are getting stronger and I can now carry on a conversation that consists of more than a few words before I need to catch my breath.  Most of my muscles are working and firing which is a good thing but at this point I do not have function.  The function hopefully will return over time so I of course will continue to push myself in PT.

I moved out of Josh’s house and have moved into Lindsy’s house.  Thank you to Josh, Joel, Mike, Ken, and Chaz for coming over last weekend and building an access ramp into her house.  A big thank you to Josh and his family for taking me in and getting me settled as I transitioned out of Valley Medical Center.  The nice thing is that Lindsy lives two doors down from Josh so I can still visit.  I also live with my dog Trapper now so we both are excited to be around each other.

I know I talk a lot about my physical improvements so I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge Karen (morning care taker), Lindsy (main caretaker), and Judy (my mom).  Without them all of the appointments, PT sessions, etc. would not be possible.  They do all of the behind the scenes work that allows me to do these things.  Everything from brushing my teeth, bathing, changing my clothes, and feeding me.  It is definitely not glamorous work but it is what allows me to continue to thrive in my recovery, so…… THANK YOU!

If you have not had a chance check out the new and improved Loving Lane website (www.lovinglane.org) There are updates, photos, timelines, stories, upcoming events, and a really need video that my brother put together.  Thank you very much to Ben Koo for putting the site together and maintaining it.

Finally:  There are two upcoming fund raising events.  The first is a wine tasting event at Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino on the July 29th of August, which I will be attending so I can’t wait to see everyone.  Thank you to Dan Cronin for organizing this whole thing.  https://www.facebook.com/events/1593982900828687/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

The second one is a Zumbathon in Sacramento on September 19 at the Capital Athletic Club.  I will also be attending this event and will be dressed in neon and “zumbaing” with the group.  Thank you to Corene Marshalek for organizing this whole thing.  http://tinyurl.com/Zumbathonsac

Thank you to everyone for their love and support,

Lane

Video: Lane’s Story And A Thank You From The Edwards Family

Below is a video put together by Lane’s brother Joel and his team. It does a TREMENDOUS job summarizing who Lane is, his journey, and his path to recovery. Lane has made tremendous progress over the past month and none if it would have been possible without your support. From everyone at Loving Lane, our sincerest thanks for helping Lane and his family get through this trying time. We hope you enjoy the video.

Check Out Lane On The Bike

Thought it would be nice to send you into the weekend with this uplifting video of Lane on the bike at SCI-FIT. We hope it puts a similar smile on your face as Lane gets as he works the pedals. Thanks again for your support as your donations enable Lane to be in the SCI-FIT program. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

 

Making Progress At Physical Therapy

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Sacramento is HOT, but thankfully not as humid as Thailand. My life reminds me of the movie Ground Hog Day. Wake up, get dressed, stretch, eat, appointment, eat, PT, appointment, eat, stretch, undress, go to bed, repeat……………… I have been busy since my last update. As you all know I started SCI-Fit and am really enjoying it as they are pushing me hard which is exactly what I need. I was able to do walking motions on the treadmill two weeks ago while being assisted by the PTs. Last week they had me up in a special type of walker and I was able to take a few steps. The focus right now on my PT is core strength, arm strength, and back strength. This week was the first time I have actually felt sore which is an uncomfortable but good feeling because it tells me that my muscles are waking up. I am gaining strength in my triceps, back, and abs with my current goal of being able to prop myself up and roll in bed.

I met with Dr. Zhao last week who is the SCI doctor at UC Davis. She is astonished by my progress given the level of my injury and is excited to see how I will progress. While focusing on my present condition and what needs to be done she shined some light on my future and potential ability to drive and work. I am working on weaning off of all of my medication which makes me very happy as most of you know I do not like meds. I met with the urologist yesterday for my pre-op and will be going into surgery next week to aid with bladder functioning. I’m continuing with massage, acupuncture, and daily PT with Aunt Sally. She has me sweating and doing lots of work all while I am hooked up to a heart rate monitor so I get instant feedback on my iPad as to how hard I am working. This is very motivating to both of us (thanks Aunt Sally).

In case anyone was wondering my cell-phone decided to go swimming but failed to realize that it is not water proof so it is out of commission. I will be getting a new one shortly so if you need to reach me you can do so via email and I will get back to you when I am able.

I am enjoying the Big Rigga mobile and took it to Ancil Hoffman yesterday to participate for the first time in a long time in a weekly golf game with my buddies. When I say participate I mean drive around the course like a mad man and talk smack to my friends. Just like old times. It was great to be out in nature and spend some time with friends.

The new website should be launching shortly and has been completely redone (A huge thank you to Ben Koo and his team). I am very excited about this new site and all of the potential it brings. Once it goes live I will let you all know. You can also “friend” Loving Lane on Facebook to stay up to date on what is going on. Both the website and Facebook pages will also have an upcoming events calendar on them.

For now the upcoming events are as follows:

Zumbathon: Friday September 19th from 7-9pm with cocktail hour to follow.

 http://Tinyurl.com/Zumbathonsac

A big thank you to Aunt Sally and her friend Corene Marshalek for putting this event together.

Wine for Lane!: Friday August 29th 3:30-7:00 pm at Ridge Vineyards

Facebook: Wine for Lane!

A big thank you to Dan Cronin for organizing this event.

Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support!

New Fundraiser On August 29th

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We’re happy to announce a new Loving Lane fundraiser set for Friday August 29th at Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino. The event starts at 3pm and tickets are $50. There will also be various items auctioned off. You RSVP at this Facebook link.

Some more information below:

Ridge Vineyards has graciously offered to host us for an afternoon of good wine, good food, and good times to raise money for Lane Edwards. Please bring your checkbook and an item to auction off. Also, 25% of all purchases in the tasting room will be donated, so get ready to re-stock your wine collection. The entry fee is $50 per person. All proceeds will go to assisting Lane’s recovery.