It’s been a busy past several days. Busy, but productive. The last post mentioned I stood for 63 minutes. I started off the week on Monday with a 90 minute stand. I did another 45 on Tuesday. By Wednesday my neck and shoulders were very fatigued and felt very sore. Being up after having been seated for so long really took its toll. The gravity and weight bearing on my shoulders while standing added up. I took Thursday off and did some really intense stretching with my PT. By Friday, I was standing again for about 45 minutes. Yesterday, I stood for 30 minutes to start the week off. Unfortunately, the EasyStand had to be returned to the company from whom we borrowed it. The good news is that we have a lead on a brand new EasyStand that I hope to acquire over the next several weeks.
Last week was filled with so many visits that they all ran together. I met a lot of new people through mutual friends. I really injoyed the time I spent with these guests. Capped off the week by spending Friday evening outside in the courtyard with friends, wine, dogs and guitar music. I even got a massage out of the deal. It really was a nice relaxing evening.
Saturday, I was paid a visit by my sister-in-law and her family. One of my nephews had a lacrosse game nearby, and Angie, Sean, Collin, Ryan, Avery and the unborn, Brady, spent most of the afternoon with Kristy, my father and me. We had a fun time watching the Kentucky Derby and the pre-race hype. As some of you many know, I have gone to the Derby the past three years. It had become a Spring tradition that my wife and I took part in. We obviously didn’t make it there this year but I had a better time hanging out with everyone and watching the race together. Besides, I think the weather would have put a damper on the festivities this year. So instead I had an in-depth conversation with my 13 year old nephew, Collin, about strategy and protocol of the Derby. We all picked our Superfecta (the top 4 finishers) and watched the race. There is still a little controversy surrounding the true winner of our group, but my Dad, Kristy and Sean each had 2 of the 4. The night was capped off with the Cavs win over the Celtics.
This week will be just as busy. Tomorrow I will be at the VA hospital most of the day. I have been selected to participate in a study that measures the brain wave function of spinal cord victims when trying to move body parts. The long term goal of the study is to be able to gather enough data to one day develop prostetic devices that can be controlled by the mind. I am willing to participate in as many studies as I can. I am also slated for a couple of surgeries in June and July. One of these surgeries is pretty intense but will hopefully allow me to cough and sneeze on my own, allowing for the removal of my trache.
There was a great article in Sunday’s Plain Dealer about stem cell therapy in spinal cord victims. I always try to remain even-keeled when reading about medical breakthroughs with stem cells, simply because I don’t want to pin my happiness and acceptance on the hope for a cure. However, it is tough not to get excited when reading about this stuff. I am not the first spinal cord injured person to say this, but “man do I want to be whole again”. Not a day goes by that I don’t spend a good part of the day obsessing about what it will be like to function again. I long for some type of independence. Voice-activated software, blue tooth cell phones, and sip-n-puff power wheelchairs offer some independence, but fall short of fulfilling the desires I have for true independence. In the end though, this is who I am for right now. And I need to constantly work hard to accept and enjoy who I am and where I am at. I do believe there will be a time for medical breakthroughs and other miracles in my life in the future.
The weather has been great and new life is all around us with the Spring season. I try to enjoy this as much as possible and have a greater appreciation for it than I ever had in the past. In fact I have a greater appreciation for a lot of things I took for granted prior to my injury. In this sense, God has truly blessed me. I hope that others can learn to appreciate all the things in their life the way I have, sans a catastrophic injury.
I will have more to report later in the week. Keep the prayers coming. As always, thank you.