Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The force is strong with you young (Sky)walker

My new walker arrived today. I guess I owe the good folks at InvaCare a thank you for deciding to honor their manufacturer's warranty. It worked out well in the end. I used the cane for a while, and I probably still will to some extent. So now I know I can do that. I got some good exercise from it. Plus, the new walker is taller, folds up smaller, and is a cooler color. Hard to go wrong.

I had therapy today and my right quad has again made some pretty impressive progress. I am able to do some serious gravity defy-ing these days when I am kicking out. Still not all the way, or even most of the way, back to normal, but we are making progress. Also, the neuropathic pain I get in my right leg seems to occur now only when something makes contact with my leg (in the shower, when I put my pants on, etc.) which my therapist says is probably a good sign that sensation is slowly returning. We shall see...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

No more presents

Ayden told me today that I can't have any more presents. I asked her what she meant and she started listing off all the presents I have been getting lately: the shower bench, the toilet seat, the grab bar, the wheel chair, the walker, the cane, the left foot gas pedal, etc. As far as she is concerned, these are all presents. I asked her if she means that I don't get any more presents on my birthday and Christmas and she said: "no, you can have some presents on your birthday and Christmas but you can't get more presents when you want them." So that settles it. No more gimp gadgets for me.

Unfortunately for Ayden, I am supposedly getting a new walker. I basically had to threaten InvaCare with a law suit to get it, but it looks like they are going to ship one. I shouldn't speak to soon though since I haven't actually had a confirmation yet. In the meantime I have been using my cane a lot. I prefer it over the walker, but I probably should still be using the walker until the shell comes off, just to be safe. I am also not supposed to be lifting or carrying so the walker comes in handy going to and from school when I have my backpack. However, I have my next appointment on Nov. 4 - just five days shy of the 4 month mark - and I am really hoping that they let me take it off at that appointment. Wendy and I had our anniversary and we had a great time. I amazed her with my incredible stamina and my awesome walking and wheeling skills (we took the cane and the wheelchair). You can check out some fun pictures at the family blog.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The News Story

I received a DVD today from the videographer that shot footage of the accident and wrote the follow-up story. He gave my the original TV version of the follow-up story and the footage he shot from the accident. I posted the news story on YouTube and I am embedding it here so you can view it.

I have to admit that watching the original footage was kind of hard. When it is short clips in a news story with the narrative and everything it seems dramatized to the point of not being real. Watching the segments of video he shot with the original sound made it seem more authentic. It brought back some unpleasant memories. I had forgotten, until I watched it, how it felt to hit the pavement and how I felt while I lay in the street. Even Wendy said it was hard to watch and Ayden got a little upset by the small part that she saw. It isn't graphic, but it's hard to watch knowing it is me.

The original footage is pretty long and pretty big so I haven't posted it. I suppose if there is enough demand I can take some clips out and post them. Or local residents can just watch it the next time they see me with my laptop.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

3 Months Broken

Well, today makes three months since the accident. At this point I am outpacing my equipment by leaps and bounds. I got my wheelchair but one of the handles is broken. The wheelchair company wants me to take the handle off, pay to ship it to them, and then when they get it they will mail me a new one so that I can put it together. They shipped it broken. It makes me want to just return the whole thing and say forget it.

Tonight my walker broke. And I don't mean the handle or something. I mean the metal frame snapped clean in half. I was shocked. It supposedly has a 300 pound weight limit, which is substantially more than my current 210 lbs. Wendy taped it back together to try and keep it working until we can get a replacement. I have posted a picture since it looks pretty hilarious. If I didn't draw stares at school just with a walker, I certainly will now.

Meanwhile, I am progressing well now. I went so long without any progress in my right leg that I started getting nervous. Now my quad has gotten a lot stronger. I got it off the table doing leg lifts the other day and I have caught myself several times when my knee buckles. I just hope that my walker/wheelchair/cane will last long enough for me to recover. What a joke!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I must be getting better

I must be getting better because I am getting ornery. I am really getting sick of my shell now. Every day I count down until the day I "might" be able to take it off. I am really hoping for my birthday, if not earlier. Of course, when that day finally comes it will be terrible since I won't be able to make it more than 15 minutes without my shell. My back still hurts if I sit without it too long. But at least then the real healing can begin and I can start feeling like a normal person again.

I am also getting sick of my walker. It seems like it is too big and clunky and I am starting to feel like I am ready to move beyond it. In fact, I have already ordered my cane. Sneak preview: it looks like the one on the right.

I am actually getting better though. I am able to stand up from just about anywhere without needing the walker to get up. I have caught myself several times without the walker. What do I mean by that? I mean that a couple of times my right leg has started to give and my quad has caught it before I went down. It happened so fast as a reaction that I didn't even have time to catch myself with my upper body before my quad caught me. In other words, I didn't need to the walker to keep from falling. I am still using it to be safe, but I am anxious to move on.

There is a noticeable difference in my quad when I try to straighten my leg. I can press my knee down into the pillow it is on and you can see my quad flexing. The contraction feels a lot more normal. I still have strength issues but it seems like a lot more of it is working now than used to.

My sensation seems to be about the same and so does the neuropathic pain. It comes pretty consistently every evening, but I can live with that. Function has improved a lot though. In addition to my quad, I think my shin muscle is waking up. I can start pulling my foot up now, not just my toes. Not much, just a little. Also, I am not taking any medications anymore except something at night for the neuropathic pain and the occasional ibuprofen. Not that everything is working perfectly, but life is better without the medication at this point.