I let my dad have it today. He finally pulled one too many of my strings and I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I clocked him right in the nose. Just kidding, well, partly. Today my dad and I took off for the gym which is slowly becoming a routine operation. Today’s gym visit would include getting on the FES bike and then transferring onto the mat for some more exercises. The FES bike went well as I had very little pain and jammed out to my ipod. Jimi Hendrix, Steel Pulse, and Bloc Party to name a few of my favorites. After getting transferred onto the mat I decided to do my prone position exercises. This involves rolling me on top of a wedge face down. My dad has done this a few times but it has always been with someone else assisting. I should have sensed that trouble was on the horizon as I laid on my back with the wedge placed beside me watching my dad with his perplexed concentrated expression trying to figure out how the roll was going to take place. He admitted after a few moments that the could not remember the exact maneuvering required to roll me over. I did not help the situation as I grew frustrated and smugly told him where to position his hands and such. “My hand here, your hand there, knee there, position your body over there, no don’t grab my arm, grab my hips”
At the last moment I looked around the room to see if anyone happened to be walking by who could offer some assistance. My dad spotted by wandering eyes said, “Come on let’s just do it.”
“Okay”, I said.
One…too…three! My dad pulled on my hips as I threw my arm across my body for momentum, and then I heard the sound of solid connection. I’m not talking about the sound of romance. I’m talking about the sound of bone against bone. The kind of sound that makes one cringe and wonder who got knocked out. The sound of my elbow slamming straight into my dad’s nose.
My body was halfway on the wedge and at first I thought I just gave him a solid whack on the head. Then I heard him ask a therapist if he was bleeding. I strained my neck to look up at the situation and that’s when I saw his hand covered in blood.
A therapist ran over and handed him a wet towel. She then proceeded to walk away and ignore the situation. Don’t really know what was up with that.
“Dad, are you all right?” I asked.
“I’m more of worried about you,” he responded.
“Dad, your bleeding profusely out of the nose. I’m fine, go to the bathroom and get that taken care of.”
About 10 minutes later the bleeding stopped and we went ahead with the workout even though I didn’t really feel much like doing it anymore. He got the tech assistance, Mario, to help position me on the wedge, which is something I feel we might do from now on. Even though somewhere on the subconscious level I may have slightly enjoyed popping my dad in the nose, this is not an experience I wish to replicate.
Moving onto less bloody subjects, after I got off the wedge I proceeded to do some sitting balance exercises as I sat on the edge of the mat. While doing these exercises a rather interesting physical development occurred.
Since I’ve been injured, I’ve been working on what is called tripod sitting or prop sitting. This involves sitting on my bum with my arms stabilizing my upper body from behind. (Check photo album for example.) When I first started doing this, the task was very hard and my shoulders would begin to burn with fatigue within the first 10 seconds. My strength has improved immensely since then and I’m now able to sit in the tripod position forever it seems like. Well for the past year I’ve been trying to accomplish the goal of sitting on the mat with my arms in front of me and throwing my arms behind me without any assistance. Over the past couple of months I finally reached a point where I could throw my left arm back and balance myself, and then throw my right arm back. However, it has always taken several tries to accomplish the task. After throwing my arms behind me in the normal one at a time fashion, I decided to once again try and accomplish the goal which has been plaguing me since I began this whole mess of paralysis.
I found my balance and put my hands out in front of my face. I flung my hands backwards and in an instant I was prop sitting. “Wow, that’s rather interesting”, I thought. I repeated the motion several more times and each got easier than the last. I believe I was able to accomplish this goal because of an increase in balance, trunk control, and back strength. One year post, goal number one accomplished, 1000 more to go.