Getting Started

It was my top priority last week to get the ball rolling concerning possible decisions for my future.  I was ready to send my application to Project Walk but was tentative because of my bone density analysis.  I had told the lady who performed the scan that I weighed 160 pounds and I realized that I could weigh much less than that which could seriously change the results.  So I went about finding out exactly how much I weighed and discovered that my weight was actually 144 pounds.  I have notified the appropriate people and I’m waiting for the new results.  Hopefully my case of osteoporosis is much less severe than initially thought.

I also began calling Shepherd Center to find out who it was I was supposed talk with concerning getting involved with Dr. Lima and his surgery in Portugal.  After trying several people and leaving several messages a woman who helps direct a program called Beyond Therapy called me back.  She was very kind and we talked for at least 40 minutes about many things.  One of these things of course was the Portugal surgery and she laid out the steps I needed to take to get involved.  I basically need to do two things before any other steps can be taken, which is get an MRI done on my entire spine and get an ASIA scale test performed.  The MRI is to test how many injured areas or lesions are present on my spine.  In order to get the surgery I can only have one lesion and it must be no more than 4 cm long.  The ASIA scale test is to discover how incomplete my injury is.  ASIA-A is the most complete and ASIA-B, C, and so on is more and more incomplete.  Dr. Lima will only perform the surgery if you are ASIA-A or B.  When I had this test done about a year and a half ago I was ASIA-B but it’s possible that these results have changed.  Once both of these tests have been administered, I will send the results to the Beyond Therapy program and they will send them to Dr. Lima to be looked over.  If Dr. Lima feels I am an appropriate candidate, more tests will be taken and if all is clear a date will be set for the surgery.  I believe at the moment he is booked until September of 2006.

My conversation with the Shepherd Center director also included the topic of the Beyond Therapy program itself.  It is a relatively new program and when hearing about it several months back I didn’t really give the thought of me participating much of a chance.  But the more I heard about the program, the more I liked it as I discovered that the goals and focuses of Beyond Therapy are much the same as Project Walk.  The main focus is to establish an exercise regimen which will open the avenues of natural healing, reestablish muscle memory and remind neural pathways of the job they are supposed to perform.  I suddenly realized that if I wanted to fully discover the potential my body has for recovery than this was the type of place I needed to be.  If I am to truly harness my body’s potential I need to be involved in a community who believes in that potential and radiates a vibe of positivity and hope for the future.  I need to be able to have any and all types of equipment at my disposal which may kick start my nervous system and reawaken the nerves dying to light up with activity.  I need to wake up in the morning wanting to work hard and not just go through the routine because I believe it’s what I must do.  I have worked very hard since my injury, but I could do more and not only can I do more but I believe a change of atmosphere could do wonders for my emotional psyche which in turn could do wonders for my physical recovery.

Still no decisions have been made but a hypothetical plan has been lingering in my head.  I apply for both the Portugal surgery and admittance into the Beyond Therapy program.  I discover I am an appropriate candidate for Dr. Lima’s surgery and a date is set.  Meantime I relocate and become involved in Beyond Therapy.  I give 110% effort to promote the natural healing of my body until the date of the surgery grows near.  At that time if I feel natural recovery is taking place than I will cancel the surgery.  But if I feel my recovery is still stagnant, then I will take the plunge and go to Portugal for surgery.  After the surgery I will once again enter Beyond Therapy or a program like it and continue with my rehabilitation.

Nothing in life hardly ever goes according to plan but that is one scenario which may take place.  Both my parents and I agree that a change must take place and that change will most likely mean us moving.  When I first realized that I needed to make a substantial decision concerning where my life is going at the moment I grew very excited.  All the prospects of where I could go and what I could do lit up like neon signs inside my head and I was anxious to get the process started.  The past couple of days however, the reality of the decision I’m making slowly began to sink in and a pang of fear suddenly struck me.  It took a while after being injured but I have finally reached a point where I have settled into a comfort zone.  I have my routine, and feel safe within the comfort of a place I can now confidently call home.  When I first arrived at my house, it felt like a strange and unfamiliar environment but slowly the place has grown on me.

I suppose I can’t expect to have no fear concerning such a huge decision but it was strange how suddenly fear hit me.  One minute I was confident and excited about my possible decisions and suddenly my eyes went wide and I thought, “Am I really going to do this?”  There’s really no reason for me to get all uptight about it quite yet.  Both Project Walk and Beyond Therapy have waiting lists plus I highly doubt we would just get up and move before giving the place we decide on a period of adjustment.

Despite my sudden fear of change it is obvious to me at this juncture in my life some decisions must be made.  As of right now the most obvious signs I am receiving of what I should do is involvement within a community of aggressive rehabilitation and the surgery in Portugal.  I’m going to do a lot of praying and meditating about the path my family and I are meant to tread while keeping my eyes open for the subtle signs God sends me.  My strongest belief at the moment while considering all my options is that five years from now I want to look back on this time and know that I did everything in my power to recover from a tragic accident.  My road to recovery has moved on to phase 2 and the process is not going to be an easy one.  It’s going to take some bold decisions forcing my family to step outside of the bubble and enter the world of unknown.  It is also going to be a very hard process financially because insurance does not pay for any such aggressive type therapy that I have spoken of. 

The thought of setting up a recovery fund has entered my mind in the past but I never felt that I was worthy enough to collect money from others for my cause.  If I am to carry out my future endeavors it is obvious to me now that I must rely on much more than the money in my parents pockets to do so.  In the near future I plan on setting up a recovery fund where donations can be made that will go towards the physical recovery of my body.  The money will go towards therapy, surgery, and any other financial expenditure which is geared towards my recovery.  I will have more information concerning this recovery fund shortly.

Thank you to everyone who has continued to loyally read and follow along with me in my journey.  Your prayers, well wishes, and positive thoughts mean a great deal to me.  Without the support of others I would never survive.  Thank you again.

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8 Responses to Getting Started

  1. Amelie says:

    you\’re so organized and have so much planned that my brain got tired as i was reading.. btw, notice how i\’m writing in the current entry? that\’s rite, i\’m all up to date. in all seriousness though, i\’m glad to see you.. urrr read how driven you are and that you\’re keeping a positive\’re in my thoughts-amelie

  2. Kelwalin says:

    Keep writing. You can inspire other people to become stronger and be optimistic like you.
    Good wish and may the God bless you.

  3. Patricia says:

    Excellent! Way to go! Yep, fear can be hard but also good when one is pushing the boundaries of a comfort zone. At least I think anyway, the few times I have felt this way in the face of change, I have always been extra pleased when I followed through – fo r some reason maybe those were the big steps and thus the anxiety but also the change that was transformational and most important. I can\’t believe insurance! It is crazy. I swear one day I\’m doing a story on insurance and just busting it wide open – it is just so hard because literally I have sat and watched the guys that wrote the manual for mine sit confused at what they meant by there own maual statements and requirements! Would be more than happy to help you start a rehab fund, seriously, just let me know and I\’m here to do whatever I can. Also is your family going to be moving with you to the program or do they have facilities that make it possible for you to have an apartment and attendant? What would you think of doing that type of thing? I have heard of the former and can ask about it if you wish. Best to you! Love your dreams, hopes and ambition, and believe in them. What if we found the venue and offered Dr in Portugal some US press – wonder if that would make up for some expenses – Let me know, I could help get this done. See ya and best wishes, prayers and positive thoughts your way. -patti 

  4. Tina says:

    Hey Colin,
    I just read thru your last few blogs.  It sounds like you have alot going on in that head of yours.  I know that it is so difficult to step out of your comfort zone, but you know that every time you have done so you always seem to grow emotionally from that.  And I say that not because I know you so well, but I can see it in your writing.
    I think that something like Project Walk or Beyond Therapy would be so great for you.  You have always believed that you have more physical recovery in you and you owe it to yourself to push yourself as a hard as you can in that direction.  I was wondering the same thing as Patti – if your family will be coming with you.  I know that its a really big step.  I would also be willing to help in any way possible. Definitely let me know about your recovery fund.

  5. Shannon says:

    Way to go!  So many exciting things are awaiting you, and only good things can happen as a result! Hang in there…your time will come!
    I would be MORE than happy to contribute to a rehabilitation fund for you!  And if you do end up on the West Coast with Project Walk, please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you out.  Las Vegas isnt in California, but it is only several hours away.  I would be more than happy to head out there once in awhile to help you out…or just to hang out and offer some moral support!  But if there is any way I can help at all, please dont hesistate to ask!
    Can\’t wait to hear what happens! Take care!

  6. Patricia says:

    Thanks for your comment –  i\’m so happy for you – that you have a jovial family. It makes me smile to think of you at that type of table with everyone talking!! I know that I loved being at my friend\’s house so much! It is special and great! oh and guess what? You are shining! I don\’t know what it is but can tell by your writing!! Good for you! Write an entry when you are ready to start your rehab fund – I bet lots will want to help and have great suggestions as well! Dream big my friend!  Best always, patti

  7. Amelie says:

    tried to make ur comment resemble one of your entries…. leaving me in "suspense". always leave them wanting more huh Collin? Even if you have to stop midsentence…hehehe. As for the bet, well i just finished off 2 bags of chips… good thing it only starts on tuesday. hahah. hopefully some of your determination will rub off on me as i continue to read your blog, otherwise, i mite lose this bet.hope everything\’s well with you.-amelie

  8. Sheri says:

    God bless you and your family. Your writtings are aweinspiring… Congratulations on being a feature blog, I\’ve never read anyones before,but as I have a daughter that is tetra plegic, your words caught my attention. I printed out your lifes story. I plan to read it to her and hope she will be inspired. She doesn\’t seem to think life is worth living. She is c-5 incomplete.  I\’m always try to keep up with the latest research, wish the U.S.A. would allow progress, But I appreciate your info, and I hope to get my daughter on a waiting list.  And you do have every right to ask for assistance, If it weren\’t for wonderful  people and their  generosity, I wouldn\’t have made it through with Christy. One year in the hospital…Bills… Kids at home…myself not at home… All we have to do is pay it forward…And I promise we have and will always pay it forward. Again God has blessed you, And you are a teacher…I will visit you again.

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