Was I paralyzed?

I don’t think I’m ever going to begin a journal entry with an ecstatic phrase of, "Guess what muscle just came back?!" It’s completely possible, but so far the progress has been such that day by day I’m generally unaware of the recovery which is taking place. A trainer was discussing with me other day how most people do not notice huge differences within a month or two months, but six months down the road they look back and become aware of the huge strides they have taken. I am noticing within myself that when it seems like recovery has occurred, it’s hard for me to remember whether or not it was something I’ve been doing all along or whether it’s something new. It’s as if recovery is sneaking up on me from behind, quietly and unnoticed. One day I will be walking down the street, shake my head and wonder, "Have I been doing this all along? Wait a second, was I paralyzed?"

The slow, painstaking process can be frustrating at times, but the key is to not compare my present condition to what I was doing last week or even last month. I need to think about what I’m doing now compared to what I was doing six months ago or even a year ago and then realize how far I’ve come. As with everything in life I tend to want the immediate fix and I want it to occur exactly how I envision it, but this is impossible. I am the catalyst to my future, but my drive only creates what God, the universe, or the divine nature chooses. Things will occur in accordance with a higher power but my willpower can be very persuasive.

So far, since stepping out of my front door and beginning this new adventure, things have gone relatively smooth but there has been some rough patches. I have not felt the need to talk about it much in my blog but I’ve continued to struggle with the attack of urinary infections. Since being in California I’ve been taking a maintenance dose antibiotic. This is not what I would choose to do if I could but I figured this would provide me with the health necessary to focus on my rehab. Unfortunately the antibiotic has been doing somewhat of a half ass job, keeping me from getting really sick but not getting rid of precursor symptoms of a full on urinary infection. Every now and then bladder spasms and leaks occur aggravating my psyche and draining my energy. The past few days I decided to get off of the antibiotic, letting myself get a urinary infection so that I can go to the doctor, get a culture done and find out exactly what type of bacteria is present. Then I can hopefully be prescribed a better maintenance antibiotic which will actually keep me healthy.

This sounds rather odd but I’m hoping I get sick before Monday so I can get this taken care of before a new week of therapy begins. It is now Saturday and so far precursor symptoms are present but the infection is not striking. I know this may frustrate some people hearing me talk like this, wanting to get sick. Many people would much rather me firmly believe that I will not get another infection and for some apparent reason I will maintain a state of health. Understand however, that this is not easy for me being that for the past six months or more, infection after infection has struck leading me feeling almost completely defenseless. Therefore it’s hard for me to believe that suddenly the bacteria will decide to run and hide. But of course anything is possible.

On a much more positive note my exercising last week went very well. I’ve begun a new exercise where I stand in front of a bar which is in front of a mirror, much like you might see in a ballet room. My hands are attached to the bar with special gloves and with the help of two or more trainers my knees are blocked out and I stand up. It’s an invigorating feeling to stand without the help of assistive devices such as a standing frame. I feel I connect very well with my lower back and hip muscles which help to tuck in my midsection keeping my body in line with my knees. While doing the exercise on Tuesday, the trainer’s helped me do some mini squats, bending my knees and straightening them back out. Suddenly my quads began to trimmer and before I knew it I was standing almost completely unassisted.

I don’t want to burst anyones bubble or persuade you to stop jumping up and down, but the fact that I stood by myself does not mean it’s completely under my own power. I actually had very little control over the quad muscles which had suddenly come to life. The weight bearing exercise along with the squats activated my nervous system sending tone and energy into the muscles. I believe much of this activation comes from commands I send from the brain but much of it is completely out of my control. However, this is still an incredible sign of recovery because this means that the possibility is there for me to gain full control over this movement which I believe will occur over time. Also, when this energy occurred I gained greater control over the core region, keeping my body upright and erect. My core muscles are clearly becoming stronger which is imperative for the overall strengthening of a normal functioning body.

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2 Responses to Was I paralyzed?

  1. Lessie says:

    Great videos! Fun seeing you laugh in the burning rubber one. Your humor is apparent in the journal entries — but fun to see it "live" too. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. benjamin says:

    I can somewhat relate to your condition. I had a atv accident on october3,2004 and crushed my c-3,c-4,c-5 and i was totally paralyzed for 3 days. Its been a long haul sense i had major surgery to put in a spinal cage. And by the grace of God after only 4 months i was walking. Although i have permaanent damage to my left hand,it has been a very humbling expierence to say the least.. And therapy is something i look forward to on a daily basis. Keep up the good work and may God bless you. You are truly an inxpiration to us all,and your strength is breath taking to me…

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