Click the picture for the story of Calypso, the Three Legged Green Sea Turtle, and why she's my symbol

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting home and my new kittens

So I'm now here in North Carolina. I realized I left the blog on a cliffhanger which is just irresponsible. So here is what my life looks like now that I'm here.

I'm in physical therapy in our local medical complex. My therapist Mindy is great, challenging me and pushing me harder. She has me working not only the bulk muscles required to move my limbs but on the fine control muscles in the limbs I already have.

So my big news: I'm moving my left on land! I had found underwater that I was able to bend and extend my leg from the knee, as well as the hipflexers I already had. Yesterday for the first time I was able to drag my leg across the carpet using only the muscles surrounding my knee. This is extremely promising (although it's obviously only the first step in a very long road).

I go swimming around the YMCA three times a week, working once a week with a personal trainer, a nurse who specializes in aqua-therapy. She pushes me in the water to do more than I can do any place else.

And I got two kittens. They help with my mental state of mind, very important considering my body is going through so much. They are adorable. The orange striped one is Hobbes and the Calico is named Terra. I will post pictures of them once I get to a wifi spot. My parents only have dial-up so it takes too long to post them on here. Those of you who are friends on facebook keep an eye out for pictures.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Roadtrip Day 3-4: A long, frequently interupted nap

We've made it all the way to Virginia. We've come a long way, thanks to the persistence of my parents. They've driven like madmen to get us this far this quickly while I slept comfortably in the front seat.

We made it to St. Louis on Wednesday, passing through on our way east. We saw the St. Louis arch, my Mom thankfully waking me up so I could see it (I missed it on the way out). It was pretty cool and I can add it to the list of national monuments that I've seen.

Stopping in Kentucky, we kept pushing forward the next day. We made it through Kentucky and West Virginia. We stopped in Huntington, WV, my parents home for many years. My Dad went to school here as well as two of my siblings being born here. Needless to say the place carried some memories for my parents. I thought the place was kind of depressing but that may have just been the gloomy weather. What was certain was the city was surrounded by a ton of trailers, all badly in need of paint job, showing that they had most likely been there for many years. I heard a WV joke: How is a Texas Tornado like a West Virginia Divorce? No matter what, someone's going to lose a trailer.

We're now in Virginia and on our last day of traveling. I'm looking forward to today since I'll be driving the last hour and a half. My parents both have a car at the Newport News airport so I'll be driving my van home. This has been a long trip but it is so close to done.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Roadtrip Day 2: We're not in Colorado anymore Toto

We made it all the way through Kansas today and it was a very interesting experience to say the least. The state is flat, the culture is weird, and the people are wide.

The highways have high speed limits with limited traffic so we made good time. We made it through the entire state in one day and are now resting this side of Missouri. We won't be able to make distances like that the rest of the trip but it was certainly good to have a good start.

You can definitely see the difference between Kansas and the rest of the country. Every rest stop had a giant convenience store dedicated to hunter gear. It was like being back in Wisconsin without all the cheese. The stares of people are more obvious; although they try and be subtle about it, they stare a little longer at me and the wheelchair before turning away. I guess they don't see many kids in wheelchairs these days.

Something I thought was funny: when I asked for a sprite with lunch, they asked if Mountain Dew was okay. Apparently all they had Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper. They know they're costumers well.

The people are wider than they are in Colorado. I guess this is to be expected since Colorado is so health conscious but it still is shocking to see 300 pound people everywhere. One man at lunch had a full person worth hanging off each side of his chair. A lady at dinner had to walk with a walker because she was too heavy to walk on her own. Unaware of the irony, she very loudly ordered the mashed potatoes with extra gravy, giving instructions that they were to be smothered in it.

There are many other things that are hard to put into words but Kansas is just... different.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Roadtrip Day 1: Minds up in the clouds

Day one of traveling has us tired. We're all exhausted and making very interesting choices:

Today while looking through the food bag, I can only assume that Mom was thinking about the gloves I wear. She very clearly offered me a "Velcro sandwich". Needless to say it didn't sound so enticing.

When about to hit the highway, passed the signs showing the different routes. Moving toward the eastbound highway, I asked my Dad "Don't we want the westbound highway?" He answered kindly, "No son, we're headed toward the EAST coast."

When finally hitting the motel for the night, my Dad reached into his wallet to hand us the key. Instead of the key he handed us a pass to the Denver Museum of Natural History and Science; it took me three tries in the magnetic door lock to realize that this wasn't the key after all.

We're all tired and brain dead. We're at the edge of Kansas with the rest of the country in front of us. One day down...