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

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Healing

Not to jinx myself but I'm healing really well. The hole in my back, which has been plaguing me for months, is finally closing.

How my medical issues seem sometimes. I keep trying to get away but they just suck me back in.

For those who haven't been following along, a few months ago fluid had built up under my back from an undetermined infection, forming a zit-like bubble an inch wide. There were several clinic visits and 2 inpatient surgeries on the pocket in an attempt to stem the build up of fluid. After my last surgery they put in a vacuum pump on my back to suck out any fluid that may have formed underneath the surface. I've essentially been walking around with an open wound for the past few months. Though it's annoying to be carrying around the car battery sized pump, I'm glad I had it. Fairly recently, due to/in spite of my surgeries, pockets of undermining (fluid filled caverns in my back) that stretched as far as 20-30 cm in different directions had formed underneath the surface. 

Alright mine's not a bottomless pit but it's deep enough to screw with my life.

Though the wound is not completely closed, all of the undermining has been sucked up! It should only be another week or two before I'm allowed to be free from the tyranny of the vacuum pump. The underlying infection, which may possibly go all the way down to the metal hardware in my back, is being suppressed with oral antibiotics. With any luck I'll be rid of it soon. In the meantime, those antibiotics should keep me from developing any more bubbles (fingers crossed!).

Aaaaaaaaand... (pop!) bubbles no more!

This amazing healing is no doubt in part to my complete lack of a social life all summer. I've been getting up, walking, stretching, doing my exercises; but other than school I don't get too far from our apartment. Even if I had people to go see, after I am done with the studying my summer class I don't really feel like doing anything except facebooking, watching shows from the 90's, and taking long naps. To say the least I've been nice to my back and gotten plenty of rest. So here's for the healing power of boredom.

A baby bookworm, taking a well deserved nap.

Now if I would just heal up already! I want to get back to being a brainless 20-something; this whole frail and sickly thing is getting old pretty fast. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Back on Campus

In one of my last posts I wrote I was traveling up to Albany, NY where I'm taking a summer class. If everything goes well I should be able to graduate in the spring. It is kind of bizarre being back on campus again, though besides the gurgling from the vacuum pump on my back my newest injuries haven't affected my class too much. At least the teacher always remembers my name.

Didn't realize it until now but this guy from Finding Nemo is named Gurgle.

I've been doing a lot of walking lately to the different parts of campus. We park near my class but if I want to visit the library (which I do nearly every day) or go grab food at the cafeteria, it can be quite a hike. At my usual pace it takes me a while to get anywhere.

One of my favorite lines when traveling with someone else is "I only have one pace, so SLOW DOWN!" I am usually yelling that at the backs of  whomever I am walking with. This, in all honesty, isn't completely the truth. I have two speeds: turtle speed and turtle hyper speed. Turtle speed is about the pace of a lazy stroll to anyone else. It let's me focus on staying upright, contracting the muscles I'm supposed to (abs, glutes, leg muscles, back muscles, etc.), and walking in a more or less straight line. Turtle hyper speed is the speed akin to a slow speed walk. Like a spaceship on any sci-fi show, I can only manage this over short distances and it wears me out when I do.

 My eventual goal.

Recently, I've been practicing on these cross-campus journeys to try and maintain turtle hyper speed over longer distances. Only problem with this is that when I tire myself out I tend to catch my feet on things and I loose my balance. Which leads to me picking myself off the ground.


It is good to be back doing something. I'm terrible at self-motivating but if I have something to work towards I am an over-achiever. So here's to new places to go and new goals to achieve. Just slow down for me, otherwise you'll be doing a lot of waiting while I'm working on my goals.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Story of Hope - How i Roll

I connected with this great guy through facebook. We contacted each other via facebook a while ago and we swapped stories. He posted my story on his blog a few weeks back and I'm more than happy to return the favor. In his own words here is How I Roll (check his blog out! It's a great resource for anyone new to a wheelchair):


My name is Jacob. I’m 30 years old and live in West Palm Beach, Florida. In a nutshell, this is the story about a defining moment in my life.

February 4, 1982:

Born in West Palm Beach, FL.

 

January 26, 1999:

Just like any other day, I arrived to homeroom 5-10 minutes late. All I heard was noise as the teacher, whose name I couldn’t recall if my life depended on it, reamed me out for being late to class, again. I could hear her perfectly fine, but chose not to listen to the noise coming out of her mouth. I was a 16-year-old junior in high school, who could have cared less about high school… I was more interested in my new girlfriend and my hockey game that coming weekend.

And just like any other random day, after homeroom ended 2 friends and I decided to cut class 2nd period, as we’d done many times before. I’ll call the driver “Mike” and my other friend “Ryan” to explain the story. We often parked in the faculty parking lot, so getting on and off campus was a breeze. We decided to go to my house because nobody was home during the day except my older brother. After playing Nintendo 64 for over an hour (007 multi-player was sweet back in the 90′s), I had to get back to school for a math test, which I had studied zero for. All 3 of us loaded up into Mike’s 2 seater Ford F-150 (no extended cab) and headed back to school, which was only 2 blocks away. At the last minute Ryan decided he wanted to go home instead of school, so we dropped him off at home 2 blocks away.I vividly remember pulling up to his house and letting him out of the truck. What I don’t remember is what happened shortly after. I had hopped back into the car, and within 60 seconds my life was changed forever, in an instant.

Mike and I were close, like brothers. Out of all my friends, I trusted his driving skills more than anyone. But, on this day, 2 blocks away from our high school, he made a mistake, which ultimately left me paralyzed from the waist down.