Sunday, July 4, 2010

SCI*: San Jose

*SCI: spinal cord injury
Note: the picture to my right is not my neck, but does show hardware similar to what the doctors gave me...

Since I left the hospital on June 22, I became humbled by the events that followed. I remember the anxiety I felt in the week before I was discharged from the spinal cord rehabilitation unit. For four weeks I enjoyed the finest cuisine, daily therapy, gym sessions, counseling, classes, and stretching. All my care staff was kind and courteous. From my day of spinal decompression May 24, 2010, until I left, my days were all about preparing to go home.

My daily therapies regularly addressed functions I lost as a result of my surgery. Prior to the cutting day, I was still able to stand up to move my bottom from one seating surface to another. Now, I cannot stand up of my own power. Skills therapists tried to teach me in months' past are now a focal point in me regaining my independence. I never wanted to learn how to use a slide-board. This is a slick board placedunder my thigh to help bridge my move from one chair to another.

Also, I am taught by doctors (more convincingly than by my mother) the danger of sitting on my ass all the time. Of course, my mother was always concerned with my inaction. Doctors are now sharing how important it is to move my body to avoid pressure sores. Silly point is I no longer roll my body when sleeping anymore. Shifting my body from time to time is now imperative.

Yes, it is true I have to find my own motivation. But, with good information, I am learning how staying proactive will get me to achieve my goals. I am the one who has to continue to exercise, seek outpatient occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Piece by piece, and day by day, I can continue to progress towards safe transfers, standing, and eventually walking again.

So now I share a house with several men who all have mobility issues. We share care givers who help us with such things as getting out of bed, dressing, and bathing. Now the pressure is on, but I am grateful for all the help I have received along the way. From th social worrkers, to the therapists, the doctors, and the nurse that brought me to this point. The doctors will not promise me anything. I work fome my hope, and the hopes I borrow from others. I am learning from quadriplegic people the miracles that continue to occur in their nervous systems. I can only believe that great recoveries lie ahead for me.

My family has worked hard to help me the entire way. They helped me make phone calls, arrange appointments, collect my mail and set up my room at my new residence. One day at a time, I am adjusting. This is an exciting journey, and it would be terrifying if not for all the people working to help me succeed.

Thank you for reading..

8 comments:

lachlan-molly said...

To quote several Adam Sandler movies, "youuu caaaaan doooooo eeeeet, Neeecky!"

Santa Cruz Nick said...

You're blessed to have people in your life to help you through this trying time. All the best to you, Keith.

Anonymous said...

ah, that was from ME, Melissa Hastings

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you Keith. You are truly a warrior! Battle on!

Mary said...

Keith,

I had no idea all this had happened to you. I am amazed at the turn your health has taken, but cheered that you have your family and good friends about you to help.

I didn't even know you were back in the states....here I was imagining you over in the Philippines teaching in some tiny corner of the world.

You are in my prayers and my thoughts, I will keep up with your blog as much as I can. My firefox had a crash a while back and I lost all my RSS feeds which is how I lost touch with your blog (I was following about 70 blogs, lol)

As for me, I am still in Dublin. I just finished my 4 year BA in Theology and Philosophy and am now starting (hopefully, waiting on the acceptance letter) an MA in 'Religion, Society and Law' from the University of Leuven in Belgium.

I hope to be starting my own blog soon, although I have to say upfront it is going to be a bit politically charged, to say the least ;)

God Bless ya friend, I am really praying for your recovery.

Mary

(Antara)

Keith said...

Mary, it is always good to hear from you. I always remember that I can be as opinionated as I want. I only become controversial when someone chooses to disagree...

I look forward to reading anything you post. Take care.

bw said...

Way to go Keith. Glad to know that you are being proactive and positive.
Keep it up, all the best to you and God Bless :)

Keith said...

bw, thank you for the good thoughts. i am working to stay proactivee, thoough i sometimes fall behind!