Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday June 22nd

They woke me up early because my schedule, for some reason, was starting at 8. I got completely dressed and ready to go when someone came in and informed me that my PT, Carey, had called in sick and was not feeling to well. So, luckily I had another hour to get some breakfast and a little extra time sitting upright in bed, to get my bearings and handle on my dizziness which can occur if I just go and try to sit up or jump out of bed right away. My Mom came right away in the morning, because Kalli was down by the river working with Mercury and my buddy Mark to set up for a marketing event. They were having kids park and drive 38 and 43 foot yachts with a new parking technology that's based on a joy stick system. We got a PCT to come and monitor me while I slide boarded out of bed. Every day I seem to get better and better at it, getting down the technique of where to put my body weight so that I can slide more easily. Then we headed for my first group which was an OT hands group.

In hands group, they gave me a board filled with holes that would fit all different size bolts. So, the drill was to get a washer on a bolt, skip it through the hole and thread on a nut. Something that I am very familiar with but yet is so hard to do now. It is crazy how a simple task like threading a nut can make me now sweat, cramp up my hands and make my entire arms tingle and buzz. But, the good part is when I get those kind of sensations I know that the drill is working and it is a great challenge!

After OT hand group, I had a little break in the schedule. So, I created my own OT session and practiced a technique that I learned last week. Basically I put my hands on a towel and used my torso to slide my hands across the table going in all different directions, trying to strengthen my core. My break went by quickly and all of a sudden it was OT exercise group time.

The group was large today and actually very focused. I got one of the best workouts that I have gotten from this group so far and I was able to still stick with my upgraded three pound weights.

After the exercise group, wheeling away with jello arms, I headed to the canary room for my second to last therapy of the day. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that my wheelchair over the weekend was kind of our of whack, with several different repairs that were needed to fine tune the driving. So I actually jumped in my old Cadillac jumbo chair, weighing in around 90lbs, for the morning so I could get my new hot rod in the shop with the wheelchair fix-it boys. So in the canary room I had another session of OT scheduled, where she wanted to work on my writing and penmanship. So, we decided to list and write out all of my OT goals that I have achieved and all of my OT goals that I still have in progress. With each type of therapy we determine weekly goals in which I try to continually knock down. Of course, the list that I had achieved was ten items to six that I still have active. It felt good to see all the things that only a week ago I couldn't do and now can. One of the goals was actually to be able to write half a page of words in one sitting. Well, because of this session and writing out all of my goals, I was able to cross that one off too! The funny thing about my penmanship is that if you know me well enough it is absolutely terrible, even before the accident. So, when I am working with my OT's I feel funny explaining that "boy this is about as good as it gets" and I am almost back to where I was at, just a little slower. We are thinking of bringing in my notepad from work for the next session so we can prove to the OT that I truly don't have much further to progress unless I plan on getting better than I once was.

After the session we noticed that my wheelchair was back and all fixed up and so I was eager to get back in my hot rod. So, my mom and I headed back to my room where I didn't have my last session for another hour and a half. The way I was sitting in my Cadillac created some stress in my neck and I was ready for a quick nap. So, I slide boarded into bed and caught a half hour of shut eye. Then, fifteen minutes before my class I woke up, sat up in bed to get my head together, and then slide boarded back into my newly tuned up hot rod.

Last class of the day was a psychological, one-on-one, therapy session. This session is probably really important for many of the patients around here that either don't have a whole lot of support or are just plain old really down on their new injury. But for me, it is really just a chatting session for about a half hour, going back and forth on how was your weekend, how old are your kids,etc. The psychologist is a really nice lady and I get the impression that she has no worries for my psychological state and just enjoys sitting down and catching up with me.

Next, we went outside and our good friend Guillermo, from San Diego, arrived. Guillermo is actually Uruguayan but has lived in Sweden almost his whole life. He spent the last year in San Diego with me studying abroad for a business certificate. he hopped out of a cab, which didn't have AC, a thirty minute cab from the airport in 85-90 degree weather - lets just say he looked a little hot. We then headed over to the apartment to show him where he would be staying until he heads back on Wednesday. Guillermo came with an arm full of gifts and banners. One from my good buddies Marcus and Jonathon and the other a 25 foot long banner that was created during a fundraiser cook-out at our apartment complex in San Diego - sounds like it was a blast and a great turnout! Not only did they have fun, do a little drinking, and eat some good food, but they somehow managed to raise around $1,000 for my fund! It's truly amazing the love and support that all my friends have shown. I mean, none of these people have more than rent and beer money. Most of them are still in school, or just finding their way and covered in student bills, but somehow all reached deep into their pockets and donated money. That was really cool.

We went over to the apartment and hung the banner up across the longest wall we had and it just barely fit. It was covered in signatures, great sayings, memories and notes. And amazingly, fifteen different flags representing different countries of all the friends we met in San Diego - from all over the world. What a unique group of people that we have gathered in the last year for most of them drew their flag after they signed their name. I never thought that I would meet that diverse of a group of friends and it truly made for a neat experience in CA.

After that we headed back to RIC to show Guillermo my room and get some food for dinner. After we ate, once again, I began my nightly routine. Guillermo and Kalli stuck around so we could write this blog. Another day, showing me so much of the love and support that I have received every step of the way. Also, thank you Nick Wilz and Jenny Reh for sending FMH's 100 hottest women of 2009 - Guillermo and I savored each page as we went through making all of our own judgments of who should have been when and where.


  1. Dude, sorry I did not make it there this past weekend. I was planning to stop by and see you and the Hipperts and the rest of your crew and spend the night at my friends not far from RIC. The next day spend fathers day and my b-day (both land on the 21st this year) with my dad who lives around 15 mins. from you but my prosthetic cranial plate (motorcycle accident) has been giving me a bunch of problems. I was not able to see very well to make the drive from Platteville. They have a new one waiting for me at the mayo clinic just have to find alot of time to have it put in.
    It seems like you all have been doing fine finding the good Chitown eatery's. I will still show you all the hidden secret places that my Police and Fireman buddies keep on the down low... Cheap and the best!!!
    We are all very proud of you! You are a great inspiration for all of us! Much Luv from Platteville; Jerome, Donna, and Michelle

  2. Andrew- so good to hear about your weekend. Sounds like it was fun and quite full. Keep up the good fight!

    Jenny Laird-(shorty)

  3. Hi Big Tuna,

    Just finished downloading your blogs from the past few days and it should take me about 2 weeks to read all of them. My God you have a lot of friends! I remember whenever we worked together you would always leave me and go see your friends in L.A., Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Jose etc... nice to see that they are all sending you notes and keeping in touch.

    I spoke to Pelke the other day and he filled me in on his visit to see you. Wish I lived closer, but you are always in my thoughts. Hope you have a good week and continue to get stronger. Let me know a good time to call, because as you know, I don't text message. I hardly know what that means.

    Take care big guy,

    Papa Mike

  4. Hey Hip,
    What an action/company packed weekend! You hardly have time to rehab, much less be fact maybe we all need to leave you the heck alone to catch your breath. NOT!
    I think it is just awesome that so many of your friends are taking the time to visit you. You are very fortunate to have so many good supportive friends!
    Hey, it's "T minus 2 days" to your sailing trip! I think I am almost as excited FOR you as you are to go. I am sure it will feel great to be on the water again.
    Sorry I missed out on the bladder control docu-drama. One never knows when that info may come in handy. Is there a sequel? I can't imagine that it would be "one and done"! Let me know when it hits the local video stores, it sounds like a "must see".
    Have another progress-filled, fun-filled, friend and family-filled day. Hi to Kalli and your mom.
    As always, love and prayers....

  5. hey hip,

    damn, that was novel and a half man. you're lucky we're friends or i would've took a break for a nap halfway through all that :-) i love what i'm hearing though, all those goals in such a short amount of time! you keep it up like this and you're gonna put your therapists out of work. i'm glad you liked the banner with all the signatures, it was an awesome idea and took up most of the outer excercise room wall. i'm sure guillermo showed you some pics. that crazy uruguayan-swede told me he told me has over 10,000 pictures from just this year he downloaded to his computer!!! i bet you're in half of them man, everyone had some memory or another that they will treasure for a lifetime. trust me a lot of classic "hippert" stories were shared at your party.

    oh yeah before i forget, one dude there worked at a hospital rehab center and wanted me to pass on some words of advice i'm sure you've already been told but here goes. no matter what, even on those days where you feel awesome and want to take on everything, make sure you don't do more than you're supposed to. i know you hip, you want to burn through this in record time but don't push it too hard. just something keith? (i think his name was) wanted me to pass along.

    oh yeah just so you know i hit a washers shot that was once in a lifetime but unfortunately the american team fell to the swedes in a nailbiter. guillermo can fill you in on the details.

  6. oh yeah man call me or have kalli call whenever there's some time so i can fill you in on the details about the golf outing in the works for july 20th

  7. Reading your blog before I go to bed, as per usual! You do so much in a day! I feel exhausted just taking Grey to the beach, and keeping her fed, and try to force-nap her, and whatnot... yet you seem to do a lot more and then you can still blog a novel.

    It was a weird day today in Manitowoc- Grey slept until almost 11!! (Which is CRAZY long, she's never done that before) which tells me that she was super exhausted from her Chicago trip. Then she didn't take a nap- since she woke up so late...which made me nervous, because that can sometimes bring out the Devil in her. But! Lo-and-behold, dad took us to the Dug Out for dinner and she passed right out on the way home. Thank God. That's about the extent of my stories.... Grey Grey Grey. I'll give you more if you want 'em :) Love you, Laura

  8. You have many of us following your saga...
    and none of us has ever met you: You're
    referred to as, the kid in the pool accident,
    around the hospital...but...everyone is interested and we are all keeping you in our
    prayers and hoping you remember to be thankful
    for all that you already have! Good friends,
    good family, love and support. YOU CAN DO IT.
    Keep on keepn on.

  9. morning hip,

    so i decided to make things difficult on myself and went ahead and lost my wallet saturday night. it was a long night because al was here and anthony's little brother just got back from iraq and my wallet didn't stick with me for the evening. hopefully i can get a replacement id at the dmv today but i think they mail them to you in a week or so. not very helpful considering my flight's sunday. you got any tips on flying id-less? if a bunch of terrorists can get on some flights you'd think they'd hook your boy endow up right? anyways enough about me screwing up. i know you're rockin out therapy and crossing out goals left and right today but hit me up when you get a chance. later bud