Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday June 20th

My third Saturday here, for I got here on a Saturday in case anyone didn’t know that. The weekends are nice for I don’t have any appointments or few appointments that don’t start until 11 like this Saturday. All I have planned is an exercise group, and a PT session. It actually turned out the PT I was going to work with went home with food poisoning from the food here at RIC, so a different PT came into my room and said she rearranged her schedule from 12 to 12:30 if I would like. I thought that was really nice of her to go out of her way to make sure I still got a session because my other PT was sick. That morning before we started any of our session, Mark Lee, Bob Schmelzer, Andy Houlihan and Kalli all were hanging out in my room visiting with me. We had some fun joking around then I really wanted to get out of bed. I pushed my call button and after 20 minutes no one was coming. Finally I pushed the button again and the lady said “can I help you?” and I responded “both of my legs fell out of the bed. Can you please send someone to come help me?” Five seconds later we hear an announcement “730 bed 1, both his legs fell out of bed. Someone please assist him” About a minute later my nurse Angel walks in. I said “Yeah, my legs didn’t fall out of bed, but I really want to get out of bed so I’m not late for my class.” She gave me a funny look and said she’d go get my PCT (personal care techniction). My PCT came we got changed and went to class. So at 11 we started our exercise program. Mark and Andy decided to join in. I told them before we started that no one has been able to keep up and do the whole exercise program with me. So we all sat down and started the exercise program which is usually kind of a hoot between making fun of the music, and making goofy exercise moves it can be a lot of fun. So we rocked out the whole first half of the arm movement session and then we took a little break and get weights put on our hands, take a pressure break, and get some fluids. Then after the break, oh my goodness, Mark and Andy were nowhere to be found. I guess the first half really tuckered them out (author’s note, Mark here, and it really was pretty tough and Houli and I really didn’t want to have anything to do with weights after the first 30 min). and they couldn’t handle it like some of the fine tuned participants such as Mr. Crocket, a 70 year old, hunched over African American man, who’s hunched over worse than the hunch back of Notre Dame. Mr. Crocket is a great new addition to the exercise group for he just started this week. He’s got a great attitude and is pretty funny.

We finished out the second half, weight portion of the session which went really well. I forgot to mention that there was another new addition this other guy, probably about 45 years old who’s got a white ninja turtle shell on, he seems alright too.

So then I met up with the PT that offered to do a session with me because mine had been cancelled. We went in the gym and I transferred virtually all by myself from my chair to the mat. She wanted to work on strengthening my core so I sat on the edge of the mat balancing on my own and she did several different drills where I go down on my elbow and balance on my side and then the other side, then we did another drill where we take a ball on my side, a red ball about 10 in diameter where I roll it around my back and grab it on the other side. We did this several times; it seems like an easy enough task to roll a ball around your back from one arm to the other but boy it took a lot of concentration and balance for I couldn’t put weight on the ball because it would roll away. Then she did some of the drills where she would push me around while sitting on the mat to try and throw me off balance. I, of course, gave her a good push back just for fun. The session went well and I did another transfer virtually all on my own which really feels good; my transfers are going really well with a slide board into the chair.

After that we came into the Canary room to have some lunch. Joining me was newly arrived sister Theresa, Laura, Pat Keegan and my dad. My sister Theresa got me a t-shirt that said ‘bomb squad if you see me running, you might want to try and keep up’. I said to her “is this some sort of sick joke, because I can’t run?” We all had a good laugh, it’s a cool shirt.

After lunch we went outside to throw around the bean bag and get some fresh air, probably around 80 degrees and sunny. We had a good group throwing the bag around; Kalli, Mark, Andy, Pat and I were all getting in some tosses while Pat finished off some of Mark and Houli’s ultra meaty pizza from Gino’s. Probably the thickest and meatiest pizza I’ve ever seen. Thanks for the suggestion Gina.

After that we headed to the apartment to meet up with my mom and dad, and the whole gang for a nice dinner. My mom asked me what I wanted and I requested pork tacos with her special salsa combination sauce. We had dinner played, cards, and then I needed to head back to start my nightly routine.

In case any of your are wondering for I had mentioned I didn’t poop in four days, on Friday night the thunder from down under finally came. Those poor poor nurses that were on staff that night took really great care of me cleaning up what had to have been four pounds of poop. On that note, that will be the end of the blog today. Hope you all have a great weekend. Remember to wish your dads a happy father’s day.


  1. a four pounder hip????? how could the nurses be upset, that's impressive! sorry bout the late night profanity on your last post, alcohol and family blogs don't mix well for me. today it's off to mission bay for a bbq / fundraiser swedish style. these guys really love you man, i'm sure you'll be getting a call today. i'll be out there in one week man!!!!

  2. Andrew -- Great to hear that you're surpassing the stamina of your old friends,during your OT arm exercises . . . doesn't surprise me at all.

    I think you could start a great party fund for the 7th floor patients by giving any visitor an opportunity to play that 'push Andrew around' game that your Physical Therapists do. Any non-PT who wants to try it could put in a certain coin or dollar amount per minute or so. (I think that would be fun for everybody!!)

    Hope you're having a great family meal over on the 35th floor in the McClurg this afternoon!

    Hello to everybody!
    Love, Maureen

  3. Yo Hipp-

    Al here, I am at Endo's place and I had a pretty good time last night after my flight. I'm really happy to hear about your progress buddy, keep up the good work; that includes pushing your PCT's around to show them who's really in charge. Today, while you are chillin in Chi-town, Endo, Heather, and I are going to San Diego to visit your buddies "the swedes" and some chef guy who they tell me is amazing. There is going to be a BBQ/Fundraiser for you, and I am stoked to be a contributing member. After that, I have to start my job/slacker-hobby and I will try to keep staying in touch. Much love brotha, and keep on keepin' on.


    P.S.: no matter what your t-shirt says, I think we should all stay away from bombs.

  4. Hi there, Andrew!
    Rose Aguirre again sending you love, hugs and healing from Greenville, WI. If you're still keeping track, I've been meaning to let you know you have been receiving prayers and well-wishes from a few other distant lands: Amersfoort, in the Netherlands; Newbury, in the county of Berkshire, UK; and many from Kampala, Uganda and the little community of Piswa in the Kapchorwa district in Uganda. Close your eyes and concentrate on just FEELING the love and energy being channeled through so many who care. God is not finished with you yet!
    Also, something else you should be aware of -- you are not the only one on the receiving end of all of this. You are a tremendous inspiration to so many of the rest of us who start our days with your humor and messages of hope. As you walk us through the trials and triumphs of each day you inspire us with a renewed Faith and consciousness of all that is truly important in this world. Thank you for that!!

  5. Hey Hippert,

    Just wanted to let you know we've been following your blogs and appreciate the updates. We're thinking about you! Taking a sip from the cup of you remember our 'Business Ethics' class at UW-M? I'm pretty sure that turned into an Internet surfing class for us and you'd always walk in with your laptop/mp3 player. I hate to admit it Hippert, but that was the biggest mp3 player I've ever seen in my life! :)

    We also decided to see how many times we could register an answer on our in-class remotes...until we got busted!

    Keep up the hard work man!

    Chris & Kris Schneider

  6. Hey Hippert!!

    It sounds like you're making a lot of progress, but it also sounds like you're having some fun! I love reading these posts because you have such a great attitude. Sorry I have not posted much! I'll do better, I promise. You're still in my thoughts and prayers all the time.

    And hey, Congrats on the 4 pounder. I bet you were excited. :)


  7. Hippert this is so funny i was in West Yellowstone yesterday and saw that same exact tee shirt in a window and for some odd reason thought of you. Its so funny how things like that work out. And hip a four pounder thats gotta be some kind of record which got me thinking in between your 27 hour a day sessions a Guinness World Record or two is waiting for you. Get to thinking hip i want to see you in that book for something... even if its for the worlds largest crap.

  8. alright just had to add the my verification word after my last post was dukey some kind of a phenomenon I don't think so. Keep up the good work dude

  9. Hi Kalli & Andrew! We read that you enjoyed Gino's Pizza - we went there when we were in Chicago & loved it too! We're all at your house right now for Father's Day. Travis Anderson asked about Andrew yesterday, and he checks occasionally to see how you're doing. We're glad everything is going well, and you both are always in our prayers. Keep thinking positive!

    Caitlin, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Bill & Aunt Maureen

  10. hey hippert and kalli! so sorry I couldn't make it down to chicago with Houli but we are planning to get down there sometime in July to hang out and catch up! It sounds like you guys had a lot of good laughs this weekend (although i'm sure the majority of them involved you (hippert) and poop). i know andy enjoyed his time in chicago and visiting with you the both of you.

    i hope you have a great week of rehab -- can't wait to hear about the great new techniques and stretches you are learning to strengthen your bod. keep up the hard work!

  11. Ahh...glad you liked the pizza! Now it's gotten me thinking about it...craving it actually...just can't find anything like it out here in Phoenix.

    You're in my thoughts and prayers! It's become part of my morning routine at work...check work email, check your blog...some of my co-workers are even in the routine! Just know that you've got people out here pulling for you!


  12. Hip Hip,

    Sounds like they are keeping you real busy. I've been reading the blog everyday, thanks for keeping up with it.
    Not sure if i told you but i'm living in la crosse these days making chicago a bit of commute, but i want to come visit as soon as possbile. Keep up the good work man!

    much love,

  13. Hey Hip,
    I'm baaaccckkk!
    Spent the weekend at our cottage and had no access to a computer to check your blog or post a comment...I think I was beginning to have andrew hippert withdrawal! You and your website are quite addicting.
    Sounds like you have been doing alot of iron pumping and strengthening excercises. Good for you. Kind of sad that your buddies are slackers and couldn't keep up!
    I noticed there was no announcement of any "shake of the day" winner. That's good. Keep luring in shakers to fatten the pot. "Mama Van Hoof needs a new pair of shoes". Let me know when I should stop by and show you all how to win!
    Glad to hear your Rockstar popularity continues.(no doubt an autographing session is in your future), and that you got out with your friends over the weekend.
    P.S. I am soooo glad you opted not to "throw poop"...though I am not sure if you are conditioned enough to actually get your last one airborn...I'm wondering if there was a secret ingredient in your mom's special "salsa" on your pork tacos that got things moving...

  14. Hey Hip!

    Thanks for the poo update!


  15. Hi Andrew,
    We've never met, but I'm Bob Schmelzer's uncle. His mom (Ruth)is my sister. Shortly after your accident ruth notified us and asked for our prayers. Since that time our Presbyterian church here in Goodyear, Arizona has been praying for you through out prayer chair, prayer groups and also each week at our Sunday Worship Services. Yesterday our Pastor read the article that was published in the Compass. We praise God for your recovery to date and prayed that His Healing hand will be on you as you continue your recovery. Your story has touched everyone here.
    We will continue to pray for you as you continue the road through rehab.
    In His Love and Service,
    Bob Honson

  16. Hipps,

    I love a good Scat story every now and again, please keep us posted.

    Not really.

    P.S. I am going to try and get down there soon to visit so I'll be in touch.

  17. Hi Andrew! I just had a good laugh out loud moment at work that actually made my coworker come in to my office to see what was going on. Glad to hear you are free and clear! Also good to hear you still have your humor to get you through. :)


  18. hey hip,

    hope you enjoy all the pics and stuff from your party at the apartment complex yesterday. it was a great time and i know jt, guillermo, and marcus are all planning on moving back in a year or two so if we don't make it sweden they'll be back in sd soon enough. give me a call when you can, i got specifics on the golf fundraiser and everything but it's in a month so we gotta get the word out real soon. talk to you soon man,


  19. Hey Andrew,

    It was great to visit with you yesterday- seeing some of the comments I realize how many other people would love to be able to spend a little time with you as well. So I was glad I could make it.

    Mark and Kalli, it was really great to visit with you also-- Andrew is so lucky to have your love and support.

    Again, know that we are sending prayers from South Bend-- I'll be sure to light a candle for you at the ND Grotto, too.

    And any funny poo stories are a great break from some of the reading I have to do!

  20. Hi Andrew- I'm leaving instructions for everyone on how to post right now. I love you dude.

    Your Sister

  21. Testing. Testing. 1 2 3

  22. Sounds like you are getting stronger, keep it up my brother. Not a day gose by that i dont think about you and pray for you. I told G to give you a big hug for me. Well you stay strong, and before you know it, you will be back in SD. love you Andrew

  23. Hey Andrew, Amy Drees here, Mark's coolest sister. I think the last time I saw you was at my dad's cottage in Minocqua a few years ago. We were sitting on the back of a couple snowmobiles in the middle of Fence Lake under some incredible stars drinking a few adult beverages. You might have even been underage at the time, but I won't tell anyone.
    Your sense of humor, courage and incredible optimism have been inspirational, man! Stay strong, keep up the fight and know that your family and friends are right behind you. We'll keep sending prayers from Grand Rapids, MI.
    Thanks for the poop update. Good to know.

  24. Hey Buddy
    I'm glad to hear your in good spirits. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you or Kalli out here, and get get well soon we miss you!!


  25. Andrew - this is Chris Drees, Amy's husband following the blog also. Keep up the good work, we are all pulling for you! All I remember about that loooong snowmobile trip you had with Amy is taking care of the kids.