Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday June 16h

I started off my day with a little physical therapy, which is usually the toughest class that I have. We worked on transferring from my chair to a workout mat and back from the workout mat to my chair. My body just feels so heavy sometimes, especially my legs. That kind of stuff is extremely tiring and very difficult. But, I do get a little better every time I try.

After that I ate my breakfast - french toast - in the day room. Then, I went to the middle area by the front desk and they set up "bags", the game where you toss bean bags onto an angled board with a hole in it. There was some pretty fierce competition in the group, but I would say I was probably the best. The guy I was up against was only about a foot and a half away from the board and i was throwing them overhand about ten feet, draining threes left and right with my left hand.

Next, I had a little break so I came back into my room and for the first time trimmed up by mustache a little by the nostrils and my lips just to stay looking good for Kalli and a couple of the cute nurses. After that was one of my favorite things we do - because it really works my muscles and even makes me a little sore afterward, OT exercise. Basically, an upper body workout routine, kind of like you would see on TV where half the time we just keep the arms and body moving and the other half the time we strap weights to our wrists and pump iron.

After that good workout I headed back to the day room for a quick lunch, I only had a half hour. My mom and Aunt Maureen came to eat with me. Aunt Maureen bought me three different books, two informational ones to help me understand the body better, especially dealing with my spinal cord, and one Joke book to keep me laughing. While at lunch in pops his head - Bill Pelke - one of my coworkers on the marketing team for Sheffield Plastics. He was in the midwest and didn't feel like he was going to get this close again for a while so he took advantage of being able to come and see me. It really meant a lot and it was great to see Bill. Bill came bearing gifts of incense and myrrh, also known as sailing door county t shirt and a deck of cards from door county, which really brought back a lot of memories for me.

After our visit, we all went up to the 12th floor to try for my first time transferring into a car. The 12th floor has a 1992 Dodge Spirit cut in half ready to load and reload. The car was pretty funny looking and had a slight odor, but what a great challenge and prop for achieving what is a pretty difficult task as well. Getting in was easier than getting out. I can't wait to try again.

After practicing with the car, Bill helped me get down to the first floor where they have what is called the Life Center. This is an interactive library information center to help people find information about themselves, activities of life, basically anything that you may question and would like help with. During the class there were a couple experienced veterans. One, five years in a wheel chair. One, twenty-five years in a wheelchair. They volunteer so we can talk with someone and really throw ideas back and forth about anything from sex life to putting up a wheel chair ramp on your apartment. One neat thing I found out was they have a class to help you learn all your rights and regulations of traveling in an airplane as a disabled passenger. This could be really helpful as I move towards getting back into my daily routine, which definitely involves travel. They also mentioned they have the form you need to fill out in order to get a handicap sticker - so I am going to get that soon and I will find out if I can get some spares. I asked about getting 150 of them and they gave me a pretty strange look, as if I owned a fleet of some sort!

After talking with the group for a while, I went back upstairs and got together with my occupational therapist Diane and just worked on techniques for brushing my teeth, washing my face, general hygiene and operating my wheelchair in different ways.

Three o clock came around quickly after a day of seven different classes and boy I was exhausted. Kalli and I basically sat in the room and chitchatted for a while and then around 4:30 or so I was ready to just be sitting in bed relaxing, getting ready for dinner.

Today was another great day, activity filled and spirits up just as much as always! Maintaining enough energy is really my only battle, the rest just seems to keep coming as they feed it to me.


  1. Andrew you are so funny! I laughed when you wrote about getting 150 handicap stickers. LOL
    Jenny Laird

  2. Hello Andrew,

    You have such a busy day. I get tired just reading everything you do. It's great they have resources for you.

    Keep up the good work.

    Katy Connor

  3. Hip Dog! you are hilarious. Let me know if I can get one of those handicap stickers hahaha!! keep up the hard work my friend. Much Love


  4. wow hip that sounds like a full plate of a day, i got tired just readin all that, you really are fucking amazing man. i know this car transfer thing will be mastered in no time because you've decided this is something you want so you're gonna go get it. that's just the way you get down, we both know this. i wonder why they chose the 12th floor, moving a couch one flight of stairs is hard enough. having to move half a dodge spirit 12 floors had to ruin someone's day but i'm glad it's there for you to utilize.

    oh yeah i'm not surprised you're makin it rain from long distance with the bags. maybe a tournament is in order to let the hospital know where you're from. no one one beats wisco when it comes to bags, represent man.

    glad to hear you plan on workin for sheffield and traveling again. i know your little steps are leading you to much bigger things. we have plenty more spots we need to sail and plunder together so keep workin like this and it will be happening in no time.

  5. Hi Andrew, David and I are in Yellowstone with Amy, Chris and boys. We went whitewater rafting today, great fun! I thought I'd share a few of my favorite verses from Psalm 37: "Trust in the Lord and do Good...seek your happiness in the Lord and he will give you your heart's desire....Give yourself to the Lord: trust in him and he will help you. ...Be patient and wait for the Lord to act." We continue to pray for you and enjoy your blog. Love you, Patti and David

  6. oh yeah and tell danny bonaduce aka keith betin :-) that the sun was in my eyes, the wind took it, i only play regulation size washers, and i think his game had magnets in it.

  7. Hipp-

    I am happy to see that you have maintained your bags game, I never doubted for a minute that you would lose to anyone else in your group. As far as living with the wheelchair, I know you and I know your stint in a wheelchair will be short lived; I am sure you believe in that and keep striving for walking every day--keep up the positivity and optimism friend.

    I am going to visit Endow and start my training soon, so I may not be able to post as much because I don't know what my training schedule will be like, but know that I will keep you in my thoughts every day, bro. Speaking of which, we (Moore, Jenny, Nolan, Carrie, and I) had a really big "hip-hip-hurray" at our campsite here in Montana for you, and there will be more to follow until we get to play our next game of regulation bags! Take care bud, and I will keep in touch.


  8. hey andrew,

    i know i haven't made any comments yet but i wanted you to know that i've been reading your blog every day and i am SO HAPPY you're doing so well! not sure if ashley or my mom told you, but i actually just moved down to chicago and i'm right in the city... only about a mile and a half from the RIC! my mom and little sister, Taylor are coming to for the day tomorrow, so you can expect a visit from the three of us :) see you tomorrow!!

    - Kelly Van Hoof

  9. hi andrew

    i read your blog everyday also and I'm glad you seem to be coming along really well. Keep up the positive attitude and Nicole and I hope to visit you next month when we drive home from AL.

    Mark Sier

  10. Keep workn it.
    You are a-m-a-z-i-n-g, "grace". :-)

  11. morning hip,

    happy hump day!!! time to work that ass off and the weekend will be here before you know it. tell kalli i said hi and i'll see you both real soon.

    i booked my flight and am coming back sunday, june 28th - wednesday, july 1. Looks like that cubs beatdown we were gonna enjoy first hand will have to put on hold for now. it was like another bill fifty to fly out over the 4th weekend so i'll do the week before. is it cool if i stay with kalli and your ma in chicago for a night? June 30th tara's flying in for a night so i probably won't crash then but any other is all gravy. i know summerfest is goin on then but i'm comin out to see you, not the bodeans. Whatever day is best for you man, chicago's just a hop, skip and jump from miltown. actually more like half a hop so you let me know when and it won't be a problem.

    give em hell in rehab today. i want you practicing the fielder/braun 1-2 punch celebration so we can give it a go when i get there. it's this shadowboxing routine they started recently when either one hits a home run. i'm sure it pisses off everyone who isn't a brewer fan so naturally i love it. :-)

  12. yo hip i just got back from workin at the shop with the old guy and i had to jump on to mention this to you. i was shootin the shit with his carpenter he's got workin for him right now, cool ass british dude like 40+ and he's a huge kite surfer and sailor. best thing about the guy is his name's david but that goes without saying. i asked my fellow david what the deal was with wheel chair accesable sailboats and if or how it could be done and get this, he actually helped rig one up in his younger days!!! he got excited when i started talkin sailing with him and was trying to explain how he did it but it was way over my head. (i know that doesn't take much, fill in some wise ass short joke here :-) anyways, i know all this is only gonna be temporary, til you get your sea legs back under you, but hey if you ever need the Escaplion to have a little makeover i might have the man for the job. can't wait to read about your wednesday, get that shit up there man. see you soon bud, later

  13. Whats Happen, man sounds like your day is pretty busy. just keep up the good work and you will see progress. Love reading the blogs. Hope to see ya soon. love ya man.

  14. Hi Andrew,
    Like the others I read your blog every day. Your courage and determination are an inspiration to us all. I've spent 11 years hanging around St. E'w with my dogs and I'll let you in on a little secret; First, they aren't therapist, they're terrorist - physical, occupational etc. And second, they always throw in exercises that you can do the first time so you can see that you are stronger than you think you are. Enjoy them (the easy ones) and work harder on the tough ones.

    Should you ever require a furry friend visit, let me know and I'll bring Mariposa and/or Jack for a visit (if allowed). Otherwise you will have to settle for a visit from my son, Kevin, who gets into town the end of next week. If you're allowed out to eat Kevin will show you where to find the best pizza and the best hot dogs in Chicago. he may eve bring you some of the best bagels and cream cheese in the world! Everyone knows the best bagels come from Kaufman's in Skokie.

    You are continually in our prayers, along with your entire family. God must have something special in mind for you.

    If you can't said San Diego, I'd say Chicago Harbor makes for a very close second best. Enjoy your sailing day. Hope the weather cooperates with you. We're not known as the "Windy City" for nothing :-)

    If I can help, you have only to ask. But I know you have a great support team in place and an awesome family.

    Marcie W. and Mariposa (the PWD)

  15. Hi Andrew-

    Just a note to let you know that we pray for you every day. Your blog entries are so interesting and your improvement is inspiring.
    Keep up the great effort!

    Carla and Denny O.