I woke up and began sitting in bed trying to get my blood pressure under control as I slowly worked myself upright. I could tell something was a little off today and I was not feeling 100%. After I took my morning leak I noticed that I still felt as if I had to pee after I had already gone. Also, my legs have slight spasms, usually triggered by some sort of movement or touch. These spasms seemed to have increased significantly. They don't hurt at all, just a strange uncontrollable feeling. Both increased spasms and the constant urinary pressure are symptoms of having a bladder infection. So, I reported these symptoms to my nurse and asked him to please do a urine culture so that I could get the situation under control. It is very frustrating because the system that I have down for cathing myself is incredibly sterile and has very, very little chance of infecting myself. But, in the middle of the night there is one cathing in which I have to wake up from a dead sleep in order to perform it myself. So, in that weak moment, tired, usually under-dosed in pain meds, I allow the PCTs to cath for me. Most of them are tired, don't have a very sterile conscious outlook on the process and when it comes down to it, what do they care? It's not like they are going to get the bladder infection. It is very frustrating and from now on I am going to make an incredible effort to slap myself awake and start taking care of it myself. Eventually I will have to anyway and for now I can't afford to get another bladder infection and allow it to put a damper on my therapy.
So, I got out of bed eventually about ten to fifteen minutes late for hand group with a cold sweat and just a crummy feeling all around. I worked with some nuts and bolts, threading and unthreading them to start off as a warm up. Then, I was engaged in a game of connect 4 with my buddy Anthony who is also a high level C injury. He has less mobility than myself and he rocks a power chair. Taking the pieces and dropping them in to the connect 4 game board is a good workout and struggle for Anthony but for me it is very easy and not a challenge at all. So between feeling crummy and being bored with a much too easy task I let that sun of a gun beat me.
After hand group I had an hour break so I went back to my room to try to relax. My mom offered to put me into a pressure release, where I lay back onto her lap. We ended up both taking a 45 minute nap in that position. After the nap it took a second to get myself to wake up and head out into the main lobby for OT Exercise Group. As soon as I got into the group Kate, the leader, took one look at me and said "Are you feeling alright Andrew?" I told her that I had a bladder infection and wasn't feeling up to par. Somehow or another I was able to push myself and keep up during the whole exercise session.
Afterward,we went into the canary room to eat some lunch and socialize a bit. After lunch Kalli and I decided to go outside to try to get some fresh air. It was beautiful out and really the perfect temperature. But even with the beautiful weather I wasn't able to kick the way I was feeling. I've always known since the beginning that there were going to be days like this. Times in which, even the strongest person in the world, can't help but break down a little. As we were sitting outside I began thinking about how it is so strange any time in life when you break an arm, or catch a cold you know that it is just temporary, whereas this is something that is going to stay with me for life and that became difficult to think about, especially in a moment when I was already down a bit. Kalli, of course, hugged me and let me know that it was all going to be okay. She made me feel a lot better and we headed back inside.
Once we got back inside we had a bit of time before my two o'clock appointment with Carey. So, we went to my room and Kalli and I set up the E-stim I am borrowing from my Uncle Paul to do a little electro therapy on my hands. First we did the right and then the left, imitating the same timing in which the machine RIC uses controls on its own. It worked great and I got some really good movement out of my fingers.
Once we were done, we headed for the gym for my last therapy of the day. Carey also could tell that I wasn't my same cocky, jolly self. Her and I love to joke around. She said well, why don't we take it fairly easy and just do some stretches on the mat. She said you can work on the ones we learned last time where you stretch yourself. So, I transferred from my chair to the mat and followed the exercise packet Carey had given me and stretched myself out one page at a time. The stretching felt good and I was beginning to feel better than I had earlier. After stretching for the whole hour I decided that I wanted to get some weights in as well. So, I went over to the corner of the gym to my favorite machine that they call the rickshaw and worked on my triceps. I bumped the weight up 10 pounds, from 50 to 60 because it was becoming too easy, which is always a great feeling. I did six sets of fifteen and called it a day while my mom sat and watched, doing some bicep curls of her own. Most of the exercises I do really work my shoulders as well. So, I asked Carey if she would mind hooking me up with the heat pack for my shoulders, for they were pretty sore from the rickshaw. There were a couple other people in the gym and we all sat and chatted while I relaxed with heat on my shoulders for 15 minutes.
Several people are leaving this week which is making me realize that I too am going to be going home eventually. It really is not that far away, could be as soon as three weeks from now. This place teaches you a lot, but also cares for you quite a bit. It is exciting, yet interesting to think what it will be like back in my own home.
After we left the gym we headed to my room for it was time for me to take a leak again and then figure out what to go get for dinner for I had chosen a voucher for tonight's meal. My mom, Kalli and I headed downstairs to the second floor to get some food from the cafeteria. My mom and I got gyros and Kalli picked delicious looking pepperoni pizza. We brought it upstairs and ate it all while watching this crazy show on Animal Planet that was basically about when animals turn on people. It was amazing from crazy elephants to arm swallowing alligators we couldn't believe what we were seeing.
After dinner I gave my mom a hug and she headed home. Kalli and I headed to my room to do a little blogging and get ready for bed. Today was probably the most difficult day that I have had in the last three weeks or more. But, truthfully, I am still really proud of myself because even feeling crummy I didn't miss a single therapy and I did three or four extras with Kalli or on my own. Most of the people in here would have either just laid in bed all day or maybe made it to half of their classes. In fact, while I was sitting in the gym working my triceps on the rickshaw there were two other people just sitting and chatting and one person working with a therapist but the rest of the gym was empty even though any one of the 27 people on the floor could have been in there working on other things, putting in a little extra credit. But, of course, I was the only one in there working out and I have a fricken urinary tract infection. It blows my mind how some of these people feel like they are forced to be here and in a way they fight it as if it is punishment. But, what they do will not affect my therapy for I have a plan and many goals in which I will continue to strive for, even if every couple weeks I get challenged with a day like today.