Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday July 2nd

I had a strange addition to my schedule today, there was an eight o'clock appointment called meal time. Apparently there is some sort of breakfast club where they try to fancy up the canary room, putting white table cloths, which are really just sheets, some flowers and play some music, getting people together to eat and chit chat. But, this event, like I said starts at eight and I am pretty sure that I already mentioned to the scheduler I'm not much for getting out of bed until 9. So, I decided to keep with my schedule and skip this little breakfast club. One, I've got more than enough people to chit chat with all of you great visitors. Two, with the transition of when they can dress you and when your food comes, being up and ready by 8 o'clock doesn't really work that well. And, three, aren't breakfast clubs for girls?

So, like usual, my morning started with a nine o'clock hand group. This ended up being really fun for they broke out the WII on what is probably a 50 inch flat screen in the canary room. Nintendo WII, crazy as it may sound, is truly an amazing rehab tool. The therapists use it a lot because the different sports games really make you move your arms, focus on pushing the buttons on the controller and it is pretty tough for anyone, no matter how young or old not to enjoy it. So, I was up against Steve, who is probably 55 or 60 years old, and we were truly some tight competition. First we played tennis, which I just barely won two out of three. Then, we played baseball and Steve whooped my butt three to nothing. That is the tough thing about baseball - one good inning and you can take the whole game. Then, we bowled and somehow I squeezed in a win but, truthfully with the functions that we each had in our hands bowling wasn't really even do-able. Lastly, we played another intense round of tennis which was by far the most fun for each of us and Steve somehow or another beat me two games in a row to sweep me best of three. But don't take a sweep the wrong way - we were going back and forth in deuce, he just somehow kept taking advantage of me some way or another. I will get him next time! Darn silly old fart!

After WII I had OT with Diane where we decided to do some E-stim because we hadn't done it in a while. Again, this is an electric shock therapy where you stimulate the nerves with electricity in order to re-introduce those nerve connections. My Uncle Paul was kind enough to give me the device that he had, which is similar to the E-stim machine RIC has. Diane and I played with it for a while as well to make sure that it was the correct machine to be using. It was very similar in many ways and after playing with it we devised ways in which it could be used the same as her machine. So, thank you Uncle Paul. I will be able to use yours and especially continue the therapy once I leave. We had a great session going back and forth stimulating both hands and as quickly as we started the time was up.

Next on the schedule was a PT session with Carey. So, I headed to the gym where I met up with her and we decided to go up to the 12th floor and practice a couple of transfers with the props up there. First, we lined up next to a double bed that they have in a mock bedroom. I was able to slide board over to it, lift my legs up on to the bed and lay back as if ready to take a nap. I then got back up which is much more difficult on a soft bed than the firm mats we practice on in the gym. I threw my legs off the bed again to slide back into the chair. It is crazy how the process of just getting in and out of bed is enough to really tucker you out. But, Carey won't let you just get away with one little exercise and nor would I want to. So, next we went outside the bedroom and in between the kitchen and the dodge spirit transfer car they have a quaint little living room set up. So I parked the chair next to a loveseat and did a board transfer onto the little couch. It really felt awesome to be sitting in a regular loveseat as if nothing had ever happened. I wanted Carey to pull my wheelchair away and put it in the other room so as if someone could come in and not even know whether I was injured besides the giant neck brace I still have to wear for what could be up to six weeks. It really did make me excited for when I get back to normal living and can just transfer in to some home furniture and recline and lounge just like I used to. I never really thought about how easy that will be now that my strength is up. You kind of think your just going to be sitting in your chair all the time because that is what I do here with how busy they keep you from activity to activity. So, once I was sitting in the loveseat I needed to get back in my chair. Couches are fairly squishy and lower than you realize so it is a pretty good uphill battle getting up into the chair. Again, I surprised myself with how well I was able to position myself correctly with textbook form and slide right up into my chair even though the chair was probably a good 6 to 8 inches above the loveseat.

We had fifteen minutes left and Carey asked me what the heck do you want to do now. So I said why don't we quickly run outside and go practice jumping curbs in the parking lot next door. She was all for it so we proceeded to head over there. Once we got over there my newly found skill of popping monster wheelies definitely got my front wheels up on the curb with no problem but boy all the weight is really on those back wheels and it is harder than heck to push the chair up onto the curb. I was so close but needed just a minimal amount of assistance from Carey to really get the chair up on top. Carey has the best positive attitude and is so fun to work with because of that amazing trait. I mean most of the therapists are pretty positive, but there are a couple I really wouldn't want to have. Carey and I laugh and joke around so much it makes our sessions really fun. She told me I feel like I am her brother the way we tease each other back and forth.

PT was actually my last session of the day for they basically wam bam thank you mammed me right in the morning. So, it had been a while since we sat back and just relaxed so we decided to take advantage of the open afternoon. Now, I can't believe that I forgot one of the biggest events of the day which was Joey's official discharge this morning around 10. He cleaned out all of his stuff and they emptied his side of the room. This felt really weird, seeing it empty. While I was in OT he made sure to come and say his final goodbyes. We hugged and promised each other that we would not lose touch and we would make an effort to visit each other or plan something in the near future to see one another. I honestly think that we will keep in touch for both of us enjoyed each other's company and learned a lot from each other. Joey if you end up reading this blog I love you man and I will talk to you soon!

After PT I went back to the room and my wonderful, number one assistant, and beautiful girlfriend had already had virtually everything moved over onto Joey's side. We figured I might as well claim the window side of the room before some chump gets moved in and takes it. You can see the John Hancock Building and several others from my bed and it is a lot better than staring at a curtain. Once we had everything in place Kalli and I crawled into my bed, sharing the tiny little single mattress, and fell asleep for a quick nap. It felt really great and was different to have the privacy and quietness of having the room all to ourself.

After my nap we began figuring out the details for attending a Brewers game here in Chicago this Saturday. The Brewers are coming to town to sweep the Cubbies four nights in a row. So, that should make for a great 4th of July activity. Joey had given me a contact number for a woman named Jan that coordinates handi-cap wheel chair accessible seating. She hooked us up with a box that apparently is in a great spot and also has a private wheelchair accessible bathroom. So my mom, dad, Kalli and I are going to take a cab down to the game on Saturday and watch it with some style up in the box! I'm thoroughly excited, but after talking to my dad I don't know exactly who is more excited him or myself.

With everything figured out and all the details set in stone, in walked a good high school buddy of mine, Pat Keegan. Pat lives in the area and works downtown and makes an effort to stop by every now and again. We sat and chatted as I prepared for my evening cath. It was a nice little visit but we actually needed to be going for my sister Sarah and her three children, Jack, Annabelle and Ali had just arrived and we had plans to go over to the apartment and all make dinner together. So, we went over to the apartment and of course my mom had a great meal already to go. Corn on the cob, a big bologna ring, which for some reason or another I feel is a Hippert tradition or childhood favorite, along with butternut squash, baked potatoes and butter, and some big plump strawberries and blueberries. After dinner the kids and I played with the plethora of gifts that they came bearing which were the board game Operation, one of those fun pin toys that you place over your hand, or face and it shows the imprint, and some pretty neat disc launching zoomer toys that you play catch with. I think I enjoyed watching the kids play with them more than anything which was really fun. Of course, the time flew by and it was time to get me back to RIC before my 8 o'clock curfew. We got hugs all around and headed home to do a little blogging and begin my nightly routine. Another great day between therapy, a wonderful nap, and good friends and family. Bring on 4th of July weekend! I can't wait to see my dad.


  1. Andrew!

    I am so proud with your progress. You are an inspiration, and with your strong willed personality, you can really accomplish anything. I am very excited for you about your Brewer game. I went to my first ever Brewer game Tuesday night...I know, I know, how long have I lived in Milwaukee and have never gone to a Brewer's anyway they won and it was really exciting, much better than TV...haha I'm sure you will have a wonderful time.

    That sucks that Joey left but I bet the window view is nice, plus he is made an impression on you and has a place in your heart that no one can ever take up, just like everyone you care about so no worries there!

    I love hearing about the progress you make and am SO excited to come visit you again, hopefully really soon! Even in the time span between our two visits, which was what, like four days..I could already see an improvent in your strength and dexterity. Oooo and don't worry I haven't forgot about your chex mix!

    I in one way or another will be at the Golf outing and i really am looking forward to it! Hopefully you can be there too. If I don't end up golfing I'll for sure be there for the other activities, and I can probably handle a donation, especially for such a great cause!

    Anyway, keep up the great work. I miss you and Kalli, and hope she's doing well too! We'll be down again soon, I promise!

    ps-Thank you to Tari and Endow for bringing the blog an added level of entertainment! lol

    Take Care,

    -Sarah B.

  2. Andrew,

    I look forward to reading your posts each day; you are amazing, and you write so eloquently! Someone mentioned this somewhere -- you should write a book. It would inspire a lot of people.

    You don't know me -- I'm Stef's mom. I have my coffee group (moms from Stef's high school) reading your blog and praying for you.

    Keep up the good work -- I'm waiting to hear about you wiggling your toes!


  3. hey hip,

    good to hear carey's makin your ass earn it today, if she needs any oil let me know and i'll send it your way. :-) so that building with the crazy windows and architecture is the John Hancock building? i asked a few therapists what building that was when i was there and no one knew who their neighboor was. it sucks that redneck joey had to bounce but i'm sure your diggin the new side of the room. next you should see about getting a lakefront view. i'm pumped you get to go to the game this weekend. i will definitely be watching so do something crazy to get on tv. you got any snowballs saved up for this event? also i've never seen someone in a wheelchair and a neck brace charge the field so keep that in mind as a possiblity. lovin the positive updates brother, keep em comin.

    ps. "this summer while your being inundated with all this American bicentenial bruhaha, don't forget what your celebrating, and that's the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, rich, aristocratic white males didn't want to pay their taxes"
    what a great quote from dazed and confused :-)

  4. Go Brewers! Go Andrew! Have a great weekend, and I hope your mom and dad restrain you from throwing anything onto the field. :)

  5. Posting help???????????????
    I have had trouble posting in the past, and I have figured out how to do it easily.

    1) Right click when the cursor is in this box.
    2) Select "This frame" from the dropdown menu.
    3) Select "open frame in a new window" or "... new tab"
    4) Paste in your message that you composed in a word processing program or type your message.
    5) Select your choice in comment as.
    6) Click preview then post or just click post.
    Hope this helps anybody having trouble.
    ---- If you're like me and you've clicked control + + a couple times to enlarge the font on this blog it is possible that the buttons to click "post" or "preview" are hiding in your regular view. ------ This is the simplest way to post then preview than edit, I think. ------- By opening the frame separately you'll be able to your post and preview buttons no matter what.

  6. Have a wonderful 4th and keep up the good
    work! Everyone at the prayer group will
    be pleased to hear of your continued efforts
    and good spirts!

  7. morning hip,

    wow i hope you didn't watch the brewer game last night. tough to win when one guy gets 7 rbis, man i hate derek lee. anyways i was reading the little paragraph about the Wii you guys had there and was wondering if you had Mario Kart. i don't know why i didn't think of this when i was there but the kids next door have it and said it was pretty hard because you needed to make such precise motions while using the buttons. not sure if you guys already have this game but if not let me know, i could probably find a cheap copy.

    also i was wondering if you were gonna catch some downtown chicago fireworks action after the brewer game. i bet it's gonna be a draining day watching the brewers whoop some ass, the game might go a little long with all the runs they're gonna score. but i have to imagine chicago puts on a pretty good show so if you're up to it check it out and let me know if it's worth doin sometime.

    hi kalli!! this paragraph's all for you :-) it was awesome seeing you and spending time together. you are an amazing girl and while i'm not surprised at your strength i truly am in awe of your unwavering support and dedication throughout all of this. andrew has one hell of a partner spotting him and you two are gonna come through this stronger than ever. (see i can call him andrew too!) let me know if you want any of the blog put into Microsoft Word format, i'm at the computer all day anyways so copying and pasting a few things for the upcoming new york times bestseller is no problem. just wanted to give you a shout out and tell you how awesome you are, keep pushin hippert and make sure he doesn't get too cocky when he beats someone in bags :-)

  8. Hey Andrew,

    I heard a news story on the radio the other day about a glass box they added at the top of the sears tower. 103 floors up and you can look straight down, sounds sweet. You should go check it out sometime.

    Have a good 4th weekend..We'll all be thinking about you down in SD.


  9. Enjoy the Brewers game and celebrating the 4th while looking forward to your own "independence" day - hopefully not too far away!

  10. Hey Bro-

    It's your siter Margaret, so glad your being so well taken care of. I feel bad I've not yet been there to see you,but this following weekend Mike and I are coming to see you. I can't wait!!! My June was so crazy busy and every weekend was packed. But if the 10-12 July weekend works we are there. Can't wait to give you a huge hug! Let me know if you want anything when I come, maybe even a haircut, I'm sure your due.
    Love you Andrew so much!!!

    Margaret :)

  11. I'm not your siter, haha your sister Margaret!

  12. Hi kalli and mom - let me know if there is room in the inn for Mike and I, next weekend! Let me know if you need anything for the apartment. Can't wait to see you two as well.


  13. Happy Fourth of July, Andrew, Kalli, Norm and Kathy!! "Independence" Day has a whole new meaning today and there has been more and more of it to celebrate each day! Andrew, you ROCK!! Have a great weekend!!

    Love you guys!