Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday July 14th

I woke up in the morning unfortunately feeling more awful than I had in a long time. This weekend I sat in on a bowel program hot topics lecture where they talked about how nice it is to eventually teach your body to do your bowel program every other day. Since I only have about a week left here at RIC I wanted to try to get my bowel program going every other day here before I went home. So, last night I skipped the program hoping to easily start an every other day situation. Unfortunately I woke up with this bad stomach ache and just an overall crummy crummy feeling. After discussing with Kalli we both felt that it was probably a BM sitting inside me that just wasn't going to work. So, I called in a PCT and requested to start a bowel program right away that morning. I had things to do and was desperate to start feeling better. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later I had a nice BM and some relief followed. With all of this going on I definitely missed hand group and rushed to get out of bed so as not to miss my 11:00 PT with Carey.

Carey and I worked on the next important task on my getting home checklist. This was transferring onto a shower bench. There is a bathroom that is filled with different style shower chairs so people can figure out which is best for them and practice on them. We have a certain style picked out that seemed to work well. We began practicing the transfer and you wouldn't believe how difficult it is to lift my legs over and into the tub. This is mainly due to spasms that I am now experiencing and have increased over the last week. Carey and I decided that I definitely need what they call leg loops. They are simple straps that you put around your legs that you can grab with your hands to better lift your legs. Later this week I will be working with my OT to create these. After we got me in and out of the tub, which is such an important skill to master because it can be incredibly dangerous to be slipping and falling in a porcelain tub.

After PT I went into bed for my next therapy was another massage from the volunteer massage school. Kalli and I each received a massage from the students around 2:30 for a good half hour. I fell asleep almost immediately for I am still getting used to the baclofin, which is the muscle relaxer I take to help with my spasms.

After the massage I headed straight upstairs to the 15th floor, which is wheelchair seating and positioning. Up there they have brand new wheelchairs everywhere and a neat area that is set up just for going through the measuring or your body and chair in order to order a chair in which you will go home with and live with for possibly the next four years. A representative from RIC and a wheelchair distributor that has access to all of the best wheelchair lines in the country met with me for two hours of talking over each and every detail of my new chair. The distributor brought in several different wheelchair brands and designs for me to look and and test drive. The best part of the whole fitting was test driving a pair of power assist wheels. Because of my level of injury and the stress that pushing a wheelchair will put on my shoulders it makes me eligible for insurance to cover power assist wheels. Believe it or not, but this amazing technology of amazing speed and gentle slow touch costs $8,000. Let me say that again, $8,000. Unbelievable, that is like a nice used car. It just blows my mind. So, I transferred onto a table and then into the chair with the power assist wheels on it that they had there for me to demo and test drove it up and down the halls. It was the most exciting and unbelievable thing I had experienced since my accident. It created this incredible joy and new excitement to explore life. I can't explain the enlightenment and freedom that I felt with the speed and power that it put at my finger tips without placing me into a humongous bulky heavy power chair. With these wheels I will be able to go on grass, run through gravel, and climb ramps with ease. I don't know if any of you have ever hopped in a wheelchair and actually tried to push yourself up a wheelchair ramp but it is far, far from an easy task. These wheels even have technology built into them so that while you are going up a ramp you could let go and it will hold your position opposed to flying backwards which is what would happen without them. I was literally so excited that for a moment I was happy that my legs didn't work and I got to now drive a go cart around for the rest of my life. Which is what I loved doing every moment that I could as a kid, in my dingo by manco 5 force go cart. We finished up the fitting and I was really excited about the wheelchair and wheels and all the accessories I had picked for my new chair. Unfortunately it takes two to three months to get the chair and I will be in a loner for quite some time.

After the fitting we went down to go get food for I had a voucher for The Red Tomato. We ate dinner and it was pretty much time to start my nightly routine. Again, my day started rough as can be and I was able to fight through it and end with a glorious go cart ride on my new wheels.


  1. Oh Hip, I just read yesterday's blog about the incredible go-cart (so, it's wheels are a bit bigger in the back) you got to cruz in on Tues. It reminded me of when you were at our/Granny's cottage about 10 years ago and you found a chained-up (because we weren't supposed to use it!) go-cart in the garage and you somehow got it out and started. You were cruzing down the driveway, through the fields and around the yard with Anna (probably 4 or 5 at the time) and you were wearing crazy multi-colored clown hair-I have no idea why, but then again, you're Hippert! I'll have to find that picture for you. Thanks for the many laughs through the years! Let me know if you need the clown wig when you get your new cruzer!

  2. we all have good days and bad... You're dealing with a whole new realm of what it means to have a good day and what it means to have a crummy one. It's very refreshing to see how quickly you are able to fight off feelings of being down, even when physically you may not be feeling well. you're a great role model:)
    Can't wait to see you Monday! I've been practicing my golf skills.... thank goodness it's a scramble ;)