Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday July 21st

My day started awfully early today with a 7:30am PT with my favorite physical therapist in the whole world, Carey. She came in my room, made sure I got out of bed and we headed right for the bathroom to practice a tub transfer for what was my very last attempt before the real deal over at Mark's house. The transfer went well and I used some leg loops that I had made with my part time OT, Katie. They are basically some straps that you velcro around your ankles and thigh so you have a place to grab and lift from so you can use your wrist power opposed to my non-existent grip in my hands.

After PT I headed back to my room to eat some breakfast before my next hand group session which was done by the recreation therapists as they have done in the past. We headed upstairs to play some pool. In the group was just Anthony and I and we went back and forth shooting the balls as best we could. It is strange these last couple days because I've gotten to know all of the employees here at RIC really well and you never know if they are going to be working the next day and you don't want to miss being able to say goodbye for what seems like the very last time even though I plan to return. Our game of pool took so long we weren't able to actually finish it but it was another great feeling for it was twice as easy as the last time I had played. I remember playing with my sister Sarah and breaking into a full sweat only about half way through the game whereas this time, it was pretty nonchalant due to all the muscles I have gained.

After pool, I had a little break so I began to finalize a bit of paperwork and decision making that needed to be done to establish a local doctor in the Appleton area. Kalli and I researched a handful of doctors that were recommended by friends and family coming down to Dr. Jason Revolinki at Theda Clark. I set up an appointment with him for August 3rd and by that time I was twenty five minutes late for my last OT Exercise Group. So, I quickly scurried off to it. I threw some four pound weights around my wrist and finished it out with excitement.

After exercise group, we grabbed some lunch. I ate quickly for I had a examination that I needed to be in bed for at one o'clock. So I jumped in bed and a group of three doctors came to do the same test they had done on me the day that I arrived at RIC. It is basically a sensation test where they use needles and q-tips to prod and poke all over my body while I gave a rating of what amount of sensation I was having in that particular spot. The doctors had the initial results with them as well so it was interesting to see what areas had gained back sensation and movement.

As soon as the examination was done, I had an OT session as well as a very special visitor. Kalli babysat for the cutest little girl named Ellie in Milwaukee all through college. Ellie and her family are moving to Baltimore very soon and really wanted to make sure they saw Kalli and myself before they left so they took the train and came to visit for the day. Probably almost two years ago Ellie, Kalli and myself were sitting down by the beach in Milwaukee. Kalli was babysitting and I met up with them for a little lunch. All I brought with me was a cucumber some salt and a little knife to cut the cucumber into thin slices to be eaten. I showed Ellie how much I liked the salted cucumber and got her to try it. She absolutely loved it and ate over half of my cucumber sitting down by the beach. So as cute as can be Ellie walked into my room with a beautiful drawing and a bag with a humongous cucumber. It was so cute and it was really fun to see her, her mom and her grandmother I had heard much about.

After the quick visit, I finished up a simple session of tying my shoes, putting my clothes on and convincing my OT I needed a few more tools before I left as backups incase I was to lose or break the ones I have. As soon as our time was up I had an appointment with my wheelchair distributor and the RIC representative for wheelchair seating and positioning. We all got together on the 15th floor to hash out all the decisions that needed to be made for a different chair because of my decision on which power wheel brand to purchase. We went through all the Quickie brand options and came upon the Quickie2 with an 80 degree front. I think it will work out just fine. One of the main decisions was to get a collapsible chair versus a rigid frame so that I don't run into the chair not being able to fit into someone's car. After all of the decisions were made it was practically 5 o'clock and time to go grab some food.

I went to the room to take a leak while Kalli went and picked out some food from the cafeteria for us to share. Now comes the much more exciting part which all of you heard about last night. Kalli and I began blogging in bed when all of a sudden I got this urge to move my toes. She took off my socks and sure enough those darn little buggers just started moving for me just like I knew they someday would. It was absolutely amazing but it gets even better yet...

We finished up our celebration and Kalli headed home while I sat in my bed just wiggling away my toes and watching TV and calling people to share the news. But then, around 12:30 I all of a sudden got this other sensation running through my leg where I said to myself "oh my gosh I think my leg is going to move!" Sure enough, I put my mind and everything I had into it and my left leg up and picked right up sliding my knee into the air! I did it about three times until the entire leg was thoroughly exhausted and couldn't move. I thought for a minute that it was just a fluke but then I waited about five more minutes and sure enough I did it again! I yelled for the nurse and she came in and said "What is going on?" I explained to her the situation and she immediately exploded with excitement and took off my night time booties which prevent foot drop. We took them off and again I began moving my leg as my face flooded with tears of joy.

During my injury I always told myself that I would try and try until I walked but never was I just filled with the overwhelming feeling that I truly will walk as I did this evening. Between my toes wiggling and my whole leg moving I knew that moment that I would prance around once again.


  1. We are so happy for you. Praise the Lord!!

  2. Andrew -- I am speechless! Was SO thrilled to hear of your latest accomplishment! Best of luck tomorrow as you wrap things up there at the RIC and begin the next chapter of your life. Can't wait to see your mom back here in the village!
    Love, (Aunt) Maureen

  3. Hey Hip,
    So excited for all of the incredibly wonderful things that have been happening for you lately! First the toes, now the legs want in on the action! How cool is that!
    So very happy for you. Have a safe trip back to Appleton tomorrow.
    You keep moving those appendages and I'll keep praying!
    As always....much love and more prayers.

  4. Andrew!!!!!!

    reading your post, my eyes filled with tears and I can't even explain how happy I am!!!!!

    I am so happy that all the effort you put in, all the prayers your friends, family & Kalli said, all the fantastic support you've gotten and of course the amazing people at RIC, PAID OFF!!!!

    It just shows that if you set your mind to something anything is possible, and I knew from the start that if there was the slightest chance of walking again, YOU are the man to make it happen!!!!!

    I'll try to call u tonight!

    Love you so much brother

    n keep up that spirit and hard work!

  5. love love LOVE IT!!!!!! Words cannot express the happiness I feel for you right now. You are amazing. What a great way to end your stay at RIC. Once you get those legs in proper working order make sure you come visit your old friends in San Diego, we miss you and Kalli!

    Congrats on this amazing moment. So happy for you.
    Love, Kristyn

  6. He has done marvelous things!
    Let us ALL praise Him with a new song!