Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday July 15th

I woke up this morning feeling much better than the last two days! Although it is strange, even when I feel good, getting up in the morning is truly such a task. So, I ate some breakfast which actually ended up mostly on my shirt for I dumped my cereal bowl onto my chest and ended up having to change my shirt quick before hand group. I got to hand group and again Sarah and Matt were both there. I worked on putty for it really seems to be the best therapy for my hands that I have found so far. After hand group I had an hour break so I went over to Joey's room and talked with him for a little while for he never gets out of bed until 11 o'clock or later and he is leaving tomorrow so I just wanted to say hi.

At 11:00 I had an hour long PT session with Carey. So, I quickly wheeled from Joey's to the gym where Carey had big plans for me. She really wanted to work on working on getting up and down to the ground from a chair or mat just incase I was ever to fall. Getting down off the mat was fairly easy and well controlled. Getting back up is really pretty tough. I have seen people that have five, ten years under their belt make it look so easy. But, for me right now, it is still an incredibly difficult task. There are several different techniques that Carey showed me and we worked on which one was best for me. I was almost able to get back up by myself but Carey did have to help me a little bit.

After PT I ate lunch, then headed out to the center room, near the reception desk to do a OT exercise group led by Margaret, one of the other OT's. Margaret has a very nonchalant, fairly easy style of arm exercise. So, we did that for about 25 minutes and then really changed it up and tightened the circle of wheelchairs by each of us moving forward a bit so that we could throw a blue ball around the circle; practicing hand coordination by throwing and catching. After we threw the blue ball around for a while we tightened the group up even closer and got a beach ball out where we had a really fun time tossing it around the circle, counting how many times we could hit it and keep it moving without it hitting the ground. With all the different levels of function and ability it was absolutely hilarious to watch us all struggle and try our hardest to keep that ball moving. One of the new patients, named Matt, has a halo neck brace apparatus in which is literally screwed into his skull, holding his head incredibly still. This makes is so that he can't look off to the sides at all so it was really funny watching him taking basically blind swings at the ball as it came flying at him. We all have a great attitude and it was really fun. Everyone was laughing and having a good time.

Once exercise hour was over I headed back to my room to take care of some paperwork and make some calls that were needed. Unfortunately after about an hour and a half of paperwork my eyes started shutting and we decided it was time for a little nap. My nap turned into staying in bed for basically the rest of the night. Kalli went and got me dinner and we ate and started some blogs. I had a great first attempt at doing my bowel program independently. For, I put to use the tools that Katie found for me the day before. I have to give props to whoever invented the arm extension that I used for my bowel program. It was designed perfectly and I got it on the first try! That is about as much as you all need to know for I could get pretty graphic when it comes to this subject.

After my nightly routine, Kalli and I finished up some much needed blogging. The last couple of days were just too difficult and by the end of the day I was so tired it was right to bed. It feels good to be caught up with the blog for I hate to keep all of my fans on the edge of their seat waiting for an update. I look forward to all of your responses and I just wanted to make sure you all know I read each and every one. I am also incredibly excited for my trip home on Monday to see so many of you for there is close to 100 signed up for the golf outing on Monday. Just a reminder - Tee Off is at 10, but check-in is at 9 so we can get everything moving on time with such a large group. It would probably even be helpful if some people showed up earlier than that. We have tons of wonderful silent auction prizes and all the people involved with planning the outing have a ton of fun things in store for us! One of my good friends, Alex Wilhelms, is going to be picking up Kalli, my mom and myself. She is coming down to Chicago Sunday night so we can hit the road nice and early Monday morning. My doctor says I have to be back all in one day so shortly after the outing I will be heading back to RIC, but don't worry soon there after, on the 23rd I will be heading home to live with my good buddy Mark in Menasha.

Today was a really good day and I can tell already tomorrow is going to be even better. My spirits are up and I feel like I have everything back in order physically throughout my body. I will try to keep blogging each day so you don't all have ten pages at once to catch up on with my crazy new lifestyle. See you soon and I love you all.


  1. Thanks for sparing us of the details of the bm and bowel issues! However, I wonder if any nurses can take your complaints serious after all the flatulence pranks you've pulled with the Fart Machine. I'm looking forward to giving you the "burp" chips that goes with the Fart Machine. Oh, and you might want to ask Alex to get the huge fluorescent orange 'Parking Prohibited in this area!' sticker off her window before she picks you up:) Hugs, Barb Wilhelms

  2. Hey Hip,
    I know you probably think I have died because you haven't been getting a daily blog from me...I can read what you write but my computer refuses to post my comments...I am going to try to send this now before I write too much for no reason. If it works I will post again...

  3. Hip Hip Hooray! It worked! I have been diligently reading your posts and have really enjoyed them...especially the pranks with the toot machine and the way they got back at you! I still cannot believe that you went for several days tooting away and not sharing with anyone. I can only imagine the damage you did to your "rock star" image! Sounds like Barb and Steve dropped off that machine on the perfect day, as you had been a little down the day before. And now she has "burp" chips? I'm really starting to question Ashley's choice!
    An $8,000 wheelchair? Who would've thunk? I hope that included leather interior, cruise control and a moonroof!
    As always, love and a lots of prayers...

  4. Andrew,
    We are very much looking forward to seeing you on Monday at the golf outing. You've been so strong and so positive. You truly have a gift!
    And speaking of gifts (Happy Birthday, Kalli, by the way!) I cannot tell you enough, Kalli, what a gift you are to Andrew and his family, and what a gift you have of loving compassion and self-sacrifice.

    While Andrew has worked awfully hard to make the progress he has so far, and every day makes that incredible effort to remain upbeat and in control, I think we are all grateful for you, Kalli, who has been sticking by his side, encouraging and motivating him to make each day better than the one before. Thank you for that!
    Love and hugs to all! ~~ Kathy, I miss you :(


  5. Dear Andrew,
    I have been following your blog since reading about your accident in the Appleton Post Crescent. This morning I saw a segment on Good Morning America that made me think about you. It was about a very active young man who moved out to California to pursue his love of adventure. Three years ago, while diving into the ocean, he hit a sandbar and broke his neck. Since the accident, he has been doing all that he can to recover. He has been participating in a study about locomotion therapy devised by a prominent doctor. If you are interested, you can access a link to information on this on Good Morning America’s website. Because of the success he has found with this therapy, he has created a gym with help from the Christopher Reeve Foundation called Next Steps that brings this locomotion therapy and equipment to gyms so that more people with spinal injuries can receive the therapy and be able to participate. He recently was able to walk with the use of a walker after being told he would never be able to walk. He hopes that more of these gyms can be available across the country.
    Best wishes to you…a mom from Kimberly

  6. from J Sier
    Andrew, you are creating such a great life for yourself out of the ashes! A true phoenix!
    Your episode with the tooter-shooter shows the healing power of laughter. And over you and all you do God shelters you in the palm of HIS hand. Can't wait to see you Monday.

  7. Andrew,

    I just want to say thank goodness for waterproof mascara because every time I read your blog I laugh, cry, get inspired and just get overwhelmed with how much I love you and Kalli and how proud I am to be your sister-in-law. Hugs, kisses and farts!

    Lori Hippert

  8. Hi Andrew,I've been reading your blog from time to time to keep up on your progress, along with Laura stopping in at the shop and giving me up dates. You have come along way in a short period of time, and it's only going to get better. I Have to agree with your Aunt Mary. I could see a book in your future also. I have to tell you Andrew, the story about your fart machine was hillarious!
    That was one of the best! But, I have to say I loved the story about how your Dad took you shopping to all the jewelry stores looking for the right promise ring to give to Kalli. That brought a tear to my eye.(you guys can be so romantic) I loved it!
    Keep up the hard work with "all" your therapy. It will pay off. No one knows that more then us. You are always in our thoughts and we will always pray for a full recovery.
    Love, Aunt Lynn

  9. Hey Andrew,

    I saw that someone else commented on the Good Morning America segment this morning. I watched it this morning and right away thought of you. Here is the link if you haven't read about it yet:

    Thanks for all the updates! We're rootin' for you down here in Florida.

    Sarah (Walters) Matthews

  10. Hey Andrew-

    I'm just sitting here with Grey, reading up on your blog. I cleaned out mom's office (as much as possible) and made a little chair/table area for her in here... so she actually lets me sit at the computer for more than 30 seconds! It's fabulous! She's coloring a lot now.... which is pretty scary. The other day I did a big load of laundry- Grey's clothes and mine- and opened the dryer to find.... drumroll... a RED CRAYON melted all over my clothes and the dryer! Don't worry mom, I cleaned it all up! But the hallway, the dryer, the washer, and my clothes all smell like WD-40. It sucked. So yeah, the pleasures of motherhood. Grey and I are excited to see you on Monday- I love you a lot.


  11. Hey Andrew-
    I unfortunatley will not be able to attend the golf outing this Monday, but I would love to see you sometime. Since we are going to be Chicago the first weekend in August and you will be back in Appleton, we will have to reschedule. Like so many people have said you bring tears to my eyes when reading your posts from all the laughter and inspiration you have provided me. Everyone has good and bad days, it is just part of life. But keep your spirits have so many people praying for you!!!

  12. sup hip,

    real glad to read wednesday's post after going through monday and tuesday. i'm a big fan of the way you handle yourself during those down days man. if we could all take a page out of your playbook the world would be a happier place, that's for real. i sent a list of all the cool stuff people came up with for the silent auction to the facebook group. do you realize how many people are following you're story now??? it's a little crazy man. hopefully we can raise enough at the golf outing to get the bentley or rolls royce model power wheel chair. oh and if you're having trouble pinchin a loaf next time i recomend 6-12 natural ice or beast ice brews the day before. you'll be on the can all day but i'm sure you know what i'm talking about. don't party like too big of a rock star this weekend, monday's gonna be a big day!!! hope you have fun, talk to you later brother

  13. morning hip,

    it's friday baby!!! time to bust out the party chair and hit up chitown hard son! i don't know about you but this week has seemed so damn long. i feel we should treat ourselves to a night out, i know your ass has earned it and i think i have too. can you tell i'm gettin amped for the weekend? your boy has been at the computer and working mad hours to come up some tax money for uncle sam. don't get me wrong, i don't mind paying taxes for certain government provided things. i just feel like i'm being bamboozled (as rusch would say) with what i get in return for my hard earned scratch. ok i'm done bitchin about that, a few cold ones and i'll be right as rain.

    any big plans this weekend for you or are you gonna be rehabbing and resting up for the monster of a big week you got comin up? i'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that you're going to be living in menasha with mark next week. on so many levels it's awesome and exciting and i'm grateful and nervous and extremely happy for you but like i said before, cali needs you and kalli. i know it's july and hot as hell hip but don't forget, you're gonna be in wisconsin not SoCal. that cold ass snowy, icy, windy, blizzardy winter's right around the corner.....

    oh yeah i forgot to ask before, do you know what time you're gonna be at the golf course on monday? a couple people wanted to make sure they saw you and asked me if i knew when you were gonna make your grand entrance. it's gonna be a fanfuckingtastic party man, i hope it trumps your wildest expectations. :-) that's all out of me for now.

    check you later

  14. Hey Andrew,

    If I lived closer I'd be all over this golf outing. I can count on one hand the number of times I've even held a club, but I bet I could figure it out.

    Have fun


  15. hey andrew,
    your doing a great job and im really proud of you!
    it was really nice to see you again.
    love, Francee