Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 5th

Hello Everyone. Another week at RIC starts. Unfortunately, I didn't get very much sleep last night because my roommate is not doing well - he had a 101 fever and needed to be checked on every hour. If there is one thing I could change about night time nursing it would be to teach them to use flashlights, or some sort of small dim light source to come in and check on people. Every time they come in they feel as if they need to turn on every high powered light in the room which pulls you right out of your sleep and makes it very difficult to fall back into your slumber. The next morning started with nurses, doctors, and a group of paramedics coming into the room and making the decision to bring Dave, my roommate, back to Northwestern's hospital for more intensive care. Although this is terrible and I hope Dave the best, it is definitely going to help my sleeping situation which is important for me these next couple weeks for I plan on going 110% all day every day during this short stay.

In order to assist me walking and one of the main reasons why I wanted to come back to RIC we need to have a set of leg braces custom made to fit me. So, Vari and her orthodics crew met with me first thing in the morning to cast my braces. It is a really neat process where they take a roll of fiberglass mesh to wrap around my legs and create a cast, as if I had a broken leg, they immediately cut it off while it gets hard to use in order to form the pieces of the leg brace which then become a perfect fit. While we were casting Vari was so impressed with my movement on the left leg, my stronger of the two, she wanted to make sure Carey came down to make the decision with her to only make a shorter AFO brace for the left leg. An AFO is a brace that only goes from below the knee to the foot. On the right leg they are making a KAFO which goes from your thigh all the way down to the foot giving you even more support.

After the casting was complete, I headed upstairs with Carey to show Vari where I was at with walking with a set of temporary adjustable braces. While showing them with a walker and some assistance with my therapists I was able to walk about 18feet, three separate times, taking rest breaks in between. These are not just simple stroll in the park type strides they are pushing, pulling, forcing everything I've got fighting gravity like a ninja warrior step after step, but an amazing beginning to this saga. After walking for a little bit, we went into the gym and practiced standing up and sitting down time after time in between the parallel bars. This concluded my PT session from 10 to 11.

After that I really didn't have much on my schedule until 2 o clock so therapist after therapist began filling in my time with all sorts of exercises and strength training. We then had lunch, worked out in the gym, and then met up with Piper for an OT session. My main concern with my hands for OT was a hyper-extension that I was doing due to over compensation with my wrist. After explaining what I was dealing with and what was happening, Piper devised to great hand splints that I am now wearing on each hand. They basically block the movement that I was doing, creating the hyper extension in my hand. I wear these all day unless I run into an activity that they hinder.

After working with Piper I did a few more activities and then Kalli and I got some food and did my nightly routine in order to be done and ready so I could watch the unfortunate Packer Game up on the seventh floor 50" plasma.

After the game, I went to my room to be left alone for a good nights sleep.


  1. Wow Andrew...
    I am so VERY happy for you!!! I just got a video e-mail from Ashley showing you walking in the lokomat!!!!! I cannot believe how emotional it made me to see you out of that darn wheelchair and walking!!!!....I can only imagine how incredible it must make YOU feel! That stubborn determination, and 150%effort in every facet of your rehab has gotten you as far as you are. You are an inspiration to all of us, with our own disabilities...physical and mental! You keep working your butt off and we'll keep "oohing and ahhing" (like watching good fireworks). Keep blogging and letting us know al the nitty gritty details of your rehab.
    As always, lots of love and prayers for lots of "oohing and ahhing"...

  2. Hey Buddy...I see you get better and better...looks great!!!

    Ciao ciao from Italy.

  3. The Prayer Group...from long ago....still follows your progress...and we heard that now there are wedding plans. Please know that we have all kept you in our prayers and will be with you and your bride. God has certainly chosen a great couple! We have you in our hearts....and still think of you often. May you share a wonderful life togeter. If you would post an address somewhere...on here...we will get you a wedding present! :-)