Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An Update from Brian

First, I just want to say I hope everyone had a good holiday and happy new year.

I know that time this year was better for my family; I can’t even imagine what it was like last year with me unconscious in the hospital. As my sister mentioned in a previous post, this December also marked the year-point since my accident. I do not remember much of anything that day, but it was a little tough that day when I thought about the physical issues I still face. I thought I would have been further along in my recovery then I am. I do try to remind myself of all the secondary injuries and issues I have faced, which all slowed my progress. I often forget I had broken bones and organ issues that have impeded my progress.

I am now three months or so into my time in Mooresville at Race to Walk. I go every weekday for about five hours each day. I do personal training three days a week and my own thing the other two days. Overall It has been a good change for me, I was almost bedridden until late September battling secondary issues and I feel like going to Race to Walk has given me a sense of purpose and made me feel like I am being proactive about things. I am trying to be as patient as possible because progress is SLOW and it can be a little frustrating. With my athletic background I am used to working out and pushing myself physically but this is a different type of working out. It is more mentally tiring and challenging then physically.

Therapy is an attempt to reconnect signals in my body, which makes me feel like my nervous system is going haywire 24/7. It is not the best feeling in the world but it does make me feel like my body is trying. The hope is that the signals bust through the injured area or re-route themselves. My body kind of just hurts, especially my hips and lower back but I kind of expected some pain in muscles and parts of my body I have not been able to really use since 2008. The idea is that you have to strengthen things in a cascading manner; hence, a lot of the focus is on my core and my hips. They were very weak when we started therapy but I do feel them slowly getting stronger.

Mentally, I remain strong but I cannot pretend that this stuff is not tough. Like most people, I did not know all the things that accompany a spinal cord injury. I had no idea that paralyzed limbs were just the tip of the iceberg. This stuff just sometimes makes no sense, for example someone with a high injury may be able to regain the ability to walk but cannot move their fingers. I am trying to remain as positive as possible but it is hard some days. Some days I think, I survived a near fatal accident for this??? I go to sleep to wake up to sit down???

I miss being active, before my accident I lifted 3-4 times a week and played basketball once or twice….man I miss that badly. I do not know how sometimes but I remain quietly confident that all this is a temporary and I do expect this nightmare to end. Sometimes I just get mad, I get mad that there are no more medical advances but mostly mad that I let this happen. I have no idea why but even when I was in the hospital I just expected to get past all these things much more quickly.

I do have another few months in Mooresville and after that it is on to Atlanta or possibly somewhere else for another attempt at therapy. In the meantime, I will just stay with it and do what I can to improve. I am continually thankful for the help I have received, without it and my supportive family I do not know what I would be doing. Your kind contributions help pay for this therapy and in turn, give me some hope as I continue to process life in this different body. I know I cannot focus on this forever and life has to go on but I can say that I feel better about things now than I did four months ago.

Another hopeful development I have been researching, I am about to start taking a non FDA approved drug called 4-AP, available through compound pharmacies and found to benefit about 30% of spinal cord injuries. I would say it is like putting the signals in your body on steroids, so I am hoping will benefit me but I will not know for several weeks.

Again, thank you all for your support and concern. We will continue to try and keep you updated with periodic postings. Hopefully I will do another post in the not too distant future where I will be able to mention some significant improvements. Historically I keep things to myself so I do not talk much about this stuff but I feel the need to open up sometimes, especially given all of your support. All I know is I still refuse to live like this, I am not sure exactly what that means but I know some changes will be made.