Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Must See Video

Okay, so in posting Brian's update, I was double checking the links to make sure they remained intact & saw that RTW has a video of Brian in action on his client page.  Well, this video was great.  Tears in my eyes, great.  My brother, near death in December 2008, released from the hospital in March 2009 declared paralyzed at T-11, bedridden for I can't even remember how many months (Three?  More? Edit: Brian just informed me it was actually seven) from a horrible pressure wound, is actually experiencing some movement in his hip flexors & some muscle contractions/growth in his upper legs.

So, why Brian would never tell any of us much of this (and letting us know about the video?--forget about it) because it is so, so encouraging to see, I just don't know.  Wait.  I do.  It's Brian.  Some for better, some for worse, that's just the way he is.

I'm freaking out about this video & call him to tell him how much progress I can't believe he's made & then he proceeds to tell me this video is, like, really old.  Like monthS old.  So, he's grown (which was evident when we had a great time seeing him this weekend) even more since then.

Which leads me once again to thanking all of you--without your support, your encouragement, your prayers, your donations, who knows if Brian would even be able to have the chance to experience these gains.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

July Update from Brian

I hope everyone is having a good summer and staying out of the heat. Although summer isn’t quite the same these days, I still love the warm weather.  Well, I just recently moved from Mooresville and back into Charlotte city limits, it is good to be back since I am closer to family and the few friends I have in Charlotte.  I did move to north Charlotte to keep me near Race to Walk, which I still plan on attending 3-4 days a week.  As many of you know I moved to Mooresville to be within a couple of miles of Race to Walk and use Iredell County public transportation to get there on a daily basis. I am finishing up getting back to driving which I had to do in order to move back to Charlotte.

I basically had to take drivers ed to get certified in driving with adaptive equipment which was a little weird at first but I got the hang of pretty quickly. There are all types of adaptive equipment and your need is based on the severity of your injury. I pretty much needed the minimum and most basic kind, basically giving me a lever about steering wheel height that is attached to the gas and brakes. I push forward to brake and pull down for the gas. It is kind of weird to be driving without your feet but I got the hang of it enough to pass the test at the DMV. It will be good to get back to controlling my own comings and goings. I think it will allow me to even use my time more efficiently and wisely.
I am just trying to stick with working on recovery every day. I still go to Race to Walk and do some stuff at home every day as well.  After leaving Baltimore I have been using a whole lot of electric stimulation on my lower body.  I think between the FES bike I ride at Race to Walk and the at home stim unit I have, I probably put about 4-5 hours a day of electric current through my body on a daily basis. I am not sure what it will lead to but in just a few months I have already seen some changes. With the type of injury I have I have had a lot of muscle atrophy in my lower body.  I never really liked mirrors or pictures before my accident and absolutely hate them now and am appalled when I see just how skinny my legs have gotten. I weighed myself recently and do not think I have weighed this little since like the 9th grade, which is not a good thing in my world. The majority of the missing weight is from my lower body but over the last few weeks I have seen it come back, especially on my right side. I do not know what this will lead to but it is good to see some changes.

It is hard to believe how fast time is passing for me these days. Before I know it will be October and I will be back for another couple of weeks in Baltimore. I also have been told that the time is finally coming for me to go to the Beyond Therapy at The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, for a month or two before the end of the year, which I am looking forward to.

(Note from Kara: The attached picture was kindly taken and secretly emailed to us all by our cousin, who helped Brian go pick up his car earlier this week.  Thank you, David!  Apparently, Brian's first official drive included Charlotte evening rush hour and a deluge rainstorm--baptism by fire as they say, no doubt.  He now must be ready to drive cross country!  Indeed, he already made a quick little field trip here to Raleigh/Cary today to celebrate Owen's 3rd birthday this morning at Myra's fire station.  We really enjoyed having him though I think all of my childless siblings were a little freaked out by some off the toddler shenanigans, I know I certainly am myself, at times.  Thanks to all of you as always for your ongoing support!  It is because of your help Brian is able to be driving again now--allowing him some much needed and much missed freedom since the accident.  I honestly can say this pic captures about the biggest smile I've seen on him since the accident, very close to those he truly has when he thinks no one is looking and he's quietly hanging with one of my kids...)