Thursday, December 13, 2012

December Update from Brian

I have not written in a while but have a little more time this week since I wrapped up my first semester of school last week. I am glad to get a few weeks off and I did not expect it to be quite as time consuming as it ended up being, especially with two lengthy projects due every week. Also recently I had the hours cut at my part-time job which for the most part sucks. They lost a couple of big clients and they were the ones I did the majority of my work with. One of the clients was leaving the area for the west coast and the other was going to try to do things a little differently due to money issues. The hope is to maybe bring me back after the holidays but we will see what happens. I was actually going to approach them about possibly cutting my hours back since working 35 a week with 3-5 hours of therapy a day and school was a little much. Ideally I would like to work 20-25 hrs a week while I continue with both school and daily therapy.

Unfortunately I also had a recent set back with the electrical stimulation I was using for about 6-7 months. As I have said before, the program is to slowly build up to settings that give you a stronger contraction and in addition to increasing the size of your muscles, which gives you a shot a possibly gaining control over them as well. Every time I move to the next protocol I have to figure out what the intensity should be since it does not always remain the same for each protocol. So, I basically turned up the intensity to high and burned myself in a few places, which has set me back a couple of months. It is amazing how much slower things heal the lower on my legs I go. I had burns on my hips and right above my right knee that healed after about two months and I am now finally close to the ones above my ankle healing. Initially, I had to stop stimming for a few weeks but now I am back at it using the previous protocol and we will start to work my way back up to the higher settings. It is frustrating to face these sort of setbacks since it took me six months to work up to a setting that had the most potential and just as I started I had issues with the burns. I think it may ultimately put me four months behind where I hoped be right now. I just have to work thru it but it seems every couple of months I have something that sets me back but I just have to stick with it. I have to remember that there is still the chance of some pretty good results once I get healed and caught up.

My life currently follows a fairly precise schedule, especially with the therapy stuff that I do every week. I keep a lot of lists and track of a lot of things. I keep track of what I do for at Shepherd, the stim, and time in the standing frame at home. I even keep a list of the fruit and vegetables I eat every day, foods I eat to ensure I have enough protein, and even my vitamins and supplements. I did take a break from some of the routine over Thanksgiving, which I spent with my aunt, uncle and cousins in Charlotte. I also made a trip to the University of Alabama to see Dayton play Alabama in basketball. I saw my old teammate, Coach Archie Miller, and his Dayton Flyer squad. It was only about a three hour trip and my friend Chris went with me where we met up with our friend Eric, who lives in Birmingham. It was a good trip, it was interesting to see Alabama’s campus, and Dayton won! I have been around enough basketball to know what makes a good basketball coach and Archie has it all. I know he will be at Dayton for as long as he wants and will be on the short list of every big time school looking for a new coach in a few years.

I am planning on going back to Raleigh for about a week over Christmas. It will be good to see all my family and friends and hope to maybe catch a NC State basketball games as well.

I hope that everyone enjoys the holidays and wish everyone safe travels!