Thursday, October 12, 2006
Cliff, his wife Kellie, and their baby Anna came for a brief visit on Tuesday night and Wednesday. Cliff and I have been friends since college and were roommates for about four years. This was the first time that we've seen each other since the accident. They came to visit while I was in the hospital, but I was still asleep so that doesn't count.
Unfortunately they didn't have a lot of time but we did have a nice dinner at the house. Wednesday morning we went to the Marriott, where we all used to work, to have breakfast. I walked in and we were greeted by a small group of our old friends and co-workers. They were all thrilled to see me walk but, I think Anna was really the big hit. After breakfast we visited with my parents briefly and then went home to watch the video of their wedding.
They hadn't seen the video because it was taken for me. I was supposed to be in the wedding but was in the hospital at the time. There's a part of the video where they're passing a phone around before the wedding. I'm on the other end of the phone. It was strange to hear them talking to me and remember laying in the hospital bed at the ARC having those conversations. It was an emotional moment then, and almost more so sitting there and watching the other end of the conversation with Cliff and Kellie yesterday.
The therapy session yesterday was tough. I went to U of I and met Renee and a couple of her students. We went out in the wind and light drizzle and walked to a building with a fairly long ramp. The ramp was pretty steep at one point and, to be honest, I was a little worried about it. Going up the ramp was no big deal, although it I was pretty tired by the time we got to the top of it. Going down was the part that made me nervous.
The last time I walked down a ramp both of my knees bent at the same time which generally means I'm going down. Renee caught me that time and I haven't walked down a ramp since. So, that's why I was nervous. Plus, the ramp we were walking down yesterday was made of concrete and a little steeper than the wooden ramp in my garage. As I started down the ramp I found myself taking smaller steps. It took longer but I felt much more secure. I've also started keeping one leg straight as I walk down which seems to give me more stability.
After the adventure with the ramp we walked back to the building where their classes are and did some endurance walking in the hallway. Renee's got this thing about making me work really hard and then, when I'm really tired, asking me to walk as far as I can. I guess it works, because I am feeling more confident. In the next couple weeks we're going to be trying stairs and also getting up from different types of chairs.
Right now the only chairs that I'm comfortable standing up from and sitting down on are fairly rigid chairs with arms. For me to leave the wheelchair behind I'm going to need to be able to sit in pretty much any type of chair that's available. The chairs at Circle City (the restaurant at the Marriott) have arms and are rigid enough that I think I would be able to stand up from them. It didn't occur to me until I was there that I might have been able to leave the wheelchair behind when we went in. I think this may be the first step towards an empty wheelchair, me realizing that I can go places without it. We're not ready for the empty chair yet, but I think that day may be closer than I originally thought!
Love from the East Coast of VA,
Glad to hear Kellie and Cliff were in town, sorry I missed them. So, you got caught up in 2 days of laughter, I'm sure.
I'm so glad that Renee is taking such good care of you. Still, I want pictures.
You are accomplishing great feats my friend. Keep up the good,hard work. I can see you leaving the wheelchair behind next time as well.
Forever in my prayers
Well it sounds as if you are really on the move now! I'm so glad to know that you're making the kind of progress you are and that your mental attitude remains pretty good. I agree with Lisa...since none of your Terre Haute family can be there very often, I'm grateful too that you have so many loving friends and, of course, family. I hope the car thing will work out quickly for you. Sometimes, you know, when you're dealing with bureaucracy, it can seems as if will take forever for something to happen and then one day when you're least expecting it, it'll happen. I hope that happens for you !
Love to you and the family - hang in there!
It is so wonderful to read about all of the progress you have made over the past, well, almost a year. We think of you often at the Foundation and speak of you so admirably to other burn survivors. I am so happy to read that you met the hispanic man at the ARC. If you didn't know he has a prostetic arm. With assistance from the Beech Grove FD we were able to obtain a special wheel chair and monetary donations for his prostetic arm.
We really hope to see you and your mom and dad soon.
We are so proud of you and the progress you are making.
People's Burn Foundation