Wednesday, March 28, 2007
First of all, if you've been reading the comments from last week my Cousins are making me out to be a speed demon. On Saturday I drove to Brown County for my Cousin Denny's funeral. This proved to be quite a test of my ability to control the car with the hand controls as we were on many curvy roads. Colleen followed us back to Indianapolis. My Sister was in the car behind us and Colleen was behind them. For the record, I followed the speed limit the majority of the time. Occasionally I bumped it up to five miles over on the straight aways. My Mother can support this as she could see the digital speedometer in my car the entire way. (see the picture that shows my point of view)
Driving again has been a wonderful release. I've driven myself to work, Pilates, the funeral, and today to the hospital to support a friend and his family while he was in surgery. (quite a role reversal) I also drove to IUPUI where I spoke to a class about my journey from the accident till now. It was a great group of students who made me feel welcome from the moment I arrived. They asked some intelligent questions and were engaged with me the entire time. The last question that was asked was "what makes me happiest now"?
The answer was walking, working on the blog (which includes reading comments), and talking to others about the accident and where I am now (especially other amputees who are just starting down this path). What I left out was driving and listening to music while I drive. The independence that has come in the past week has been tremendously refreshing. On Monday night I went to the pharmacy on my own to pick up a prescription. Today I went to get a haircut. Simple things, yes, but they're things that I needed help with a week ago. I guess the short answer to "what makes me happiest now?" is living. Hope you enjoy the pictures!
Friday, March 23, 2007
Last Monday (almost two weeks ago), as I was walking into my office, my right socket buckled. I didn't fall but had that foot forward and couldn't shift my weight onto it to walk any further. Luckily someone was in the office and he grabbed my wheelchair so that I could sit down. When I got the leg off there was a big wrinkle in the socket. It was no longer usable. Mike, the Prosthetist, ordered the permanent sockets and I got them last Friday.
Unfortunately when the old socket buckled it also sheered off a small portion of grafted skin on my leg. The skin hasn't healed yet. Last Friday, when I got the permanent sockets, I bandaged the skin so that I could try the new sockets out. I'd stand and walk in them, tell Mike where they were pinching or rubbing, and then he would take them and make adjustments. This went on for about three hours. We got them as close to perfect as possible and I took them home. Due to the open wound on my leg I haven't been able to work with them much.
I did wear them to a funeral this past Wednesday where I walked a little. The new sockets are, for the most part, more comfortable than the temporaries were. They come up a lot higher, which occasionally causes some pinching in the groin (ouch!), but also offers a lot more support. In fact, as I was standing at the graveside portion of the funeral I realized that I was putting very little weight on the crutches and was almost standing on my own! The other benefits to the new sockets are that they have a different suspension that makes them easier get on and off, and they have allowed me to lose about an inch and a half in height!
At the funeral I also had the opportunity to reconnect with my friend Zenmandan who, based on his comment from last week, is very ecstatic about the upcoming benefit concert (he is a musician after all). One of my Fathers co-workers has a connection to two accomplished vocalists who apparently expressed interest in working with the performing arts students at Broad Ripple High School (my Alma-mater). From what I understand the two vocalists will be working with the students for a week and then performing a concert (mostly classical I think) at the end of the week. My Fathers co-worker took it upon herself to ask the Superintendent of IPS and the Principal at Broad Ripple if they would be willing to turn the concert into a benefit for me. Both said yes. I'm so touched, and can't wait to walk the halls of my high school once more!
The concert is on Friday, May 18th, from 7pm to 8:30pm. Tickets are on sale now, $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students.
For information people can call Dot at(317)502-8412 or Julia at (317)226-4791. Julia has tickets at the IPS Education Center, 120 E. Walnut St, Indianapolis, In 46204 on the 6th floor. Hopefully Zenmandan and his lovely wife will join us!
This past Monday I received a call from my councilor at Indiana Voc Rehab telling me to drop my car off at Superior Van and Mobility on Tuesday. The hand controls were installed on Wednesday and I picked up the vehicle on Thursday afternoon. Today I drove to work for the first time in over a year! It felt great although, to be honest, I missed the company of my Mother, Father, and JoAnn Hatfield who have been doing the majority of the driving. I promise I will get a picture posted soon. The weather has been pretty nasty and I want to give a great shot.
In regards to the recipe book, sales are going well. However, if you've sent orders to Maureen hopefully you've noticed that her e-mail address on the info I posted was missing two important letters. Her e-mail address is actually firstname.lastname@example.org. If you didn't notice please resend your orders. We want everyone who wants one to have an opportunity to get it. I'm very excited about both fund raising projects and extremely thankful for all of your support.
Lastly, while at a church dinner after the funeral on Wednesday, I met several people who have been following my progress since the accident. A few of them mentioned that they would love to make comments but don't know how. In order to make a comment click on the link below the blog entry that says "comments". This will bring up all of the comments people have made to that particular entry and there is a place on the right hand side of the screen to enter your own comments. I love hearing what people think about what I'm putting out here so, even if you don't know me personally, please feel welcome to share your thoughts.
Friday, March 16, 2007
where to send payments for recipe books
120 E. Walnut St.
Indpls., IN 46204
Please put "Jeremy Warriner fund raiser" or something like that in the info line.
Don't forget to read this weeks update, which is posted below. I can't wait to hear your thoughts! And thanks again for all of your support with the recipe book!
The turning of the years
Last year, as my birthday approached I found myself thinking wow, I almost didn't make it. This year I went from one extreme to the other. Those of you who know me well know that I want to be a husband and a father someday. So, one of the more depressing thoughts I had was, "Is this it?". With the loss of my legs had I also lost the opportunity to find love and raise a family? Was my life now about the struggle to live with a disability, instead of striving to live a full life and leaving behind the legacy of family?
In the middle of my self inflicted emotional confusion about my upcoming birthday I had a conversation with a friend about faith. Faith is not having to worry about whether your future is bleak or bright. Faith is knowing that ultimately what's supposed to be will come to pass. Faith is knowing that our struggles in the here and now will be rewarded in the future. The conversation was meant to help my friend with the issues she was struggling with but I walked away from it feeling relief from the weight of my own internal issues.
The weekend before my birthday I spoke with another person, a new friend, who asked how I was dealing with all of this (the loss of my legs and all the struggles that came with it). I told her how the most difficult part was being single and wondering what impact my disability will have on my romantic future. She reaffirmed my earlier realization about faith and positive thinking.
The fact is that, as a result of the accident, I've met some wonderful people that I would never have known. When I was in High School I taught martial arts and was in great shape. Then I went to college, found beer and wine (I even had classes about them), started working, and got out of shape. Yes, my work at the Walden Inn got me into better physical condition before the accident but it took the accident to get me into a regular exercise program (pilates). My point is that if you look back at the turning of the years, the connections are inspiring, and that as the years continue to turn the connections build in positive ways, even if we don't see it at the time.
A year ago, when we first started talking about the C-legs, Mom and Dad kept saying that I was going to have the best legs possible. I asked Mom how they could be so certain when the expense was so high and we didn't know if insurance would pay for them. Mom said that she didn't know but that we would find a way. Then, with no prompting from us, my Fathers co-workers have come up with a cookbook and a benefit concert.
I have felt strange about publicizing fund raisers that are for my benefit. Something about it just gives me a creepy crawly feeling but, I've come to realize that both the cookbook and the concert are ways that people can help and get something in return. In one case people will get a fantastic recipe book that many of you have helped to create. In the other case people will be treated to an evening of beautiful music. I'll be talking more about the concert in the next blog. Let me end by saying this, your support is more proof of the power of faith.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Cookbook ordering info:
“A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes”
Remember those dreams on a hot summer night when all you wanted was a piece of mom’s warm apple pie
with ice cream on the side, well.....
We have a recipe for that.
How about your grandmother’s fried chicken?
We have a recipe for that and over 500 more luscious recipes we are sure you will enjoy!!
But have you ever had a dream where all you wanted to do was to be able to walk again?
We would like to help Jeremy Warriner with his dream.
This cookbook is dedicated to Jeremy…
THE COOKBOOKS HAVE GONE TO PRESS!
You can place your advance order now!!
The cookbook is $15.00.
Quanity: ______________ @ $15.00 ea. Total : ______________________________________
*e-mail order back to: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
or fax it to: 226-4509 - Attn: Maureen Cornelius, Kathy Berg or Becky Tuttle
If you’d like to pre-pay your order, you may pay by cash or check.
Please make checks out to Maureen Cornelius (for payment of
printing costs and proceeds will go to the Jeremy Warriner Trust Account.
NO DEADLINES FOR ORDERS-WILL TAKE ORDER ANYTIME
Friday, March 09, 2007
This weeks news
Last Tuesday morning Dad picked me up to go meet with Dr. Carbone. That was the appointment where we talked about the C-legs. Seeing me walk was a big part of that. So, as we were backing out of the driveway, imagine my concern when I saw a pair of flat crutches emerge from underneath the car. Luckily the flattened parts were only the parts that attach to my forearms. I was able to bend them back into shape and only one crutch was dented. So Dr. Carbone still got to see me walk. They still had to be replaced since the integrity of the crutches was compromised. The new crutches are much sturdier than the originals so, thanks to Dad for taking out the old ones!
No major progress on the C-legs to report yet. Mike and I are still trying to get the perfect fit on the sockets and work out the suspension. We may even try out some different types of legs before going to the C-legs, just to be sure we've weighed all of the options.
The car is a dark grey color called "galaxy grey". It has a very sleek shape and a huge windshield. I haven't been able to get a good picture of it yet because it mostly sits in my garage. When we've had it out I haven't had the camera with me. Once I have a good picture I'll get it posted. The process to get the hand controls installed has begun. I'm expecting to hear from the company that will be installing them early next week. My hope is that the I'll be driving sometime in the next three weeks!
Saturday, March 03, 2007
A celebration of life
Last Saturday I made the decision to go with the Honda Civic. I liked the Focus but there is more leg room in the Civic, which was ultimately the deciding factor. I felt awful not going with the Focus because a very good friend works for Ford. He's been thinking about what my needs would be since the accident. I know he thought this was the best way he could help, eventhough his friendship is all the help I need. However, I had to go with the best fitting car for me. So Saturday evening I signed the initial paper work to buy the Civic. On Tuesday I dropped off a check, signed the final paperwork, and we brought it home yesterday. I won't be able to drive it until the hand controls are installed but at least I have time to play with the voice controls and the Blue Tooth.
I'm late posting this week because my attention has been focused on my friend Kelly Nelson (once upon a time she was a Witherbee) and her family. Last Sunday Kelly called with the news that her brother Brian had passed away. I didn't know Brian well yet I was immediately overwhelmed by grief. Over ten years ago the Witherbee's came into my life as the family of a friend I had met in college. They have since become family to me. Kelly's parents watched over my house while I was hospitalized, they even decorated it for Christmas. Just a few weeks ago (while Kelly was home from Colorado) I sat at their dining room table with Kelly's parents Sherry and Cecil, her husband Chris, brothers Brian and Jeff, and Jeff's wife Amber playing cards. We told jokes, laughed, and shared stories.
Brian was diagnosed with a brain tumor the Thursday before last. The hospital felt that he was okay to go home on Friday morning. They had several procedures scheduled for last Monday and Tuesday. He spent time with some friends on Friday night and he passed in his sleep. He and his family were spared a world of suffering.
Brian was a unique, talented, and vastly intelligent 26 year old man. His condition would have taken away his ability to enjoy reading, music, and so much more. Instead of suffering through that God has called him home.
His family, while grieving, has chosen to celebrate his life. Over the past week I have been with them as they've looked throught pictures and memento's. Watched them learn about the things that had meaning to Brian. Brian loved coffee and listened to "funky" music. Before his memorial service they had a gathering where we listened to the music he loved, talked about Brian and the Witherbees, and enjoyed coffee served by a Barrista. It was standing room only at his memorial service where people came forward and spoke of their memories of Brian and what he meant to them. I know Brian would have been amazed at the turnout, shocked by how much he meant to everyone, and proud of how in touch his family was with what he would have wanted.
As I sat there it occurred to me that Brian's life and how he passed from us was another assertion of faith. When he was faced with a world of pain, and a loss of self, he was granted peace. I will miss him.