Golf Anyone?

7 Jun

Buen Dia mis amigos,

I hope you are all doing as well as this morning is. 72 degrees, low humidity, and just enough breeze to kick out those floating little cotton-but-not-actually-cotton floating eye destroyers.

I’m sitting at a corner coffee shop hydrating on $10 of blended coffee, Naked Juice, and lemonade. I believe hydration cures everything while preparing you for a functional and effective day. But you know this, you intelligent and physiologically sound reader, so I need not delve deeper into my unintelligible policies of healthy living.

-Insert Game of Thrones reference to sound relevant

What I really need to do, or so says the extremely helpful organizing team I have behind me, is get all of you wonderful people to sign up to come and party with me and/or play golf in front of me. You can sign up on my website at www.tcloyd.com. The 2nd annual TC classic is going down June 20th and 21st.

Friday night starting at 7 p.m. my apartment will host an extremely classy shindig complete with beer pong and bean bag tournaments, all you can eat food and all you can consume libations. The winner of the beer pong tournament will win a righteous celebrity signed gift donated by Red Bull , no hints, but the celebrity may or may not have stared in “Field of Dreams” and “The Body Gaurd”.

If you cannot make the golf tournament, don’t like golf, hate golf, or simply don’t want to drive out to Monticello, you are welcome to attend this gathering of a large and diverse group of good people. For more details on the party and to purchase tickets visit my website – www.tcloyd.com, unless you’re reading this on my website in which case look up and to the right.

The flagship event will be held Saturday June 21st at Monticello Country Club. The golf tournament will be similar to last year with foursomes playing 18 holes starting at noon, with a pig roast and raffle to close up the evening. Again, those who don’t see themselves as a Rory or Daly are welcome to come and simply enjoy some GnT’s on the deck while watching your friends get frustrated at 75 yard drives. We had a great time last year and plan to have an even better time this year.

Everyone is welcome and as before, the info is on my website – www.tcloyd.com.

Life is trending up for me. I recently received my new rugby chair (thanks to the amazing help of the OLG student council..more on that later) which allows me to really kick ass on the court and almost more importantly I now can push around my neighborhood and down the river pathways for some good cardio exercise. Though I still don’t know the appropriateness of my pushing a sports chair shirtless through Edina neighborhoods with a tattoo and the weird faces I make when struggling to push up hill. I think people might consider me a sickly, deranged, and definitely psychotic individual. Actually, yesterday was my first time going on a legitimate bike path and it was very normalizing keeping up with other people running and actually exercising without others staring thinking I need help. Granted, people still stare, probably because I’m moving around in what looks like an assisted device fabricated by Tina Turner in the Thunderdome. In addition to the shirtless weird face situation, I can’t blame them, just as long as they don’t pity me.

*pro-tip* don’t offer to help or try to help a person in a wheelchair unless they ask you. Especially if they look like they’re prepared for the situation at hand.

Thank you to everybody who has donated, volunteered, and told me what to do to make this event a success. We are already doing well but I’d love to see more people come out to the party and/or golf tournament. Any questions you can email me through the contact info on my website, or send a raven to my apartment.

Okay, that covers the necessities for now. I hope all of you are watching Fargo on FX and Penny Dreadful on Showtime. Both are phenomenal shows on a cinematographic and awesomeness level. Catchup on both and we’ll talk about them next time.

#chau4now

Cheers

A Little Help From My Friends

26 Apr

Hello Friends and Family,

Well hot damn. Seventy degrees this past Sunday and Famous Dave’s barbeque for Easter, rock solid stuff.

I hope these words find you all well.  Spring has finally sprung and with it the bikers, outdoor seating, and 2:30 a.m. walks around the city have arrived. I have lived in my new apartment for about 6 weeks, but will truly take advantage of its location and awesomeness now that I can get outside to enjoy everything Minneapple has to offer.

I will update you with more in depth chronicles of my hand cycling and independent living in the coming weeks, but today I have to do what I hate the most-ask for help. You have all been more than humanly generous to me and my family and I don’t expect anything more than what I have received, but the realities of my life require at least an attempt. If you don’t want to be pandered to, stop reading here, and thank you for all you have done.  What follows is my request:

After suffering a high spinal cord injury from a diving accident in the summer of 2012, my life has changed. Well, I guess that statement is about as unsurprising as they come. The change in my life has been severe, challenging, and, to be quite honest, terrible.  I am not asking for pity though, just for you to clearly understand my situation.

Many of you participated in my fundraising event last year and, without the inspired kindness and generosity from hundreds of you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. The money you give me last year has funded my participation in the ABLE rehabilitation program. Through this program I have continued to regain function throughout my body, including my thighs and hip flexors, but most specifically in my core. Twelve months ago I was not able to sit up on my own; today I can sit up indefinitely which allows me to exercise, bathe, dress, (well half dress) independently. The importance of those things can’t be overstated.  Another area of my life dramatically improved through the generosity of others is the purchase of a wheelchair rugby chair for my participation with the Minnesota Steelheads. Lastly, your contributions helped defray the cost of my personal care attendants (PCAs), which is not covered by health insurance.  To all of those who helped make these things possible, thank you, thank you, thank you.

The central challenges I face are an inability to efficiently live my life. This obstacle is not a permanent one; every day I push myself to become more independent, and almost as important, becoming more independent in a timely manner. Taking three hours to dress myself in the morning becomes quite an impediment to working a normal job or maintaining a professional schedule. And that is exactly what I intend to do-regain a fully fruitful, fantastical future.

But I am not there yet, and that is why I need your help.

This year has been one of transition, moving from the comfort and ease of my parents’ house to my own apartment.  I’ve begun the search for work and am discovering inspiration in my new life.  During this time I still require a lot of assistance from my PCAs. Combined with the costs of medical supplies and continued ABLE rehab, my cost-of-living outpaces my financial means.  The generosity of those in my life has been a true window to the greatness of humanity, and I struggle asking for continued support. But, as I continue to learn in my new physical state, sometimes the only way to move forward is by being lifted up by those around you. (Wow, I need to get a trademark on that phrase).

So, in summing up of my previous words, any donation or support you provide me and my family is not only appreciated beyond any words I can write; it allows me to begin creating a new life for myself and support a continued, ferocious dedication to get me standing on my 2 feet and shaking your hand in thanks.

For your previous thoughts, prayers, jokes, help, everything, but especially for reading this letter; I thank you as deeply and completely as one person can through the written word.  I know I will walk again and I know I will repay all the kindness I have received back to others who need it.  As a first step in this intention we will donate a portion of the monies raised to the inspired and relentless charity Wings for Life – www.wingsforlife.com <http://www.wingsforlife.com>.  Their mission is to find a cure for spinal cord injury by funding innovative research projects throughout the world.  A cure to spinal cord injury-that is the greatest help, for those already hurt and those undeserving that will be hurt in the future.

Grazi
Thomas Cloyd

100% Gaurantee

14 Mar

I read my most recent post and finished with quite a defeatist tang in my mouth…..

I will **** walk again.

My time tables have shifted not my passion or certainty.

Peace out.
T Daddy

Winter Has Come

5 Feb

Well, well, my longtime fellow reader. I sense you there on that computer/phone/tablet screens. (It would be very interesting to see the breakdown of reader’s choice of viewing device. We have a large, diverse reading demographic, so the sample size would be statistically significant. I¹m saying 30% phone, 30% tablet, and 40% computer. I’m about 80% phone, 20% tablet, but that¹s because the shinny brass in the all powerful keyboard regime are racist against the quadriplegic)

A long time its been, and many things have happened. I will try to be both entertaining and succinct, but this post may be quite long. Or quite short, I really just talk until my dad gets tired.

Also, its been almost 6 months since my last blog post. How the hell did that happen? This is definitely a long post. Or, again, it may not be.

• I’m now a badass wheelchair rugby player
• I’m about to take my first trip on a plane to a rugby tournament in Phoenix this weekend
• I went monoskiing last week
• I’m moving into a warehouse district apartment next month
• I’m moving into a warehouse district apartment next month, where my parents will not be living.
• I’m planning on writing a biopic book, estimated to be 60-70% factually Based
• Have had many friends come to visit and have successfully maintained my awesomeness to hang out with
• Continued progression in the ABLE program with most successful return in lower core muscles
• ATK (Alex, Thomas, and Kevin make beer) Brewery brewed its first beer. A rebellious, but contained, American Pale Ale.
• Mired and painful acceptance I won’t walk without outside medical/technological help

And, oh, I won my fantasy regular season and lost by just 6 points in the championship. So everyone else in my league can eat it.

Man, wouldn¹t it be so easy to end there. That’s what all the pro writers are doing now. If you can¹t read it on one screen, don¹t type it. Alas, 6 months bottled so many words I can do nothing to stop their bubbly outspringing.

I¹ll begin with what seems the worst bullet point. As of January, its been18 months since I broke my neck and injured my spinal cord. The majority of recovery comes in the first year, with diminishing returns after that. So everyday that goes by and I’m not doing significantly better, the less likely I will do better the next day. It is this logic and my yearly work up with my doctor and therapists (which happened a few weeks ago) that I now know I won¹t heal completely by my own body and will. As much as I hate to rely on an outside force, I will require some kind of technological assistance. That assistance will most likely be in the form of one of my own stem cells, treated, then injected into the injured section of my spine, combined with rigorous therapy and a few blood/animal sacrifices. Here is where I would post links, but basically the US is just entering the stem cell game and unfortunately spinal cord injuries don¹t sit with the cool kids such a heart disease, Alzheimer¹s, and cancer. But then again, as with any tech, after you break the barrier things improve and develop exponentially, and I guess it would be good to cure heart disease, Alzheimer¹s, and cancer. I’m guessing that we are at least 5 years out, so my long term game plan (LTGP) is to stay/increase my fitness level so that I’m a prime candidate for trials and/or rogue scientists.

I wish there was a career where one could set his/her own hours, write off d-rate film watching, b-rate apocalypse themed book reading, and garner the kind of media fame of Richard Castle. For those of you who don¹t watch ABC¹s long time and always original hit, Castle, he is a writer. But I’m still drawing a blank as to what I can do to meet those previously stated requirements.

Wheelchair rugby a.k.a quadruby is really fun. I started playing November, practice once or twice a week, and even traveled with the team to Milwaukee to dominate a tournament and score 2 goals. Because I’m really classy, I won’t disclose the score of the game in which I scored the 2 goals, but can say my offensive prowess brought us to 52 points, which was 19 points more than the team that lost. The best way to understand the game is to watch the documentary ³Murder Ball², streaming on Netflix…. and that¹s pretty much the only place (I think there is still a market for video stores; specializing in movies not found on Netflix/Hulu/Redbox etc. If anyone has the capital, I¹ve got the spare time). Forgoing a breakdown of the game, another huge benefit is the communal knowledge of a 10 man team full of quadriplegics who have lived their lives for as long as 40 years after their injuries. Basically, I return from every practice with a least 2 handi-hacks. For example, just squeeze the toothpaste into your mouth instead of placing it on a toothbrush. The unexpected piece of returning to competitive sport is learning how much my new body blows a competing at sports. Its very weird to throw and catch a ball for 26 years, implanting your ability in your noodle, then trying to do it with only 20% of your body working normally. Catching, throwing, turning your head, picking up a ball, yelling, drinking water, playing sports is still very fun, but I think it will be a couple of years before I am comfortable in my new, still very athletic, damaged skin. As I said, I’m going to Phoenix this weekend for a competitive D1 tournament. I will post some pictures and post-tournament stats next week. Go Northstars-actually we are the Minnesota Steelheads because the Northstars wouldn’t let us use their name.

The list above was not chronological, but based on another system-can you guess it.

At the end of this month, I’m moving into a 2 bedroom loft with my good pal Kevin Flaherty. The North Loop, or the warehouse district, borders downtown Murderapolis and is a burgeoning area for cool people and hot babes. My only complaint is the egregious overuse of the term ‘loft’ in the 12 buildings that have gone up over that last years. In my book, a loft requires a 2nd level space only accessible by a ladder. I’m beyond excited to be on my own, especially with a good friend and in a cool area. I look forward to using my manual chair to navigate the streets and hopping on the bus for 50¢. I know I will encounter a lot of difficult situations, but as long as I run at them head first in full speed, there will be absolutely no problems. There will be more on this in a few weeks. Probably.

Cokely just looked at his watch and exhaled. We are all running out of time.

Let us close with the announcement of an opening. The 2nd annual TC Classic or the TC SuperClassico 2014 is going down. Its going down on Saturday, June 21 and you are all are cordially invited. Except you Flaherty, a lot of lifetime bans can develop in 3 months. I will also be hosting a welcoming shindig on Friday, June 20. Live music, booze, good food and a hot tub. So mark your calendars, these dates are hard. More information to follow. Last year you all, and many more who are not reading, blew mine and my family’s collective mind with your generosity. The money raised paid directly to my continued participation in ABLE, which is directly responsible for me regaining muscle function, PCAs to help me out when I need it, and every other little piece charged by having a disability. This year, I will donate a % of the money raised to a charity/NGO focused on spinal injury cures. Clearly, I¹m not disclosing all of this yet because I need to vet all of that which needs to be vetted.

And huge thanks again to everyone who helped make TC Classic 2013 such a huge success.

For those who like to go against their bodies¹ will and run long distance, the Wings for Life Foundation (NGO that funds research for SCI cures founded by Red Bull CEO) is holding an interesting fund-raising run this May 4. Check out the website (www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com)-35 cities around the world all starting the race at the same time, last person running is the victor. One hundred percent of proceeds go to funding research. I will be wheeling in Denver for those who want to join me, look for a Facebook group in the next few weeks. Alright, that¹s it.

Its been a pleasure re-connecting with you all, its been far too long.

Hasta la proxima. Tbone.
Thomas Cloyd

A Midsummer’s Nights Dream – Part 2 of 2

18 Aug

Hello again everyone.

I hope everyone is doing as well as I; salmon, broccollini, and teriyaki sauce qualifies as doing well, I do believe.

I will try to be more concise and more informative than the fluff that was Tuesday’s post. Because, as we all know, you can never keep it too real.

The first milestone of this summer was the one-year anniversary of my accident-July 8 around 1 AM. For those who don’t know or have forgotten, I was on Lake Muskego north of Milwaukee and was quite literally saved from drowning and brain damage by some very special people. Now, I’m impressively bad at keeping dates (I forgot my 23rd birthday) and even this date, which one would assume holds some significance in my life, I didn’t realize was occurring until the day before. My thoughts on the anniversary of the accident are of the same tone as those on my general situation overall–only focused on the 2 inches in front of you. I can generally control that. Everyday and every inch I am progressing (I have quarterly assessments with the ABLE program that tangibly document the increase in my core strength, balance, and leg muscles); But the key here is “inches”, because goddammit inches aren’t very far, especially when…a hhhhhhh…. You have a really far way to go.

I am not at the level of function that I thought I be 13 months out, but then again I have, and I don’t know if this is good or bad, set my only real goal as being able to walk. So some things I should celebrate, I simply cruise past with my eyes on the prize (while sculpting my thighs). July 8 milestone–complete.

One of these celebration points was me getting my driver’s license and adapting my van so I can push the whip myself. This only happenrd a week ago, so the streets are still getting used to having T-daddy as their guardian. The importance of this ability I cannot understate. The independence is so heavy, I have an orated speech from Bill Pullman, unfortunately his royalty demands were just too high. Whereas I had to inconvenience at least one person, if not more; now its just me, TC. Even more incredibly I can sit alone in the van listening to the radio and eating a quarter pounder with cheese. No Terri, no Cokely; just me and processed beef. Priceless. Milestone #2 self sufficient transportation–complete.

But really, if anyone sees a 2005 Town and Country, give it some space. The driver has a 3 inch metal rod in his neck.

In what we will call “c2”, in this Pythagorean theorem of moments, is my new found ability to relieve myself. Again, this ability is nigh a week old, so the full benefits I have yet to experience; but let’s just say that my independence/freedom is a combination of Independence Day, Braveheart and the feeling of getting work around 1:30 on a Friday. But, and this is where those smart people who can read into actions and feelings really well can interpret, the more I utilize adapted equipment (which certainly makes me more independent and creates an aura of my life before the accident), the more handicapped I feel. Its as if somebody says you are a mermaid, but don’t believe him/her until you see yourself sitting on a rock seranding sailors. Whereas before you saw yourself as someone just swimming around a bit, and not necessarily a mer-creature; now that you are singing to that seafarer, you are definitely a mermaid… Its merman.

So, with that feeling in mind I’m both happy to dip to Dairy Queen whenever I want; but I’m also deeply at odds with accepting my actual condition. Anybody ever see the TV series “Twin Peaks” from the early 90s? No, you didn’t? Well, there was a quirky FBI agent named Dale Cooper, who (SPOILER ALERT) at the end of the first season gets shot 2 times in a bullet proof vest and once in his gut. First episode, season 2 a few hours after Dale is shot he attempts to get up from his hospital bed. The Twin Peaks sheriff pulls him down and tells him he needs to rest. Dale Cooper then blurts out possibly the world’s most inspiring quote “When the will is involved, the human body can do miraculous things” (at least I think I think that’s way he said, my Netflix gets a little jumpy). I feel that way 4-6 days out of the week, and goddammit if Dale Cooper got out of bed to chase down James and Laura Flynn Boyle, so can I. Milestone 3 Automous living–in progress.

Through my therapy, the focus is now on being able to rotate my pelvis while standing and squat 20* on the Chuck Norris sled. We will see if I’m there the next time we chat.

Hope you guys have a great rest of the summer. Make sure to enjoy those refreshing dips in the water, because they are irreplaceable.

Hasta luego. Thomas

A Mid Summers Night – Part 1 of 2

14 Aug

Bonjour (I was going to say bienvenue, but that means welcome. Who am I to welcome you to the vast expense that is the internet? Not Al Gore that’s for sure.).

But seriously, hello everyone. I hope you are doing well.

I want to apologize to the Sun Current intern for missing the interview at Caribou. I hope yet to sit down together.

I would start this post in my cherished tradition of apologizing for my infrequent communiqués, but I’ve been reading a medley of blogs lately and it seems that inconsistency is an inherent trait in on-line musings. So I’m not sorry. Boom.

We last spoke in April, meaning that summer has come, lasted for a while, disappeared, and now has returned. It truly is amazing how time floats by. To think that it was more than 2.5 months since my last post makes all the days in between a montage. But we all know and can relate to the acceleration of time as we age, let’s talk about stuff we all might not know about.

During these past few months, I’ve hit a few milestones which I will share with you in this and a subsequent post. None yet the keystone, but significant stones nonetheless. I would probably call them rubies or sapphires, pretty awesome, but no unobtainium. Here is something interesting about the coming of summer: I can’t sweat anywhere but my feet. This means that all the heat in my body remains inside, so I just get very cranky and basically look like a cartoon character where he/she gets angry (body red, mercury in thermometer quickly rising). But my feet still sweat, so that’s good if you want to think about it that way. Ironically, I use to be ashamed of my perspiration issues, so much so that I wouldn’t raise my hand in class if I were wearing a gray shirt. Oh how I long for those days of robust skin water.

Moving on……

Jason Curry visited my fair city in the beginning of June. It was then that he paid witness to my daily routine, my severe and loveless relationship with poor quality television, and my guiding hope that is the ABLE therapy program. He and my Iphone 5 accompanied me for three days to observe me smashing iron, medicine balls; treadmills; and peoples’ expectations of guys wearing sleeveless shirts. With his great skill and ferocious emo-ness, he put together a video depicting a typical day of therapy. Check it out here-(vimeo.com/69206779 ). Nice work Jabba.

I’m never one to let a paragraph just to come into being. I love segueways so much I adorned one of those terrible helmets and rode one. In honor of that sacrifice here is thin grammatical transition riding…. Speaking of Jason, his dad come up to Minnesota three weeks after Jason to play in the inaugural TC Classic held June 21-22. You can check out pictures of the Classic on my website ( www.tcloyd.com). But because of the Classic’s shear magnitude of success and overwhelming support, allow me to share the highlight reel. Actually before we begin, I want to thank everybody for participating, assisting, donating, playing, drinking, eating, dancing, biding, and most importantly for being a part of my life. Everybody played a part, large or small; and my family and I can never truly express our gratitude for all that you have done to support us. Thank you.

Now close eyes… Actually you will have to open them to read what is below. After you have read what’s below, close your eyes and imagine the stuff you have just read.

Open on golf course clubhouse with daunting storm clouds approaching.

Interior shot of main room: an impressive spread of silent auction items all generously donated, a fine sampling of Minnesota appetizers, and many friends meeting new people.

Fast forward three hours.

Ten-15 well groomed individuals dancing heroically to the live band’s (Bob Manning and the Real Deal) cover of Sublime’s “What I Got”, torrential downpour beating against the windows and ceiling as if a musical instrument, the faces of the crowd expressing the entire range of known human emotions as they observed the majesty on the dance floor.

I would like to keep going in screenplay form, but I think we all know that is not a good idea. As the storm subsided, the band shut down and people started leaving, there was an air of excitement not unlike the day after Thanksgiving when you are preparing a sandwich of leftovers, because everyone knew that the next day there was golf to be played.

The next morning was as beautiful as one could ask-low humidity and clear skies. We had about 100 golfers playing on all 18 holes with athletes ranging from grade school friends to my father’s colleagues and everybody in between and the same number of fans at the clubhouse. I was able to tool around in a golf cart and witness to the shear altheletism of my friends. Nobody got a hole in one to win the Chevrolet Malibu, but I’m guessing that those who attempted did not noticed the Saran wrap that I put over the hole. After 5 hrs on the links, the players came in; we roasted a pig, and golfers and fans raised enough money to cover my medical expenses for the next year. Hell yeah.

The tournament was known as the inaugural TC Classic, where inaugural infers that there are more to come. In coming years, I’m going to try effing hard to raise money for others; because I won’t have none of them medical expenses.

And thus ends Part I of the two part series “A Midsummer Nights Dream 2-by Thomas Cloyd” . With the exciting conclusion to be delivered Thursday, sometime before the Colbert Report.

à bientôt

Just Cuz

29 May

Bon jour, my amigos
Its been a bit over a month since we last saw each other and as always, many little things have happened and the weeks go by ever more quickly. But on this night you, you **** fine people, need not read my hyperbolic sentiments. As you will soon see, my older cousin, Michael Drimel, is temporarily shifting his career to creative content creator.

Without further ado, Mr. Michael Drimel….

What up blogosphere. This is Mike Drimel (Thomas’s cousin). Thomas has allowed me to write an update on his behalf given it has been awhile since the last post and the man himself just had a birthday over Memorial Day weekend.

I was with Thomas when his original accident occurred last summer, saw him in January after he had first settled back in Minneapolis, and then again this past weekend. So given I’ve been around for a bit, I thought I’d share some updates on the progress I’ve witnessed as well as a story or two regarding the slammin’ party that was had at the Cloyd residence for the birthday boy.

When Thomas strolled into the house this past Friday afternoon, I could already see a difference from my last visit. First off, in January Thomas needed some assistance to make the uphill climb into the back entrance of the Cloyd residence in his manual wheelchair whereas on Friday he rolled in smoothly and confidently without assistance. He also spent about 90% of the weekend in his manual chair instead of the power chair, which was a complete 180* from back in January. He can now make transfers from his bed to his chair and can also transfer in and out of taxis (more on that in a second). Also, that booming Cokely voice that we all know and love has come back in full force as Thomas continues to regain use of his diaphragm.

These things all came out nicely when Thomas had people over for his birthday. The Cloyd house was alive and well with people socializing and eating an overabundance of Mexican cuisine. Thomas was in rare form telling outlandish tales and cracking jokes with no abandon. After we got our fill of food, stories and Uncle Cokely’s wine collection (just kidding), we headed out to the bars of Minneapolis. First stop was Psycho Suzy where the group sat at a lovely outdoor patio where the food and drink kept on a flowing. Then Thomas, who was in no mood to see the night end anywhere near 12am, forced some of the braver partygoers onto the next spot. This German pub turned dance party at night was a lot more rowdy and Thomas fit in nicely by making his own dance circle out on the floor. He in fact did close the place down and may have even got his dance on with a lady or two. We then all grabbed a cab home with Thomas perfecting his board slide technique from his chair to the cab and finished the last of the Mexican food before crashing for the night. The party was a huge success and it reminded me again no matter how hard I try, my cousin can always out party me (there I said it).

As Thomas has continued his recovery over the past year, one thing has remained constant-the dedication of his family. Cokely, Terri, and Elizabeth were all around for the birthday weekend and all had a hand in its success. I apologize in particular to Cokely and Terri for any of their possessions that may or may not have been destroyed at the party.

Keep on making moves cuz and I look forward to where you are headed to next.

-Mike D.

P.S. Don’t forget the golfing event of the century, the TC Classic, which is going down June 21-22th at the Monticello Country Club. Check Thomas website (www.tcloyd.com) for more details and see you there! Places in the golf tournament are going fast so register today.

Kick It

10 Apr

Hello everyone. It’s been many weeks since we last spoke (or many new episodes of Castle for those using the Fillion system). I hope this message finds you well.

For the Minnesotans, look out the window and compare what you see with 6 weeks ago. See how nothing has changed? The opposite of that degree of change has happened to me (for all non-Minnesotans we are predicted to get 6 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow. It’s April. My hands get dirty everytime I go through slosh. Get it together troposphere). This change, this ebbing and flowing change, has provided both ups and downs. On the positive ebb, last week I was able to independently move one of my legs; on the negative flow, my continued presence in, on, and around a wheelchair really pisses me off.

I pass my days with a structure of appointments and sessions. I tell myself that every second of every day I need to focus all my energies on getting better (not just walking again, but also using my hands and fingers, going to the bathroom on my own, regaining core strength, and deepening my knowledge of czarist era politics (I still can’t wrap my head around Rasputin)). The difference between promising a 100% effort and giving 100% effort is the same as telling yourself you will wake up early tomorrow and actually waking up early. This is what I struggle with most since I got hurt, feeling as if I’m not doing everything I can. That at some point in the future I will look back and regret that I let someone else roll me up a ramp rather than doing it myself. Not doing enough, but really isn’t that what we all worry about? I’m just in a position to complain about it to a wider audience, thankfully I have a few people willing to listen to me complain.

Beside those ancient cerebral fears only Frazier could work out, the thing that haunts me is the Imaginary Healing Deadline. Most physiatrists will say that 6-12 months is the primetime to regain function after a spinal cord injury. However, I’ve had physical therapists and other physicians tell me that one can regain function up to 2 years after an injury (these timelines are just what I’ve heard, they are officially non-sciency/research based. And as my typist ….father …. Dr. Cloyd just pointed out medical care and opinion often lags behind advances in science including rehabilitation research). Also in reality a person 5 years out from an injury can still recover a small degree of function. Based off this extensive research and hearsay, I have it locked in my mind that by 15 months I need to be on my two feet walking. I can be walking with a cane, walking with a walker, walking with pain, or walking like a stalker; but I need to be on my feet. Thus, the Imaginary Healing Deadline was created. As of today, I’m 9 months out from my injury. October 8 looms dark and foreboding in the distance like Mt. Doom from Weathertop or The Wall from Winterfell. That being on my mind so often does have a flip side, endless motivation to stand mfing up, which ends the dreary report and begins the happy….

As I mentioned before I moved my leg. You didn’t think I would mention that in passing and not elaborate did you? As you can see in the video located below, I’m lying sideways on a horizontal PT mat with my left leg even with my hips on what is called a powder board (low friction board). The metallic noise you hear is a wheeled skate that further reduces friction and the angelic one is that of my PCA and PIC, Casey. To summarize, I was using my glut and hamstring muscles to push my leg down. I’m able to push and pull with both legs, but this movement had the most flash and was begging to be on camera. So that’s really good and awesome and so is….

 

The TC Classic Golf Tournament that I’m hosting on June 21-22 in Monticello, MN. A delectable blend of music, comedy, booze, pig and golf to pay for the very therapy that is helping me move my legs (guilt trip). Please visit my website-www.tccloyd.com-or scroll up for more information. You don’t have to spend any money if you don’t want you, but my mom will probably cry if you don’t. And she is one of those criers who makes other people cry when they see her crying.

Thank you all so much for the consistent and shockingly tremendous help you have offered my family and me. I appreciate it all and swear that I will repay each and every one of you. I promise.

Yours in recovery mode,

Fire and Blood,

Thomas of House Targaryen

 

Salty, Sassy, and Sloppy

14 Feb

Hello everyone. Just to get it out of the way and to prove my sincerity, I’m sorry I haven’t posted in so long. I would blame it on my inability to type; but actually, yes my inability to type is why I’ve not posted in such a long time.

Much has happened in the past 6 weeks: I began the ABLE program (Athletic Based Locomotor Exercise), which is spectacularly wonderful. I’m guinea pigging new electrical stimulation methods on the Locomat (a robotic walking machine); the salty grind of a Minnesota winter has joined the party; and I started eating breakfast. As one can assume, these monumental changes have upped my spirits, increased my energy level, and legitimize me lying down at 6 PM.

Before we safely jump into (no diving) the issues, I want to share with everyone a few things I miss to make doubly sure that they are appreciated. Not in any preachy kind of way, but in a kind way like when you see a little kid staring at a dirty window, and then you look at the dirty window and realize that it somewhat it looks like a bad piece of art, but you get it. The things I miss:

1) Tying winter boots in preparation for 3+ inch snowwalking. Being able to cinch up so many rows through the frictionless eyelets is really a great feeling, so enjoy that.

2) Writing with a really nice pen and, more specifically, signing your name on an important document with a really nice pen.

3) That’s it, those are the only two things that I really miss. Everything else I could give or take.

As of today, a true Minnesota winter has presented itself in full form including comically low wind chills and T-shirt deserving highs. What this creates, besides proof that the world is ending, is a sloppy, slippery, sassy quagmire that is discriminatory against wheelchairs. It is too difficult for me to use a manual chair except for plowed areas. My power wheelchair lacks the low-end torque to plow through anything that is too serious (but it does have the high-end speed to throw donuts and drift corners with only a light dusting). In reality I need only to move between my house, the minivan, and to a nearby building. I guess what I’m trying to say is I imagine my first wheelchair winter would be a complete and total ****; but it has proven manageable and only slightly cold, likely because I can’t feel any temperature below my chest (except for my feetsies)

Clever transition.

The ABLE program is an intensive exercise-based therapy with a focus on re-connecting signals from my brain to areas of my body that were affected by the cut to my spinal cord. It is three days a week, 2 and a half hours a day during which I spend 1 hour on a treadmill harness. That is in addition to my twice weekly physical and occupational therapy. During the ABLE treadmill session, alternating percentages of my weight (typically around 15-20%) is supported by a harness, while 2 fitness specialists initiate and lead my legs in a walking pattern. And here is the big news, 2 weeks ago I was able to left my foot from a planted position and initiate a step. I wasn’t able to lift my legs all the way through as my foot was dragging, but it was the first time I made my leg move. Have no fear, I know the word picture that I just tired to paint looks like a dirty window in your mind. I’ll put up some videos and pictures for the visual learners among you. The rest of the ABLE session is devoted to a range of exercises intended to reactivate and strengthening my core. The core, as it turns out, is pretty much used for everything the body does. As a result of my injury, I lost most of the control of my core muscles, both front and back. But now I have contractions and firing of those muscles-though they are still weak. This focus on the core and increased time on the treadmill have made me significantly stronger and I can now sense most of my core and leg muscles moving. It is a strange feeling to know that you are contracting your calf muscles, but not seeing a giant bulge below your knee. Basically, the ABLE program, combined with my outpatient therapy, combined with yoga, combined with acupuncture, combined with breakfast, and with a touch of stupid, impossible patience; I know I’m doing everything I can to walk again.

Thomas_Stands

 

Now that I’ve gotten paid for my ABLE promo, let’s get real and talk about tomorrow-Valentine’s Day. Who is joining me at the Highway 7 White Castle for a crave case? Honestly

, you have to make reservations there; White Castle has a huge Valentine Day thing-its ridiculous and awesome.

As always there is much more I would like to share and I will try to do so as soon as I can. But more importantly, I want to thank all of you for helping me through this FUBAR situation. I know that I wouldn’t be in the relatively good position I’m now in without the support you have given. As a thank you-Fringe, Science Channel, Fridays, 8 PM.

Chau for now.

A Poem From Home

10 Jan

Hola mis amigos, como se van?

I want to toss out two things quickly and concisely:
1. I’m very sorry that its been more than a month and a half since my last post. As daylight lessens, so does my ability to not lie in bed and watch on-demand Showtime and roam the interweb with my iPad (in all honesty I ‘m sorry for not letting you know what’s been going on).

1.5. That #1 was pretty inconcise.

2. This post will be devastatingly brief. Sliding past the details, this week has been stupid busy and when I speak with you I want to be able to sit down and have a meaningful conversation.

“A Briefing in Verse”

Over the past six weeks, my world has been improvin’
By the grace of God and friends, I can feel my hip flexors and gluts a movin’
I began the ABLE program, which is inspired and nearly proven
Though the answer to staying awake I still find quite pertubin’

Ironic it was to find a TC article yesterday,
For it was 6 months before when I dove into too shallow a bay
Now with the help of the heralded and renowned Star Tribune,
For future boat side divers, to an SCI they will be immune

Though this poetic form is forced and truly quite obscene,
I’m glad to share with you again, to let you know how I’ve been

Until next week, much love and thanks to all.

Thomas

Started the ABLE program, acupuncture and continued my therapies and can’t produce the deserved times to communicate with you tonight.