Good day everyone, it has been for me. My good amigo Jason Curry is in the house and providing the dexterous keystrokes to post this message.
The most important thing I need to say is thank you. Thank you to Pat, Julie, Cassie, Jesse, Darwin, Michael, and especially Casey. You are all to thank for me being alive today. All of those who read this post, please pray for them as you pray for me, for without their quick thinking and calm demeanor there would be no CarePages update to read today.
Another quick thing to get out in the open. In this post, as well as future posts, I may or may not make a few “I can’t feel my legs” jokes. These are for me as much as they are for you, because without comedy–especially in the face of tragedy–what are we but animals? For example, in a recent PT session, I was in a rather vulnerable position when in walked my Attending and no less than 15 medical students. As both my jaw and legs dropped, they continued to move towards me in a menacing fashion. As they approached me, I inquired of their intentions, which were to observe my spasms and the reactions that drive them. Fortunately I crave attention so I was happy to have the audience. After a few foot taps and twists, the “Oooos” and “Ahhhhs” started pouring from the crowd. Then a very young looking third-year medical student came to test the reflex of my left knee. After tapping my patella, I immediately shrieked, “OWWW!” and stared at the medical student. The mix of confusion and fear on his face, along with the shock of the crowd, made the invasion of my privacy completely worthwhile.
And thus the “I can’t feel my legs” joke was born.
On a more serious note, I know I always emphasize the positive: the milkshakes, the candy, the double quarter pounders with cheese’s whenever I need them… and of course my recovery progress. But to be fair, there are some challenges I face daily. The spasms I spoke of before have actually calmed down in severity, but with that comes an increase in neuropathic (nerve) pain in my forearms, fingers, and entire lower body. When I wake up in the morning it’s a stiffness of pain like I’ve never felt before, but fortunately throughout movement during the day the pain does subside. Again, I see this as a sign of my body waking up and have a reason to fight through the pain.
One other challenge that I have faced, and made me respect the wheelchair bound even more, was my brief trip to the market on the first floor of the hospital. Not only could I not open the freezer doors to reach my Vanilla Frappucino, but when at the register I could barely reach the counter top to hand over my credit card. This all took four times longer than normal, which clearly made a line behind me. Although no one seemed to mind, it was embarrassing and extremely humbling. But I know after a few more weeks in my wheelchair, I will be doing wheelies in the aisles and endo-ing up to the register.
To end on a positive note, my Occupational Therapist mentioned that in her substantial history of working in a rehab unit, I have by far the most function for any patient that she has seen with a C5 injury. I take this as a jump start to my recovery, so I’m already ahead of the game and know my progress will continue.
Thank you for your time. Sorry for the long post. Thanks to all for your messages; I read each and every one of them (the flattering ones twice).
Click here to see comments from Thomas’s orignal blog post on Care Pages.