Archive | September, 2012

Hello Minnesnowta

23 Sep

Hello friends,

It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? As proof of my dedication to all of you, I am writing this post during the Vikings’ inspiring, but inevitably heartbreaking game against the 49ers.

First and foremost, as my Catholic education has taught me, the thank yous.

-Thank you to the Triggs/Wallerius families for their hospitality and generosity in our time of transition. Since apparently it takes more than three weeks to completely renovate and adapt the first floor of a house, having a fantastic apartment three blocks from our home while construction was taking place was a God send.

-The UW hospital 4th floor rehab staff (I think now that I have left your care you can finally see this website). You guys are all amazing and I wish I could hang out with each of you, but in a setting where I am not naked half the time.

-To John Henry Hunter whose fancy fingers are typing this post. Thanks for the help in moving, you’ll receive your paycheck via mail, I promise.

-Thanks to the transition team that got the house ready for renovation (especially EClo and KJ- your sweat and blood never goes unappreciated) and helped move us back once construction was done.

-And finally to the two people without whom none of this would be possible, including that one time that I broke my neck: Dr. James C. Cloyd III and Mrs. Therese Bowman Cloyd, my loving parents. Both of you have been amazing, inspiring, frustrating, and unconditionally loving supporters throughout this entire crazy experience. Though this injury is terrible and I wish it never happened, it has brought our family closer together (but mom I don’t need to wear my seatbelt in the shower, I’m not going anywhere).

Phew, now that we’re done with the required thanking stuff, we can get to the real story. This will be formatted in more chronological order beginning with me leaving the hospital and ending with me in my new, amazing room at 4820 Maple Road eating sour skittles.

(to enter a midstory gem, I no longer have to wear my neck brace, making my everyday life roughly 750% better.)

On August 30th I was discharged from the UW-Madison Hospital. I was hoping to roll through a gauntlet of high-fives from all the staff who had undoubtedly grown to love me over the 8 weeks I was there; unfortunately I was not able to create enough force on the wheel chair to roll through more than 1 high-five at a time. Next came the death van ride provided by Uncomfortable Industries. For the 4 hour ride from Madison to Minneapolis (it’s definitely 4 hours, anyone that says its more, to you I say nay) I imagined the helicopter to be furnished with steak sandwiches and Blackberry Izzies. But the helicopter must have been double booked. Now, I’m not a big complainer and if you were to ask my mom to tell this story she might even use the word “suck”, but I’m going to complain about this van ride. After a few hours of keeping my head free from sharp, malicious objects; the relentless radiating bumps of the road began to affect me. Apparently 5 weeks after a spinal surgery, 4 hours packed into the rear of a ten-year old mini van is contraindicated. I could go into detail about the pain and discomfort of the ride, the claustrophobic nature of being in the van “trunk” (no vents), wearing a neck brace and two seat belts on my power chair, and, lastly, the disappointment of not easily being able to go into the gas station and get a 99 cent rib sandwich… I could complain but I won’t.

As noted above, the first floor of my parents home has been redesigned to make it wheelchair and Thomas accessible. This includes many awesome things: a expanded and redesigned bathroom with a roll-in shower (complete with sand-toned tile for a calming effect), a personalized brick sidewalk into the house, widened and automatic operated doors, and a taken over living room (you know that room in your house that no one ever goes into? That’s the room I’m in). Though I have no formal training in home construction and design, it apparently takes more than three weeks to redo an entire house with the amenities as described above. We stayed in an apartment for 12 days while the construction was completed. Many episodes of NCIS were watched in the apartment (Thanks again Triggs/Wallerius families).

After my comfortable stay in the apartment, my parents and I moved back to our home on Sept 12 to a buzzing hive of activity as the builders rushed to finish construction. A lot has happened since then including starting PT and OT at Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, adjusting to my life with a spinal cord injury (I hate the term “handicap”, it sounds permanent), adapting to the reality of my limitations in such familiar surroundings, which has proven to be challenging and disheartening.

Given the length of this post and the closeness of the Viking’s game, I am closing for the time being, but expect more details sooner rather than later.

As always, thanks to everyone who reads, thinks, prays, or vibes my way. I’m just now realizing how long my road will be. So please keep it coming, the vibes help.


Click here to see comments from Thomas’s orignal blog post on Care Pages. 

Through the Eyes of Another

7 Sep

Hello all. Let’s keep this one short because another post is coming through the pipes.

Jason Curry is a good friend of mine and a semi-awesome guy. I asked him to write a post from his perspective after spending about a week with me in the hospital. He worked for 2.5 years as an advertising copywriter for Leo Burnett. So direct any complaints regarding the humor, logic or quality of this post to the company.

By Jason Curry
August 30, 2012

Over the last week we’ve been filming some of Thomas’ rehab work: A) to document and remember what Thomas has gone through here (not really) and B) to send a video into Jamba Juice to try and trick them into sponsoring his recovery. We figure if Terri Cloyd has gone into the Madison Jamba Juice 4+ days/week for the greater part of six weeks there is a pretty solid chance they’ll agree to it.

Less importantly than the above, Thomas is leaving the hospital for good today. He is officially the most tenured patient in the rehab unit; so basically, he’s been running the show. And somehow this gave the nurses license to mess with him. On Sunday he woke up with his right big toe painted red thanks to a nurse named Mary. Then on Wednesday, the day before discharge, he woke up with his left big toe painted turquoise thanks to an old little Tibetan woman named Neelam (also a nurse; I have to say that for quality assurance purposes). Thomas will get them back someday. He doesn’t know when and he doesn’t know how, but it will be way over the top.

Alright, gotta run… roll… out of here, tis a glorious day and it’s only up from here. Thomas again says thanks to everyone for the amazingly thoughtful cards, care packages, movies, etc.


Click here to see comments from Thomas’s orignal blog post on Care Pages.