Das Auto

23 Mar

Guten Morgen Shotsis (poorly executed German for – Good morning sweeties),

Hello to all those sitting down. To those standing up, watch where you are walking, it’s a dangerous world out there.

It’s been a few months since we last spoke, and as I’m sure you can imagine, and as I’m sure you experience, things are ebbing ‘n flowing as life is known to do. I don’t know about you, but this passage of time thing really blows my mind. Not only that I’m nearly three years from injuring my spinal cord, but that it’s 16 years since MIB 2 came out. One of my former PCA’s daughter was 2 when I first met her in 2012, now that girl rocks, talks, and selects the most aesthetically pleasing sweatshirt for me in the morning. Kids, real cray, but that’s another story.

I recently hit a few milestones in my new life. As I’ve inferred before, regaining your habits and livelihood after injury is similar to restarting as a newborn. Wow, I really missed out on a transition there, I guess that’s where editing is valuable, but thats for suckers, it’s 2015, all about that live stream of conscious right? Anyway, I have become comfortable with the function of my new body in terms of knowing what I can and cannot grab, knowing what Reactions my body produces, and, most important, knowing that I can’t rely on my body in any way. For example – maintaining a consistent schedule is pretty difficult when you can’t control your bowels. When you sit upon the mighty pearl throne, you could be 10 minutes or two hours. Having that kind of floating schedule makes punctuality difficult. Not to mention when you get hit in your rugby chair and you s your p’s. Sitting on a stench of last night’s Chipotle is typically frowned upon in most business settings. Well, I could see having an organic TC aroma benefiting some negotiating circumstances. So, what I’m trying to say is, you can adapt and gain comfort to a certain extent, but the very nature of having no control of your body means you can’t predict certain things. Which sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. Sorry I just talked about poo that long. I’m now quite uncomfortable.

Milestones. We were talking about milestones.

First milestone– I bought a new manual, or everyday, or push, wheelchair. It was pretty spendy, but the benefits of having a manual chair that fits are countless. For a layperson looking at my new chair compared to my old, you notice it is about 70% the size of the first and it is murdered out. To somebody who sits in a chair most of their life, you notice it is 4” skinner, 6” shorter, and 12lbs lighter. I sit 5 inches closer to the ground and I can collapse the chair on my own. This is like leaving your dog in a kennel all day vs being off leash in an Irish sheep farm. The reason, beyond increased freedom and gaining strength by pushing my soul everywhere, this chair allows me to transfer into the driver seat of most cars, take off the wheels, lift the chair over me, and place it in the car. So what I’m saying is, the Red Viper, the 2004 Chrysler Town & Country minivan I was blessed with and have been driving for the past two years, has a mere two days left as my road companion.

Second milestone– Today I bought a Volkswagen (hence the German greeting) GTI. It’s a four-door hatchback that will fit both my rugby and every day chair. So now instead of relying on a power chair that: weighs 500 pounds, has 15 different manufactured components, and who’s electric power I rely on far too much, I will be using my manual chair 100% of the time. I will still use hand controls to drive, but there will be no other mods to the sexy car. Basically I am simplifying, which me like. Starting Tuesday I’ll push myself around everywhere in a sleek manual chair. I am now closer to being as full functioning a C-5 as I possibly can be.

Third milestone – I know I said I only had two, but this one is pretty sweet. For the past four months, the nonprofit with which I am associated, Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis Foundation– www.facebook.com/gusucure – www.gusu2cure.org – has been working diligently to pass a research grant bill funding curative therapies for traumatic brain and spinal cord injury (that sounds far more convoluted than I intended). We’ve visited the capital weekly, participated in committee hearings, and met with countless state legislators. I’m excited that we have passed through all committees as of yet, and are now hoping to get on the general omnibus bill for the Higher Ed committee. We still have miles to go before we reap…the benefits…, but this is the farthest the bill has passed and it is encouraging to see advocacy work. Especially when that advocacy could assist me in not s’ing my p’s. You can check out our Facebook page or website to see the details of what we have done and to stay informed about our progress. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Thanks for reading guys, and especial thanks to my family for all the help. Shout out to mom and dad for helping me get dressed all fancy to be with politicians. Much appreciated I’ll post some pics of my new ride and wheelchair in the coming days. Oh yeah, and in two weeks the Minnesota Wheelchair Rugby Club will begin our run for the national championship in Louisville. I’ll post some video and pics as well.

Stay true, stay real.

Much love– T daddy

5 Responses to “Das Auto”

  1. Auntie Nancy May 5, 2015 at 1:26 am #

    OK Thomas, Subject at hand = “behind the times” squared (which is on ME, totally!) –> 1) I know you’re very busy with MN state government & GUSU2Cure Paralysis as a board member; but I stumbled across this website: http://www.abilityjobs.com/
    2) you are probably already familiar with the aforementioned website! But in case you weren’t, I wanted to be sure you could add this resource to your arsenal…one never knows… LUV U so much! NMB

  2. Dimitra March 24, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    Miles to go before we reap!!! Miss you!

  3. Audracious March 24, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    You never cease to amaze me.

  4. Michael Hawkins March 23, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    Great job of bringing us up to date and helping us understand things we would otherwise not understand and certainly not appreciate.

    When and where do you guys practice rugby? Just asking…

    Loved the Frost reference. You are an interesting young man, indeed.

    All the best…

    Mick Hawkins

  5. Your father dear March 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

    Your best post yet!