I found this new ASIAn place…

28 Nov

Hello to all and to all hello- A holiday greeting for our holiday meeting.

As required by my Post-master general, I will begin this message as so many of my other have. “I’m sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time………”

Now as required by my heart and brains, I will begin the second part of this message with immense and delightful thanks to everyone in my life. In the previous and superiorly written post, Audra covered much of what she was thankful for. So I feel no need to produce my list since redundancy is a fallacy. ***but secretly, thanks to my mom and dad for all of they have sacrificed***

When thinking about the structure of this post, I didn’t know whether I wanted a linear story, a roller coaster of emotion, or a 142 character description of my inner feelings. What my muse (Alex Falenczykowski (typist)) and I have decided is to rip this thing wide open with some kick ass news! As of August 30th 2012, my injury status was measured and defined as a C5 vertebrae complete injury with an ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association) score of A. Now I’m gonna get Bill Nye all up this. What we have here are two different measurements of my spinal cord status. 1. The vertical level of my injury, which determines what function and motor ability I have (shoulders, triceps, fingers, etc.), was originally C5 meaning that the 5th of 8 vertebrae in the cervical section of my spine was crushed. This in turn severed my spinal cord. Hoorah, this flawlessly segways us in my next point. 2. My ASIA score, based off a physician performed exam. ASIA scores help determine the completeness of the slice through the spinal cord by determining the full level of sensory ability over the entire body. Basically a doctor takes a safety pin, opens it, and pokes you with the sharp and dull side in key areas from head to toe. My responses to dull, sharp, and location are measured to determine an ASIA level. You’re every day Ernesto will have an E score meaning normal motor and sensory function. I started with an A score meaning a complete injury, no motor or sensory function below the injury site. *Any and all medical knowledge pompously stated in these posts can and will be either completely accurate or devastatingly inaccurate.

As of today, November 28th 2012, I have officially been moved up the ladder or down the spine…….. to a C6 ASIA C. This is cause to be happy and is significant for a few a few reasons. The first is in recovering both spinal cord cells and cervical health at all means that I can heal. The floodgates work. Now its just a matter of cranking them open super wide. The other cool thing about this is that I’ve jumped this far in only 4 months. The timeframe of recovery and healing for a young male is primarily in the first year with smaller pieces coming back in up to five years. Having gone this far in just 4 months is promising that I’ll continue to move farther in the coming months. When I say “is promising,” I mean that its definitally going to happen.

Thomas with a C5 ASIA A= 15-17% chance of walking
Thomas with a C6 ASIA C= 45-47% chance of walking
Thomas with a C6 ASIA C with the awesomeness and passion of his peeps and fam= 45-47% chance of walking…… but feels like 100%

Now to me, 45% isn’t enough, but the small victories build the castle……or something like that. What I’m doing to increase the likehood are things including: accupuncture, adaptive Yoga in and out of my wheelchair, a Locomat machine (which puts me on a treadmill and attaches my legs to robotic arms which walk my legs while being in a harness holding a certain amount of my body weight. This aligns my brain, spinal cord, and legs to encourage my nerves to relearn how to walk), a gluten free lifestyle, and many other things to come.

While all of these things are insanely exciting and progressing me towards walking, all of the increased activity in leg motion leaves me in pain by the end of the day. Its kind of a catch 22 that I’m doing this all so that I can walk and get around again. As of right now, after 5:00 I’m bedridden. But don’t feel to bad as this is definitely the good kind of pain.

Thank you to Alex Falenczykowski for helping me with this post.

Thanks to each and everyone of you for any thought, word, joke, or poetry you have produced for me because I will need them now more than ever as winter is coming, as is HBO’s runaway hit Game of Thrones.

Much Love. Hopefully talk to you sooner than later.

12 Responses to “I found this new ASIAn place…”

  1. Jim Peet January 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    I saw the Star Tribune article about you today.

    I broke my neck in a trampoline accident in September 1987.


    I’ve been handicapped for 25 years. I do walk but kind of like Frankenstein (with crutches)

    May the Lord give you daily grace for your trials.

  2. Abie Weekes December 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Thought of you today as I was making puppy chow! That probably sounds strange, but just in case you miss Christmas cookies this year being gluten free, puppy chow is 🙂 I hope that is just a little thing to brighten your day. Always thinking and praying for you! You are an inspiration.

    Your Prom date,
    Abie Weekes

  3. Uncle Mark December 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    No words – You are AMAZING. OK – one word.
    BTW – ( should I NOT be tapping everybody on the shoulder at the mall to show them this post???? Man I’m getting some weird looks? )…what’s up with that?

    Keep kickin ass Thomas. Much Love
    Uncle Mark & Aunt Nancy

  4. Jackie Stern December 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    The Sterns in New Orleans send their cheers to you. We are so glad to get the news. We are sending you our best wishes and lots of encouragement.

  5. Jon and Jen Bartel December 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Great news!!!!!! Sending love your way!

  6. Alexa Bartel November 30, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    Thomas, prayers are working. Tears of joy are flowing as I write this. Your strength and faith are in full view. Thank you sharing this exciting news.

  7. Mick Hawkins November 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Alex did a good job on the typing; you did a good job on the dictation.

    Now, everything is good since the news certainly was too.

    I am reminded of your gathering at McCoys last month and overwhelming support that was shown. Lots and lots of things are coming together.

    All the best…

    Mick Hawkins

  8. Scott Vandermeuse November 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    Brick by brick, Rome wasn’t built in a day. How fortunate that you are able to elect this way of pain. May it always be the good kind. The strength youve shown so far is amazing. It is possible that hrough you there is power too great to imagine. I have a second cousin (or third once removed or something with ridiculous “correct” non succinct way to describe the relationship) who suffered a car accident years ago. It took him many months to be able to move his fingers at all. Your journey has been amazing. For you to have come so far bearing this burden, you have shown considerable resilience. There will be hard days ahead, I do not doubt, but I also do not doubt your resolve and the crazy awesome people surrounding you. The people in the great stories don’t know when they’re in them; they keep going when others might have turned back; they are holding onto something – that there’s good in this world and its worth fighting for. Hold Fast Thomas, there’s another day beyond every day we have.
    If God can Siphon any more positive thoughts/energy/encouragement from me to you. I hope he does.
    (Did you get all those references?- Keep telling yourself to “open your mind”)
    Much love to you and all the Cloyds at my other home away from home,

  9. Aunt Trish November 29, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Thomas!! I will immediately dispatch another batch of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies to celebrate the news. God is great! I will continue to pray for you and your Mom and Dad. And I love the picture with this blog. I wept with joy when I got your mom’s message this morning. Keep your abounding faith! It’s an inspiration.

  10. Adam Norris November 29, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    BOOO YAAAHHHHH Sweet T! Sending you all my thoughts and well wishes.

    FB/text/FaceTime? me on Game of Thrones. Have heard good things, but havent committed to it yet. Need your insight, despite you loving most terrible things on TV (TrueBlood).

    Thinking of you with each Ranch Buffer,


    #doyoueatRanchBuffersiftheyhavegluten? ##spiritfingersdiscotoes #whatsyourtwitterhandle?

  11. Uncle John November 28, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    This is the best news I have ever heard! I am so happy that the injury has been re-categorized to a lower level and the odds of improvement have jumped enormously. Keep pushing – I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds…

    • Aunt Julie November 29, 2012 at 7:00 am #

      Hi Thomas – I am so proud of you I could die. Congratulations my friend!!!!! It is only because of your hard work and diligent command of your homework that you are where you are. Also the work of both your parents and of course God. Anything is possible with prayer and I knew He would come thru with something good for the Holidays. This is Awesome news and I definitely would take it as a sign of better things to come. Keep close to the Lord, Thomas. I pray for you every day as I know many others do as well. Take heart and carry on!
      Love Always & Forever, Aunt Julie