Reality…sort of…bites

2 Oct

Good evening everyone. I hope this post finds you well. The Fifth Element just came on AMC, so god knows I’m well.

I want to issue a warning; the following post will be slightly off my typical path of go lucky excitement and pure positive review. It may at times delve into the negative or macabre.

I don’t consider myself to be an unappreciative person or one to complain when things are good. But I’m shocked at the power this injury, both physical and psychological aspects, to overcome all of the good that I’ve received since I broke my neck. My day-to-day life is not mine. To get up in the morning requires the assistance of a caregiver, takes 2 hours, and to the average person would be humiliating. Be it the doors I can’t open, the stairs I can’t ascend (or descend), or the fresh air I no longer have a desire to meet; the effects of my injury have evolved into a new beast entirely. In the hospital, I was ok; I even enjoyed my time there. In the hospital, its expected for one to have a medical problem. But once you leave the hospital, its assumed that you have gotten better and you can return to your normal life. Once I left the hospital, the life I encountered was far from normal. Its frustrating to be in a place that I’ve known my whole life and with which I interacted my whole life; but to see it from such a perspective (such a limited perspective). It’s like watching ….

(Here is where I’ve struggled to find a fitting analogy)

Its kind of like being handcuffed-I’m wait I’m handcuffed.

Beyond the physical restraints are the psychological effects I’m now experiencing. Again, my hospital stay had an end date; I knew when I would be discharged. For some reason, I thought that date would be the beginning of the end. In actuality, it was the beginning of the long beginning. Its that notion-the long road ahead without a map or timeline that gets me. But…..

Its not all bad. Every message, letter, text, visit, phone call, or mental image I receive reminds me I’m still alive and that I’m still me. Though it sucks pretty bad, it could always be worse. I could be fighting this alone-and without a 60” TV. For every morning that I wake up feeling blue, there are 4 afternoons or evenings spending time with my friends that make my journey less difficult. Instead of staring down this hypothetical road that I love to cite so often with all of its speed bumps and lack of Taco Bells, being with my friends or thinking about all the great times I shared with people in my life (Snowpa) elevates me beyond the road and returns me to being a regular (hilarious) dude.

Ok, now that I’ve got you guys teary eyed and depressed; I’m going to hit you with some positive action. The first is that I used my legs yesterday; I rode a fricking bike for 15 minutes with electric stimulation going into my quads and gluts. This is the first step in the process of my returning to the world of daywalkers. Its quite exciting to see my legs moving on their own, albeit if I’m not telling them to do so (picture coming soon). The thing that I find most exciting (now keep this very down low-don’t talk, don’t think, don’t even whisper about it as the slightest breeze could blow it away; but I wiggled my left ring finger a couple of days ago and continue to do so. Its hard to tell what this means because I’m no physiatrist; but it definitely means I’m getting my fingers back soon. Being that its my left ring finger, it may be the rehab equivalent of catching the bouquet at a wedding…. Ladies beware.

I apologize for being a little dark earlier in this post, but I think its important to keep it real. As always, thank you for everything. Each of you amaze me with your dedication, creativity, and hilarity. It blows my blues away.


T Bone.

9 Responses to “Reality…sort of…bites”

  1. Diane Fittipaldi October 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Yep. Reality Bites. But, I speak for many when I say, you don’t need to apologize or write a warning about your posts containing something other than “pure positive.” Keep it real. The accident can’t take you humanity away and humans have bad days. And good days. You wrote a powerful post and took us along with you. Much appreciated.

    I know what you mean about the hospital setting having its comforts, after all, they set up hospitals with all the latest gadgets and equipment and staff members to get you through the day. I like your phrase about home being the “beginning of a long beginning, a long road without a map.” These words capture it well.

    I’m looking forward to your next post , to reading your observations and hearing the latest from your perspective. And I’ll see you on the 27th. Unti then, keep it real even if reality bites sometimes.

  2. Jackie Stern October 9, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    The Sterns in New Orleans have been with you from the very beginning and will now get to keep up with you through your blog. We are all committed to being here for you. I hope you can feel our support all the way from New Orleans.

  3. Lili October 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    One more thing… your blog is very inspiring. Please continue writing it 🙂

  4. hannah gaskins October 4, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    hola tomás,

    thanks for being so real. you are a great communicator and i know your words are appreciated by many. you and your family continue to be in my thoughts/prayers/vibes. keep your mind sharp and keep on truckin. i look forward to your next update.


  5. Lili October 4, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Hi Thomas,
    Not sure if you remember me, but I’m on the CPOE team at Santa Clara. We worked together for a little bit. Even though we didn’t know eachother very long, I just wanted to say that as soon as you left, your place was REALLY empty here. We all miss your smiling face. P.S. I’m not sure if you watch X-Factor, but I love this lady. Anytime I’m feeling blue and need a pick-me-up I watch this clip 🙂

  6. Dimitra October 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Thomas, loved this!! Thank you for sharing! See you soon!!!!!!!

  7. Jed October 3, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Hey bud,

    I don’t think being unappreciative or down some of the time is a weakness at all. Your recovery is about physical strength — an area in which you are making and will continue to make great strides — but it’s also about mental strength, and I can’t imagine a more impressive sign of the latter than laying this negative energy out there so you can face it and, ultimately, beat it.

    To run with your apt analogy, there’s no shame in being handcuffed for the time being. Your audience is out here, waiting in suspense for you to pull a Houdini. I can already hear the applause.

    With admiration,

  8. Chelsea October 3, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Dude, no need to apologize. Your fans are interested in how things are really going for you – we can’t be fully present for you if we don’t know how you are. We all love your sense of humor, but it doesn’t have to be “on” all the time. You’re doing great.

  9. Aunt Julie October 3, 2012 at 4:45 am #

    See Thomas, I can figure this out. I loved your blog. Keep it coming. Love, me.