Friday, March 9, 2012

8 Months!

We're eight months out from injury and doing pretty great, if I do say so myself.  I know that I normally do our monthly "checklist" of where he is, but that doesn't seem to fit anymore, as he doesn't have problems with mobility, pain, etc.  So, I'm going to try something different this month...some bullet points about what's gone on in February/early March, as well as a full accounting of sensation.  I think I've missed a few things along the way, and it's also great to reflect on how far he's come in 8 short months.

  • He got his new chair back and it's working GREAT.  No more back pain from the rods hitting the top of the chair.  It's also made of carbon fiber, so it makes the chair a lot lighter.  It's much easier for me to get it into the car now.
  • J also bought a new pair of wheels, so we have some back up should anything ever happen to his wheels.  It's kinda scary to think of where we'd be if something major happened to his chair (I think this is what's scariest about flying...his wheelchair has to go into the cargo hold...I've seen my stroller after a ride down there and it makes me a little nervous...).
  • He should be getting leg braces in the next few weeks (I think this would definitely count as the advancement we're most excited about this month)
  • We're making plans....lots of plans.  And they don't all involve SCI, which is pretty awesome.  For a while, it seemed all we talked about and focused on was this injury.  That's not the case anymore.  Here's what we've got lined up so far....
    • Today: J's stepfather, Danny, is coming to visit us (by "us" I mean Savannah...we know we're not the reason people come to town!)
    • April 13-20: London!
    • May-ish: Family trip to San Diego (our first vacation post-Tahoe...time to exorcise the demons of that last family vacation)  If you're familiar with the area, what should we do?  We're driving down-any must-see places on the way there?
    • July: I'm going back to Edinburgh for a bit...and Boston too...Dissertation!
    • August: I'm returning to "full-time" teaching (in grad school world, that's significantly less than 40 hours, but the dissertation makes up for the rest).  Sav is currently transitioning into full time at school to get ready for this.
    • Ongoing: We're making it a family priority to become involved in the SCI world and to give back.  We've been incredibly lucky throughout this, and are very aware that not everyone has the resources and support we do.  We're going to commit to going back to Santa Clara Valley Med at least once a month to take part in their support group activities.  In the next few days, I'll hit y'all up for some help too...we'd like to put together care baskets for all of the folks in the SCI ward (about 20 folks, normally)
  • He's still doing 6 hours per week at SCI-FIT.  I don't want to write too much about this yet, since it's not finalized, but we may be traveling out of state at some point this year to pursue some more rehab/therapy options.  
    • Completely normal sensation to a few inches below the nipple line
    • "Fuzzy" sensation to around the belly button (he can feel further down on his front, but not so far down on his back...I think that's just due to the surgery)
    • Lower Body Sensation:  No "surface sensation," but quite a bit of "deep touch." He can also feel if he's been sitting in one spot for too long (this is really great, because it helps prevent pressure sores, one of the biggest potential complications with SCI).
    • Depending on the baclofen in his system (a muscle relaxer that helps reduce spasms), he can flex his calf muscles, feel me massaging his foot, and activate some of the muscles in his glutes/upper thighs.  The less baclofen in him, the more movement he has.  But it's a trade-off...not enough baclofen and his legs can do some crazy things.
    • He has some movement in the hip flexors (enough to use the leg braces and swing himself forward)
I'm still amazed at the amount of return he's had, especially given the early prognosis he was given.  I expect he'll get even more back over the next few months.

Than you all for the tremendous amount of love and support that you've given us.  

Love you all,


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