25 October 2008

jacques chiractober review

Hey all! It's been so long, there is no way I can put together an all-inclusive update to bring you completely up to speed. Here are some randomized entertaining parts. If I skip anything you want to know, either ask in the comments or make it up.

Apart from the distributed time at home, phys therapy is going quite well. The short breaks actually appear to have helped my body rest and rebuild even stronger, so it seems. I've improved across the board. More weight during lifting. Average Giger revs have marginally increased, barring days where dysreflexia cuts time short. Neck strength is getting better for sitting balance. Same with arms. And my traps are ridiculous. Apparently my trunk muscles are getting a bit stronger, too: sometimes those conniving therapists of mine will leave me sitting upright under my own power - no arms, even - without telling me. Sneaky people they are.

Manual chair propulsion (with the power assist wheels) is getting waaay easier with practice. Back in the days of warmer weather, we went on a few trips around the DMC campus, finding all of the non-ADA-compliant ramps to various buildings and trying to take them on. We've been in the up and down world of "the tunnels" a bunch, too. I've taken the manuchair home overnight a few times as well to test out the skilz on relatively boring (to you) daily use stuff. Let's rock it already!

(For those familiar with the DMC underground system, miercoles I did a few laps for warmup, then went from the CSCIR all the way down to the end of the downhill hot part with the pipes and back, then the other direction to the other end elevators, up to the ground floor, and through the hospitals past Wendy's. And back.)

Further, an update on the manual chair acquisition story: schooled. Last time I checked in with you guys, I needed to demonstrate sufficient incline/decline/propulsion/stability/everything skills in order to get the doc's Rx approval, necessary to ask for stuff to be covered under insurance. Let's just say that has been done, and then some. QED.

On the not-so-optimistic end, there are a few sad notes. First of all, Katie's gone! My awesome main therapist has been transferred temporarily. Positive: I still have the same rockin' trainer, and my replacement PT is also pretty much sweetness. Also a bummer, an assortment of the most inspirational people on the floor either left recently or about to leave. Boo. Next on the ugh list, insurance is about to give up (already has, really), so I don't think I get to be here much longer. Continuing, I had another DXA last week, and it confirmed that my bone density is indeed terrible. Eh, I don't want to talk about negative stuff anymore.

Finally, I spent today with my hands in an electrified bucket of water. I heart neurology.

Beyond therapy, umm, it's cold here! Detroit weather is not cool. Er, I guess it's extremely cool, and that's the problem. Fortunately, it's not far from the room to the RIM. So far, I've been able trick myself, too. I have quite vivid memories of several occasions at school when it was way below freezing, there was heavy sleet/snow/wind, and I was trapped outside my building because the accessible door was either frozen shut or just plain broken... So before I go outside here I just think of those times, and then it doesn't seem so bad out. This has a second benefit of getting me pretty fired up, and anger improves therapy performance! Ha ha, you know who you are.

Otherwise, I severely hacked my phone, and as a "computer guy" who does not fear the technical aspects, it is delicious. On a related topic, I'm trying to figure out some good certifications to pick up in order to improve my prospects in the computing job world. A+ and similars are pretty much out, since I can't physically manipulate hardware very well. Once upon a time, someone recommended getting into WWAN stuff. I like *nix/platform-agnostic projects, too, and I'm all about the educational sect. Any suggestions?

Ok, drugs say I should probably stop talking. I would like to say, though, thanks to everyone for diligently checking for updates all this time that I've been MIA. I'm sorry to have abandoned you; you're the ones that matter, after all. Continue being amazing, and I'll do my best to keep up.


  1. john, i wish i had pythons like yours. i mean, you're freaking UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGEEEEEE.

    and your therapists are dirty bastards for letting you sit up on your own...

    keep up with the updates on the manuchair. you have way more skilz that kilz than you could possibly need, i'm sure.

    i wish i could tell you some computer type things that you could do...but all i know is stuff like minesweeper. and i'm sure that you already know how to rewrite the code for that. ugh i'm such an inadequate friend compared to your greatness.




  2. Just checking on my favorite IronMan (well, next to Jonathan Roche). I'm glad the workouts are going well, I'm only sorry about your therapy sessions becoming limited re: lack of insurance. I hope that you and your family are doing ok.
    One last ? please.....are you dressing up as BucketHead for Halloween?
    Stay cool...as always,
    P.S. Personally, while you are doing the white collar job hunt, I think you are a talented writer and should consider writing a book. (A book with a dictionary section at the back for Pam and I to look up references we don't know about) And you know Marla wants you to have a blogtalkradioshow too!

  3. You could always just consider getting a job being awesome. Doing a pretty good job of that. I also have no idea what those computer things you were mentioning are, but I really like the term "platform agnostic."

  4. mr. link i think you could very easily get your mcse certification and then just become a database admin. or something of that nature. also, your progress is astounding so keep it up, i can't wait to hear more progress updates. til then, rock it!

  5. Good Morning John!

    As always it is good to hear from you.

    You got time at home? That's wonderful! I'll bet your parents
    enjoyed having you with them for that short while.

    Yep, physical therapists can surely be tricky. But it's a good kind of tricky.

    Last week my husband had surgery to get a brand new knee. So he is now working with physical therapists to exercise the new knee and keep everything limber plus to strengthen the muscles all around the knee. I'm doing exercises with him, because I figure it can't hurt my legs either and perhaps I'll gain some strength. (Plus it eggs him on to try harder.) {grin}

    I'm sorry that your favorite therapist is now gone. It's hard once you've built up a trust with someone to lose them and have to start all over with someone else new. My favorite doctor has just moved to Texas, so I can relate to how you are feeling.

    I also relate to your insurance woes. I too have had to get letters from doctors so that my insurance will pay for my acupuncture treatments that I use for pain control for my fibromyalgia. It's rotten that people have to go through this paperwork hassle just to get what they have paid for!

    It's cold here in Washington state too. No rain yet this week though, even in the Seattle area!
    Rain is forecast though for Halloween day, wouldn't you know it?

    Hands in an electrified bucket of water? Yikes, doesn't sound at all

    I'm sorry but I've no real suggestions for you regarding jobs
    or certifications. I think you are a wonderful writer though so perhaps you should write a book.

    I've spent this past week working on decluttering our home. We've lived in the same house for 28 years now, without doing any serious decluttering. So last week I had a 40 yard dumpster delivered and 3 of my grown children helped me to go through every cupboard, crook and cranny.

    That dumpster was huge! Larger than my SUV and just massive. But we did a good job of almost filling it. Now many of the rooms in our home echo. My job for the next week or two is to put things back and reorganize what is left.
    Then I get to buy some new furniture. Haven't done that in years either! ;o)

    Then in two weeks I will be traveling to Anaheim, CA to attend a conference. Hopefully will get a chance to see Micky Mouse while I'm there too. If I do, I'll tell him you said HI!

    In the meantime, I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.


  6. Your "cold" memories of malfunctioning wheelchair accessible doors brought back vivid memories of a couple friends I had in college. My friend Chris would always manage to become wedged inside the door somehow, if it would actually ever open for him. We deducted the door had evil intent towards him.

    While my friend Adam, who was mostly blind and used his wheelchair as a race car, would run into the side of the building before even coming close to the door. The boy's feet were always pointing backwards or towards each other for goodness sake.

    Anywhoo, happy birthday again. You are an incredible writer, by the way. I am very glad you blog, computer geek.

    From: your Myspace "creepy stalker"

  7. BASTARD INSURANCE COMPANIES! I HATE THEM! That should not be any patients concern nor the doctors or the nurses. Socialized medicine for all! mamammamahahahhaa!
    PS good luck with all that shit. What's up with electrified water shit? seriously, I want to know what this does - sounds awesome!