Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I finished my rehab in Colorado on May 11 and returned to Southern California on May 12. The transition has been...overwhelming. Being away from all of the comforts of the hospital and accessible facilities has been very interesting and challenging. I'm taking everything step-by-step, day-by-day. I have lots more to post/write, but don't really have the time/energy right now. So here are a couple things I want to get out.

My sisters and Ivette are throwing me welcome back parties. The first one is for friends and co-workers.

The second party is for family and other friends who don't want to meet at a bar downtown.

We have reached out to a bunch of people communicating the above, but I apologize if we have not reached out to you yet. You are definitely invited to participate, please just let Judy know if you are coming.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone again and personally saying "Thank you" to each of you who have kept me in your thoughts and prayers.

I love you all...

More posts coming soon...

And now for a few more photos.

Thanks Mike Hale, Chris Hale and Gabe for the Mechanix gloves, shirts, luggage and hat!!! EVERYTHING came in handy.

My first acupuncture session.

Another acupuncture session with electrodes connected to the needles.

Riding the hand cycles. This is the paraplegic version of a bicycle. Hopefully I can get one!

Thank you so much Deloitte co-workers! I got an incredibly thoughtful package that included a PSP, games, books, DVDs and gift certificate.

I took my parents and Ivette out for a double-date. We went to the Nuggets-Lakers game in Denver. Lakers lost, but eh, both teams are out of the playoffs now anyways...

Ivette and I at the game.

I took Ivette on another date. We went to a John Legend concert and Corrine Bailey Rae opened for him. Great times...

Last but not least, I have developed a little more upper body strength ;)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Some progress...

I have made some physical progress. When I first incurred the injury on March 12, based on the MRI, I was classified as a T6 level injury, meaning that I had no mobility and limited sensation from my 6th thoracic vertebrae on my spine all the way to the bottom of my spinal cord. This level was confirmed when they performed an "ASIA" (American Spinal Injury Association) test when I was admitted to Craig Hospital on March 21, which required my judgmental responses to various stimulation.

My physical therapist reperformed the test last Friday and confirmed based on the ASIA test that my level is reclassified as a T8 (lower on my spine), meaning that I have had some return in my stomach/ab region. I can definitely tell that there have been improvements as my core strength and balance has improved over the past week.

Last Friday, they also transferred me to outpatient rehab, meaning that I would no longer live at the hospital (for in-patient care; basically nursing care). Instead, they moved me to the patient/family apartments adjacent to the hospital where I am more independent in the sense that I am responsible for administering my medications and have no nursing support.

On another note, due to the strenuous therapies and weight training, I have tendinitis in my right bicep. Not too big of a deal. I just have to ice it several times a day.

My discharge date is May 11 and it looks like that is still accurate, so I should be coming back to Southern California really soon. I just got my seat cushion today, but we're still waiting for my wheelchair. I think it got stuck in the whole politics of insurance/manufacturer/distributor/etc. Hopefully it'll be here by the time I leave, otherwise, I have to crawl everywhere :( Just kidding. Hopefully it'll be here. If not, they may just give me a loaner chair for the time being.

I'm still tied up with the strenuous therapies and figuring out logistics for when I return home. I also just found out that I am eligible for animal assistance so I'm looking into a helper dog or even a helper monkey! Today I had another accupunture session (my 5th) in combination with Reiki spiritual healing.

My sister, Jen, arrived today for the weekend and one of my best friends, Jeff, arrives tomorrow. My dad and Ivette are here as well. I will include a whole entry soon detailing everyone who has visited with pictures.

Anyways, that's all for now. Hasta pronto...

Every Monday night, these gigantic Newfoundland dogs visit and slobber. They're beautiful dogs and always bring a smile to my face.

Here is a picture of my physical therapy in action with my Physical Therapist, Alissa. Here we're working on some range of motion to maintain joint integrity.

Although my feet are naturally beautiful, Ivette insisted that she give me a pedicure.

This is in the training room. I am using a machine called a "standing frame" that allows me to stand up with appropriate support. This picture was taken shortly after my dad and brother drove up from California.

Look how tall I am! It's always surprising when I get in the standing frame to realize how tall I am since I always look up to people now from the wheelchair.

This is the FES (electrical stimulation bike). I use this about 3 times per week to electrically stimulate my leg muscles.

One of the tasks of occupational therapy is to teach how to perform normal day-to-day activities. Here, I actually had to cook lunch. I didn't even do that on a normal day-to-day basis before!

Here's my brother, James, and I after a tough workout, playing one of the wheelchair games they have devised here, "Goal Ball".

Here I am when I first started pool therapy. The water is a nice and warm 96 degrees, although I can't even feel it with my legs.

Family and friends can join me in the pool (large jacuzzi) during my pool therapy. Here's Ivette and me taking a break during the tough workout. So far, my dad, sister Judy and Ivette have come in the pool with me.