Sunday, June 10, 2007

More progress...EXCITING!!!

I'm sorry it's been so long since I last posted. Just trying to get everything together here at home.

I want to thank all of you who came out to the welcome parties. It was so nice to see everyone again and see first-hand the support and love behind me. It was so nice resuming to some sort of normalcy and being back in public after being in rehab for so long. It meant so much seeing everyone who took a break from their lives to share some time with me. Thank you for coming out whether you live close by or far (some people came out from San Francisco and Washington DC). It really hit me how important everyone in my life is to me and how grateful to God that I have each of you in my life. I really had such a good time and was smiling cheek to cheek at seeing everyone again. I also want to give a big thank you especially to everyone who helped set up the parties, namely my sisters, Judy and Jennifer, Ivette, and my parents and my brother James and his family for hosting. Pictures are to follow, I just need to find a place to post them and I will attach the link here.

After the parties, I have been trying to figure out life.
Outpatient rehab: I have been trying every day to get an appointment with UCLA neurology, but first they needed me to fax a referral letter, then they had to request my medical records, then they have to review my medical records and now I'm still waiting to set up a consultation. I started calling the day I got back to Southern California and they still have not given me an appointment. Frustrating... On Monday, I will head to Project Walk in Carlsbad to see what they have to offer. Although this program has gotten good reviews, it is not covered by insurance at all and is relatively expensive, so I'll see if I want to do it.

LIving situation: I have been switching back and forth between my sister, Judy's, house in Camarillo and Ivette's house in Pasadena. Although I was living at my condo in Long Beach with my other sister, Jen, I can no longer live there because there are about 20 stairs to get to the unit and then about another 12-14 to get to my room. It would be nearly impossible to navigate those stairs on a daily basis. Imagine if I forgot something in the car or whatever after I had just scaled the stairs... Anyways, ever since I returned home, I have been searching for a new apartment with Ivette. Judy's house, Ivette's house, my parents' house, James's house, etc. aren't really ideal for various reasons, including the fact that I don't fit in all of the doors with my chair, namely the bathroom doors. Ivette and I found a place in West Los Angeles that fits all of our criteria. It has hardwood floors to make it easier for me to navigate, all of the doors are wide enough that I can fit everywhere, it has an accessible gym so that I can continue my fitness therapy, there is a pool so that I can continue my water therapy and more. We are going to move in there on June 20. However, as you can imagine, I have the challenge of keeping up my payments for the condo and paying for the apartment until I can get the condo rented. Anyone need a place in Long Beach? That, in combination with the medical expenses...don't expect to see me at any fancy restaurants anytime soon.

Texas: I went to Texas with Ivette for a couple weeks for a number of reasons. It was a nice break from all of the hectic things going on in Colorado and California. It was nice to get away and relax a little bit. I was still able to keep on top of things that I need to take care of though. While I was there, Ivette and I went to the gym a lot and swam a lot as well. We went to acupuncture twice. Ivette's family visited me in Colorado, so it was nice to return the favor as well. Ivette's brother, Kennett graduated from high school, so we celebrated that. Additionally, Ivette's dad found out about a healer in Mexico and we drove 3.5 hours each way to see him. More on that in a moment...

Progress: I have had some noticeable improvements, which is very exciting!
1. When I fly, I'm the first one on the plane and the last one off. One of the reasons is that I need to use the aisle chair (a really skinny wheelchair) to transport me to my seat. When I first left Hawaii to fly to Colorado right after the injury, I noticed that my legs flopped open and needed to be strapped to stay closed. However, on my most recent flight, I noticed that my legs no longer flop open uncontrollably. I don't know if I am holding them in or just thinking about holding them together so they don't flop, but they are now controlled and do not just flail out.
2. Ivette's dad, Jaime, Ivette and I went to Mexico on May 30 to see a healer in Agujitas. It was very interesting as he taped little balls on pressure points on my back and told me to keep them on for 5 hours. He also gave me some medicine. He said that in 3 days, I should see some improvement. On Saturday, June 2, I was looking for any improvements all day. Finally at night, I noticed that I had my knee reflex! This is when you hit that little funny spot on your knee that makes it kick up. I know the doctor in Mexico tested this on May 30 and it didn't work. However, on June 2nd, it did! Ivette said that she remembered that this was one of the very first things to go the day of the injury. This is a great sign.
3. On Tuesday, June 5, Ivette and I went swimming for therapy again. As she was with me the whole time in Colorado, she currently helps me do therapies while we wait for UCLA or other outpatient services. We actually devised a way to help me stand up in the water. However, she has to support my knees and hips so that they don't flail out uncontrollably. We had done this a number of times over the past few weeks. However, on June 5, we noticed that she didn't really have to support my hips anymore! She had to stabilize my knees, but my hips seemed to be a lot more controlled. Another great sign.
4. On Monday, June 4, I spoke with my aunt's co-worker's friend, who is a very religious lady from the Philippines and is also a healer. It was a very interesting and touching experience as she was in a trance and quoted to be actually "Santo Nino", speaking first person as Jesus to me. She stated that I would be "walking better" in a week. We will see! Keep on praying!

So, that's a quick update. Sorry again for the delay in update and lack of pictures. I will try to update more often and I will soon post more pictures.


At June 12, 2007 at 12:32 PM , Blogger Poma said...

Congratulations Joe! Sorry I didn't make it for all your parties but I'm glad to hear you're so happy with everyone. Maybe we can hang out sometime after everything settles down. I'm moving to Redondo Beach in late July and I'll be working full time at Northrop Grumman in August. Take care and stay strong!


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