Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fired up!

I usually draft what I'm going to write on the blog and review it before posting it, but here's a sort of an impromptu post.

Thank you so much to all of those who made the trek all the way to San Diego for the Steps to Recovery event. It really means a lot to me. I had an incredible time seeing all of you there for the support and cheering me on as I walked with a walker (with trainers' help) to cross the finish line. I know I'm currently attending Project Walk, but my goal is to run, skip, hop...all of the things I used to do.

One thing I really miss is playing basketball. I used to play as often as I could and would ball up anyone that had the guts to take me on :) I also miss running, throwing a frisbee, throwing a football, or even playing pick-up games of football with my friends. But soon enough, I will be able to walk and won't have to be excluded on pick up basketball games or events that my friends organize (football) due to my disability.

I don't know what's been getting me fired up recently, but I've had an edge, a spark in my eye the past few weeks. After the Steps to Recovery event, I really just felt refreshed and ready to attack this injury. Especially this week, I have been pumped up and working harder than ever at therapy. I have been blasting System of a Down and Papa Roach on my way to therapy to get the adrenaline going. Your support - phone calls, text messages, e-mails, everything - pumps me up even more and pushes me to get through this. I felt weird at rehab this week because I was grunting and huffing and puffing, pushing myself to the limits. Other people were looking at me, but that's good. Hopefully it'll motivate the other clients to go 110% as well.

Thanks also to Danielle and Courtney for coordinating a very successful happy hour fundraiser in New York a few weeks ago. I really wish I could have been there, but that was awesome that they were able to put that together and I am grateful to all those who showed up and participated. I heard it was a great time.

I know when people ask me how I'm doing, I say that I'm getting better each therapy session. I feel bad because that may seem like a half-hearted generic response, but it really is the truth. Each time I go to therapy, I do a little bit better on pushing with my legs doing squats, I have a little better control over my hips and core when standing up, my spasms are a little more controlled and manageable. This week was no exception. I feel like my nervous system is starting to wake up a little bit more. For example, at therapy at Precision Rehab in Long Beach this week, when we were walking over the ground, I was putting my whole body, whole heart, all of my effort into it. My body started shaking like crazy, my gluts started spasming, but my legs responded by taking about 10 steps. Mind you I was supported by a harness and the steps are not pretty or fully functional, but some of the reflexes and muscles seems to be starting to remember.

Recently, I've had a few instances where I almost forgot that I was in a wheelchair. I would wake up and try to get out of bed. I would be on the ground at therapy and know that I need to move somewhere and try to get up and walk over there, but couldn't. I would be sitting watching TV and try to get up to get a drink. I refuse to get used to the wheelchair, and it seems my mind is complying, especially recently.

That's all for now. I really want to update the blog more often, so I'll try. Also, I would like to put it on the record that I am an avid Notre Dame fan and have been to EVERY victory we've had this season. Ok, so we've only had 1 at sad...

Warming up before the walk with the my main trainer, the man who works miracles, Dave.

Trying to sprint to the finish line!

Made it to the end! Other clients join me. Each person has their own unique story that each one of us never expected to happen to us. Car accidents, motorcycle accidents, football injuries, surfing injuries, freak diseases. All normal people who can walk one day and not the next. Sometimes I think about all of the other paralyzed people around me and dream about the day that we all will walk again and party and dance and do jumping jacks...


At November 11, 2007 at 10:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, with God's healing powers, your strong will and determination, you will reach your goal. Inspite of what has happened, you have not lost your faith in God. That is amazing !!!
We are always here for you and I don't mind you blasting "System of a Down and Papa Roach" on our way to your theraphy.
Love, Mom and Dad

At November 13, 2007 at 7:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Joe,
It's been awhile since I talked with you (you were still in Denver then). I am so happy with your progress. Remember to pace yourself and not to overuse your joints. The road is long and uphill. But keep up your faith and determination, and with your family and friends behind you, you will make it. Keep me posted on your progress with NMS.

Menchie Dacanay, MD

At November 13, 2007 at 11:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jophes-
We are all so proud of your progress. We pray for you daily and that we know GOD is working through you to build character and in that be a light to anybody that you come across. You are a GodSend to all of us and we love you very much.. Keep up the hard work and know that we think and pray for you everyday.

Love-James, Row, Mick, Aj, Ry, Uncle Ed and Sasha

At November 15, 2007 at 5:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Joe,

You're doing great inspite of what you have gone through. You have gone a long way and I know you can make it to your goal. Just continue to be positive, have so much patience and a strong faith in God. We believe in you and we are all behind you through prayers. Keep it up Joe! We love you and miss you.

Tita Norma and Joan


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