Archive | June, 2012
Gallery

synaptic

23 Jun

Last Thursday I visited a new spinal cord rehab center that is now opening here in Calgary. The name is “synaptic”, and they are using the theories and methods of project walk in California. I went in for an assessment, and it wasn’t something boring involving questionnaire;   rather, it was a lot of hard physical exercise.

The 1st thing they did was get me out of the chair and lay me on a plinth, and roll over. I couldn’t move very far, but they could see which muscles I was able to engage. Surprisingly, I lifted my right leg slightly, which I am actually unable to do except during a spasm, which brings up another aspect of their theory: I can learn how to how to use spasms to help accomplish functional tasks to some extent.

The next thing they did was roll me on my stomach. I have not been in this position since my accident, when I was lying facedown on a rocky mountainside. I was relieved to find that I could tolerate this position. Again, they asked me to try to roll over and this time I used each arm to try to make little more progress.

On to harder tasks! I was helped to move into a kneeling position, visit large box in front of me to rest my arms on and help support me. It was a challenge to try to engage some core muscles and hold my chest up to try to maintain this position. Fortunately, there are mirrors on all the walls so you can see your form. After a few successful poses, they unveiled a surprise.

 moving me to the edge of the plinth, they put my feet on the floor and helped me stand up! It would be an understatement to say that this was an emotional moment–more than 6 months have passed since I last stood on my own feet. Sure, it took 4 people to help hold me in this position, but it was a real treat and an occasion to celebrate.

At the end of the assessment I was rather warm and quite tired out, which brings me to another point. Disabled people have many hurdles, and one of them is finding ways to participate in cardiovascular exercise.

Video

soup

23 Jun

Soup kitchen

For a long time I’ve been able to feed myself with an adaptive spoon, but usually with one elbow resting on my armrest in order to give me some stability. Recently however I have been gaining strength and increased shoulder flexibility, and now I’m at a point where I can serve myself soup with a spoon without spilling it all over myself every time. This makes me happy, Now i don’t have to ask someone to feed me soup!

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bed

23 Jun

Last night I slept in my own bed for the first time since the day before my accident last August. It was a wonderful feeling, and a powerful experience for me. I could not have done it without the help of my girlfriend Julie and my sister Jenny.

C. Difficile

23 Jun

So, I’m parked in a medical ward because there is no room in the transition unit for me. Problem with this is that my unit is full of sick people. Somehow, this lead to me contracting c. Difficile, type of bacteria that can lead to diarrhea. No big deal, and I even got to have a private room for a few days, as it was necessary to place me in isolation.

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manual wheelchair

23 Jun

you may find it hard to imagine how good I felt when this picture was taken on thursday at synaptic. After all, what is so special about sitting in a paraplegic’s wheelchair? Well, two things : firstly, has a higher level quadriplegic, to be able to sit in a chair where is no lateral support and not immediately fall out is a big accomplishment. Secondly, I found I was able to make it move forward by myself. True, only for a very short distance. Previously I had not dared imagine I might one day be strong enough to accomplish this.

Video

FES evaluation

16 Jun

Last Wednesday, I travelled to Edmonton for an evaluation for using an FES bike. In this video you can see that my quad muscles are being stimulated, and even after 10 months of inactivity, they respond to electrical stimulation and the muscle can move my leg. As a result I have been given a green light to use an FES bike. I am considering acquiring 1 of these bikes once i leave the hospital and have my own residence. Over time, the bike will allow me to strengthen my leg muscles, and get some aerobic exercise, which in turn will strengthen my lungs and heart, and help me to rebuild my fitness level in spite of my paralysis.

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one hour

16 Jun

Last Thursday at Synaptic I reached a new milestone by standing in the standing frame for a full hour. Once I have my own residence again, I hope to make this part of my daily routine.