Monday, September 06, 2010

Another Special Moment to Share

Many of the movements Deb is making are too minute or discreet to capture on video or be of much interest for others to watch. But here is Deb pulling her knee outward without assistance.  She can generally do a large movement like this once or twice a day on each leg and then we continue to work with me assisting her. As time goes on, we are confident that there will be more and more major movements to share with you here.  Remember...Dreams never die, Miracles ARE happening, and never, ever, Ever, EVER give up! Peace!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Why We Are Sharing This Journey

Sometimes we have to stop and ask ourselves why we do some of the things we do.    In talking with Deb, she shared a very important aspect of this blog for her that I had not considered.  She often asks me to share details that are minute or personal that I have heretofore forgotten to include, or worse, been guilty of the unpardonable sin of ignoring my wife's wishes.  Today she explained her reasoning.

Deb is not the first person to regain mobility after some affliction or injury, we have heard of a few others.  However, nowhere have we found a chronicle of the details of the long and arduous journey from immobility to health.  We hear of where they started and how long it took to recover. Nowhere have Deb or I heard or read about what we might expect on a day-to-day basis.  The twists and the turns.  The speed bumps.  The processes to go through or what seemingly minor incidents constitute major triumphs on the road to full wellness.

Little things that healthy people sometimes take for granted have been roadsigns to recovery for Deb and she would like to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for the next person or persons who find themselves challenging medical and conventional wisdom to follow in attempting the so-called "impossible".  She firmly believes that there will be more and more people defying the sentence of disability that medical doctors had down and she would like to give them a little more insight than she had when she started out.

Things that Deb thought it might be helpful to share:
  • For years, Deb could not burp, her diaphragm didn't function well enough to make it happen.  Minor detail, right?  Imagine the torture a good spicy burrito can cause if you couldn't follow it up with a good burp.  She started burping again about a year ago after acute meridian acupuncture treatment with Dr. Issam Nemeh.  Now instead of "excuse me", I've told her to follow her burps with a "Thank you, God!"
  • Sitting on the edge of the bed without assistance was a major accomplishment.  Before working out with a trainer at Club Fit, sitting up unaided was a precarious proposition because of the lack of core strength and muscle control that Deb started regaining recently.
  • Complications from medication.  Until she stopped taking prescription medications five years ago, many indications she had to deal with , like dry skin, hair loss, dry mouth, chronic constipation, drowsiness, lethargy, irritability, were simply side effects of the nine or so meds she had been prescribed at various times.
  • Deb can sweat now! (I know, ladies "glisten").  While taking medications, Deb would not sweat when it was hot, making it much harder to stay cool in hot weather.  When she got off of medications, lo and behold, she could sweat appropriately again.  We're not sure which one was the culprit.
  • Toe wiggling is actually one of the toughest movements to regain because they are further from where the nerve signals originate.  Movies and TV shows often showed a recovering patient moving their toe as a sign of recovery.  Pure literary license.  Truth is, the closer to the injury, the stronger the initial nerve signals are that cause movement, like Deb and her diaphragm and holding in her stomach.
These are a just a few of the kinds of things that Deb feels it is important to chronicle in order to give the next wave of miracle recoverees something to hold on to on their climb to complete health.

    Thursday, September 02, 2010

    Still Moving

    This is the time in our story that usually gets skipped over in the movies.  You see the miraculous first movements, you see the initial struggles to get stronger...then a caption of "SIX MONTHS LATER" flashes under the screen and our hero is up and walking, maybe with just a slight limp.

    What they can't show is the day to day grind of working.  Pushing with the effort of an Olympic powerlifter going for gold, just to see the leg move a 1/4 of an inch.  You don't see two steps forward, one step back anguish of seeing muscles that leapt to life the day before now lie limp when attempting to move them or the joy of welcoming each new little twitch as if it were the birth of a child.  If only we could share every detail of this wonderful journey with the world (but the reality TV people have not gotten back to us yet.)

    Deb did move her feet at the ankle today, which being so distal from the point of injury is very encouraging. She also flexed her gluteus maximus, which was very encouraging to me personally (and there are no video of that to "accidently" wind up on the internet).

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    Video of Deb Moving Foot!

    This video was shot on our second day back from Florida, 3 days after her last treatment with Ken Bryant.

    Neuro Synthetic Conduction

    I realized that I didn't specify that trip to Florida was not for the same treatment that Deb went to back in 2008.  This one is done by a licensed physical therapist name Ken Bryant down in Largo, Fl.  I would be hard pressed to adequate explain the mechanics/physiology of what he does.  It is related to Reflexology and works to turn on dormant, but intact, nerves.  Here, check it out for yourself:

    Deb works with Ken Bryant at NSC

    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    Back Home and Ready to Get to Work

    We just got back from Florida tonight and we are still elated at the prospects of what lies before us.  Deb is still kicking up her heels, literally.  Oddly enough, she has this new movement of swinging her leg out to the side when sitting on the edge of the bed.  Picture a kid swinging her feet together, clicking her new patent leather shoes together, that's the motion Deb started doing when trying to swing her leg forward, so we just went with it (at this point, movement is movement and every twitch is celebrated.)

    We are looking forward to our workouts.  Between our adjustable bed, elastic bands, and cycling machine, we have enough to keep Deb's legs stimulated as she strengthens and coordinates her movements. 

    This is mind-blowing, consciousness-shifting stuff!  Can you imagine even having the very real possibility of regaining the use of your legs after 20 years? Every twitch is rebirth, every conscious movement is a revelation from God!  I told Deb that having her legs starting to work is like having a new toy.  Like a kid, I can't wait to play again. 

    Deb says, "I am inspired to the utmost and extremely grateful."

    Always remember...DREAMS NEVER DIE!!!!

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Now Its All Hard Work and Vision

    Deb and wrapped up the week of tough therapy and treatment doing an hour in the EZ Stand Glider and then displaying another awe-inspiring demonstration of moving muscles which she hasn't controlled in 20 years. 

    The stander is designed to help strengthen her legs and prepare her for standing. It was also very psychologically uplifting for her to feel herself standing at her full height of 5' 11".

    During her exercises, she again alternated lifting her feet at the knee as they hung from the table and pulled her foot down as it was held by band.
    The highlight of the session was her pulling her knee in (adduction) sitting on the table. She actually pulled the knee up, working against gravity, stopping when felt worn out, then regrouping and finishing the movement. One of the assistants observing the session actually came to tears (my eyes were not completely dry either).

    Now its just a matter of Deb and I continuing to work hard everyday strengthening her legs and maintaininour vision of seeing her walk on her own once again.

    Remember...DREAMS NEVER DIE!!!

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Our Goal Is Near!

    Deb is now moving her legs definitively and consistently.  As of this writing, we are in Clearwater, Florida where Deb is receiving therapy that is meant to reactivate her nervous system.  The strongest movements have been leg extensions and hamstring pulls from the sitting position.  I know I have shared reports of her moving before, but none of them compare to what I witnessed yesterday.  The movements were strong and repetitive, lifting her foot about two inches about ten times and then with an exercise band, pulling her leg back using her hamstrings.

    Even before yesterday, on Tuesday, she was controlling her spasms by consciously flexing her muscles to break the spasmodic movements. 

    I will have more updates shortly.  Please remember, dreams never die!