Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Still here

Well, I haven't posted in a while, not because I'm lazy, but because I have been " busy", but definitely not because I'm lazy *shakes head profusely*. Because it's been so long, I have changed the background to a new spiffier design (you're welcome).

Since I don't have all day and I am very "busy" I will fill you in over the next few days over what has happened since my last post.

So what category should we choose today, Alex? How about we talk about the therapy for 10. I say 10 because that is the number of shots I got for my last Botox treatment. Four in my arm and six in my leg on the left side. Aside from the very unpleasant experience of the shots, there have been several very good outcomes -
1. My doctor prescribed more physical therapy which I hadn't done for four months or so, it felt good to get back on that horse.
2. The tone on my left side, including my left elbow, my left ring finger and my left pinky have gotten significantly better. My left ankle seems to have benefited, but my toes still curl quite a bit and I still have a tremor.
3. I have no fear of improperly packaged food items because I've been pumped so full of botulism that I am probably immune by this time.
4. Mathematically, I have learned that one shot sucks times one; and 10 shots are 10 times worse. I think I should get math certification based on that simple formula. Think of it like this, if a toffee fudge blizzard is awesome, 10 toffee fudge blizzards would be 10x as awesome. There, I have applied it and taught it, SBEC are you listening? Also, here is a science lesson - if one toffee fudge blizzard gives you brain freeze, 10 toffee fudge blizzards will gives you brain freeze 10 times worse, assuming the rate of consumption is constant.

Therapy itself has been a boon for me, both mentally and physically. Instead of goals like walking and sitting up straight, I've moved up to goals like running and typing faster than a snail. While I haven't reached these yet (snails type fast!), I feel myself getting stronger and stronger, I might even turn green soon. My PT sessions consist mostly of stretches and walking for two purposes -
1. Get the strength/balance to run.
2. Stop left leg circumduction (prevent the foreskin from falling off my leg) .

Actually, circumduction = swinging my left leg outward, rather than bending my knee; this problem along with knee hyperextension has led to the need for a knee brace. I haven't gotten it yet, but I have high hopes. Apparently, Sherman is a geographical oddity as concerns knee braces, one week from everywhere. I have learned patience from this process, but when it comes to things that might fix me, I want it NOW!

Occupational therapy consists of regaining my former strength/coordination in my left arm and improving my penmanship so my writing doesn't look like it was done by a drunken three year old.

I feel lucky with my team of therapists, they seem genuinely concerned with helping me reach my goals AND ensure my success in the classroom, they also give me candy!

I can't think of anything else to report about therapy at this time, so I'm going to sign off, ciao!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Words of wisdom

Here are some words of wisdom that have gotten me through this tough time. This list certainly isn't exhaustive, I know I have heard more quotes that were inspirational; and when I remember those I will post them. Until then, chew on these, and if you're not hungry choke them down anyway, like someone on the nutrisystem diet.

Siddhartha spoke with ecstasy; deeply, this enlightenment had delighted
him. Oh, was not all suffering time, were not all forms of tormenting
oneself and being afraid time, was not everything hard, everything
hostile in the world gone and overcome as soon as one had overcome time,
as soon as time would have been put out of existence by one's thoughts?
- Herman Hesse
*This passage gave me comfort with the idea that all I had to do was just wait and things would get better, which has proven true so far. Of course, I still have to work at it, but the only thing that separates me from a full recovery is time.

Festina Lente (make haste slowly)
- Augustus
* my younger sister told me this one at the very beginning which helped me realize that it would take a while to get better, but to always give my best effort at recovery.

The Lord of the Rings
- J. R. R. Tolkien
*Frodo must bear a burden that was unfairly put upon him, much the same is the situation with me. In both the films and the books, Frodo mentions that he wishes the ring had never come to him, and Gandalf replies that everyone in his shoes feels that way, but he can't do anything to change it so he has to decide how best to deal with the cards he was dealt. This last part is especially meaningful for me, because I spend so much thought on how things used to be, but I always try to just deal with things the way they are, because one thing is for sure, I will not be back to my old self any time soon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No more Pate

Today, I finished my last day of rehab at Pate. This finishes up a long journey for me, which began back in June, 2009. It feels strange to be “cut loose”, if I may use that saying.

To recap -- at my worst I was unable to walk, talk, sit up straight, or do things like tie my shoe. At this point, I can do all those things, though when I walk and talk it appears that I'm drunk, and it takes me a lot longer to tie my shoe.

I saw the doctor today, and he approved botox injections for my left leg and my left arm to help with the spasticity. If that doesn't work, I will try the baclofen pump. It seems that is where the doctor thinks I will end up, anyway. As the injections are only temporary, they are supposed to last about three months.

I spoke with the therapists today about helping with athletics for the fourth nine weeks, and they seem to think that it would be all right. I would like to do this because I would like to get to know the seventh grade athletes for next year and because I just miss going into the gym in the mornings. This does mean that I will miss out on one period of planning a day, but I hope to have everything under control by that time, anyway.

Teaching continues to go very well, I had enough time away to put together a very good plan for my class and so far it’s been very successful. It is also very nice to be back in my old routine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

getting back to work and other changes

A lot has happened since the last time I posted. I've been very busy. I started back to work on January 4 on the Monday. that day was a staff development day, the next day the kids came back. So far, it has gone very well. I had plenty of time to make a very good plan to manage my classroom. I also have a classroom assistant that helps with a lot of the legwork and the discipline.

As far as deficits I still deal with -- I still get pretty tired when talking, and I don't move very well around the room. But other than that it is very nice to be back in the old routine. I will say it's a bit frustrating not being able to do things as fast as I used to, but it is nice to be back doing them.

I am dictating this right now, because typing takes way too long. I found a nifty bit of software that allows you to speak and it types for you. I tried the Vista voice-recognition software, and it's not great.

I've been to a few different doctors since I've posted last. The neuro ophthalmologist has cleared me to take the driving evaluation and I no longer have any double vision. I had an MRI back in December, and the neurosurgeon reports that all the blood has cleared up from the surgery. I saw another neurosurgeon about the tremors in my left side and found out that I have many options before surgery to put a Baclofen pump in. Such as, Botox injections, and more medications.

That's it for now, I will check back with everyone later. Thank you for your continued support!