Friday, June 26, 2009

Week 2 Beyond Therapy!

Well,I have successfully finished my second week of Beyond Therapy and BOY AM I SORE!! I have never been this sore in my life! I am working harder than ever before and I am seeing some pay offs for all of my hard work. God has truly blessed me in providing the opportunity to come to a place like Shepherds and work to regain my ability to walk! The therapists here at Shepherds are WONDERFUL and I have made so many great new friends and caught up with old friends throughout first two weeks!

This week, we worked a lot on my core strength and helping my balance when I am standing. I did repetitive exercises in the standing position of: straightening my legs, extending my leg forward, straightening the knee, breaking the knee and pulling it back under my body. I did this exercise almost everyday while also working on my standing balance. We did hip exercises where I would move them in order to do weigh shifts to help in my walking motion.

On Wednesday, I was very fortunate to have my Aunt and Uncle from Alabama drive down for the day to visit me. It was SO GREAT to see both of them and I especially enjoyed showing off for them in therapy. They got to the center just as I was fixing to start my pool therapy session. This was my very first session in the pool and I must say, IT WAS MY FAVORITE! The therapist couldn't stop talking about how much progress I had made since my stay there in October. I walked several laps in the pool and did various underwater movements with resistance and did INCREDIBLY WELL! I was so glad my aunt and uncle where there to see it and LOVED seeing them. We laughed the entire afternoon!

On Friday we worked on my standing as well. The video below was taken this past Friday. This was just one of several exercises we did in this standing position. I stood there for AN HOUR doing various exercises working on my hips and leg movements. The video below was not even the most impressive exercises but it was the only one my therapist shot. I needed to focus and not worry about being a movie star apparently!

God has blessed me SO VERY MUCH during this past year on my recovery! I HOPE AND PRAY that the Lord will use me and this injury to bring others closer to him! He is doing an AMAZING thing in my body and performing miracles DAILY! Please keep me in front of God and pray that I will recover SOON!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What an AMAZING First Week!!

Well, I have officially finished my 1st week of Beyond Therapy! Let me just say, that it is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life! I am use to conditioning for sports or working out in a gym from time to time, but NOTHING compares to the physical exhaustion I feel after one session! Well let me just start off by telling you about my week.

Tuesday: This was my first day in therapy and it was pretty much just an evaluation and testing. I met with a Physical Therapist for an hour as we discussed my goals and also my injury. We talked about what to expect out of the program and what they would be doing to me in therapy. Next she did some tests on me, just testing my movements. Again, she thought I was a TRICKY SUBJECT! All my therapists say the same thing. It is so hard to get a read on your muscles, I am able to move my body and legs great, but she has a hard time feeling the muscle palpitate? Its like Im moving my legs but she doesn't know exactly how Im able to do it? Next, I did something I had NEVER done before, she got help from another therapist and i stood up in my walker and with the therapist behind me on a rolling stool to help assist my knees I STARTED TAKING STEPS!! WITHOUT BRACES!! the therapist was there to help assist my knees as I was walking so it wasn't totally unassisted but I was taking the steps! We went out to the gym and the therapist grabbed a video camera and filmed me. I WALKED TO THE HALF COURT LINE! with just a therapist following behind me on a rolling stool assisting just my knees.

On Wednesday: I worked with a therapist named Josh, who was HARD! He worked me harder than ever before on this day! He had me on the floor doing pushups (which i got 29) he had me on my stomach doing all kinds of intense floor exercises. My abs and arms were on FIRE!!
Next he put me in a walker called an ARJO! I put my forarms on a stand and he pumps me up to where i am standing. (see figure below)

The figure above is exactly what I was in! Once in the ARJO walker I worked on supporting my weight on my own legs. I would bend my knees and work on straightening them back out again. I then started taking STEPS in the walker! I was walking around the gym, (my forearms where supporting my weight so not all the weight was going through my legs) but I started taking steps and walking around the gym a little.

On Friday:
I got on a spin bike! The same type of bikes the gyms have spin classes on for intense cardio exercise. (see figure below)

Once they got me on the bike which is not powered by anything! I was able to pedal the bike by myself! The therapists got me started a little but once they did, I would pedal for 5-10 min at a time. They would then speed up the bike real quick with there hands on the pedals and then I had to maintain that speed for an entire minute WHICH I DID!! I could speed the bike up at will! After an hour on the bike I did lots of core strengthening which WORE me out again!

I will post videos next week of all of my progress! I meant to do it this week, but didnt know if I would be allowed to shoot videos. I asked my therapists and they said I could if only it was done in a certain way and no other patients were filmed HIPPA REGULATIONS. I also needed to tell them ahead of time, cause they want me totally focused on my therapy! But next week I will shoot some videos!

I have found a video on youtube on Beyond Therapy. This will give everyone an idea of what I am going through and what the program is about. Every therapist on the film are my actual therapist today! Josh who you will see in the video works me harder and pushes me more than ever before! I LIKE HIM ALREADY! Candy is my Physical Therapist and I have various other therapists and trainers throughout the day who help me and push me to my limits! Watch the video and you can get a better understanding of what I go through everyday, and how this therapy is suppose to help rebuild my neuro pathways!

(copy and paste the URL below to your browser)



Sunday, June 14, 2009

IM IN ATLANTA!! I have a big week ahead of me!

Yesterday morning my family and I drove up to Atlanta where we got settled into my new apartment. My apartment is extremely nice, and directly across from the center which is the BIGGEST PLUS. The apartment isn't completely wheelchair accessible, but it will work out just fine. The best thing about the apartment is how close it is to the center. I will be able to take myself to therapy and come home on my own, saving my mom from driving through the horrible Atlanta traffic. My therapy will begin on Tuesday at 1:00pm-5:00pm. My first day will just be an evaluation. They will test my legs and find out a course of action to take on my therapy. My first ACTUAL day begins on Wed and then again on Friday. The next week we start the all out therapy sessions! I cant wait to get started!! I will do my best to post a little more frequently as my therapy progress to keep everyone informed on my progress. I will also try to post more videos so everyone can see my therapy 1st hand! SO STAY TUNED. I am sure my next several posts will be the most exciting yet!

I have been so blessed with my recovery thus far! I give ALL the glory and honor to God for my progress and will continue to give him all the praise for each and every gain I make. This journey I am on is all for his glory so that he will be praised through my trials. With each and every blood, sweat and tears that I will shed throughout the next few months will all be for his glory (hopefully there wont be to much blood involved) But maybe? who knows what they will make me do in therapy!

Each day I am blown away by the course my life has taken since this accident and I am reminded daily just how blessed I am! The doors that have opened for me and my recovery has been a miracle! I encourage everyone out there who has doubts to what an awesome God I serve to just watch my videos and hear my story! I was given NO HOPE, I was told it couldn't be done with my level of injury but I am defying the odds and I am rewriting the medical books! I have always known that I would walk again and I tell people that without the slightest hesitation of speaking TOO SOON! I simply JUST KNOW IT! its just a matter of time! You see....I have to believe and I CAN NOT DOUBT! This miracle will come to fruition in time, through faith and prayer! Thank you all for following this blog and please share it with others. It is my journal of thoughts, and my ministry to others, just until I can get out and tell my story IN PERSON more! Please pray for my continued recovery. Pray for total and complete healing!
P.S. Many of you have asked what my address is in Atlanta so here it is: I am staying at the WESTCHESTER AT PEACHTREE VALLEY APARTMENTS!

40 Peachtree Valley Rd NE
Apt# 1531
Atlanta, Ga 30309

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Last Week in Florida! Shepherds here I come!

Well this is my last week in Florida. On Saturday June 13th I will be driving to Atlanta, Georgia where I will be for the next two months. I have been so blessed with all the doors that have been opened for me to make this possible. I am excited about the upcoming trip and I can not wait to see the results from my hard work and therapy. My family and I have rented an apartment that has just opened up DIRECTLY across from the Shepherd Center. This will be the best scenario because I will be able to take myself to rehab everyday without my mom having to drive through the crazy Atlanta traffic. (I will post my address once I arrive next week!) I am amazed at how the doors have opened for me to be accepted into this program.

Many of you have asked questions about what "IS" Beyond Therapy? I have posted a link to the Shepherds website below on Beyond Therapy so that you can read all about it. There are three different programs you can be apart of in therapy. I am going to be apart of the Physical Enhancement Program, and the Experimental Protocol Program. Read through the site and you can get a better understanding of the program (AND YES IT WILL BE HARD AS IT SOUNDS!)

I have a video camera that my family has purchased to take to Shepherds so that I can film some of my sessions. I want everyone to be apart of my recovery so that you can see what I am doing everyday. This way, you can know EXACTLY what to pray for during my therapy! Please pray extra hard for me during my time at Shepherds, this is a GREAT opportunity and I want to get the most out of it!

The other day I came across another wonderful website I would like everyone to browse. Shepherd Center has a site called and it shows video clips of the center and success stories of some of the patients at the center and in Beyond Therapy. I have browsed through this site several times but if you are curious as to the care I will be receiving take a minute and browse this site. Click on the SPINAL CORD INJURY PROGRAM and the STORIES OF HOPE! Many of the people in this video are friends of mine who I had met during my stay as a day patient back in October. This video allows everyone to see the center and the awesome facilities they have at the Shepherd Center. MY GOAL IS TO BE ONE OF THE STORIES OF HOPE!! In time I know I will be one of the success stories of hope! This is a great site and I encourage everyone to take the time to look through spinal injury program and stories of hope sections.

Finally, I have posted yet ANOTHER video of my progress!! A few weeks ago FOR THE FIRST TIME, I was able to extend my legs at the knees! I can do leg extensions now, which means I have regained some of my quad muscles in my legs. PLEASE PLEASE continue to pray for me! Without your prayers none of this would be possible! Pray that I make considerable progress during my time at Shepherds and pray for TOTAL AND COMPLETE HEALING! I know this blog post has A LOT of videos and websites but this will give you a better understanding of my time away!! I WILL WALK AGAIN!! Never give up on me and NEVER STOP BELIEVING! Miracles DO HAPPEN and they ARE happening with me today!