Saturday, July 18, 2009

Week 5 complete! KEEP PRAYING FOR COMPLETE HEALING!

What another amazing week at the Shepherd Center! I am making great progress and the therapists continue to encourage me! I am still lacking some return which is making it difficult to walk completely unassisted. I am still praying for more strength in my knees and quads. I need to be able to stand without grabbing anything and using all of my quads and gluts! BUT ITS COMING!!!

I am so encouraged by my recent progress that I have made at the Shepherd Center and I am SO BLESSED by the recovery that the Lord has given me! Everyday I look around the Beyond Therapy gym and I see so many people who are less fortunate than I am. I thank God everyday that my injury was not as bad as it could have been! Its a miracle that my neck was not broken and I am not breathing from a machine and driving a wheelchair with a straw. I could have broken my neck so easily but I was spared and I am forever grateful for that.

This week in rehab, I worked with one of my favorite therapist: GUSTAVO or "GUS"! He is from Costa Rica and has been such an encouragement to me! Every time I work with him he praises my progress and makes me feel great about myself. Just the other day, he told me: "Brent, don't get down on yourself and your progress, I have been doing this for a long time and what you are able to do with your hips and your core strength to extend your legs is AMAZING!" He went onto tell me how he believes that God is in total control of my life. He told me that if it is God's will than I WILL WALK AGAIN...NO QUESTION.

I always get so much encouragement from my therapists who are always rooting me on and cheering for me during rehab. I am so blessed to be at such an awesome rehab center.

BELOW IS THE MOMENT YOU ALL HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR: DRUM ROLL PLEASE!! haha This was something that I have never done until coming to Shepherds. I am walking without braces, only an A.F.O. which is an ankle support and some assistance from my therapist. Gustavo is working with me on the video below on my walking...yes...ON MY WALKING!! He is using his hands to help support my knees a little so that they do not buckle but is allowing me to bend it and pull my leg through and then straighten it in a natural walking pattern! I am actually taking steps on my own! I pulling my leg through an straightening it, but my knees are not strong enough for my therapist to walk away completely. So enjoy this video that was shot last Thursday. I actually walked 2 laps of a basketball court, on my trip back up the court my walking was MUCH better but we didn;t film it.. haha SORRY GUYS!
You are watching FAITH and PRAYERS in ACTION!! Below is just an testament to the AWESOME POWER OF GOD!! If we believe in our hearts WITHOUT DOUBT....ANYTHING is possible!! Mark 11:22-24 and James 1:6 (two of my favorite verses)
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT
PLEASE, PLEASE NEVER STOP PRAYING!

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week 4 in the Books!! IM LOVING IT!

Well, week 4 has been completed and I am currently into my 5th week in Beyond Therapy. As the weeks move along it appears that they are increasing the intensity of my workout sessions. They are pushing me further and further trying to get the most out of the return in my legs. So far my therapy has consisted of a lot of core stability and strengthening which I will need first and foremost. Im still needing return to come back so that they can really focus on certain muscle groups.

I have seen a lot of recovery in my body. Its hard to explain to people the differences I am feeling. People need to see certain movements to understand that I am making improvements. My legs however are continually changing on me! It feels almost like every week I am regaining new sensations in my legs. My legs have become more sensitive and I am getting new feelings running throughout my body. I know that changes are coming I CAN FEEL THEM! Most of my gains in therapy so far has come in my strength. The movements that I could do in the past are much stronger and the therapists remain encouraged.

It was explained to me by one of my therapists that no one understands my body like I do. He told me that the therapists still have not fulling come to understand my body and my capabilities. I am still rather new to the program and they need time to evaluate me. They are not ruling out any possibilities to my recovery. Everyone is different they explained to me! Some people regain function quicker than other and some never regain function at all. However, I KNOW SOMETHING THEY DONT! I know without doubt or question that my body will be restored through the power of prayer. I do not believe I was brought this far without a master plan. I have seen so many miracles in my recovery thus far and I am sure there are still more to come!

My recovery is not going to be measured in weeks or months but YEARS! It is a long and slow process. I am not in a sprint but a marathon. I must keep actively working my legs and rebuilding my neuro connections. I have seen so many amazing stories of success here at Shepherds. I have heard of people regaining function many YEARS out from their injury! I have seen people walking the gym, people who had NO RETURN 1.5 yrs out from injury as I am now. They are 5-10 years out and are able to walk unassisted and with great ease...JUST LIKE BEFORE their injury! I know that will be ME ONE DAY!!

Below is another video I took during my therapy last week. This video was shot on the same day as the previous post. I am working in the Smith Machine, which is just a fancy name for the Squat Rack. I am doing tall kneeling and working on movement in my hip flexors. As you can tell I am able to pull my leg through on the mat. This is using my hips and pelvis, MOVEMENT I SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO DO FOR MY LEVEL OF INJURY....BUT I AM!!! I hope you enjoy these videos, I will try to keep posting more. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR ME DAILY!! I want to recover from this injury SO BADLY!!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT!!


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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Week 3 Beyond Therapy.....its coming guys!!

Well I have successfully finished my 3rd week of Beyond Therapy and I am now into my 4th week here and I am continually seeing improvements. I am sorry for the delay in getting this posted but I wanted to wait until I had a good video to post!

What an AMAZING week I had. On Tuesday, I did probably one of the hardest session I had ever had since coming to Beyond Therapy. I was doing the TRX therapy which consisted of me doing a variety of core and leg strengthening. (I will post a video of this in the coming weeks). I hit the proverbial wall and could NOT go any further. I was laying on my stomach exhausted, covered in sweat and completely worn out when I heard a voice say..."GOOD JOB, you are making great progress!" I looked up to see JAMES SHEPHERD cheering me on. James is the founder of the Shepherd Center. He was injured in the mid 1970's with a spinal cord injury. Being how there were NO rehab facility with specialized treatment in spinal cord injuries in the southeast his parents Alana and Harold founded the Shepherd Center. They built the center so that their son could get the treatment he needed. Today it has grown to be the biggest specialized rehabilitation center in the country. James is currently the chairman of the board of directors at the Center.

He and I talked for quit some time as I laid on the mat exhausted and out of breath.
I thanked him for a particular article he wrote in the Shepherd Center quarterly magazine they publish. The day before meeting James, I had picked up the magazine and read the forward he had written. The article was about having FAITH during one's rehab. James who is a great man of faith and a true man of God. Wrote how he has seen that a personal relationship with God and having a deep faith in him has significantly helped those who are recovering from such a traumatic injury. (I will have to do a special post with his exact words from his forward in the magazine)!

I thanked James for those inspiring words and told him how I TOO believe the same thing. I told him it is my FAITH that has carried me through this difficult time. He said, "Brent sometimes its hard for people to talk about their faith, but we need to do it...that's why I wrote that article." What an amazing start to a wonderful week!

Below I posted a video on one of my new favorite machines. THE WAVE!! This machine is amazing and it makes my legs feel so good. How it works is it sends very high frequency vibrations through your feet and into your muscles. As I am on the machine I feel like my teeth are constantly chattering as my entire body begins to vibrate. The machine sends very high intensity vibrations throughout the body which helps recruit the muscles to turn on. I have spent a couple of hours on this machine and only filmed 1 of probably 10 different exercises I did on this unit. Below we are working on my knee extension and straightening the knees out and locking them. It was a GREAT SESSION! I will post more videos in the weeks to come so everyone can see my progress!!....PLEASE PLEASE NEVER STOP PRAYING FOR ME! Pray for TOTAL and COMPLETE HEALING!
I LOVE YOU ALL,
SO MUCH IN HIM,
BRENT

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