Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday July 27th 2009: Pinehurst, NC

Will & I survived the car trip from GA to NC. We made really good time; less than 6 hours! He is settled in with Tom & Joyce (my in-laws). He will stay with them until about August 8th when we are hoping to move into our new home. This past Saturday night he was able to move his toes AND calf muscle on his R leg! He was also able to barely move his left toes. We were all very excited about this! Hopefully today he will talk to the folks at WakeMed Hospital which is who he will do his outpatient therapy with. This Wednesday he is going to his wheelchair vendor in Apex, NC to get his new wheels and also look into getting a different set of brakes. He has scissor brakes and they are very difficult to lock and access. We are also anxiously awaiting the arrival of his raised toilet seat. Since arriving in NC he has been without it and it makes his bowel program even more of a nightmare. We were able to buy a toilet seat cushion to help take away some of the discomfort from his sitting on the hard toilet seat, but he still has a hard time without the special cutout raised seat. I am back and forth between Raleigh and Pinehurst this week. Ty & I are trying like hell to get the house packed up by closing on Aug. 5th.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday July 24th 2009: Thank you Shepherd!

Love ya, mean it.....but we are outta here! Will and I are hitting the road in about 1 hour (around 1pm) and will drive about 6 hours to Pinehurst, NC where Will is going to stay until we close on our new home (hopefully August 5th). He started off the morning by moving almost all of his toes on his right foot! So cool to see! I am super excited to be heading home. Will is not as excited, understandably, since this a new environment and life he will be introduced to. Keep sending him encouraging thoughts please!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday July 22nd 2009: Pool & big toe movement

I can't upload any pictures or use the Internet right now because my computer is infected, but there will be some good pictures of Will in the pool. He went in for the first time yesterday and then he was in there again today for a water polo match. He really liked it. He is a big sinker though, so he uses a noodle or float dumbbells to hold himself up. The big news is from last night. He was able to move his right big toe! He did it a few times for me. It is very, very subtle movement and it took all of his concentration and energy, but it was still very cool to see :) It is not moving much today though...poor little toe is tired ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

30 days in a wheelchair

Google it and watch this episode (on it's about 40 minutes...very well done). Will thought "Murderball" was a bit better because it depicts more of what a struggle it is to get up up, out of bed, and get dressed. I haven't seen "Murderball" yet, but I just finished watching the 30 days and I thought it was great. I also thought it was awesome to see a NFL star take on this it and see for yourself....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday July 19th 2009: Last weekend at Shepherd

We are coming down to our last few days here at Shepherd! Friday, Ty & his mom drove down from NC for the weekend. Friday night we all went out for bison at Ted's Montana Grill. It was really yummy! Yesterday was our anniversary and we treated ourselves to a night at a very swanky hotel. My wonderful mother-in-law, Joyce, spent the night with Will while we were away. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our 1st year of marriage. Ty & Joyce packed up the car this afternoon with a lot of our stuff, including my bike, so we will be able to fit everything else in my car this Friday. One of the pictures I have posted here is Ty trying like hell to get a VERY annoying piece of metal that rolls around inside Will's push rim. Even though Ty is engineer extraordinaire, we had no luck in getting it out! The wheels Will has now are not the wheels he ordered, and he will get his new wheels once we are back in NC. So he has to put up with the annoying nose for another week or so. It appears that he also has another UTI brewing, which we are not very excited about :( His urine has a foul odor and is very cloudy. He is also very tired and his muscle spasms are worse. Hopefully with some extra hydration and cranberry juice it will not get any worse. First thing tomorrow he will see the nurse in day program. He also needs to get his medical records corrected. There is a lot of paperwork he needs to mail in so he can continue to get disability payments, and after getting his records on Friday, I read over them and found a few errors. I cannot urge people enough to be an advocate for yourself when it comes to the medical world. You should always have copies of your medical records and more importantly, take the time to read them and understand them! This is me getting up on my soapbox ;) So tomorrow hopefully we will get the records corrected.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday July 15th 2009: Are we on an episode of Cops?

Last night there was some drama unfolding in the apartment next to ours. As we were going to to bed, a loud ruckus started up on the other side of our bedroom wall. All we heard was a lot of yelling and door slamming. Awesome. I thought about calling security and then our a/c fan kicked on and drowned out the noise. We were able to fall asleep sometime around midnight. We found out this evening that 2 of our other neighbors called security and the police were called to deal with the drama. Apparently it was a patient's adult child (it's unclear what sex this person is) who was all up in arms because his/her girlfriend was going to jail and his/her mom would not drive him to the jail and his/her girlfriend had given his/her parents money....blah blah blah! Give me a break!

Anyways, Will did the airport outing today and I did my 60 mile ride. I felt pretty depleted at the end so I went right into the bike store where I had parked and proceeded to purchase one of those large obnoxious energy drinks in a can. Bad decision. The drink plus all the GU's I ate added up to A LOT of caffeine and I was off the wall this evening. Fatigue & over -caffeination is not a great feeling. Will has laughed at me all night- nothing new there! We are looking forward to some sound sleep tonight!

Here are some pics of my bike "Black Betty." She got really dirty today so I ended up taking a shower with her. Cervelo, who is a kick ass bike manufacturer, also partners with a company known as Marvel, to help them make awesome wheelchairs. Will's mentor, Pete, was given a Marvel chair to trial and it is amazing. Really sweet suspension system. Just a fun fact for ya!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday July 14th 2009: Bastille Day

Yay for French independence! Today is Bastille Day and also my birthday (29 years old if you must know). Will had a usual day of therapy and then we went out for sushi. He wore jeans and a collared shirt for the first time since his accident, so that was a nice change. The Shepherd attire is always gym clothes. The folks were great at the restaurant and were very accommodating. Even though their patio was not "open", they set up a table for us outside since it was a little bit easier to navigate than going inside. Tomorrow Will is going on the airport outing he missed while he was sick with a UTI. Since I already went on the outing, I am not going and will try and get a 60 mile bike ride done. Even though it's only Tuesday we are both very tired. We were up again at 3 am for an IC. Looking forward to the weekend!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday July 12th 2009: Atlanta Zoo

It's pretty amazing that just over 2 months ago Will was in critical condition and today we played tourist and went to the zoo. It's also amazing how clueless some of the general public can be. There are a lot of people walking around in their own little worlds with no awareness of who or what is going on around them. Will didn't bowl anyone over, but he could have come close to running some folks over. Even though we knew we were in the US, it felt like we were in Africa today. Both of us worked up a pretty good sweat. The zoo had many uneven surfaces and many steep inclines that Will had to navigate. It was quite the workout. Trying to get to bed early tonight so we can both start the week off right. Our flights are booked for Kona and I need to really hammer down and get strict with myself about Ironman training.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday July 10th 2009: Emi's First Arby's experience

Exciting Friday night down here ;) Will & I had dinner at Arby's. He is OBSESSED with Arby's and I have never eaten there. He insisted we go. He also has been craving Mountain Dew for the past 2 days and was insistent we stop and get some so he could have it with his Arby's dinner. I refused to go out of my way for a stinkin' soda (he has already been eating enough crap since his accident). Well he had the last laugh because wouldn't you know it but Arby's has Mountain Dew. Then he proceeded to tell the cashier how much he loves Arby's and how we are from Massachusetts and how I have never eaten it before....I think he needs his brain checked again! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Discharge Date: July 24th 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday July 8th, 2009: Goal conference

Today was Will's team goal conference. We sat down with most of his team and went over his goals for day program. The first day of day program was similar, but now that they have had a few days to get to know him, these are the structured things he will work on. Tomorrow morning the team will meet without Will and they will determine his discharge date. We had thought we would have found out today, but it's actually tomorrow. His goals include working on trunk & core strength, balance, stretching, and fine tuning the more difficult types of transfers. He will get to go on the airport outing next week, which he missed when he was sick with his UTI. He also wants to get in the pool before he is discharged, but right now he can't due to the fact that he has a big ol' nasty scab on his elbow from the ATV accident. Once the scab heals and falls off then he can get in the pool. Yesterday morning, his OT came over to the apartment to observe and go over his morning routine of getting up and out of bed and dressed. She also watched Will practice padding himself off in bed, as this is a bit difficult for him, but extremely important so he does not get a pressure sore. She helped him use his bendable mirror to check his skin too. Every night I get to look at his pasty white butt. Just what I need to be dreaming of- NOT!

Day program has already proved to be very exhausting for the both of us. Will wakes up at about 3 am every morning to cath himself, therefore I wake up too. My bed is about 3 feet away. It's great that he has the bladder sensation, but it is still a challenge since he cannot pee on his own. We go back to bed by 3:30 am and then we are back up at about 7 am. We get to bed at about 11 pm. His night routine takes about 2 hours- from the time he does his bowel program, showers, caths, and then gets undressed and positioned in bed. It is amazing all the little things we take for granted everyday that are so time consuming and challenging for Will. He and I have had many moments of disagreements and tension. It's certainly not easy living with a disabled sibling. There is a lot of tough love going on. I know he misses his social network and he has commented on the fact that he feels a bit isolated living here in the apartments. I myself am pretty homesick and growing very bored of the daily grind down here. But I can't imagine what it would be like to not have this transitional time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Mailing Address:

Will Archibald and WFRC #004
c/o Shepherd Center
2020 Peachtree Rd. NW
Atlanta, GA 30309

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday July 4th 2009: Peachtree Road Race

What a great 4th of July! Running the Peachtree Road Race this morning was an amazing experience. 55,000 runners and some awesome wheelchair athletes...totally cool. Will sat out with some of his Shepherd friends and cheered everyone on and took pictures. We had a brunch after the race at Shepherd where they did an awards ceremony for the wheelchair athletes. Let me tell you- those folks are FIT! (And not so hard on the eyes :) Very impressive. I myself ran a pretty good race. Stopped twice; once to have a picture with Will and another time to hug the nurse that gave me her race number. I also managed to sop for a quick 30 sec. at mile 5 to have half a Miller Lite with a group of guys :) Made it to the finish in 49:30. No too bad :) Once the wireless Internet starts cooperating I will post some pics! Also, Ty & I are doing a happy dance because we got an offer on the house! We counter offered and they accepted today! Very exciting! Tomorrow Ty will go put an offer on a home in Morrisville, NC. So exciting!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday July 3rd, 2009: Day Program

Will has started the day program. The first day is slow, and A LOT of talking. Will met with his new team members on an individual basis and discussed his goals for day program. He has a brand new case manager, doctor, nurse, PT, OT, ST, and TR specialist. As you can see from one of the pictures below, he was exhausted from all the talking. He got to take a little cat nap on one of the mats. Day program is just like inpatient, in that he has a schedule from 9-4. They build in free time blocks during the day where he can do things on his own, like go to the gym, or stretch, or use the FES bike (there is a picture of him using the bike below). We are settled into the apartments and he continues to be a little more independent each day. Last night, he did his bowel program and showered all on his own. This morning he stretched, dressed, and got out of bed on his own. I am not not expected to be present anymore during therapy, since my training is complete and this is really his time to work hard and advance his skills. Next week we will find out his discharge date. It is likely we will be leaving in 2 weeks. I will return to work full time on August 10th. Time is flying by! Tomorrow is the Peachtree Road Race which is the largest 10k in the US. There will be about 50,000 runners and also wheelchair racers. The race runs right by Shepherd and all the patients will be out cheering everyone on. Shepherd is located in the middle of a LARGE hill, so it will be very motivating to run up that hill and high 5 all the patients. There us a brunch after the race with all the wheelchair athletes, so we are looking forward to attending that. We will also go over to Will's old roommate's home for some dinner. He lives about 2 miles from here. His name is Jeff and he had Guillain Barre syndrome. We will head back to Shepherd in time to catch the fireworks. We will have a great view from the top of the parking deck.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday July 1st, 2009: Big doings!

Yesterday Will got his brace off AND he got his wheelchair! He also had "graduation" from inpatient therapy. Graduation involves playing "Eye of the Tiger", pictures with team, and presentation of a few certificates, including a superlative award. Will was awarded the "I can man" superlative. This morning Will was officially discharged from inpatient therapy and will start day program tomorrow. I hauled all of his stuff over to the family apartments where we will stay until he is ready to go home. I think we may need a U-Haul when we leave :) We are busy this afternoon trying to get everything unpacked and are headed to Target to get some groceries and a few other things.