Saturday, December 22, 2012

Goal #25 - Check

While it wasn't before my birthday, I was able to still complete this goal. My parents went to Boise to drop off Christmas presents to my brother and his family and spend some time with them. This gave me the opportunity to figure things out for myself. My boys left Friday night to go with their Dad and that left me alone for almost exactly 24 hours. It was different being alone completely. My parents help me out so much, things I sometimes overlook. It went well though. There were a few small snafus, but nothing serious and it was a great feeling to have to totally be dependent on me. I had many great friends who checked up on me, which put me at ease knowing they were there If I needed anything. My sore arms and shoulders were a big reminder or how much more I worked being alone. Time to do more and build those muscles and stamina!

Goal #29 - Sort of Check

Having to use my arms to sit up after leaning forward creates some interesting situations. Like when I'm trying to help clean up toys and I need both hands to pick up a bigger toy, it's definitely quite a process to pick it up and sit back up. While I can't do it without any help from my arms, I am able to sit up using my arms, in my wheelchair, from almost any position. It's much better than I was. I remember when I would lean too far forward and I was done for. Someone else had come sit me back up. So while its not a complete check off, it's progress, and I'll always take progress!

Goal #30 - Check

The Elk's really jump started my independence by making me a set of leg straps.  They were fabric straps the had loops on them.  They had velcro and were placed around my thighs and ankles to help me move, lift, cross, and position my legs.  They really were vital to learning to transfer and helped in strengthening a lot.  As much as they helped I reached a point that I hated them sticking out and seeing them over my clothes. So I decided one day not to wear them. It took a lot of practice and troubleshoot but eventually I was able to get rid of all four of them! I am thankful for what they did for me, but now there is one less contraption I'm dependent on.

Goal #22 - Check

Before my van, getting in and out of a car was something I needed to learn. Using the hoyer lift to get in and out of my parents car was no easy task for anyone involved (especially for whoever had to take apart and load the hoyer lift). So Tami helped me learn. There was a little trial and error, but with the right equipment we got it done. It was a big help. It made getting to Dr appointments, shopping, and outings in general so much easier. It's definitely not something I can do independently but it can be done!

Goal #18 - Check

I'm very thankful I have learned to dress myself, however I'm pretty much limited to pajama type bottoms and t-shirts. It's fine for around the house, but I want to be able to wear a bigger variety of clothes (you know, before I get submitted by a lovely family member to "What Not To Wear"). It took lots of practice and some new contraptions but I have successfully learned to put in jeans! I love that I can do it myself and that they are an option for me. I still usually wear pajama type pants, but my closet is slowly filling up with other options.

Goal #15 - Sort of Check

I try to do as much as I can for myself and my family. I want to be able to do laundry. Well ... I sort of can. I can get clothes into the washer but not out. Just another appliance made for standing people. ;). So I've done what I can and that is folding clothes and putting them away. One day, when I have some money, I will buy a front loading washer and dryer which will make the whole process something I can do.

Goal #28 - Check (Only A Couple Times)

Being able to do a real depression lift would make my life sooooooo much easier. It would make transfers easier and more difficult transfers possible. However, thanks to my lovely right triceps, it has been a real struggle! However, while in therapy I did it there were a handful of depression lifts were my butt completely left the table. I'm sure we got more than a couple strange looks as we practiced. My therapist would hunch down in front of me and look between and underneath my legs to see if he saw daylight. Well, the light shown through a few times. I need to get practicing again!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Goal #14 - Check

My kiddos were having kind of a rough day. No reason in particular, just grumpy, sad, fighting, etc. So I decided to knock off two goals and hoping they would focus on someone other than themselves. I hoped it would change their mind set. I'm happy to say we had success. We made cookies to take to some friends. We took the easy route and we use pre-made cookie dough.  They were excited to bake them, help put them on the cookie sheet, and were excited again to take them to friends. It turned into a fun and memorable day.

Goal #10 - Sort of Check

I really wanted to be able to roll from lying flat on my back without any assistance or devices, but it just hasn't happened. However, I have learned to roll to one side with the assistance of a bed rail or a bed ladder. Although its not exactly what I wanted, being able to do this much helps me get that much closer to sleeping in a regular bed.  It's much better than no rolling at all!

Goal #6 - Check

While I did need help reaching a few things up on those big tall for people who stand shelves, I was able to do the cutting, peeling, stirring, and everything else to make a big crock pot of stew. I've also made chicken parmesean, tortellini soup, and grilled cheese. I know it's not much but all that preparation really takes it out of me. It was so nice though. I've developed a real love for cooking and it's probably one thing I miss the most. I felt proud and I was excited that my family could eat something I fixed. Hopefully there is only more to come!

Goal #17 - Check

Since almost three years ago (crazy right!?) I have been overwhelmed by people's love and kindness. We have had Christmas done for us in an overwhelming way, 12 days of Christmas, gifts for the boys, meals brought in abundance, help so my mom could continue to work, and really a never ending list of service. I've wanted to give back, but I wasn't sure how I could. Well it's nothing elaborate, but I've tried to help where I could. I've made a few meals for people, I've donated clothes, and I have tried to share what I had and wasn't using. While these are definitely nothing very grand or marvelous, they were big for me. I hope I can continue to look and find more opportunities to serve.  I think it's a great thing to teach my children.

Goal #11 - Check

Going away for a vacation was definitely something I think my whole family was nervous for. Going anywhere more than my house and my brothers house, which are adapted to what I need, was scary. We decided to go for it though. We ventured to California for Thanksgiving. It was a short trip but we were able to spend time with family and make a trip to Six Flags (which will always be known as Marine World to me) to see the animals. There definitely wasn't enough time to see everyone I wanted (Aunt Ressa and Jennifer) but now we know it can be done. I'm hoping next summer we can make the trip again with more time. I loved my California trips as a kid and I hope my kids can learn to look forward to them as well. I miss my California family.

Goal #13 - Check

It may seem like a silly goal, but it was something I hadn't been able to experience. The weekend after I got my van we went to McDonald's. Jack was so excited that we got to "go in and stay" and even more excited he got to play in the toy. It was nice to get away with the family, without all the hassle of two vehicles. It's nice that these outings are much easier and can be done without extra thought and planning.  It makes life more bearable to get out of the house more often.

Goal #9 - Check

While I do not have a regular bed in my room, I did spend a few nights in one while we were in California. It was definitely much harder than my hospital bed but it was nice to know it can be done. I hope that soon I will be able to get rid of my hospital bed and have a regular bed, big enough for me and those occasional middle of the night visitors.  I look forward to a more typical bedroom, minus medical equipment.

Goal #3 - Check

I'm driving. I'm pretty sure there's no need for you to be scared anymore. I've been practicing a lot and I even drove from Blackfoot to Boise. I'm not going to lie, I still get a little anxious in town with everyone cruising past me, but I'm getting better. I've even ventured out by myself to a Relief Society dinner. I really should drive more, but I'm getting better and I'm sure driving more will soon be happening and I will wish I could drive less. Yay!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Goal #2 - Check

I have a van! 

It really was such a blessing how smoothly and quickly everything seemed to fall into place. Voc Rehab and Access Vans really made this possible. I was able to get a fairly new van, in great shape, with the modifications I needed, for a decent price, and in a short time frame.

The people at Access Vans are so amazing at what they do. 

   Each driver they deal with is so different when it comes to abilities and strength.  They were so willing to take all the time they needed to make this van fully usable, so I exerted the least amount of energy, just for me!  

Let me tell you, it was no small task! I thought I would be in and out with my van in a hour or so. 


Five hours later I was able to test drive, after some serious modifications. 
My van is all run by remote.  I have a button the opens the door and deploys the ramp and it has the awesome function the allows the van to "kneel".  The suspension is compressed bringing the van lower to the ground and making the ramp less steep.

Before any changes could begin, I had to figure out how to transfer to the drivers seat.  This seat moves forwards and backwards and twists to allow me to transfer and drive from the seat.  The benefit of this is I can take my power or my manual wheelchair.

(There are switches on the side of the seat that allow me to move the seat to the position I need.)

First the steering wheel was modified with a tri-pin, angled exactly to allow me the easiest rotation. 

Second, and probably the biggest adjustment was finding the right placement for the hand control. My hand controls work by pushing slightly up and towards the dashboard to break and down and towards my body to accelerate. At first I couldn't even move the hand control to accelerate. Braking was easy because my biceps is fairly strong, but pulling is tough because my tricep is incredibly weak. They tried a tri-pin, lengthened the hand control, moved it down on the steering column, adjusted to foot pedals, and removed and reattached nuts and bolts at least 30 times. After all that I was able to easily push and pull the hand control, without the tri-pin. 

 Next and the most inventive adjustment was the gear shifter. It is placed on the dash and to change gears you had to push a button in, on the left side, and pull down simultaneously. It was not happening, but between Chris, the owner and a quadriplegic, and his mechanic, they removed the top of the gear shifter, took out the button and spring, rigged with a nut and bolt, and I was able to push down directly on top and shift gears. 

 Last was the key. I can't grip the key, and I definitely couldn't turn it. So with some shrink tubing, a metal hinge strap, and a bolt, it gave me something larger to hold and push on to turn the ignition off and on. 

Five hours later, we were ready to test drive. They pulled the van out of the shop and around the front of the building and told me to go for it. They are quite far off the main road and have a short stretch of road you can easily practice on without traffic, but I was so nervous. I was pleasantly put at ease though when it was much easier and more natural than I expected.

The whole experience was great. I feel blessed and excited to have this van and to get to learn to drive. Now another stint in drivers training, possibly a written test (if I can pass), and I'll have a valid license again! 


Thanks to my  parents for taking me to Boise, sitting with me for hours while they worked on it, Dad for braving the first drive with me, and driving it home.

Thanks to Matt & Tami for letting us stay with you last minute and for taking me/going with me to Kneader's.

Thanks to everyone for your mostly (*wink, *wink) kind words and support. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Big Ticket Items

Well, the ball is rolling! Or wheels perhaps. I am well on my way to owning a wheelchair accessible van! :)

I have been working with an amazing lady from Voc Rehab and she really has lit a fire under me to have a van in the next six weeks. SIX WEEKS! Yikes! I am so excited. This little thing (well, if a mini van is little) will open up so many opportunities for me and my family. Trips to the store will be easier, shopping (a girl always needs some retail therapy), church will be quicker, I'll be able to take my children to school, to dinner, to friends. A big road will unfold right before my eyes!

So here's to car payments and insurance again! Yay!

Goal #21- Check

While using a transfer board isn't a total inconvenience, being able to do a good transfer without one be much more efficient. Being able to transfer without a board would allow me to transfer to more places as well; couches, chairs, beds, cars.

Well. I now can, not very gracefully, transfer from my bed to my chair. I guess those ten million depression lifts I did at the Elks are starting to pay off. My right tricep muscle is incredibly weak.  (like a newborn baby has more strength than me) If I can continue working out that goofy muscle and it gets stronger then depression lifts may become my friends, not my nemesis. Either way, a transfer without a board has been accomplished.

Goal #23 - Check

I haven't ever been a huge movie theater kind of girl. I would much rather spend $7 on junk food and $2 on a rental, than $9 on a movie. However since the ability to go see a movie was taken away, I missed it. Luckily I have some great girlfriends who aren't afraid of a challenge.

Amy and Alisha were the first to take on the task. It was fun. It was nice just to get out. To eat popcorn and see previews. To feel a part of the real world, outside my home. After I accomplished it with Amy and Alisha, I was much more confident in my ability to do it with others.

Next was three wonderful ladies from my ward. We went out for a girls night. Red Lobster, a little shopping, and another movie.

After my outing with them I was lucky to go with my own munchkins and my family to see Brave.

It's nice to know that these little accomplishments open up my possibilities. So thanks girls, for dragging me out and helping me make another check mark.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mercies In Disguise

I feel a deep connection to music and have since I was very young. Words set to music often strike me deeper than if those same words were spoke by even the most eloquent of speakers.

A few Sunday's ago I heard this song as I came home from church. 

It's words resonated with me. When I got home I looked up the song online to listen to it again. After listening to the song I noticed a small link that discussed the inspiration for that song. I watched the song writer as she spoke lovingly of her husband who had a medical issue. They prayed for healing and his ability to overcome what he had been dealt. After many prayers, they realized things weren't happening the way the had expected them to, and they were prompted to look at other ways their prayers were being answered. "What if blessings come through rain drops? What if healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights is what it takes to know you're near?  What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise".

The last couple of years, my prayers have been for the same things. Healing and the ability to overcome. While my prayers, and many prayers from others, haven't been answered exactly how I thought they would be, I know this song rings true. I feel Gods power in rainstorms. I notice so much easier now the beauty that surrounds us. I feel stronger and more whole after sincere tears are shed. I feel healing going on in my soul after sleepless nights spent praying and asking for guidance. While my legs may not be moving and my body may seem broken, my spirit has never felt stronger. That strength and internal light is the way I am being healed, not the way I asked, but the way the Lord knows that I need to be. While my prayers are still filled with questions of healing and understanding, I am thankful for the comfort that the Lord.  That he knows best and that he has never left me.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Goal #7 -Check

Just over a month ago I was sitting at my computer, doing nothing of great importance, other than wasting time. After a few minutes away, my computer went to it's screen saver, which is just black. When I came back to my computer, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in that darkened screen. Because of my limited access to places, I rarely see my reflection. I don't glance in the mirror while washing my hands, nor do I look in the mirror every morning to get ready. Really the only time I see my reflection is in a small mirror that sits on the table when I do my make up, usually only on Sundays for church. In this moment though, as I looked at this reflection, almost a stranger, I had this sudden urge for change. This sudden urge to feel like me and to remember that person who was staring back at me. So I called my sweet friend Amanda, who came over the very next day to cut my hair. I was nervous about going back to my style before. Would my bangs look funny, would my hair lie straight, would I be able to straighten it if I had to. I took the plunge anyways, even though worry sat nagging in my ear that I would regret this change. To my surprise I immediately felt better. I hadn't even looked in a mirror yet, but I felt like me. Something as small as being able to run my fingers through my bangs brought me a sense of normalcy. After a couple days practice I also realized it was very manageable, more manageable than before. Even not being "fixed" I felt better, but when I wanted, I could straighten it using my trusty splint. Not only did I immediately feel like me, but there was a sense of accomplishment that I was doing something else for myself. So here's a great big check, not only to being able to style my hair, but for finding a small piece of me that was just buried inside waiting to be let out.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Fork in My Road - The Elk's

Well, after ten months of trips back and forth to Boise, that road is closed for now.

I am SO thankful for my time at the Elks. The seven weeks I had as an impatient started me full speed down the path to my finding my independence. When I went to the Eljs, about the only thing I could do was feed myself and brush my teeth and hair. After leaving I slowly continued progressing. First to be able to do my own transfers, then cathing, the dressing, some basic cooking, transfers got quicker, pushing my wheelchair got easier, soon after I got into a room I was able to get my own supplies as well as clean up after myself, get my own clothes, foldinv laundry, and even change my kids diapers. They have help me opened up a whole world of possibilities for myself. So now I'm onto an even bigger endeavor to find my independence. Driving. Now my thoughts are filled with ramps, hand controls, driving tests, seatbelts. It's going to be scary and amazing and change my life as well as my families. The world will be opened up to me again. Mostly I think of all the things I can do with the boys. Go to the park, get some ice cream, go to church, go to the store, the movies. It will all be so much easier and I look forward to it every day.

I was blessed not only by going to the Elk's, but by the talented people who work there as well. The nurses and CNAs made my days bearable and always took great care of me. Dr. Cox was motivating and always had such high expectations for me. My OT's were experienced and knowledgable. They helped me get equipment I needed to be independent as well as helped me trouble shoot many things such as dressing, shoes, transferring in a bathroom, splints, leg straps, and much more. My Rec Therapists helped spark my live for the outdoors again. It was nice to feel proud after a silly art project or how far I could bike. Pool therapy was were I spent most of my time and there is such a freedom I remembered in the pool, where gravity isn't my enemy ( only drowning :) ). It was exhausting but beneficial and I look forward to learning to love many other things again, in a new way. My PT's were tough and encouraging. I was always reminded of the hard work I did when my muscles ached from head to toe. My PT classes were filled with transfers, depression lifts, quadruped, scooting, and PNF exercises. I have such a sense of accomplishment with my PT. Transfers are quicker, daily skills are easier, overall I feel stronger and I thank them for always pushing me to do more. Not only did they help me physically do things, but their attitudes and encouragement are burned into my memory. Even the therapist I rarely worked with could brighten my day and seem proud and concerned for me and my life. Then the wonderful techs, who are probably often overlooked. They always got stuck with the brunt work. Blocking my ever week elbow so I didn't collapse on my face, or helping me dress after pool, their jobs were often very up close and personal but everyday I looked forward to seeing them.

Before I get more teary eyed, here it goes. Thank you to my nursing/CNA staff, Shawna, Louise, Rachel, Mary, Eric, Sheila, Kat, Elton, Big Matt, Kristin, Bri, Byron, Jamie, and SO many more I know I'm forgetting! To my OT's, George and Cassandra. To my Rec Therapists, Kourtney and especially Christine who spent many hours up close and personal in the pool with me, days with questionable lunch choice ;), and you so willingly took the good with the bad. Now to the PT's Amber, Kathryn, Ryan, Kyle, David, Jackie, but especially Joe and Kristi. Joe pushed me harder than I ever thought I could go and Kristi has become more than a great PT to me but a great friend. And last but not least, to the techs, Manuela, Sarah, Sam, Kyle, and Allison. You always made my day. So hopefully I didn't forget anyone, but I hope you all know how grateful I am to you and you knowledge and talents. My life is better because of you. Until next time Elk's.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goal #12 - Check

It's strange the things I miss. I miss most of all my ability to care for my children's needs. In February while I was on Boise for therapy, Jack got sick. That Sunday, I didn't want him going to church and spreading the live, so Jack and I stayed home. Everyone else was at church, so of course, Jack would need a diaper change. Jack is truly so sweet. He asked me if I could change him, and I told him I would try but I would need his help. I am sure not feeling well worked in my favor this time, because he laid so still and was quite helpful. So it took some time, but we did it. Jack stood up and proudly yelled, "we did it" and we shared a high five!

This week, Jack, Talon, and I stayed home for a few hours while my Mom worked. Talon of course took a little more convincing, and it took both me and Jack to change him, but we did it. Not that I am on permanent diaper duty now, but it's nice to know it can be done if I have too.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Goal #8 - Check

Finding a pair of comfortable shoes was always tricky, and even now that's no exception. I need shoes that are easy enough to put on myself, but comfortable enough to wear all day. Thank heavens for Zappo's free shipping! After about four different pairs, I found these gems.
They are comfortable, easy for me to put on, cute, and will probably last me the rest of my life. Now onto my sub-goal, learning to tie them. YIKES!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Goal #19 - Check

Well I am pretty excited to check this one off the list! When I went to the Elks in February I had lost 19 pounds. I was just one pound shy of my 20 pound goal. Bummer! When I was home those next six weeks, I was definitely not as diligent as I could have been. I mean come on, it was girl scout cookie and Cadbury eggs season! I was more than a little surprised when I went back in May to find I had lost 15 more pounds! 34 total! Apparently moving and exercising is good for you! So here's to 34 gone! And hopefully more. Ill be glad to never see you again lbs!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Screaming Shoulders

One more week of therapy is behind me and my arms and shoulders are reminding me of it all day long. Overall I felt like it was a successful week though. There were lots of depression lifts, hands and knees, and a tall kneeling. I've done tall kneeling before, but it seemed easier this week then I remember in the past. It's nice to see that my strength is coming. It's hard when I don't feel like there hasn't been something large accomplished though. I am happy to feel like I am always getting stronger. One more weeks, the back home again to work on my own.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Goal #1 - Check

We'll I am excited that I have another check off my list! I am now able to dress myself. This gives me so much more independence! Pulling up pants is no easy task when nothing from the waist down is helpless. I finally can do it! I may not be too speedy but I can do it! Now I just need to keep working on other clothes besides sweats.

Another awesome moment happened this week. I finally purged my Pre Transverse Myelitis wardrobe. Most of them are gone. :( But I am excited to build a better wardrobe. Because I got rid of most of my clothes, this came with a lot of trying on. So I wore real pants! With buttons and a zipper! No more maternity stretchy jeans for me! I'm well on my way to checking off #18 too!

Ten more days and I'm back to Boise for the grind! Yikes!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Small Miracles

Now I believe I have been blessed with many talents. Remembering important dates however, is not one of them. I am pretty proud that I remember the few birthdays I do remember. One day I remember though, January 13th, 2010. It's burned in my brain. It's been two years. Two years that have seemed to drag on and fly by at the same time.

Yesterday we went to Pocatello with my parents. Now I have been to Pocatello before yesterday. Yesterday however was different. Yesterday I went to the part of Pocatello that use to be my home. I went past my work, where two years ago I abruptly left my friends, co-workers, and my weekly routine. A place that had been a part of my life for the last 7 years. I also went past the hill that had been my home. Where I lived. Where I was an active part of my loving ward. Regularly I think of these places, more often I remember the people. Miss my friends. This was my life. Now it feels like a ghost of another life. A life before wheelchairs and rehab.

Two years was initially suppose to be my magic number. Two years was a good estimate of how long it would take for me to recover. Two years of hard work and faith and I thought I would be walking again, taking care of myself and my children. Two years seemed like a long time, but it was doable. These last two years have been nothing but unpredictable. In two years I have done two stints in rehab, countless hours of therapy, prayed fervently for strength, cried, laughed, watch my two sweet boys learn and grown right before my eyes, had two different diagnosis's, and have experienced many firsts again. Firsts that are experience by many, often most don't remember because we are usually young. I however remember the wonderful day I had enough strength to feed myself, the first day I wheeled myself down the hallway, the first time I could play catch with Jack, the first day I stood with my leg braces, the first day I did an independent transfer, the first day I put on my own shoes, and countless other firsts. All were great milestones. Moments I will always remember. Moments I'm proud of, but moments I wished had come sooner. Two years have gone, and while I wish everyday my original diagnosis was true and I could be recovered, I have come to be thankful for my misdiagnosis. This was a small miracle I needed. That misdiagnosis could very well play a huge roll in my recovery. If I had originally been diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, I truly believe my outcome would have been drastically different. I have done a lot of reading. My onset was quick and extreme. Most people with onsets like I had, have little to no recovery. Now I am sure not everyone falls into that category. There are miraculous stories all around of people doing the impossible. I truly believe that being diagnosed with Guillian Barre in the beginning gave me an upper hand. Because I thought I would recover in two years I worked hard. I was approved for home health and home therapy. I can't help but wonder if I would have had this therapy, had the original diagnosis been different. The limited therapy alone could have drastically changed my prognosis.

Two years in, I thought I would be recovered. Now, two years in, I see two years behind me. I hope and pray that the last two years were my starting ground. That maybe now two years is a half way point. Two years are behind me. I can handle two more and I pray the next two are filled with many more firsts and I'm sure many more small miracles. Thank you all for your kind words of support. They truly keep me going. I will never be able to repay all that's been done for me. One day though, I'll pay it forward.

"When we get stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer -no matter how eloquent the oration." Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Angry Toes

Well one Dr. Appointment is done. Three more to go. I am on a ten day antibiotic and them it back in to get my angry toenails fixed. I guess that's what happens when you can't really feel your toes. I will also have an appointment with a urologist and a hand specialist. Should be interesting. I was never one to go to the doctor, I guess now I'm making up time. Now I have so many doctors it's a little ridiculous! I am thankful so much for all those people who took all the time and money to go to school and learn what they know. My life is better because of my doctors, therapists, nurses, CNA's, and so many others.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I have been home for a week now. My shoulders are still sore so I am taking that as I am doing enough! I am hoping this week to put on my leg braces and see how different standing is after four months. I am sure I won't be able to get up on my own, which I know is pretty vital to learning to walk, but I am curious. Curious if my shoulders are strong enough to stand with my walker. Curious how my core strength is now. Basically, I am all around curious. Tomorrow is my first of many doctor's appointments while I am home. I am ready to be done with them all! Like they won't just reappear again! Oh well! Good thing I like all my doctors.

Monday, January 2, 2012


2012 I am hoping for lots of progress!

December was spent in Boise with my brother's family. Staying with them I was able to do a month of therapy. It probably sounds strange, but I look forward to therapy. It's my version of going to the gym, with my personal trainers. It usually is pretty rough. It often takes me about ten minutes to get down to the lobby, one floor away. I know it's a good session when it takes a good amount of energy to eat at dinner time. Physical therapy consisted of lots and lots of depression lifts, quadruped (hands and knees) which is a crazy total body workout,lots of arm and shoulder exercises, and working on balance to help strengthen my core. I feel like I might finally be getting a small response in my right triceps. While lying on my stomach I can push myself up into a little mermaid type position. (You like my description?) I'm hoping if I can keep doing my "mock" push-ups that maybe I won't need someone a one of my lovely personal assistants to lock out my right elbow to stay off my face in quadruped. (Don't lie, you chuckled at that visual!) My goals to reach before my PT's are stuck with me again. I want to be able to get off my right elbow while sitting on the edge of the bed. To do my "mock" push-ups easily, to get my butt just a little higher off the ground while doing depression lifts, and to be able to scoot right to left better. There is lots to work on.

OT had some good progress too. I am able to put my own sneakers on and I seriously am sooooooo close to be able to dress myself completely on my own. I need to master moving side to side and then I know I can do it. That's my big OT goal before I go back. That would not only be a giant check off my "30 by 30" list, but it would make me so much more independent! Then my next task would be figuring out how to put on jeans myself.

Rec therapy was great. I did pool therapy for every session. It was tiring but I felt like there was decent progress. We worked on walking every time, swimming, and stretching. I started the month being able to walk about two widths of the pool with ankle weights and two more without the weights. Later in the month I did six widths with weights and four more without. There is lots more strength and control in my legs. I feel more strength in my legs. I hope it's there and not just wishful thinking. I do notice that my legs are toning up, pants are fitting looser, my bulge from baby Talon is finally getting smaller.

2012 has hard work ahead! Happy New Year!