|By Aaron Martinuzzi |
Jun 3, 2011
It's been a while, a little more than nine months since my accident, but things have come quite a long way for my family and I. I've been living back at home since mid-November of 2010 on the renovated first floor of the house in which I grew up. Tons of labor was donated and my parents old room on the first floor was converted into a bedroom for me with a fully accessible, roll-in bathroom complete with shower, and immediately adjacent is a smaller office like room with my desk and a TV; basically somewhere I can kick it without having my parents up in my grill, a consideration I very much appreciate since it's been a few years since the last time I lived full-time with Maria and Neil (my parents). I'm spending a lot of time reading and downloading music and hanging out with friends both new and old.
It goes without saying, of course, that my biggest priority over the last six months, and for the upcoming year or so, has been working out at Walk the Line, a progressive PT-based center for spinal cord injury recovery here in Michigan. Amazingly, it's only about 15 min. from my house and I'm currently spending three 3-hour sessions there weekly, in addition to doing a bit of home therapy with an occupational therapist, incidentally the mother of one of my best friends since grade school.
Back when this thread was authored, I had the functional use of none of my extremities and only an inkling of the recovery that I'm seeing today. Currently my right arm is strong enough to operate the joystick on my power wheelchair, itch my face, operate some of the larger buttons on my Kindle, hit the occasional light switch, and probably a couple other things I'm forgetting at the moment. Strength in the rest of the arm is coming along and we are definitely looking forward to increased functionality in the future. My left arm is slowly coming along as well. Below the level of my injury, my abs and back muscles have been firing up pretty nicely of late, giving me excellent seated posture and increasingly good posture when I'm standing up with assistance in therapy. It hadn't really occurred to me before my accident, but quads and high-level paras often have terrible stability between their hips and shoulders due to a lack of abdominal/back muscle tone, and I'm happy that I can sit up straight and lean and reach without worrying (too much) about falling over. Hopefully, I can get my six-pack back to aid in scoring mad chicks.
My leave of absence with the medical school I was attending runs until August of 2012, so I'm looking forward to spending the next year continuing working out and maximizing my recovery and regaining a bit more independence before I devote myself to school and a career in the future. It's been great keeping in touch with folks through Mountain Project and Facebook (I was admittedly a bit of an anti-Facebook snob back in the day), and there is news of my progress posted semi-regularly here. Also, if you're interested, there's a pretty cool video of me doing some gait training (not walking, I can't walk, there's a good bit of assistance going on here) at PT on YouTube.
Thanks again to all those that checked in, there've certainly been a handful of challenges over the last nine months, but I'm as happy as ever, surrounded by fabulous friends and family, and busy as hell.