Sending Big Mike some good vibes


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Big Mike

Trad climber
Mar 16, 2013 - 09:45pm PT
Wednesday started off a new routine, a double block of pt starting at 9am. Mat exercises were the name of the game, and muscle strengthening the goal. I was happy to have it, I've been feeling like i could do more, if I had a chance.

First session went well, and second session we focused on standing. That had me stoked, i love standing!! Then some balancing and soon I found I could balance on my own two feet! Since I was able to do this, my pt decided to see how I would do on a "berg"? Test. The test involved a lot of balancing and reaching while balancing, picking stuff up off the ground (fail), picking one leg up at a time, balancing with my eyes closed, stepping up... I got a 29 out of 56 which was pretty sweet for a first effort so soon.

After the test they got the walker out, and I did a couple laps across the pt room with it. Then they just happened to receive some cane crutches which seemed like the perfect height for me. Another pt handed them off to me to test out the height and before I knew it we were doing a couple laps on those. After that I was pretty pooped, and my time was up, so I headed back to my room for a rest.

I missed lunch, and since I've been pretty mobile, they expect my to come to the day room and eat with all the other spine patients. If I don't, they usually bring my meal to my room but I guess my nurses forgot because I never got one. That was ok though, because I had an ace up my sleeve.

And what an ace it was...

Mmmmm ribs!!!

Ryand's mom provided this excellent meal for me!! Thanks dude!! The ribs were awesome!!

When I headed back to my room, I got my 6mg of hydro and chilled for a bit before I realized it just wasn't doing the trick. I tried switching positions and sitting in my chair for awhile but it just wasn't cutting it. I called my nurse and told her the deal. Since the doc had switched my meds that morning, the nurses didn't have the authority to up my dose so I had to take the breakthrough (short acting hydro 4mg). After that I felt great, a little dopey but great.

I had a shower to get cleaned up because I had my favourite visitor coming. Sandra showed up at around 6:30 and promptly whipped my messy room into shape for me. Then she went and got us some nice sandwiches for dinner and we ate then in the cafeteria.

My Beautiful Girlfriend

Then we cuddled a bit and watched some tube before she had to run off to Tami's house for the night.

Big Mike

Trad climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 12:45am PT
running, boarding and climbing all coming up next.

You know it couch!! Thanks!!

ps, like the poster! LOL
courtesy scrubber!! :)

Awright, ya big-ass Canuck! Upright first, then "Up and at 'em!"

Thanks Gilroy! That's the goal!! I can hear my pt now " allright Mike, i need you to fire those glutes and hip flexers!!"

YES!!! I've been waiting for that pic! And I'm psyched to see the next steps in your recovery. Keep healing, and keep up with your positive attitude!

Ya Darkmagus!! I think a lot of people have! Truth is I've been doing it all week, but nobody's been around to shoot pics!!

My thought is, what's the point in thinking negative? It's not like I'm going to lose anything by believing in myself?

I know the look in that face. It is amazing how much joy can come from something as seemingly simple as standing up.
Keep it in balance.

That's my, "I'm not really supposed to be doing this unsupervised" smirk ;)

Don't worry, the bed is right there and I can do it for about 4 or minutes solid now...

I'm liking your new party trick, Big Mike!
Quick! More vibes!

Thanks captain Skully ;) I received your letter the other day, thank you very much!!

Sweet pic Dru!! Lots of parties eh?

Life is hard by the yard, but a cinch by the inch.

So true! Big jobs are much easier when you just break them up into little pieces!!!

it looks like the lamp took some shots

just grab the socket (unplugged)
and wrench it back to vertical
(oh the parallel irony is outrageous!)

Lol. It is isn't it. I just thought that was your artistic twist sir!! Thank you for the gift! It's beautiful!! Just like your family!

A little levity for the day.

LOL! Good one Philo!

gift is still on the way... but be in mid air, somewhere, :))

say, oh my, sorry the ol' egret could not earn you any funds...
i tried, :)

Stoked on the gift! Thank you! And your painting! Try indeed! No apologies necessary! The effort was more than I could have asked..

you are sooo tall! :O :))

There is a reason for the nickname I guess! ;)


Mar 17, 2013 - 01:27am PT
Nice Mike! Ur killing it buddy, glad moms ribs found a rightful place in your gut!
Big Mike

Trad climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 03:16am PT
Mmmm so good dude! Thanks!

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Mar 17, 2013 - 06:07am PT
Hey Bro - stoked at your progress! Christina and I think of you every day.

We had a nice adventure today. Drove out to the Kelso dunes south of Vegas. Got a super awesome bonus - we found an endangered Desert Tortoise on the road! It's super early in the season to see them, and seeing them is rare at best.

We wanted to move him off the road, but you have to minimize contact with them. I was hunkered down a few feet away, and he came walking right up to me! So stoked!

I figured out he was after the shade I was casting, so I kept moving a bit and he would follow me to get in the shade again. Finally got him off the road, until he found a shady bush he liked better and we left him there. Got some great pics, I will post a couple up once I go through my camera.

Keep up the great work, we are all rooting for you with every step you take.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 04:17pm PT
Cool dude! That sounds rad! I'm guessing no camera or you would have some rad pics to show me!

Apparently I pissed off Bruce with my realization that I am stoked for what we got to do rather than how I felt sometimes on the trip with my expectations vs reality. For this I am sorry Bruce. I grown a lot in these past three weeks and I guess talking about it publicly has embarrassed/pissed you off.

I hope you can forgive me someday and realize that I was never slagging you but in fact realizing that I was being a big baby and stupidly frustrated rather than enjoying every moment of our luxurious vacation.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 06:23pm PT
Thursday was a great day. My pt block was kick a$$ and I made great progress. My pt had me standing between the parallel bars and hitting a balloon back and forth with her. It was actually quite challenging to balance and hit the balloon at the same time. It's funny the things that are challenging when you are recovering from a spinal injury.

I fact everything from putting your socks on to going to the bathroom is a new challenge. Overcoming challenges has always been my thing, so this has just been a new set to keep my busy.

Then we went to the gym to practice with a walker again. This was a lot more territory than I had ever been given to cover. Half way through, Sandra showed up and took this shot.

How do I do this again??

Sandra T photo

I managed two laps on the walker and then another two with the canecrutches. Sandra was pretty stoked to say the least, as was I.

I saw the doctor after pt and we sorted out my meds which was a relief. The rest of my day's schedule was pretty mellow, so Sandra had arranged for me to get my hair cut.

Last week she had stopped by one of the local salons to enquire about it, but got a less than enthusiastic response from the front desk. She stormed out in frustration and one of the owners who just happened to be sitting in the waiting room, chased her down.

The owner told Sandra she would see what she could arrange and got her phone number. Then one of the stylists contacted her and told her that she would come here to cut my hair! Not only that, but she would do it free of charge because she was happy to help out!

So I got my haircut on Thursday afternoon and we were stoked to have it done. Sandra and I got to chill for a bit after that, and I got pretty tired and passed out. When I awoke, she told me that she had arranged for a free massage too! I was really stoked about that, as I can always use a massage and usually can't afford such a luxury. I guess the local college practices here at the rehab center!

Sandra and I got a bit more time to cuddle and i passed out again eventually. Then she had to leave and my masseus showed up. He did a killer job on my shoulders. He really loosened my upper body up quite a bit. Sleeping has been much easier since! Thanks babe! And thanks to my massuse too!!

Mountain climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
Hi Big Mike, Great how you are coming along; I couldn't believe how easily you stood up yesterday. And very cool story about the hair stylist. Give her a nice tip, unless it's the original crabby one.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Mar 17, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
One tough SOB! Good on ya Biggie M!
Big Mike

Trad climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 07:24pm PT
Thanks guys!

Tricouni- Sandra got her a gift card for Starbucks. Hopefully she likes coffee!

Ron a thanks buddy! I'm busting my butt.

Mar 17, 2013 - 09:03pm PT
we are all rooting for you with every step you take.

What Vegasclimber said. The steps, the balance, the balloon swatting may SEEM like simple things, but I swear on my Handbook of Physiology that they are not.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 09:14pm PT
Based on how much effort they take, mh2, you are entirely correct. I never thought so before this though!! ;)

Social climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 09:20pm PT
It's funny the things that are challenging when you are recovering from a spinal injury.

Yeah, but you are doing well. Important to get out of the chair; avoid sitting, get on your feet, no matter what sticks or bars or other help you need. Your progress is looking great.
One way to look at it is that you have two injuries in one: the spine, and all the other stuff. The broken bits call for rest; but the spinal cord healing requires usage, exercise. Sounds like all the other stuff is healing up, so it's probably time to shift gears and get on the spine pt.

When I hurt my spine, 3 years ago, I recall that putting on socks would just give me fits! For a while had to use a funny "cheater-stick" thingy to help.

All the best!

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Mar 17, 2013 - 10:32pm PT

Big Mike, WOW...pretty incredible to see pictures of you walking!..... I'm so happy for you....

Thanks for all the updates, and always being such an inspiration.


ps...i hope you are eating some fruits and veggies...


Social climber
Mar 17, 2013 - 10:52pm PT
hey there say, ... big mike.... you are making big progress!!

all the little detail work is getting added in, how nice!

and--listen to nita, as to the eats, :)
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Mar 17, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
After seeing that picture with the physio crew, I think your biggest problem towards a cure is bonking your forehead in a door jamb while walking back to your room...


Mar 17, 2013 - 10:56pm PT
Looking good Mike, you and the ribs.

A long way from where I started
Mar 17, 2013 - 11:20pm PT
I fact everything from putting your socks on to going to the bathroom is a new challenge.

No sh#t.

After they bolted my leg back on to my body it didn't take too long before I could get around a bit (a very little bit) on crutches, but some of the simplest things were bizarrely difficult and painful.

The one that I remember more than any other was lying on my back (yeah, I could do that) with a sock on my foot (getting the sock on was too much sometimes) and a sheet of Teflon under my leg. The idea was that I should raise my knee so my heel slid back along the Teflon sheet. No friction, no load, just a simple movement of the leg.

F*#king near killed me.

Keep at it big guy.

Mar 18, 2013 - 12:10am PT
Captain...or Skully

Mar 18, 2013 - 12:13am PT
I'd give you a free haircut whenever you like, too, Big Mike.
You probably wouldn't be as pleased by mine. ;-)
Meh. Tunes follow.

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