Friday, December 29, 2006

A look back on '06

As I was going over my goals for 2007, I found myself reflecting on 2006. What a year! I'm looking back on '06 as a year of thanks. Here is a list of things I'm thankful for.
  • I'm alive: In January I became deathly ill and no find myself a far way from there.
  • That God loves me: I was raised to believe this, but going through the toughest year of my life, I really felt His love and saw it in a tangible way.
  • Good friends/family: Everyone showed love with either flowers, cards/e-mails, visits, or phone calls, and tons of prayers.
  • Great girlfriend: Emily came into my life just a few months before I became real sick and stepped up to help when I needed it the most. Not only did she give the physical help, but she gave me tons of emotional support. She means the world to me and I love her with all my heart.
  • To find out more about myself:I never knew how strong I was mentally or spiritually until I had to face the toughest battle of my life. I've just kept digging deeper and deeper and keep finding the strength to persevere.
  • Doctors/nurses/therapists: Thank you to the doctors and nurses that treated me and believed I would get better when things looked bleak. And thank you to the therapists that pushed me to work harder when I didn't know if I had any more to give.
  • My sister: For all the appointments you've taken me to, the endless hours of research, and taking control of crankshafts. I wish everyone could have someone like you on their side, you're the best, THANKS!
  • Finding my emotions again; When my father died in 2002 I felt like my emotions (except anger) died with him. I never grieved his passing, but this year I did that. I can cry again and truly laugh again.
  • And finally for 2007!

Enjoy the passing of the old and look forward to the new. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Neurology

Yesterday I had an appointment with my nuerologist in Chicago. I haven't seen her since August. She had me do some physical tests to see what has gotten better/worse or stayed the same. Everything she checked from length strength to coordination to my vision all got better. Which this was really confusing for her, she doesn't know how I got better without treatment for MS. Of course no doctor will fully admit they don't know or they were wrong. Yesterday was really good for me mentally. Not only to see shock on a doctors face, but hanging with my sister, she was a real encouragement I've had some depressing days over the last couple of months and I feel as if I broke through that slump finally. I've been speaking life into my situation again and truly am convinced my walking days are right around the corner. On top of all of this in the mail today I received my handicap parking placard. It was a temporary one which is good for 6 months, thats the way my doctor filled it out not as a permenant. It was very cool to me, Dr. Hope is the one doctor to believe in me and knows I'm gonna walk again. The 6 month placard just lifted my spirits even more, that even my doctor thinks that walking is right around the corner. Being the holiday season and a time for miracles let's all believe for the miraculous in our lives. I hope everyone has a merry christmas and a truly great start to the new year!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Spain

I've been lucky enough to have traveled overseas a few times; Africa, England, Germany, Italy. I've had to cancel a trip to Greece and had planned on going to Torrino, Italy for the Olympics, but my health had gotten worse. So I've had my next trip destination planned for quite awhile. My plan is when I get back on my feet I will go to Spain with a few of my buddies. My good friend Bob and I have talked about this trip for awhile. For my birthday he gave me a Rick Steve's guide to Spain and a poster with a Spanish theme. There are many motivating factors for me to get back on my feet, but these gifts have given me a renewed vigor. Sometimes it's the little things that are most needed. So Bob, thanks for the little push, I needed it at this time. Get ready for this trip, and some good tapas and sangria

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

3 Things

"To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor." -Oliver Wendell Holmes

I was recently given this quote and have found it useful to recite to myself. There have been a few times over the past few months where it seemed easiest to just accept my fate by just living the rest of my life in a wheelchair. I just don't have it in me to quit pushing though. But it does seem to get harder each time I feel that way. To keep telling myself not to get complacent (drift) or stop altogether (lie at anchor). So just as I keep pushing through I want to encourage everyone to remember the above quote for your life. Sometimes life is easy (with the wind) nd sometimes hard (against the wind) no matter what just keep going. Here re the three most important things in my life that have kept me going: my family, my friends, and my faith. I believe if you allow those three things to play important roles in your life then you can get through anything.

Update: I will be going back too see my nuerologist soon, and will probably at that time do some more tests and seeI just keep where to go from there. As for physical progress, I keep standing everyday and strengthening my legs. Keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming, and messages are nice too.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

How crazy?!

Howt crazy is this....my post is about being thankful. Here's my list, not in any order: friends (too many to mention by name), Emily, family and soon to be family (Joe), my faith (there's no other way I'd be here without it), the time I got to spend with my father before he passed away, all the traveling I've done (looking fwd to a lot more), the folks in the parking garage, Murle (I said I'd mention him by name in a post), (staying connected with friends and re-connecting with others, my website and blog (an outlet to post my thoughts), Dr. Hope (you treated me when others didn't know what to do), all the nurses and therapists at MarianJoy (you taught me how to live at a wheelchair level), the ability to live in a wheelchair for awhile (I feel like a better, stronger person for going through this). Ok, I've lost steem here, I'm sure there's many more though. This holiday season I challenge you to think about all the things you're thankful for. It did my heart well to do so, I'm sure it will do the same for you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Addiction

Last night I was watching tv with Emily in our living room. Out of nowhere I got this overwhelming feeling of being tired of being in the wheelchair. Up until this point I knew the chair was a necessity for me to get around and I was fine with that. Maybe because we've been standing (no braces, just the walker) everyday now, it's a freeing feeling. In fact I'd say I'm addicted to it. We get up at 4am everyday and I'm standing by 4:30am. It's such a good feeling to be up on my feet, every chance we get I'm wanting to stand. Now I'm sure Kim's boot camp at work will be focusing more on the walking now. Everytime I get up I ask God is today the day. I always imagine myself walking, kind of like Forrest Gump. Starting out slow and then into an all out sprint. Recently, while laying in bed at home I've had these near out of body experiences. I get up out of bed and walk into the kitchen of our apartment, where Emily's been. Yesterday, I had it happen again, but this time Emily exclaimed, "you're walking, you're walking!" To me it was just what was supposed to be, I got up and walked.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ode to the Parking Garage

O the parking garage
Where everyone knows my name
Not just a place for the car
But a place for conversation

When I was sick
They sent a card
Prayers and good thoughts went up
Not to the top floor, but to God above

In the attendants and guards I found
Not just watchmen, but friends
When I was down
They put a smile on my face

Staying in the chair is not an option
Pushing me to not just walk, but run is their goal
When my brain seemed unused
Ideas and thoughts they used to stretch my mind

O how I wish everyone had a parking garage
But wait they do
It may not be where you park your car
But where you get coffee, lunch, or go to church

Make yourself friendly
And there you’ll find a friend
Open your mouth and speak
And they will speak back

To everyone in my parking garage, thanks for being a friend!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Emily

Tomorrow is my girlfriend Emily's birthday and here I am thinking about how great it is to have a day to celebrate her. We met over a year ago and fast became friends and then started dating. When we first met I was on my scooter. I never thought I would meet such a woman while being disabled. It must've been my smile!:) Just a few months after meeting is when my health took a turn for the worst. Without hesitation she stepped up to the plate and helped with everything. She'd come over after work and stayed all night and would leave for work when my mom would come for the day. Everything from feeding me to giving me a drink of water to waking every 2 hours all night to turn me side to side (staying off my bedsore). As I've progressed physically it does my heart good to let her see new things. She ghot to see me stand for the first time-she was thrilled to know I'm taller than she is. She is such a motivating factor in my daily therapy. I long for the day I can walk with her hand in hand and she doesn't need to push me. The Michael W. Smith song "Emily" is so fitting for her, the line I have as her ringtone says, "you're an angel waiting for wings, Emily." God sent me an angel in you Emily. Thanks for dealing with me, I know it's tough. And I want you to know that I love you so much!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Empty

Ever feel like you had nothing more inside of you? Like you're just beat up and can't keep going? That's how I feel right now. In the years of battling it's a rare day for me to feel this way. I've got that little devil on my shoulder telling me to just give up, thankfully I have that little ange too. It's not saying much, it's enough to know it's there though. And thank God for good worship music. As I've been pondering on my situation all day I do hear a small still voice saying everything's ok. Who've I been trusting this whole time: just good ol' fashion hard work or the Healer. God forgive me for not totally trustingYou. I'll keep working hard and learn to trust you more everyday.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fear this

How do you handle fear? Do you use it as motivation or do you let it cripple your life? We have the choice on how to handle it. Yesterday I had the choice to succumb to or overcome a fear. I wanted to stand and walk without braces, but had not done so in over a year. I was afraid to cripple to the ground when trying to stand and if I did make it to a standing position what if I fell trying to walk. Well, I decided to go for it, the reward would blow the risk out of the water. And boy was I right. This particular situation brought me to think about all the times I faced a fear and overcame it, not once did I look back with regret, but with fulfillment and excitement. And all the times I succumbed, I wish I had them to do all over again. Lord, help me to always live life with excitement and face my fears with fervor.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Clock

As I stated in yesterday's blog, I know God will perform a miracle in my life. But I've been feeling anxious lately. I'm tired of fighting, when I know what's right around the corner. That's not to say I'm giving up, not in the least. Remember being a kid on christmas eve and the anticipation of the gifts for you under the tree. You want to explode waiting for that moment to come out of your room and get those gifts. That's the feeling I have right now. Earlier today I read a post on myspace and the author said to relax and let God work on His clock. How timely! So I'm gonna relax and let God do His thing on His time. O Lord, help me be patient..........quickly!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Impossible

Last night the Bears were on Monday Night Football. They were playing the lowly Cardinals, and not an analyst around would have predicted what happened. Shockingly the Cards jumped out to a huge lead, one in which seemed insurmountable. Being as I am usually asleep early I was thinking of turning the game off as it seemed impossible for the Bears to come back. But something inside of me knew I was about to see the impossible happen. Albeit apples to oranges that sense of seeing the impossible happen, brought my mind to my situation. I've claimed the miraculous in my life for a long time now, but last night seeing the Bears win 24-23 helped me realize if they could win a simple game then God will do this in my life. I saw a recent quote that stated, "faith is not believing that He can....faith is knowing that He will". So who's ready to see a physical miracle?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Lucky on an unlucky day

Today is suppsedly an unlucky day. I find myself to be very lucky though. Some may wonder how I can feel lucky after the hand I've been dealt. Well, although I've gone through so much I've learned and grown so much that I might not have if I didn't go through all of this. I'm lucky to have great friends, to have cheated death, to have realized what makes me happy, to have found love. Today I feel like the luckiest man on the face of the earth. To all my friends and family, I want to say thanks for helping me feel this way!!! May you all feel the same in your lives. God bless!