Saturday, December 22, 2007

The love.....

......that I have for Emily cannot be expressed enough. But I'll try. She has stood by me through thick and thin, good and bad, joy and pain. It takes a strong person to thrive during times of trial, but she does just that. We've been together over 2 years and my passion grows stronger for her each passing day. I love our inside jokes, the lameness we share, and our desire to always say"I love you !" With the holidays upon us I just couldn't shake the overwhelming love and passion I have for you. Emily, I'm looking forward tp sharing the next two weeks of gift sharing and ringing in the new year with you ! I love you with all the pieces of my heart.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Unconditional love

Yesterday this subject was brought to the forefront of my mind. It's not a subject I necessarily think a lot about. My sister started blogging yesterday. And her first post was about this very subject. She stated about her revelation of the unconditional love that her and I have for each other. I had never really thought about it before. I just love my sister and would do anything for her. I want the best for her life. Thinking about this love brought me to think about God. I know he has unconditional love or me but that's just it I always wonder how he could He love me so much. I realize though it's never a thought for Him, he just loves. He would do anything for me, flight for me, just wants the best for my life. So this kind of love has been shown to me in a whole new light. I'll just let this resonate with you as it still is with me.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Aqua Therapy

Yesterday before therapy I was anxious, nervous, and excited. Getting into the pool for therapy was a whole new experience for me. Having MS, hot settings exacerbate me. Usually my vision becomes really blurry and my body becomes extremely weak. When I first wheeled into the room with the pool the warmth got to me and I felt horrible. I knew I had to push through and truly give this a shot. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Lets do this! Aquick transfer out of my wheelchair onto the awaiting chair that will be used to hoist me into the warm watered pool. Slowly being lowered into the water felt weird on my skin, but quickly my body adjusts.  My therapist gets me set up for some standing along the side of the pool. It takes me a minute to get situated to stand and then we get a few stands in. It's easy to stand, but once up my legs want to uckle. We then moved on to some other leg exercises. With a pool noodle wrapped around my back some flutter, scissor, and bicycle kicks were the choice. The good thing with doing these in the pool is even when my legs became tired I was able to still do the movements, which is still activating the muscles. After our time is over in the pool and I get hoisted out of the water and back on to my wheelchair, I dried off and prepared for Occupational Therapy (OT). Before heading over my thrtapist and I discussed my feelings on the pool. I feel better physically afterwards then I did going in. Plus, I feel more cofidence now. Next week we'll do this again, woo hoo!

Friday, November 23, 2007

The day after

I don't know how I do it, but yesterday was another later night for me, I'm usually fast asleep by 9 every night (we get up at 4 every morning). We got home after 11 and asleep by midnight. Our day started at Emily's parents for a delicious meal prepared by her father, who I swear puts Martha Stewart to sgame, not just his food but the whole presentation. I try to watch what I eat usually, yesterday I watched it go onto my fork and into my mouth. We finished our time there with some good conversation and even better desserts, thanks for the 'lemon lush' recipe Ginger. We then were on the road to my sisters for some more conversatio. Ok, let's be real, more food and then some conversation second. I snacked on a few different items then were at Em's parents-calamari and shrimp and then some more dessert. My sister had some of her wonderful Shortycake cookies to nibble on. After some time we headed home for our night of rest. Tonight we'll be heading down the street for the annual Christmas parade and then our dinner at Barolo's a gem of a restaurant in Joliet.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Recap

It definitely was a late nught, but well worth it. Seeing old faces was cool. Some people changed and others not so much. I recognized sme right away and others still not so sure. Even still it was a good time. I was afraid my wheelchair might be an uncomfortable thing. Not in the least though, no one made me feel uncomfortable about it. Anywho. `~~It was fantastic to talk to old football teammates:one of which we found out works at Central with Emily. Many other good friends: Vicky is now a dentist, Martino a cop and many others. Kristy, Janine, Amy, Sandi, Pam and everyone else that made last night a success, my hats off to you. I debated going like others did, but I'm so glad I attended and saw everyone. Looking forward to eeing some of you again.

Friday, November 09, 2007

10 Years

You are as old as you feel. Although I do agree with that statement, I feel age is creeping up on me. Tonight is my 10 year high school reunion. I can't believe it's been 10 years already. Maybe making that statement is a bit of denial. Thinking about all that has happened since high school makes me realize it really has been 10 years. I'm not posting today to dwell on all the stuff that has happened in my life or to wonder where the years have gone. I'm excited to see old faces again. I must admit a little nervous too. Maybe the nerves come from seeing everyone again from a different perspective, my wheelchair. Who really cares I'm just more excited to see everyone. I'll plan on checking back in in after the reunion about how things went. If you're reading this and I graduated with you hopefully I'll see you tonight.

Friday, November 02, 2007

That little girl

I just got home from therapy about an hour ago. What a workout today! We did not do any standing, but worked mainly on my trunk. To be able to stand and then walk again it takes a lot of muscles. When healthy and walking you never think of it but there is a lot to it. Abs, back, glutes just to name the main ones. I say today is a great workout because I saw progress. When you see progress in an area you haven't in some time it feels good. Sitting on the low table I was able to control myself really well. I wasn't haphazardly falling all over the place. I was able to recover quickly and regain balance before falling on my side. Also we're talking about getting me into the pool for some aquatic therapy. So maybe in the next few weeks we can start that.

Today while I was in occupational therapy my heart was broken. While I sat working out my arms I felt these little eyes peering at me. I looked over and saw a little girl no more than three years old struggling to walk with a walker. I've had the joys of runing and playing sports and never having to think about the next step I was to take. It looks like this girl has never had those joys and I don't know if she ever will. My prayer at that moment was that if God could give her those abilities I would gladly take her infirmities and be trapped in this chair forever. Even now I'm broken up thinking of that little girl. I know it will not take me being trapped forever without the ability to walk so that girl could have a full life. I do think it does take that kind of prayer, that kind of passion to tap the heart of God. God, allow me that passion in every area of life especially my prayers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Figuring things out

For the past month or so I've been home every day. That means not going to work. That's a big reason for that dry period I was in. It's been tough to figure out a routine. I do still go to therapy twice a week and the other days are on me to work out at home, which I do. But when I'm done the appeal is there to just waatch tv and relax. I mean c'mon Oprah's on at nine. :-) I admit it I'm an Oprah junkie, I'll hand over my man card for that confession. So, I'm starting to get into a routine of sitting in my home office and read or write or something constructive everyday. Today I did a puzzle challenge online to help my brain stay sharp or get sharp, depending on who you ask. The days of sitting in front of the tv weren't helping my waistline either. Although we have only healthy foods in the apartment eating too much of anything will fatten you up. I had lost a good amount of weight this year, but I've added some back on recently so we're being careful in that area too. I believe that dry season was God sent. For one, I'm so hard on myself all the time that I needed a break. Plus, I've been able to figure what's most important and get things in order. Sometimes we are so bent on staying busy that just because we're busy doesn't mean we're productive. I plan on being productive during this new season.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Getting there

Well, I'm not setting the world on fire, but I'm slowly getting my feet back on solid ground. I knew how I was feeling, unmotivated, wasn't something I was used to and somewhere I would stay forever. I just wasn't sure how or when I'd shake that funk. A few emails and comments with encouragements were good enough for me to slowly start doing something about it. Here's a step in the right direction, another post this week. :)

I finished my first month back at therapy this week, here's the update. I'm back using my "Forrest Gump" leg braces. Between the parallel bars I take a few steps forward and a few steps back. Which I've never done that in therapy before, but I've done really good with that. I've gotten stronger all around physically, I'm able to stand a little longer and better each time. Looking forward to getting back next week already.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dry

Have you ever gone thrugh a dry period in life? You're not motivated, things that came easily to you are so difficult now. That's where I'm at right now. Sure I'm going to therapy and working out daily, but outside of that it's been hard to get motivated for anything else. I'm sure you could tell, I don't blog as much anymore. I barely feel the pressure to finish writing my book, let alone read a book. Write about what you know, well this is what I know, I'm in barren land right now. My church is in a season of GO right now and my pastor has been saying in his blog. ASK. Ask God, so I'm asking God to till my ground and plant some freshness in me right now.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Finally an update!

It's been a few weeks, I'm still here. I've wanted to update numerous times, but just couldn't find the motivation to do so. Tonight I got the motivation, Emily's mom told me to update my blog. It made me realize that people do read my blog and I can't slack. I know I hate when I check other blog's out daily and they're not updated regularly. So, I apologize.

Here's what I've been up to. I've been going to therapy for the past 2weeks. I've started going back to the center I was going to last year. I've already seen improvements and can't wait to see what's aead. I have realized during this whole process that it's great to look forward, but don't get so focused on what will be that you lose sight of what is now. This way it'll help me see the small progress I make daily. Ok, I also will be starting an MS medication Tuesday. Please throw up a prayer that there will be no negative side effects and that things will start to get better.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's official

This is the dayI never wanted to happen. I faxed over my consent form to start an MS medication. The goal of this medication is to stop the disease from progressing. I realized I had to do something. For all the good I have done and progress I've made it's just been a struggle to keep up with the disease. If this drug does what it is supposed to do, I can stop fighting to stay above water. Instead the progress I make now will be just that, progress. On top of this move in my life I'm going back to therapy tomorrow. I've only been able to do so much at home or at work, so now I'll be going to a facility that specializes in this and can help me take that next step in my progress.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

40 Steps

For the past week or two walking has been tough, I'll even say discouraging. But in typical Beal fashion I kept my head up and kept pushing and speaking truth. That I will walk again no matter what obstacle is in my way. Today even though I haven't felt the greatest I kept on pushing, and was able to get my highest quantity of steps in nearly 6 months. 40 steps, wow, what a feeling! I was able to get 12 steps in a row too, when my recent high was 9 steps. Even the quality of the steps were better today. Having a day like today helps keep me motivated and makes those discouraging days all worth it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The latest

Yesterday I had my follow-up appointment with my neurologist. We were going over the results from the spinal tap. This was the last test in a long line of tests. The results showed nothing new, but shed a little more light on the fact that I am dealing with MS. I know over the past few years of keeping everyone updated on my health I've stated that it wasn't MS. Actually, there were always conflicting reports. Lyme disease was for sure part of what I've been battling. We always knew there had to be something else, but weren't quite sure what it was. I still think MS is a generic diagnosis, but it's a diagnosis none the les. And after exhausting all test avenues we'll just rest and let it be called MS. to be really honest I don'tt care what it is, I am going to beat it. Here is my plan of attack: I think I might start taking an MS medication, which is supposed to stop the progression of the disease. While doing that I'll continue with the Chinese herbs, which will focus bringing my body back to where it once was physically. And of course continue with my physical therapy. I would like to know if anyone reading this blog has had first-hand knowledge of any MS medications or knows someone that has. Now that's my plan, but I know God always has a better plan. So most importantly the prayers need to keep coming and my faith needs to grow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tap that......




I can't believe how time flies. It's almost been 3 weeks since my last post. Just a week and a half ago I was in my neurologists office for the dreaded spinal tap. I had one 4 years ago and it was not a pleasant experience. Numbing my back with numerous shots was not pleasant, but the actual shot into my spine was the worst feeling. Once the doctor got the needle into my spine sweat poured down my face and I nearly passed out. So this is the experience I was preparing for. So as they prepped me on the bed we were laughing, just making jokes and having a good time. I handle stress usually with a joke. While we were talking I asked if my sister could take video or at least pictures of the experience. She agreed to pictures, so I have 2 to share. one is of the needle and the other is of the needle in my back while fluid was being drained into a tube. I know my sister and I are a little off kilter, I would have it no other way. Now the actual test was a breeze, no pain involved at all. Which this made me wonder what that previous doctor was doing. A day or so later I ended up in pain, my head was pounding. Headaches are a side effect to the test, but after a few days they relented and I've been fine since. Now next week we find out the results. This should be the last test on their way in trying to find out what else is affecting me, if anything. It's always easiest to pinpoint a problem and the solve it, but nothing with me is ever easy, so we'll see. I really don't care at this point, I'm going to beat whatever I'm dealing with. It's been a long road and I've battled back this far, no reason to doubt I'll beat it now.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Small Goals Met

I looked back at my posts and realized that the last time I walked was in February. I had taken 151 steps, but right at the end I tweaked my back pretty bad. Since then I've been seeing a chiropractor and working on getting my back fixed and get it stronger for when I do start walking again. Well, after nearly 5 months I knew it was time. Being as it's been so long I knew it was going to be tough and I had to set my goals low. I am so hard on myself and have a tendency to beat myself up if I don't meet or exceed goals. So yesterdayI set my goal at 3 continuous steps, I walked 4 and a total of 9 for the day. I was thrilled with that, it felt so good to be walking again. Now today at home I set a goal of 5, I walked 8 and after that did another 8, so I've almost doubled yesterdays grand total of 9 and I'll do more later. Although it's a far cry from my mst of 202, I feel well on my way to that.

Friday, July 20, 2007

De-clutter

Here I sit on a Friday night in my home office. I've lived in the same 2 bedroom apartment for the past 4 years and this second edroom had just been nothing more than a junk room. Emily and I decided we were ready for a change. We had the apartment painted a nice clean white and got rid of all junk and clutter. I say junk and clutter, it was just stuff we didn't use or wear anymore. So we were able to bless the local thriftshop with lots of great clothes, etc. That in itself helps the spirit feel good. As I stated a week or so ago, I've been in a funky place for awhile now. All I knew to do was keep pushing and something was bound to give. So now I sit here listening to my latest  download, and I'm feeling free. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my life. You never know how or when things will change, but keep pushing and eventually things will break. I truly felt like giving up, I didn't feel I could fight anymore. But I remembered a word I kept getting through men/women of God and in my own quiet time with God over the last 10 years. That I've got big shoulders and alot will be put on them, but never more than I could handle. Believe me there are days I wish I didn't have big shoulders,but when I come out of those difficult periods I feel I'm a stronger/better person for it. So let's celebrate another vsmall ictory. Thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Funky Place

Ever been in a place where you have no motivation and would like to cuirl up in a ball in the morning and call it a day? That's where I've been for the last month. I haven't quite had the drive I'm accustomed to. Although that's how I've felt I just have not been able to just curl up and call it a day. I keep working hard in therapy and continue on with CHM. Albeit tough, I don't know how to give up. Darn that internal fortitude!:-) I know as long as I keep pushing somethings bound to break and I'll be on the other side of this funk-y period. For now I'll take the small victory of getting to wake up everyday and the ability to keep working hard. Ok, as I mentioned I've been faithfully working out and sticking to CHM. CHM's goal is to get every organ back up and running at tip top shape so the whole body operates at it's optimum level. I've been seeing some really good results on that front. At the same time the herbs I take should help with energy and strength, and both areas I see definite improvemenmt. So that's my latest.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

CHM + Lesions

Ok, so I still have 2 more MRI's on my back and probably a spinal tap in the coming weeks. That should be it as far as a complete work-up on my health goes. What we do know is that I have lesions on my brain. Basically spots on my brain that are causing the signal my brain sends out to tell the rest of he body how it should ideally work. This is a main reason why my body is in the shape it's in. As for Western Medicine there is no medication to repair this and get rid of the lesions. There are medications that are available for MS patients that are there to protect from getting worse. I'm not willing to accept that. So I got back in touch with my Chinese doctor to see about Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) and the effectiveness with lesions. I was informed that CHM can eradicate lesions. He likened them to concrete, if they've been there for awhile it will take some to remove them, you have to keep chipping away at them. Also, what I will be taking will kleep new lesikons from forming. I feel comfortable going this route since I did this back in 2005 and saw good results. I start CHM today, I'm excited to feel like there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Getting stronger

Yesterday at physical therapy I had my best day yet. I had a couple of rough days working out the last 2 weeks. I'm only going in once a week now, so we'll be doing some more walking at work, so I hope to have some good updates to share on that front. I've been working out on the 'Total Gym' which is a leg press machine that is adjusted by percentage of your body weight. So I've been at level 3 the last 3 weeks. Level 3 is roughly 40 pounds. The first week I was not able to do any reps, the following week I did 20 reps (1 or 2 at a time), and now this week I did 30 total reps (the first 20 I could only do 1 or 2 reps at a time, and the last 10 reps I did them consecutively). Next week I'm moving up to level 4. The other leg exercises I do I was able to do more than the weeks before and in fact the last reps on every exercise were my best ones. I just keep getting stronger and can't wait to work on walking again. I'm just so excited about how much stronger my legs are getting.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Latest

Yesterday I met with my neurologist for the first time since my latest brain MRI. The MRI really had no significant changes. She talked about what she thinks of my situation. There really is no answer for sure, so seeing the symptoms and the brain MRI's the only thing she can think is that I have MS. There's enough uncertainty, that I'm gwtting a couple more MRI's tro look into some back issues. I truly can't get all my thoughts out on this right now, but let it be said I'm no longer frustrated and have not been for some time now. I'm very sure I don't have MS, I know my body better than anyone. Plus I have a great sister that researches tirelessly for me on my health. I am going to push and push until we really find out what I'm dealing with. At the end of the day I'm getting better without anything other than determination and faith.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sister's Synopsis

Night and Day

Approximately 8 weeks ago I took Randy to see a chiropractor in town.  He started physical therapy immediately with his attempts at the exercises being futile. Considerable assistance from the therapists was needed, he became winded almost immediately, had spasms in his legs, struggled with his “thinking” on getting his brain to tell his legs what needed to be done and had some Chris Farley like mental melt-downs when his body would not cooperate. Bringing him back to work, he had to go to bed for a couple hours just to regain some energy for the drive home. (I think after that initial session the doctors may have lowered their expectations for his improvement as well!) After a few appointments I started dropping him off and waited for the call to pick him up when therapy was finished.

Today was his 8 week re-evaluation/progress report. I decided to hang out and watch; ask the doctors some questions; and scream in Randy’s ear if the need arose. Well, the need did not arise and most of the time I sat speechless watching as he worked at his exercises with little to no assistance from his trainer! Even his little “head-case melt-down” he recovered from quicker than I’ve ever seen! As I watched I saw the strength and control he has achieved in his legs and core; there were no spasms in his legs; and he did not become exhausted or extremely fatigued as was in the beginning.

Sometimes being the person with the condition and struggling everyday to do the most minor of things, one may not notice the improvements or not realize the magnitude. Well, today I exclaimed to Randy to be proud and excited of him improvements—it’s like Night and Day!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Iowa

It's Monday morning and boy am I tired. This weekend Emily and I loaded up the car for a trip to Iowa. I know, why Iowa? It was her sister's graduation from Drake University. This was my first trip in almost 2 years. I love to travel and this for sure gave me the traveling bug again. I was really hesitant being as this would be my first trip in the wheelchair. But, I DID IT! The trip home was great, I felt stronger all the way unlike the trip there I started to wear down about 2 hours from our destination. So there's another check mark next to something I wasn't comfortable doing, but I accomplished. On to the next thing......

Friday, May 04, 2007

Just show up

I now go to physical therapy twice a week and yesterday was my second time for the week. A day or two a week I have a rough time physically, vision is blurry and hands and legs are extremely numb and stiff. Lately I've been lucky enough not to have my bad days on therapy days. Until yesterday that is. I felt so bad I thought about cancelling, but that's not how I roll. So I went and pushed through my feelings. We did the leg press again and I was able to do 2 full sets of 10 at level2, whixh is 18% of my body weight. Now Monday of next week we're moving up to level3, not sure what the percentage will be, but we're moving up nonetheless. After my therapy session my legs were totaly wore out, but I actually felt better than when I first showed up, my eyes weren't as blurry and my legs weren't stiff. I realized it's not about how I feel, it just matters that I show up. That's a good life lesson, just showing up is sometimes the hardest battle, but if you don't show up you'll never know what could happen.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Shocker!

I just got a phone call from my sister. She had some exciting news for me. She had just finished an interview with a guy that would be starting for us next week. Who is the guy? None other than Barry's father-in-law. When I was told this I was so excited. Not sure who Barry is, read the post titled "Barry". I have so badly wanted to get back in touch with him, now there's no reason I can't. How exciting how this worked out!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The little things

This week I've been able to enjoy a couple of little things, I had not in a long time. I was fitted for contacts and have been able to wear sunglasses for the first time in 2 years, albeit a simple thing, it really helped me to feel a bit normal again. On top of that when I was downtown today my sister and I went out to eat down the street from the hospital. I used to love going out and enjoying the city and today I was able to do just that. These 2 things caused me to remember to always enjoy the little things in life. Take nothing for granted and be thankful for every moment.

Hard case to crack

Just got back from my neurologist appointment downtown. She did the usual tests (strength, visual, coordination) and went over my previous test results. Still things seem to be inconclusive. She told of Dr. Hope calling her and trying to find out what kind of health answers she came up with. And to date there is no definitive answer. The plan from here is another brain MRI and some more blood work. There might even be the need for a spinal tap. I'll tell you this, that's one procedure I'm not really looking forward to, oh well. She's also going to be in touch with a Lyme specialist in Connecticut, where Lyme disease originated. So, this is still a tough case to crack. As long as I keep getting better I can continue to deal with this incomplete diagnosis. My neurologist thinks if nothing shows its face in one of these tests we will be left with calling it MS. Let's see what happens.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

1 Year

1year ago today I came home from my last stop on my whirlwind tour of nursing homes and hospitals. It's crazy to think it's already been a year. At the same time I think, wow, that's all it's been, a year? I'll tell you this much it's good to be home. It's also a year ago Emily moved in here. I could not have made it living here by myself. Thanks for being my legs and arms when I've needed it (which has been alot). Most importantly just for putting up with me, I know it's been difficult. Thanks for all you do and most importantly for just being you, I love you! I'm looking forward to this next year, let's see what's in store.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The grass is greener

Yesterday was an appointment with Dr.Hope He's the one that treated me for lyme disease last year. We talked more about my situation and as I have been for years with this health situation, he was frustrated, but still determined to get me out of the wheelchair. He took it on himself to call my neurologist and see what's going on and try and get somewhere. In the meantime I asked about getting a B12 shot, which helps with energy levels among many other things. If I wanted one they would give me one right then. Willing to give it a 'shot' I areed. So before I left his office they plunged the needle into my arm, which hurt not long later,. Hopefuul I'd see some results later we went on our way. Before I even settled in at home Dr. Hope was ringing my phone. He left a message with me that he spoke with my neurologist and she'd be calling me soon to set-up an appointment. She thinks it's MS and we can talk about some treatment options. As I've said before I wasn't convinced it was MS. I always knew something else was at work. Which I was correct in that assesment, Lyme disease was there and has long been eradicated. Now the idea of taking drugs for MS doesn't fully appeal to me long term, but if we can do something to give me a jump start and get out of the chair, then I'll do it. So we'll see what the neurologist has to say. Now back to the B!2, today I woke up with energy which doesn't usually happen, so that was good. Then as we were driving in today I had sensatiopns I hadn't felt in years. My left hand and right leg could feel the crisp air which was a great sensation. Then I get into the office and usually my eyes get very blurry, but my vision was and still is crisp. I explained my feeling to my sister like this, a haze was lifted up and the grass looks greener, sky looks bluer, my energy is very high. Wow what a feling!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Thank God I don't weigh alot more!

I just got back from therapy, man did they work me. I worked with the owner of the facility, he's good and not afraid to try new things. I did all the usual chiropractic work, which is great for my back and when done I feel great. Now on to the work-out. We started the same way, warming up on the pedaller. He then decided to try our luck at the leg press. It looks like a standard leg press machine, which way back in the day I used to pile on the 45# plates, not anymore. Anyway it's set up to where the weight is your body. You can adjust it and press minimal amount of your body weight. Today we tried level 1, which is 12% of your weight, I did 10 reps rather easily. It was just a test run, so Wednesday we'll move up to level 2, which is 18% and I'll do two sets of ten and we'll see how that goes. So needless to say I feel really good about it all.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ride that thang!


I just finished my third week of therapy and we've seen some progress. My legs and core are getting stronger. Each time I've gone I've noticed at least a slight improvement, any is better than none! One exercise I do at therapy is pedal a bike. I always have my therapist help by holding my feet on the pedals and he gives a little assistance to help me get full revolutions. Yesterday I bought a pedaler for me to do at home. This morning before comig in to the office I wanted to try it and see what I could do myself. So I wheeled up to it and got my feet settled on the pedals and away I went. I predaled 5 revolutions and stopped to not wear my legs out, since I plan on doing some walking today at work. Let's see what kind of progress I've really made.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's not enough

I'm realizing this more everyday. I've been working hard, first learning to live with a disability and now to overcome and defeat my challenge. Last year when things looked really bleak I kept confessing my faith in God and my belief in a miracle healing for my life. It was easy back then to confess those things. Now that I've learned to live with this I feel like I've gone as far as confessing and believing alone can get me. That doesn't mean to stop those, but I know there's more involved now. The battle I've been fighting more than ever, is the one about trust. I keep hearing a litttle whisper, saying "trust Me." I know the next step in my recovery, physical and spiritual is to trust God. Easier said then done, to trust there has to be an action. Ever do the 'trust fall'? Where you turn your back on a group of people and have to fall into their arms. That was always a scary exercise, but it always worked out. You would think it easier to trust the God that created you, but that always seems toughest. So I'm hoping to overcome my biggest challenge, 'Trust God!' I really need to do it before that whisper gets any louder. I guess it's like any relationship, it's great to hear 'I love you', but the next step is to show you love that person. God I love you..........

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Working hard

It's been a little over 2 weeks since I've been going to therapy again. It's been hard work. I get some chiropractic work on my back first and then onto therapy for about an hour. Therapy can't just be done for that short amount of time 3 days a week. I work out while in my chair, laying down in bed or wherever else I can. I've seen some improvement which is encouraging. Although the doctors that first met me and were all gong-ho about getting me up and walking again soon lost some of that vigor after reading more about my situation, my therapist and I have not. If you know me you can't judge me and my situation by what you read and know about similar health situations. I'm determined to beat this, inspite of what others think. Most importantly I have a faith in the miraculous work God can do. Those 2 things, determination and faith got me through the darkest hours last year. I will continue to work harder tomorrow than I did today!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Not our goal

Recently I made an appointment with a chiropractor. I've had back problems for years and since I've started walking again, albeit minimal, I tweaked my back. I put it off for a few weeks, but finally succumbed and made the appointment. I went in for a consult and some back stimulation and this wonderful aquabed (comfy bed with warm water jets working up and down my back). They gave a full examination. Then Monday I had a follow-up meeting ands at that time they would go over their plan to help withj my back pain. Not knowing the fact they are a rehab facility also , they had a complete body plan for me. They want me to come in for the next 3 months up to 3 times a week. Yesterday I worked with a new doctor at the facility. When we first met we went over my current health situation. He then asked, "your goal is to get rid of the back pain?" Yep, that's what I want. He replied, "that's not our goal. Of course we want to help your back pain, but you walking out of here is our goal." Inside I shouted a resounding, "YES!" He said, "it's gonna be hard work when you're here, deal with it." So we went through the initial routine-electric stimulation to the back, aquabed, and an adjustment. Now onto a bike, one I could pedal from my chair. A good amount of assistance pedaling was needed, but they also made me work through most of it. My legs had not worked that hard in a long time. But it's so worth it. That was it for day one, but I'm bac again tomorrow for more. I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dressed up.....


....with somewhere to go. This weekend we had a benefit for the orchestra Emily plays in. It was nice to get dressed up and go out for some fun. Being as most days my oufit consists of sweat pants and a t-shirt. It was at the Sabre room, which had not changed since I was there for my highschool senior dinner dance 10 years ago. The night consisted of dinner, dancing, and an auction (silent and loud). The musical entertainment was by "The Blooze Brothers" It was fun to watch the older folks getting down on the dance floor. I had hoped they would have played more slow songs, I would have twirled Emily around that dance floor. I assume they weren't quite ready for my dance moves just yet.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Barry

The last stop on my tour of hospitals/nursing homes last year brought a great roommate my way. It was not the norm to have a young man of 27 in a nursing home, but a man of 46 (roughly?) to be there at the same time were 1 in a million. Although I was only there for 2 weeks we fast became friendly. Now when I left I had all his contact info. And soon after unpacking ,his info had been lost. I rccently received a message from him on this blog and can't wait to hear more from him. So Barry hope1fully you're chwcking this blog. You can send email to randy@randybeal.com. We still need to do dinner at Al's-so I can try the lobster collin's!

Monday, February 12, 2007

202

If you can do it in your mind, you can do it in body. I set a goal of 30 continuous steps and today I did 31. That was on the way to a grand total of 202. Just11 days ago I could only do 51 with good amounts of rest between each round of steps. The most I could do continuously was 14. Whew what a difference. Talk about being on a high. And I feel like I could do more too.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

51

What a feeling! It's been awhile, but today(2/1/07-Thursday) we went walking. I've done a lot of standing and other exercices to help with control and strength, but today I just knew it was time to go for it. To date the most I've walked without braces was 6 steps. Today I walked 14 steps, took a break, and did the exact same 2 more times, and finished with 9 steps, a grand total of 51. At one point while walking, I got a huge smile on my face and my mom thought I was going to take off running. The steps I took today felt so good, they really helped my psyche.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Busy, Busy

About 3 weeks without a post, wow! Things have been busy to start this new year for me. I'm starting to get in a rhythm here at work finally. I've been coming in 2-3 days a week, and I'm shooting for 4 this week. I know call me crazy. Emily tells me I'll be considered a working man again soon if I keep this up. As for my health progress I keep getting stronger physically and mentally. The other day at work I was standing in front of m desk working on some controlled sit to stands and vice versa. I got a bright idea to stand at our lunch table in the office, not thinking how light weight it is. I stood up and lostcontrol after a minute and like a tree being chopped down (TIMBER!) down I went crashing onto my side. Man that hurt, but thankfully nothing was broken. Kim came in from her office to see what the loud noise was. O, just her brother lying in the fetal position on the ground. She said to me, "that's what you've been afraid of?" I know that I'm going to just get up and walk one day, but am afraid to fall amongst other things, thus her comment to me. I'll leave you with. I saw one of my doctors the other day and he's blown away by my progress. He said he can't wait for the day I walk into his office, it's going to happen soon. He left me with this, "God does the healing we (doctors) just send the bills.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Secret

The first work day of last year I was sick stuck on my couch and stayed there for 3 weeks. Now the first day of work this year I was wheeling all over the shop and the office. I was determined to be there the January 2nd and in fact I made it there two days in a row. Not only am I better physically, but mentally I feel stronger too. This is my year! So I started reading this book titled, "The Secret", phenomenal! It's about your thoughts and words you speak. Think positively and speak the same that's what you'll get in life and do so negatively that's what you'll get back also. It's just challenged me to always stay positive. For those of you that have read my blog consistently you know I've had some tough days staying positive. To those of you that haven't, shame on you! This book is stating truths that have been around since the since the start of time. Sometimes we just need to see things in a different light to get back on track. It helps that it's an easy read. So I want to encourage you all to pick it up if you haven't already.

Ok, I have a doctor appointment next week, so I will share any information I get.