Kendra Bike Tires : Trek 7.5 Bike : Trek Fuel 70 Mountain Bike.
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Dad, the accursed halo, and his girls.
A Life Lesson
By: Kiley Bathrick
Your parents always tell you not to break your neck, now I understand why! Imagine getting into bed on a quiet summer night, just beginning to doze off, only to be awakened by the shrill ring of the telephone. My sister, Kendra, came in and told me we had to go to the hospital, that dad was hurt. It was 11:30 p.m. Kendra,my mom and I quickly got ready to go to the E.R. At the time, we didn't know what exactly had happened; only that he fell off his bike on the pier. We were more angry than upset. I mean, who’s dumb enough to go bicycling on the pier at night?! We had no idea how severe the situation was. It was bad. The doctor told us that he had broken his neck, and that he would be airlifted to Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids. As my dad faced possible paralysis, my world had suddenly come crashing down. Words cannot express the empty feeling we all had as we watched our hero be loaded onto the stretcher. Everything was so uncertain,and we had no idea what my dad was about to go through.The next morning, my sister and I made the long drive to Grand Rapids.When we arrived at Spectrum, we could already tell that the situation wasn’t a good one. My grandma's eyes were red, as were my mom's. When I saw my dad just lying there on the hospital bed, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.Dad honestly looked like death warmed over. I mean, he was pale, he couldn’t move his legs at all and his arms were weak. His hands were swollen three times their normal size and he had the accursed halo on his head! The halo head brace completely restricted ANY movement of his neck and head,and the way it was held to him was by four titanium screws drilled into his skull.Yeah, he was pretty rough.The next day he went into surgery to fuse his vertebrate together. Afterwards, the doctor said the surgery had gone well but considering dad's age and injury he had less than a 25% chance of ever walking again. I was devastated. We had been planning to run a 5k together the next week. Now it looked like we wouldn’t ever be doing things like that again.Over the next five days things didn’t seem to get any better. I don’t think people realize what can be affected with a spinal cord injury. Even the simplest of normal functions, like swallowing Jello, won't work. He still had no movement in his legs. We would stay late into the night to watch over him because his breathing was so labored. That first week after the accident was probably the hardest week to go through. My mom and sister and I would get back to our room and we would all just break down and cry ourselves to sleep every night. After only five days he was moved to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital,also in Grand Rapids. The first few weeks there, he mostly just stretched and strengthened. His arms were too weak to push himself so they had him in an electric chair. He also had no leg activity or strength, so he was hoisted up in a huge sling to move him from the bed to his wheelchair and from the wheelchair to the exercise mat. He couldn’t even situp. He relied on help to do everything. Eventually as he gained upper body strength and some core muscle control so he could sit up on his own. His legs were still not working. He was continuously gaining strength in his left leg, and was able to sit up for short periods of time without support, but his right leg still didn’t want to cooperate. Even though we had tried to stay positive we were all worried sick. The longer it takes for the movement to return the less chance that it will come back at all. Finally, one day after hundreds of times asking him to try to move his right leg, just try, we asked him one more time. My dad tried so hard, he put so much effort into it and we saw a flicker of movement in the muscles surrounding his knee! Icouldn’t take it, I began to sob,because I think all of us thought that we would never see any movement in that leg again. After this,things began to get a little better. His physical therapist, Amy, tried electro stimulation (e stim) on his right leg which seemed to help alot. The purpose of e stim is to make the muscles work by sending electric shocks into the muscles that make them contract. Sometimes, when they do this the brain will find new ways of reaching the muscles, new pathways that it never knew about before. This is what was happening for my dad. A miracle was occurring. As my dad’s time at Mary Free Bed progressed, so did his healing. He learned how to walk again in multiple steps. He used a stationary bike, stood with support, stood without support. He then began to walk in the pool using parallel bars, then parallel bars outside of the water. Then he started walking very short distances with a walker,slowly the walks lengthened as his legs became stronger. As simple as all of this sounds, each time my dad tried something new and walked farther, it took him all ofhis strength to do so. Walking is still a strle even now, and his right side is s
DAY NONE: Don't feel like starting 365 anymore haha
Today my mom and I dropped my brother off at his first day of highschool.
Grade ten, I walked him in because it's my school too, and we have the same ta.
I felt soo sad leaving him there.
My mom and I went shopping later and I got a coat, LOMO FILM, AND A NEW PINK FISHEYE CAM.
I have a few more things that I want from UO that are lomo, I pray I get these.
Then my brother and I went for a bike ride when we got home.
We went and said hey to Kendra.
but ended up staying there for over an hour.
It was a fun talk though.
Then had dinner at home, then I went for a ride myself.
I gotta go to bed, so tired.
(sorry, I'll start another 365 when I feel good about it)
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