My First Black Hole

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Apologies for it being so long between posts but it has been quite difficult to find time to myself with the computer set up for me to write using my voice recognition. Progress for me has been steady and some wonderful things happening with my body. My legs just want to work even though I can’t feel them! There is a stationary bike here and (when wheeled up and strapped in) my legs are able to pedal and it is very exciting to see my legs move even just a little bit. The movements are not particularly controllable but I’m hoping that improves with time. My arms however appear to be on holidays! My biceps work and my shoulders work a little bit but are very very sore and weak. My triceps work a little bit but my wrists and hands at this point do not work at all. It is very very frustrating as you could imagine. I only have feeling on my skin above my chest. This is the new body but I’m getting used to it.

The challenge of the last month has really been mental. I’ve had some very dark periods just wondering what is going on and why I have been placed in his position. Over the last two weeks my mental state has improved as a result of being able to go home and be with my wife and daughter in our house. The modifications to our house over the last few weeks has made it more of a quadriplegic warehouse! But thanks to a few friends of mine, Mick – I have ramps to get in the back doorway; Stewey and Danny and a couple of others I have a suitable bathroom that allows me to be home all weekend. We have a laundry that is now a bathroom, and a lounge room that is now my bedroom, and a living room that is the laundry and my exercise room thanks to the arrival of the Fes bike! Again I have friends to thank that have allowed the purchase of this machine. This machine is hopefully my ticket to some health and exercise in this body that doesn’t work like it used to. It allows me to pedal with both my arms and legs using an electric stimulation of my muscles. Even though I’m not controlling the movements my body is moving and my muscles are working. It even causes your heart rate to rise a little. I used it on the weekend twice and both times it made me feel fantastic so thank you to those people who have contributed to the purchase of this device.

On the weekend I did some simple things such as walk the dog, read the newspaper, watch some tele, go to my daughter’s dancing class, and visit some neighbours as well as having some friends dropping in to say hi. The weekend felt somewhat normal and I returned to rehabilitation on Monday feeling refreshed and ready to go. At this point in my rehabilitation this is an absolute blessing. So thanks to everyone who has allowed this to happen so soon in my rehabilitation. There are others here who have not left this place in nine months and you can see what effect it has had on them mentally. Obviously the most important person for me to thank is my lovely wife who has worked tirelessly to get me home. She’s an amazing woman with more energy and commitment than anyone I know. Whilst I was at home on Sunday, Moni, some cousins, some friends, and just some wonderful volunteers sold some raffle tickets to help us out. What wonderful gestures! These gestures will not go to waste as even though I need some help now I know I’ll be able to do some wonderful things for the cycling community, my local community and our friends and family when I’m back “on my feet”.

I cannot describe to you the dark periods I have in my mind at present. But by the same token it is mixed with wonderful thoughts and time spent with my family and friends who are visiting me and helping me out on a daily basis. And I know my life will be very different with this condition but I also know it will be wonderful whatever the future holds. I cannot wait to finish my rehabilitation and get fully back into life particularly with my wife and daughter. I also know that I’ll be able to make a fist of my own life as well as enjoying the lives of those around me. My computing skills are on the improve despite not being able to touch the computer (using voice recognition) and I’m thinking of ways to do lots of things such as shave, clean my teeth, drink a milkshake, eat a sandwich or hamburger and even use my phone. So if you want to give me a call and I’m not busy during the day I can answer my mobile phone! I can even send text messages now from my computer using voice recognition – Now that is cool! Just be aware that if you call me I will have to put you on speakerphone so don’t say anything too crass!

To finish up, I want to thank everyone who is thinking of me, doing things for me and contributing to the fund-raising to get me home in the best state I can be. I think of you all every moment of every day and am humbled by what people are doing for me. I hardly think I’m worth it and I cannot wait to repay you all in some way in the future. In particular, apart from contributing to my family again and spending time with friends that I enjoy the company of immensely, I want to do things for the cycling community to improve safety on some of the main routes in Melbourne so that what happened to me on Beach Road will be a thing of the past.

Thanks for listening and keeping in touch with the website and all you are doing to help me out. Keep safe and keep well.

Regards,

Mike/Forbesy/Bov.