Swallowing my pride… in a good way!

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It has been quite a few weeks!

I know that it has been a number of weeks since I posted a message. I apologize for this but it has actually been quite difficult to get a good block of time where it is quiet enough for me to “write” a message. Since I have been going home for weekends I’ve been super busy doing therapies during the week at Talbot and spending time with the family and friends on weekends. I’ve also been doing therapies on the weekends with massage and a bit of trampoline activity [but don’t tell them at Talbot]! I also fit in at least one fes bike session on each day that I am home. This device has been a wonderful part of my rehabilitation so far. Sometimes after a busy weekend I get back to Talbot for a rest!

I really am getting used to this new body now. It really is like that. Your body works differently, sends you different signals than what you’re used to, has different physical capabilities, and you have a different level of health. For example: prior to the injury I had a perfect heart rate, a perfect blood pressure level and was able to regulate my temperature well. I now have a slightly higher heart rate, slightly low blood pressure and my temperature regulation is quite poor. I only have full sensation from my shoulders up. Initially with the injury I would wake up and for a brief moment you expect your body to be what it used to be. You then faced with a disappointment of the realization of the new body you find yourself in. About halfway through September I had my first dream that involved me in the new body I was in. From this point onwards I have begun to accept this body, work with this body and my rate of improvement has been much greater. This really is a mental battle and reaching that point was a big step in my recovery.

Can you believe I’ll be riding a recumbent!ÂÂÂ

I really have had to swallow my pride Re: recumbent riders. Those of us who are used to riding a race bike generally have pretty poor opinions of those who choose to ride a recumbent. At the moment however I am literally dreaming of riding one of these machines. My recovery has been good over the last six weeks and I have been able to power the fes bike partly under my own steam. This prompted a trip to a factory out in Ferntree Gully called Green Speed. A lovely man called Michael Rogan went through with me what my capabilities were and we came up with a bike design that we think I will be able to ride!

Green speed GT 5I have included a picture of what the beast might look like with a few modifications to cater for my disability. I’m certainly swallowing my pride with this vehicle but could you imagine how good it feels in my head at the moment to think that I might be able to do something  keep myself healthy and even fit? This wonderful company has looked at their production schedule and been kind enough to slot me in before Christmas. This has really given me a goal with my rehabilitation and riding this will become a part of it. I wonder how night staff will feel when I ask them to help me get up at 5:30 in the morning so I can do laps of the Boulevard before breakfast? Realistically I’ll start riding this bike on a basketball court, then my aim will be the car park, then the bike path along the beach, then Beach Road, and then who knows! I apologize to all my friends who look upon these vehicles with disdain but surely you will agree I have a valid excuse to ride one!ÂÂÂ


I would like to run a competition to come up with a suitable bumper sticker for the vehicle. Please reply to this post if you have any ideas for what might be a suitable message to be displayed. My current idea is a play on the Fox truck slogan: “You Have Just been passed by another quadriplegic”. What do you think? If you have any other ideas please send them in!
(Although at my current output of 5 watts for a total of 10 minutes not sure how much passing I will be doing?)

The trip I had to Green Speed was fantastic. And apart from thanking the company for accommodating my needs, I must also thank Campbell who works here at Royal Talbot. Campbell is a paraplegic who managed to load me into the van and drove us both out for a look around. We had a wonderful conversation in both directions on the trip. I’ve been assisting Campbell to fix the hand cycles they have here at Royal Talbot using my knowledge of bicycle maintenance and Campbell’s nimble hands. It’s been a lot of fun and great for my morale doing something I’ve always enjoyed.

That will have to do for this post but before I sign off I would like to thank everyone is continuing to help me on my road back to life. Friends and family are everything to me at this moment and I cannot possibly thank the people who are helping me enough. But thank you anyway!