Once again I’ve been slacking in my duties as a Blog Master, (is that what I’m suppose to call myself – sounds important anyway) so I’ll attempt to fill everyone in on recent developments. First, Kathy and I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the bank fund that is allowing us to participate in this wonderful program here in India and those who have supported us with their love and encouragement. We haven’t been able to go to the bank and to get the donation records to thank you personally so we wanted to take this moment to give our heartfelt thanks to all who have helped us. Without your support we would not be able to be here and for that you have our gratitude and appreciation. Thank you!
Yesterday was another lost day. I felt weak and had other issues that I’m sure people don’t want to read about. Never the less, I spent the day taking IV fluids, having medical attention applied to parts of my body, feeling sorry for myself because I couldn’t participate in needed therapy, and trying to understand signals my body was sending to my brain.
Since last week’s procedure my body continues to have strange, exciting and painful impulses coursing through it. Immediately after the procedure I felt a “heaviness” in my front pubic area and this feeling is constant and has stayed with me. Dr. Ashish is excited and hopeful that my bladder is finally starting to reconnect, but we are unable to test this aspect as I have an in-dwelling catheter in for the next two weeks. There is a band of tissue, stretching from hip to hip and 3 to 4″ wide in my lower back that started producing a constant tingling and sometimes painful sensation the last couple of days. This is below my level of injury. It seems so weird to have these sensations after having none for 9+ years. This band of tissue has intensified the nerve impulses it is sending to my brain the last 2 days. Along with the tingling pain (sometimes very intense pain) sensations, my lower body is having a lot of spasticity - in my butt, legs and feet. Sometimes I can’t keep my feet on the foot rest of my wheelchair. It seems equally weird to actually complain about these sensations when they have disrupted the normal “nothing” my body is used to feeling.
Today, I discovered I was actually able to use muscles associated with my bowels to help with my bowel program. I’m sorry, I know this is not a normal topic of conversation and most people couldn’t care less about my program, but this is an enormous achievement in my journey to regain function. The #1 desire of people with SCI’s is to regain sensation and/or control of their bladders and bowels. This was the one thing we were hoping to gain through Dr. Shroff’s stem cell program when we came here. We can only pray that there will be further developments along this line. Dr. Shroff told me this morning that this was my biggest and most important achievement and if nothing else happens I had regained some bowel control! She advised me to stop worrying over my lack-of-progress with standing and rejoice for what I do have. This has been a re-occurring theme for me, and I think others, as we tend to focus on what we haven’t achieved. Easier said than done. I’ll have to give this one to Dr. Shroff (by the way, her new haircut looks very nice). Thank you!
My wife went shopping with Louis Miceli’s wife, Amy Rupert, today. Louis and Amy know a family here and the wife is taking Kathy and Amy shopping for Indian clothes. God knows Kathy deserves to get away from having to care for my sorry butt, and it will be interesting what they purchase. Dr. Sudeep Sharma, from the other hospital at Goutam Nagar, made an insightful comment about Kathy and her calmness during the problems we experienced when my urethra tore — you can read it in the comment section. She really is a beautiful person. Kathy has stood by me for over 30 years now and through all sorts of hell that I’ve put her through since I got injured in 1998. I am an extremely lucky man to have her. Thank you, Babe. I love you!!