Monthly Archives: January 2017


Standing to Pedaling

Before I begin this post I have to make it known that I am typing this entry, in full, with my laptop in my lap, using both my left and right hand and with a timer running. I am doing this in place of my New Year’s resolution of typing my OT, Vicky Whalen, one email a week with the my stopwatch’s time featured in bold at the bottom. So, that’s what the random bold type will stand for at the bottom of of this entry, and the posts to come.

I don’t know how many of you use the app Timehop, but I’ve done a blog post about it before and you can learn exactly how it works by clicking the link in this sentence. Anyways, while perusing my past social media posts, via Timehop, on Monday last week, 1/16/17, I was humbled to find that I had posted the video below, from now slightly over three years ago, my first time standing on my own with no hands OR any assistance from anyone else, on pretty much every social media account I have!

With the thought of me accomplishing such a milestone in my #slowlybutsurelyTBI recovery process I started thinking about what the most recent milestone that I’d accomplished might have been and/or what the next one can be. I, of course, then started thinking of how awesome it was that I can now pedal around on a trike that I’m fortunate enough to call my own. BUT, my cycling skills are definitely not up to the quality that they very well could be. Because of seeing my standing video though, it encouraged my brain and body to ride with their upmost precision…for a TBI survivor that is. During my ride on Thursday (1/26) my mom, dad and nephew Tyler were all nice enough to accompany me by walking along side me as I pedaled. There were quite a few things to highlight while on this family outing of a ride/stroll around our neighborhood!:

1. My left arm’s flexor tone never felt the need to kick-in and pull my left hand off of the left handle bar…even though it had insisted on doing so on every late afternoon ride prior.

2. On top of my left arm’s flexor tone not making itself known, neither did my leg’s extensor tone. I was mostly surprised that neither of my hemiplegic extremities’ tone had made themselves known due to the fact that I had an audience, of sorts, following me around and spectating my every move. I say that because when I’ve been in the spotlight in the past my first sign of nervousness came out in said tone in both of my left extremities.

3. After getting to the end of our first lap I asked everyone if they’d be willing to go around for a second lap, and they thankfully said yes! The second lap went just as smoothly as the first one and I could have pushed my luck on a third one, but figured it would be best to call it quits after my first go at two laps. Upon me getting back to our starting point (our house) I stopped my Strava cycling tracker and was MUCH more than happy to see that my first go at two laps around our neighborhood was just a mere 1 minute and 41 seconds added onto my, then, triking record of 15 minutes 45 seconds for just ONE lap!

With all of the above accomplishments having been achieved after just my Trike Ride #4, I can only assume that the recovery process via my trike will not exactly follow my recovery hashtag and soon to be new recovery blog’s new primary URL, #slowlybutsurelyTBI. 🙂

⏱ = 1:35:46


To: Chucktown, With Love

I ALWAYS have been thankful to have grown up in the awesome town of Charleston (Chucktown), South Carolina. But, after my accident I’ve grown to appreciate it for  even more reasons as to why it’s awesome!

chsmapUpon growing up I learned to respect the fact that this was such a historic city, littered with fun AND educational facts around every corner (literally)! I was also thankful to have grown up in the low-key side of the river, in Mt. Pleasant, where all of my skateboarding buddies and I were able to ride our BMX bikes all around town, from the ages of around 13 ~ 15, with no real worries of getting into any real trouble with motor vehicles, in both our eyes or our parents’ hearts! The delicious food and entertainment, for every age, offered around the Charleston area is another reason that I have always been thankful to call this home.

Although, I have always loved being able to claim Charleston as my home, I was obviously ready to get out of the place where I had grown up and broaden my horizons beyond here. This urge overcame me after attending, and later working at, Full Sail University for my first three years away from home, in Orlando, Florida. After being employed there for a full year I had decided that it was now time to scope out other jobs around the U.S. because exploring the foreign land of the Orlando, and Florida area as a whole, was like a breath of fresh air for me when learning the ins-and-outs of new terrain as a whole.

Even though I was looking to be one of the very few born-and-raised Charlestonians to branch out of my hometown I was, and still am, VERY happy to claim both Charleston my home-sweet-home and my literal HOMEboys as my friends! More details as to why I claim my love to both of those parts of my life below.

chshospitalsCharleston – Before my accident, and even before returning home from my stint at acute and inpatient rehabs, I hadn’t truly seen how amazingly awesome the Charleston Medical Industry is as a whole. I say this because I have been able to see the proper doctors, therapists of ALL disciplines, MUSC professors and students…and the list goes on that have all been able to pinpoint and treat every medical issue that I’ve had since my accident! I am also thankful to have returned home to Charleston, as opposed to somewhere else, because I can remember a handful of fellow inpatients that returned back home to their homes in rural towns with no real Medical Industry presence at all. So, Charleston has surprisingly managed to win my heart over even more than it had as I was growing up in it! Which, all-in-all, makes me even MORE proud to say that I was born and raised a native Charlestonian while now living back here again with all of these transplants who were once just tourists!

My friends at a welcome party they held for me.

My HOMEboys – As I stated earlier the majority of us born-and-raised Charlestonians tend to continue to hunker down here in the Charleston area and continue to call it home, as the majority of my childhood/teenage friends continue to do. So, once again, upon returning home from my acute and inpatient rehabs I was happy to find that this was still the case! The very day that my parents and I had driven home from Shepherd Center a friend of mine from 3rd grade, Michael Onorato, had contacted all of my best friends from my childhood/teenage years for a welcome home party. This was a surprise, yet also a  phenominal realization, that born-and-raised Charlestonians were continuing to maintain their Lowcountry residency. I still continue to take advantage of this perk and reach out to all of my friends still here in town for whatever kind of awesome Charleston activity that might be happening at that given time!

While typing this post, I have grown even MORE thankful for both the city of Charleston and my HOMEboys’ presence in my life, which I had honestly thought would NEVER be possible…so thank you Charleston for continually showing me how fortunate I am to have been born-and-raised here AND for talking all of my awesome HOMEboys into sticking around…because they continually drive my progress in my recovery as a whole!

With both of these points being made, bring it on 2017! Charleston, my HOMEboys and I are ready for ya!