One year

Well it’s one year since October 26, 2003. One year since my accident. In case anybody is interested here’s what happened.

On October 26, 2003 at around 4:25 pm I was starting the drive back to Knoxville from Limestone after eating lunch and having a birthday party with family. My girlfriend (now fiance) Stephanie and I were in my car and I was driving. There was some light rain and the road was wet. In addition I was probably going a bit too fast for the curve we were driving around. In any case, while going around the curve I hydroplaned and lost control. We hit a stop sign and two trees. The impacts were all on my side of the car.

Stephanie was extremely sore and bruised but she got out. I wasn’t as lucky. I broke my left leg in three places and broke my neck as well. I was airlifted to Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center because apparently it was a busy night for car wrecks and the closest hospital, Johnson City Medical Center, was full of trauma patients already.

It was really touch and go for a while but I pulled through. I was in Holston Valley from October 26 to November 19. I don’t remember the wreck or most of my time at Wellmont. Then I was at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center in Knoxville from November 19 until December 31, 2003. After that and several more months of outpatient rehab at Quillen Rehabilitation Hospital I am walking (slowly) and generally doing well. I’m back in Knoxville now and continuing work on my Ph.D. Stephanie and I will be getting married June 10, 2005.

Christopher Reeve Dies

Christoper Reeve died from a heart attack stemming from a pressure wound yesterday. He was 52. (Reuters) (Google News) I developed a pressure wound in the hospital, you get them from not being able to move around. They’re very nasty and painful and mine took months to heal.

Thankfully I don’t have to worry about pressure wounds so much anymore, as I’m up and walking and moving around. At this point I would classify my spinal cord injury as a major inconvience, I continue to improve little by little with time, it’s been almost a year now since the accident. I almost died and could have very well ended up in the same shape as Christoper Reeve. His original injury level was C2, mine was a bit lower down the neck at C5. Since I know unless you have a spinal cord injury you probably don’t know what that means, (I didn’t before mine) here’s a diagram. My injury was also incomplete, meaning I have function below C5.

Details beyond the news articles and press releases is sparse at this point. I’m sure more information will be up at the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation soon.

Super Monkey Ball 2

My Gamecube, Gameboy Advance, and Xbox have been over at a friend’s place since I last talked about video games. I haven’t played any console games in months.

Stephanie and I brought them back to the house tonight. Gaming is a whole new experience when you have a 36 inch television and surround sound. We played Nascar Thunder 2002. But then I showed Stephanie Super Monkey Ball 2. SMB 2 addiction is spreading and my hands are in pain, they forgot how to use game controllers. Guess I really will have to game more to get the dexterity back. Not that I’m complaining.

Star Wars

Ok, I’ll admit it, I like Star Wars. Perhaps it’s a bit more than like. I’m not as bad as some people, I’ve never dressed up as a Star Wars character, and I don’t own every Star Wars toy ever made. But I do own a few Star Wars toys, both from the original releases and the nineties special editions. I’ve seen the prequels, and will see Episode III next year, but they don’t have the same magic the original trilogy did.

That’s where I guess I’m a little obsessive. I own 3 different versions of the trilogy on VHS, and just bought the DVD box set. I bought a laserdisc player just so I could watch Star Wars: Trilogy – The Definitive Collection . And I own at least 30 Star Wars books.

Here are a bunch of CNN articles about Star Wars; Five major changes in the ‘Star Wars’ DVD, Why Lucas tinkered with ‘Star Wars’, Mark Hamill answers questions about ‘Star Wars’ DVD and Naked Wookiees and broken R2-D2s.

Back in Knoxville

I moved back in Knoxville last Wednesday, but it took me until Friday to get my computers back up and running. I really don’t know what to do with my time now. Knee surgery is over, that seems to have gone well enough. I don’t have any doctors visits for a month, one with the orthopedic surgeon in Kingsport on October 5th and one here in Knoxville the next day will the rehab doctor at Patrica Neal.

Hopefully after the visit at Patrica Neal, I’ll be able to start rehab again. I stopped going to rehab in Johnson City at the beginning of August, since it was going to be a busy month. And my left leg, which is the good leg, isn’t quite healed yet, and I’ll need some help figuring it out. Seems to be in good shape, at least the knee pain I had before is gone. Now the only pain I have is from the still very tender incisions.

Engagement + 1 week

I have been engaged for one week. I asked Stephanie to marry me last week. We were camping with the John 23rd young adults group at Fall Creek Falls State Park. The wedding date is Friday, June 10, 2005.

In other news I’m headed back to Knoxville next month, but first Stephanie and I are headed to Arkansas to see her parents. After that I was going start classes and teaching at UT, but it’s highly likely I’ll be having surgery on my knee instead.

Not much that is blog worthy to report

April was a busy and not busy month. Nothing much happened in the second half of the month, that was interesting enough, I thought, to post here. I did buy a new car April 21, a 2004 VW Jetta. Dark blue, VW calls it Galactic Blue, exterior, gray leather interior. And of course lots of airbags. So I am once again car owning and insured. I can’t actually drive yet, but at least I have a car.

Other than that the second half of April was marked by a visit to the rehab doctor. I’m fine, I don’t have to go back until October. Did a few things to settle dad’s estate. I went to court, probate is a pain, make sure you have a will. I also traded in dad’s 2000 Dodge Durango to help buy the Jetta.

I’ll be finishing my incompletes and taking stats again this summer over the Internet and back taking classes and teaching in Knoxville in late August. So that’s an update on me, feel free to talk amongst yourselves now. 🙂

Video games and doctor’s offices

Well I played a video game for the first time in months today. Nascar Thunder 2003 on the Xbox to be exact. I did better than I thought I would. My left hand is fine, but after a few minutes my right hand really hurt. Guess I’ll have to keep playing games to build up strength.

A friend of mine, Brandon Kaetzel, has been accepted into the Paulist Fathers. The future Father Kaetzel, like me, has had many adventures at doctors’ offices. So in honor of Brandon here is a Penny Arcade comic from July 11, 2003.

For Valentine’s Day

Well, I know it’s a day late for a Valentine’s Day post, but I was busy. I went out with my girlfriend to see Big Fish. Perhaps not the best movie for me to see given that my dad just died, but at least we got in free. Being in the wheelchair has a few advantages. But some of you are asking, “Girlfriend!?” Her name is Stephanie and her web site is here.

One of the pictures on her web site helps explain why this site is called Library Monk. No, I’m not a real monk but I was one in a play. A camera’s red eye effect can be an interesting thing.