My Journey

"Either you run the day or the day runs you", John Rohn

Hospital 2-25-13 to 4-5-13 Spinal Cord Surgery to remove herniated disc

Physical Therapist (PT):
Worked on Inpatient Rehabilitation daily training. Worked with me to achieve my optimal mobility potential.  Focused on my joint motion, strength, functional skills and mobility needs.
Occupational Therapist (OT):
Worked with me to achieve maximum independence in performing activities of daily living such as feeding, dressing, grooming, toileting, bathing and homemaking.
Recreational Therapist (RT):
Was leisure time to focus on group activities that are planned for afternoon and evening hours.

Home Health Care 4-8-13 to 6-6-13

Skilled Nurse: Checked vital signs weekly
Occupational Therapist (OT): One visit per week to be sure showers, bathrooms, ramps were correctly modified and measured for accuracy. Made sure I was able to do laundry, feed myself, groom etc.  Had to basically demonstrate my ability to take care of myself.
Physical Therapist (PT): Two home visits per week for manual workouts such as stretching, resistance, and bending my legs and toes.  After 2-1/2 weeks, I had a major turning point:  I noticed small movements, mostly with my left big toe.  My calf muscles started to respond at the end of May.  Although very weak, both legs were showing signs of resistance as trainer applied pressure.   Early June I was able to extend my legs a bit in my wheel chair.

Baylor Garland Outpatient 6-21-13 to 8-28-13

Outpatient Physical Therapist:
Week 1:  One hour per day twice a week focused on strength building of legs and exercise programs to take home:
Week 2:  While in Outpatient Care at Baylor I was introduced to parallel bars. I stoop for 1st time since hospital days but this time I actually felt my legs underneath me.  Wow, at 4 months great accomplishment!  I also benefited from the Nu Step (leg strengthening machine).  I work to strengthen my legs with smooth and natural stepping movements approximate 15 minutes a day.

Craigslist Purchase 7-10-13

June 28th I remember the physical therapist from the hospital saying, "the best way to get your legs back is by standing", so I said to myself "I need some parallel bars".  I went home and googled Craigslist.  I saw bars for $40.00 and they were only 7 feet in length which was 3 feet shorter than ones in rehab, but I just wanted to stand up.  I called the number and the lady said another person was planning to pick them up Monday around noon.   It was Thursday so I couldn't wait to exchange numbers wit her.  I called my brother and told him to be ready, I have some parallel bars to pick up Monday night.  Well I was schedule for rehab that morning and received a text that said the person had come pick up bars.  I was temporarily deflated.  During my workout I spoke with physical therapist and told her I wanted some parallel bars and she said it would be good idea but to make sure someone is with me while using them.  So I went back to Craigslist found some exactly like the bars at the Rehab Facility.  The bars were 10 feet long and more expensive (figures that!).  I was already tight on money so made decision that if they were still available I would get them to help me walk again even if it meant not eating dinner for 2 weeks.  Well the couple still had the bars so I made a
decision and sent my brother on a 45 minutes drive to get them.  He returned late that evening and had to assemble bars before leaving.  Once he got them to correct settings for me I felt like an 8 year old opening a present on Christmas Day.  When he left he kept saying "Don't be trying this by yourself.  Make sure someone is here with you".  I said "Ok don't worry will do" .  Didn't I mention that I felt like and 8 year old?? So of course I acted like one.  As soon as he was out of sight I was on my bars trying to take steps, but not too far away from wheelchair lol.

Billy's Personal Fitness Program 9-9-13 to Present

Self workout program:  Since I have met my 20 visits allowed per year covered by insurance, I now pay to got to Baylor 2-3 days per week.  This allows me to continue to make progress.  I am currently doing the same workout without therapist or trainers.  At this pace, along with my parallel bars, health rider, stability ball, hand grips, dumbbells and resistance bands that I utilize at home I expect to stay on pace maintaining steady progress.

Staying Focused

Ongoing words of encouragement from family and friends.  Continue to feed my faith with God!

Smith Aims to Walk Again

I went in for a routine meniscus surgery on 8-2-12.   After an unusually extended amount of time on crutches and then a walker.  Doctors later discovered on 1-23-13 that I had a herniated disc in a very unusual part of my spinal cord.  After visiting with several surgeons they recommended removing the disc because it was pressing on my spinal cord which affected my lower body functions.

Doctors moved forward with surgery on 2-25-13.  After surgery I had no feeling waist down.  I was a paraplegic.  I was released from hospital after 35 days of extensive rehabilitation.   Today I am bound to a wheelchair.   I had to have my home modified to accommodate my new reality.  There are so many people to thank for contributing to these improvements.  I am forever grateful.  With the mounting medical bills your assistance has been a true blessing.

I am presently in physical therapy several times a week to build my strength and learn to do things that I used to take for granted.  While my situation was indeed unexpected and is unfortunate, I have embraced it.  God is truly at work in my situation and my life.  With that said, I ABSOULUTELY plan to walk again!  My focus has been Faith, Family, Friends and Fitness!






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