Ryan’s physical condition, through hours-upon-hours of hard work each day, has his body in excellent shape. Sometimes I can’t help but admire it. He’s strong and toned. Such was the case this morning as I was hooking him up to the FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) cycle. I noticed it many times before and kept telling myself that I should snap a photo to show you. After all, your kind donations made it possible.
I finally did that this morning. You might want to scroll your cursor over the picture to enlarge it.
I hope you can see it… how his arm muscles are defined. His legs and back are no different. His abdominal muscles are getting there. If you didn’t know it, there’s no evidence that he is so severely injured. Combine all that exercise with his nutrient-dense food and I bet he has less than five percent body fat. He is the picture of physical health. A specimen. I’m proud of both of us for the work we put in to reach this. His body is firm. His muscles are dense. Joints are flexible and skin,nails, and hair are pristine. He has come so far. There’s just something in him, and the most basic of level, that never quits. I can’t help but admire him.
If only I could find the way to make his brain this strong.
There is no way that anyone else in the world — ever — with this injury that is in better physical shape. He is three years removed from the attack and has improved beyond anyone’s expectations. If only you could have seen him early on when his muscles were always in spasm and his body was as stiff as a board. He moaned in pure agony all day, every day.
I simply wouldn’t accept that this is the way it was going to be. I didn’t believe the doctors. I had to step in and take charge of his rehabilitation. I remember the day it all started too. Ryan was “storming” (the mind and body in chaos) hard. Instead of trying to comfort him, I began working every joint in his body. The exact opposite of what I was told to do. My instincts kicked in and I trusted them. Three days later the storming episodes began subsiding. Eventually they went away entirely. I could feel him becoming more flexible, millimeter by millimeter, each week. I could measure his progress by watching his pulse as I worked him through the range-of-motion. I kid you not, his pulse would skyrocket above 150 beats per minute from something as simple as straightening a finger. Now, he doesn’t even flinch. It would take at least four hours each day to work every joint. Sweat would stream down my face and my clothes were drenched. I pushed him hard, taking him to the limits. It was so intense that Sue couldn’t watch. Still, it was the right thing to do.
We were both exhausted when done.
Ryan is truly the gold standard. He has broken new ground in all facets of therapy. There is no way this would have been possible without all the love and support from you. We should all be proud that important people and institutions are starting to notice. For us, it was worth the risk to thoughtfully venture into unchartered territory.
The results speak for themselves.