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September 27, 2004 Internship Journal

I have not written in a while because there has been nothing exciting to write. The chest pains come and go. The best thing about this month has been that the call has been easier. I have been able to sleep at least three hours every night.

Instead of focusing on work this entry, I will talk about me personally. I don't often do this because it makes me so sad. Most of the time, I think I understand God's purpose and I have accepted my role in life. However, there are times that I don't understand and I even question God's existence. From the beginning, Michelle and I have wondered why I had to be a C5. I know that most of you don't know very much about spinal cords, but the difference between a C5 and C6 and especially as C7 is incredible. C6 innervates the wrist extensors, which would allow me to help transfer and do many more things. C7 innervates the triceps, which would allow me to almost live independently. Would I be less of an inspiration if I had a little more function? I don't think so. This however does not lead me to question God's existence. So many things have been so much more difficult than they have to be. I won't go through the laundry list, but I will give you two examples. Before my injury, exercise was everything to me. So much so, that I'm crying just writing this. Last Valentine's Day, Michelle gave me a stationary hand bike. After almost a year without real exercise (I have such limited function that physical therapy was not really exercise), I was back. When I first got the bike, I could only do seven or eight minutes. I quickly built up to 30 minutes, and I was jammin. After each session, I felt energized almost like I used to. But for the last three months, this has not been the case. My spasticity is so bad in my chest and arms that my 36 minute sessions are a pure struggle. The only time that I can have a halfway decent session is if I take 16 mg of Zanaflex (it is a spasticity medicine, this is more then the FDA regulated dose) and I do it immediately after getting out of bed. This obviously limits me to one day week. I have tried coming home and doing it, and I literally cannot go more than two minutes without my body locking up.

The other example is urinary tract infections. The first year after my injury, I had about five. This is may be a little more than normal, but not too bad. However, the last two months have been terrible. In an earlier entry, I mentioned that my bladder had leaked at work. At that time, Michelle and I thought it was from my medicine change. Later that week, we realized it was from an infection. Since then, I have leaked at least five times. I am having a much harder time getting antibiotics here, so I've been just increasing my fluid intake and the frequency with which I have my bladder emptied. Every time that I think it is gone, I leak again. As you might imagine, this is not only frustrating, but it is extremely degrading. These are just two examples of things being much more difficult than they have to be. I of course still strongly believe in God, but I fail to understand why things have to be like this.

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