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Friday, April 24, 2015

4/24/15 Recovery Update - Hiking Poles

 Hey everyone. 

Sorry it's been a while, I haven't died, I've been re-inventing myself; again.  Part of that reinvention was changing my eating habits, which will always be hard, but gets easier every day.  I'm here to tell you that you can do it too.  If you're fighting being overweight, AND YOU WANT TO CHANGE.  You Have to Want it!  I can't make you want to change, nobody can but you and if you TRULY want it bad enough, you'll do what you have to do.  Remember this simple formula, forget all the diet fabs and what not, just remember this.
  • Protein + Carbs = Muscle Gain
  • Protein + Fats = Maintenance
  • Protein + Veggies = WEIGHT LOSS!!!!! 
Are you serious about getting that extra weight off, and I don't want anyone to think this is only for obese people, the average joe and jane out there that's trying to lose 5 lbs can remember this too.  Do you like bell peppers, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and things like that, guess what, eat all you want of VEGETABLES.  Let's be real though, if you're trying to deep fry something or wrap it in bacon, you're not going anywhere.  I'm not at my ideal weight yet, and even when I get there I may have new goals, but that's fine.  I like the feeling after pushing myself.  Half of my battle is overcoming paralysis on top of the obesity so I have to modify almost everything I do.  So let's talk about that now shall we.

Just this week I have started trying these bad boys!  

It's been a whole different beast walking around in those as it's roughly 95+% my legs doing the work while I just use the poles for stability.  I've been tracking my steps through my phone and the Health app.  I'm not where I want to be, but I can see progress daily and the light is at the end of the tunnel.  I'm still doing my
Are you?

Join me on TEAMDDPYOGA.COM, track your progress, overcome what's ailing you.  I apologize to anyone who may have something they truly can not come back from, but that doesn't mean their life is over.  If you have a severed spine, or a worse spinal injury than I do, I understand, but that doesn't mean you should accept giving up.  God has kept me, you, and everyone that has been injured here for a reason, our story isn't over, our mission is not complete, and while our directive may seem classified, it's not.  There are people out there without injuries who are worse off than we are, people with addictions, bad homes, abusive parents/spouses, that simply need to hear our story of determination, perseverance, and never giving up.  SMILE, you still have a purpose, you just gotta find what it is.  Life is too short to sit back and beat yourself up over.   Own your life, this is your story, rewrite it.  Don't forget that there's other people going through similar stuff in their life, either it be obesity, anorexia, depression, guilt, sorrow, pain, heartbreak, irrecoverable damages, etc., YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  Life is precious, take advantage of it.  

See you all in my next post, and next time, have a friend read it too! 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

DDPYoga update, general well being

So, let's get to DDP Yoga first and foremost... I've now completed all 13 moves in the diamond dozen!  At some point this weekend I'll start Energy which is the 2nd movement series in the program.  I'll watch it the first time, then click play again and do it knowing a bit better what's coming up. 
As far as results so far go, I'm not doing measurements until the 30, 60, 90, etc., day marks hit, same with weigh ins... but I can tell you this.  I'm more energetic, doing more being more active than possibly ever before.  Just this morning I saw my mother and father in law out stacking wood and stopped what I was doing to go help them.  In the past I would have helped, but not with the energy or the just dropping what I was currently doing.  I'm craving the physical activity now and that's a great place to be in.  My wife keeps telling me she's seeing the weight come off so on weigh-in/measurement day here's to hoping! 

As for my general well being, I went to my PCP on Thursday, blood pressure is great, heart rate was great, everything was great except for my weight of course which I'm working on.  As for my paralysis, I'll begin Rehab again shortly (had to stop when I lost my insurance back in 2011, now my disability is covering those things) and I got the prescription for it.  As for my nerve pains in my legs, the doc is going to try switching me over to Lyrica from Neurontin to see how that works, so at first it'll be a transition period where we get the dosage correct or have to 86 the Lyrica altogether.  Also we're going to test my oxygen at night to see why I have a hard time sleeping more than 4-6 hours period.  Sleep is vital in healing/recovery and I have to get that taken care of.  Here's knowing and hoping that as the weight comes off, these issues will go away. 

I hope everyone has a great day/week/month/year/life and remember, the Bible says that God is there, it doesn't say he's going to do everything for you, get off your butt and go to work! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

DDP Yoga

So over the past weekend, my DDPYoga max pack came in.  I ordered it off the Chris Jericho promotion page because out of the podcasts that I listen to that promote the product, he actually uses it.  I'll post the nutrition guide below, it's by far the most important part of this thing in my opinion if your fighting obesity.  The workouts help but eating right is 90% of the battle.  First I'll go workout by work out on how I had to modify it.  I've now done the Diamond Dozen a few times and each time gets more intense than the previous as my muscles know more and more what to do and how to engage. 

Move #1 Ignition into Touchdown.  - I had to modify this by standing with the back of my leg propped against a recliner we have to stabilize myself.  After that I was able to do the move as normal.

Move #2 Diamond Cutter - This one I have to do 4 times... 2 times for the legs aspect of it, and then 2 times sitting down to do the lean back part of it.  Other then that I do fine. 

Move #3 Bar Back (Bent Leg and Straight Leg) - This one I can do as long as I have my legs against the chair for stability and my walker/wheelchair next to me (I almost fell on my face a few times from the lack of balance).

Move #4 Catcher into Thunderbolt - This is the one I can't do yet.  I can do the last part of it, but the Catcher part, not yet bub lol.

Move #5 Cobra into Down Dog - This has to be my favorite because I actually did it.  I got down on the floor and did Cobra, never even thought that was possible.  Then I have to down the Down Dog from my knees because I can't feel my feet to do it from them, or my toes from that matter. 

Move #6 Slow Burn Push-Ups - I didn't do this from the floor since I wanted to have my legs engaged, so what I had to do was use the arms of the chair and do the push-up down into the seat of the chair, more resistance and same results, yay!

Move #7 Table into Cat Stretch into Broken Table - This is also one of my favorites because I didn't think I could do it but I was able to do the broken table.  I didn't have to modify this one at all, just had to get down on all fours was the hard part.

Move #8 Supported Lunge into Space Shuttle - This one I could do to an extent... balance aside what I had to do was keep the walker next to me with one hand on it for stability.

Move #9 Road Warrior 1 & 2 - Again stability issues, had to use the walker next to me and luckily we have low ceilings so when I had to reach up for Road Warrior 1 I could use the ceiling for stability.

Move #10 Dynamic Resistance Cables DR Curles - This one I had to do from a seated position so I could focus on my arms and the DR there. 

Move #11 DR Rows - again I did this one sitting so I could focus on the arm movement and the DR.

Move #12 Punches - I did this one standing with the walker near me.  I love the overall feeling this workout gives you and when its done, you honestly don't feel like you are worn out or anything but the next morning you do feel like you got a work out in.

Move #13 Safety Zone - The first couple of times I didn't do this but the last time I did end up doing it and felt the stretch.

Nutrition - DDP Yoga is in 3 phases but I think the majority of us will stick in phase 1 and if you're interested in Phase 2 and 3, then order the guide, come on people I'm not gonna give you what I had to pay for for free!  In all phases you have Breakfast, a Mid-Morning Snack, a mid afternoon snack, and lunch and dinner.  I'll go over phase 1 with you and if I bump myself up to phase 2/3 then I'll share that too.

Fruit: 1 serving
Vegetables: unlimited (this is across the board, eat the damn veggies!)
Complex Carbs: 1 Serving
Protein: 1 serving
Dairy: 1 serving
Healthy Fats: 1 serving

Mid morning snack -
1 serving fruit
1/2 serving protein
1 serving dairy
plus, you can have unlimited veggies!

Mid-Afternoon snack -
1/2 serving protein
1 Serving Dairy
plus, you can have unlimited veggies!

Lunch or Dinner -
Unlimited Veggies
1 Serving of Complex Carbs
1 Serving of Protein
1 Serving of Dairy
1 serving of healthy fats.

So there it is in a nutshell, some of the more complex things to understand you'll probably need a program guide for.  but to give some ideas I'll post some of the foods listed in the guide for your convenience.

What I call common fruits -
Blackberries - 1 cup
Unlimited lemon, lime
1 orange
1 cup pineapple
1 cup raspberries
1 sour apple
1 cup strawberries
2 tangerines
freshly squeezed juice only of any of those - 4 oz.

1 regular apple
2 apricots
1 cup cherries
3 fresh figs
1 cup grapes
1 guava
2 kiwi
1 mango
1 nectarine
1/2 papaya
1 peach or pear
2 plums
1/2 pomegranate
1/2 banana
1 dates
1/8 cup raisins
1 cup of the following melons: cantaloupe, casaba, honeydew, watermelon

eggs 2-3 of them
Fish 4-6 oz.
Poultry 4-6 oz.
Meat Lean cuts 4-6 oz.

Clams 4 oz.
Crab 3 oz.
Lobster 3 oz.
Mussels 4 oz.
Oysters 4 oz.
Scallops 3 oz.
Shrimp 3 oz.

Tofu 4-6 oz.
Whey protein 1/3 cup

Complex carbs:
Beans, brown rice, about 20 nuts, soy milk, quinoa, potato, whole grains, sweet potatoes etc.

Healthy fats are avacados, canola and olive oils, grape seed oils, and mayonnaise

Dairy is listed as butter, cheese, cottage cheese, milk, sour cream, yogurt etc.  in phase 2 and 3 it's goat or sheeps milk.

Seasonings: celtic sea salt ONLY, herbs fresh or dried, mustard without sugar and natural sweeteners like agave and xylitol you can unlimited of. 

That's about it for the nutrition.  Let me know if you have any questions about DDP Yoga, I feel it's going to change my life and may do so for yours as well.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Time for a change...

This blog isn't going to be like the others I've posted here in the Road to Recovery blog I do.  This one is in honor of my upcoming 1,000th Tweet on (@Moosefan48).  When I next post on Twitter it will be to share the link to this post as overcoming obesity and even more difficult, overcoming paralysis. 

The following is something I threw up onto my facebook a few years back but don't want to retype it.  I feel that in order for my story to truly be told, the bad has to be told along with the good.  Here's how I became paralyzed and the initial fight I went through.

~~~~~~~~~~From my Facebook (I'm a twitter person now). ~~~~

So I guess I finally want to put this in writing so that I can see it, read it, try to learn from it, grasp it, come to peace with it.  I need to do this, I've needed to for a while.  I want this to be something I can read in a year and say, wow, I've progressed.  I've healed.

*********Warning:  If you're going to be immature about this, please remove yourself from my friends list NOW.  This is by far the most important thing I've ever gone through and I wish this task on no one, not even my worst enemies.  I fight depression/anxiety and fears that nobody should ever face due to this.  There are things in this note/blog that are very personal, and I share them with you all so you can learn what I've gone through and what I fight daily.  Thank you in advance. *********

      I broke my back, fractured it in L4 and L5 to be accurate.  I didn't know this until June 1st of 2009.  The day before that, May 31st, I went to the ER because my back had hurt for about a week straight.  I was given the usual, prescription for hydrocodine and a double shot of morphine to send me on my way.  I went home that evening feeling great, I can remember doing the dishes and hanging out with BreAnna.  It was a very peaceful evening.  And that was the last time I walked on my own free will.
     I woke up the next morning at 4:30ish, my entire right leg felt like it was being dipped in lava repeatedly.  The pain was so excruciating.  I hopped into the living room, turned on the TV and X-box hoping a game of Madden would get the pain off my mind.  If I could make it to work, Melissa could fill the prescription and I'd be fine.  I was supposed to be at work by 8:00 am.  I remember finally screaming at Melissa for her to wake up, I had to go to the ER again, 2 days in a row.  The health-care here is anything but health-care.  Doctors are over-worked, plain and simple.  When BreAnna was born, the Dr. was asleep at the nurse's station even.
     We went to the ER, but the trip there is almost where my memory of the day stops.  It's funny how the mind will force you to do stuff to get to help.  I could no longer feel my leg, the pain had become so intense that my mind blocked out anything but the faintest pain.  I crawled to the car, dragging my leg behind me.  I pulled myself up using the frame of the door and the car door itself.  The ride to the hospital was hell on earth.  I ended up leaving my boss a message stating I was on my way to the ER, so I wouldn't get fired.  If that was even a sampling of what the hell fire and brimstone is like, I do not want anymore ever!
     Upon getting to the hospital, we found out they were out of wheelchairs that morning.  So again I have to force myself from the parking lot to the ER waiting room.  ER Waiting Room, if it's an emergency, why's there a waiting room for it?  I got to the ER and the pain was mind numbingly horrible.  I can remember vaguely getting upset because a person (I can't remember gender at this point) was seen before me because their stomach was upset.  Having an ER that's first come first serve is a joke and an indecency.  That being said, a wheelchair was finally brought out.  Luckily the triage nurse was one that new Melissa and I, she was in the room when BreAnna was born.  She was very polite, as usual, and asked all the same questions I was asked the day before.  What pain level is it, etc.  If 10 is near death I felt like I was near a 15.  The pain was now spreading from just the one leg, to both.  I wanted so bad at that moment to give up on life itself and ask for a shot of euthanasia.
    I was wheeled into examination room 4 (it's amazing what your mind can recall).  I was wheeled up to the gurney, I attempted to stand and literally just fell onto the gurney.  The pain was so intense I blacked out, partially from the 4 10mg shots of morphine they pumped into my system.  I can remember tossing and turning on the gurney, trying to find some way to "get comfortable" with all the pain.  The doctor from the previous day was still on duty.  I finally found a comfortable spot, tummy to the gurney, arms over the back of it, chin on top of it, like a stick figure.  It alleviated the pressure on my lower back some, but not completely.  My wife recalls that the position was the one that allotted me the least amount of pain.  I remember different nurses coming in and checking in on me.  I was finally asked for a urine sample, and that's when we found out that my bladder was no longer functioning under my will power.  I had on a pair of black jogging pants, they were soaked with urine.  The feeling of incontinence is a horrible thing for a grown man/woman to go through.  My legs were numb to the point where I did not know I had gone.
     Upon seeing this, the nurse escalated my situation.  To my astonishment, even today, their way of escalating this was to hit up Web MD.  The doctor from the previous day came in at some point during all this apologizing for not catching this the previous day, or any of my other previous visits.  We were frequent visitors to the ER during my 3 years here in Taos at that time.  The doctor for the first time EVER wanted an X-ray.  I was told I had been to big to have one previously.   I was taken into a part of the small hospital I didn't know existed - an X-ray room.  I was transferred onto the X-ray bed, or docking station as I like to think of it; and told not to move, no matter how much it hurt.  It hurt like Hell!  Laying flat on my back on a glass table, flat, non giving, glass table.  The next few minutes passed by like hours.  They took 3 X-rays in total.  15 minutes for the X-rays and transport time combined and if this 15 minutes would have been done previously, I may not be writing this now.  Funny how God has plans for us isn't it.
      The x-rays came back, and that's when the bad news got worse.  I had a fracture in both L4 and L5.  When I initially hurt my back in 2002, it was never given a chance to heal.  Over time, the stress on the back had worn out the cushioning around the spinal cord making everything I did a liability, a possibility of injuring it worse; which I think I did.  So all that being said, the "Dr." came in proclaiming that I had Cuada Equina syndrome.  Cuada Equina (CES) is where the nerve endings in the lower lumbar region splay out like a horses tail.  How they got this conclusion is still beyond me.  After a few minutes of profusely apologizing to me, the doctor started to try to get me into a hospital that could help me.
    3 hours after this I'm informed they're transporting me to Albuquerque to UNM Hospital.  Dr. Yanos agreed over the phone to take my case thinking it was CES. We had to wait about a half an hour for the ambulance to get there.  At this point I'm pretty doped up and almost out of pain, it's "tolerable" at this point.  Still no feeling in my legs though.  I remember telling my wife, at some point, that as long as 2 or more are gathered in His name, there He is also; so we prayed for this to come to fruition, for the pain to go away, for us to be able to get on with our lives.  The ambulance showed up, the crew was like something out of a movie, or maybe I was just really doped up.  The trip from Taos to Albuquerque is usually a 3 hour trip.  I remember it only taking a few minutes (2 hours total), but I was conscious this whole time.  The only thing I truly remember is them constantly checking my pulse, and asking if I needed more pain meds.  I do seem to vaguely remember being pleased that I made more money per hour than them after asking them their salaries, rude as that was. We arrived at 7 pm to UNM.  I've been humbled since this time. 
    I don't remember going into the UNM emergency room, I remember waking up.  There were doctors everywhere; IV's were ran, confusion set in, fear, true fear set in.  The worst part was my wife couldn't be with me.  I was truly alone.  Melissa had to stay in Taos to get money together, to take care of BreAnna.  It was 3 am and they were wheeling me downstairs for a CT Scan.  This was a very frightening experience.  The staff on hand was amazing, they were nice and respectful.  Professional is the best word to describe them.
    A man very carefully helped me onto the CT scanning bed.  This device, if you've never had the experience (and I hope you don't), this device is motorized and moves you into the CT tunnel.  They attempted it once with me on my back.  That was unsuccessful.  I was asked to turn over.  And here comes the pain again!  I turned over, very gingerly.  I was told to not move, it was life or death.  If they couldn't see the nerves this time, they were going to have to inject fluid into the spinal fluid sac.  This involves a really large needle being inserted via remote control through use of a robotic arm.  If they missed the sac and hit nerves, paralysis would be inevitable.  I could not move period.  All pain medicine wears off quickly when faced with dilemma.  I lay perfectly still, they could not see the nerves, so here comes the needle.  You take a breathe and pray it's not your last, being deathly afraid of needles becomes a whole new level of fear, not just a phobia, but a frantic mind racing experience where all you can do is think of things going wrong, AIDS comes to mind, other diseases, some of which I"m sure weren't real, EBOLA being on the end of the needle, worst fears come to life, all in the shiny, ink filled needle tip now being lowered by a robotic arm.  I'm in a horror movie, and can't wake up.  You feel a pinch, and then you know you can't move, you simply can't.  It's like your whole body has a new pivot point and the fear that the needle won't stop and will protrude through you, impalement by robotic arm and ink filled needle is a horrible way to go, and I"m pretty sure it'd be very slow bleeding out.  But that was all fear.  Inside the tunnel is a speaker and a mic, so you can communicate with the operator if need be.  The man came over the speaker and said the needle would now contract.  And bam, there's a small burn while the needle injects the fluid and then it pulls out of your back and you feel the same pinch as it removes itself from your back.  Ah, the ability to breath again.
     I was wheeled in my gurney back to the ICU room I was in.  I don't remember this, but I'm sure it happened cause that's where I woke up at.  Upon waking up, everything was foggy, or maybe that's how my mind wants to remember it.  The room was very clean.  In front of me was a nurses station, 2 chairs were at it and upon me waking up the nurses came rushing in.  These ladies were very nice, motherly puts it best.  They started checking my vitals and asking if I was OK etc.  I mumbled and went back to sleep.
     The next time I was brought out of my drug induced slumber I was surrounded by a team of doctors.  I don't remember any of their names other than Dr. Yanos, an older Neurosurgeon, highly recommended in the state of NM.  He had me look to my right where there was a dry erase board.  He proceeded in his best attempt, to show me my spine on the dry erase board.  Keep in mind that Neurosurgeons go through very intense training for their profession and they generally lose human interaction skills.  Along with this loss of people skills is the loss of art talent, lol.  He explained that your spine is made up of vertebrae, and that my lower vertebrae where very damaged.  The cavity in your vertebrae where the nerves "dangle" had narrowed and was pinching my nerves.  This was in L4 and L5.  The CT scan ruled out CES by itself.  It's pretty amazing, I got to see the printout from the CT Scan where it evaluated what it saw and made it's own prognosis.  Anyway, the new diagnosis is Lower Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.  The surgery that I have to undergo is to remove the Lamina from the L4 and L5 vertebrae.  The Lamina is the part of the spine that sticks out like a hook.  In skinny people, when you bend over and stretch towards your toes, you can see the Lamina's push against your skin.  I agree to the surgery at this time.  Melissa was still stuck in Taos and frantically waiting for any update she could get.
      I was wheeled down to a room that looked like it was from a Stephen King dream world.  A place where Freddy Krueger would "hang out".  There were tools hanging on the wall, those tools I still don't want to know how they were used.  The anesthesiologist met us down there and he asked me what I'm allergic to etc.  I don't remember talking to him much cause well, he put me under.
    After the surgery, Dr. Yanos and his staff came into the room once they saw me stirring.  Yanos asked if I could feel certain things.  He used a "poking pen" and poked the inner thighs of my legs and asked if I could feel it.  I shook my head no.  He touched my knees and asked if I could feel that.  Again, I said no.  He asked if I could move my legs.  No.  I could not feel, nor move my legs from my hips down.  He took my hand and asked if I could feel his hand.  I could.  I had feeling in my body, just the upper, not the lower.  A fear came over me, a very intense fear.  I was paralyzed.  He stepped outside the room and had a conference with his team.  He re-entered the room and said they'd do another CT scan and proceed from there.  He also informed me that someone would be in touch with my wife to update her.  All this was on June 2nd.
    Later that evening I was transported back down to the CT Lab for a follow-up CT scan.  This time, there really was no fear.  The fear of paralysis outweighed everything in my mind.   I vaguely remember anything at this point.  It seems like I fell asleep actually.  I came to and Melissa was there, minutes before my next surgery.  Dr. Yanos said they were going to perform the same surgery, this time on the L3 lamina to remove more stress.  This was done in the hopes of giving me some portion of my lower body back to me.  This time I don't even remember the anesthesiologist being there, or leaving the room even.
    When I came to, the nurses again rushed into the room, this time one of the resident doctors came in as well, they told me not to be afraid, and not to move (which then makes you more afraid).  They showed me two pans, one on each side of me, both with a whitish substance in them.  I was told that the fluid was drainage from my spine, then I noticed that there were hoses ran to each pan, my eyesight followed the hoses and I realized they were "plugged" into my back.  The doctor informed me that along with the hoses there was a rather nice "opening" going down my lower back, staples and stitches holding it closed together.
    Dr. Yanos shortly thereafter entered the room and asked how I was doing.  I mumbled something still being "out of it".  He then pulled out the poking pen and began the physical examination of my legs again.  This time I could feel certain things, things that weren't there the day before, like my knees, I felt when he touched them.  I had the sense of feeling in my thighs, knees, and upper portion of my lower legs.  Then he got to my feet and he asked me to wiggle my toes.  I stared in disbelief as I attempted this over and over again, but nothing happened.  My mind telling me that they were moving, but nothing was happening.  Yanos had his hand under my foot and said he felt no force at all from my foot.  I noticed something then, that still happens now.  When I try to move my toes, my fingers respond as if they're receiving the signal from my brain. If I try to move my big toe on my right foot, my thumb on my right hand responds to that signal.  My wiring seems "messed up", and unlike a computer, I have no idea how to fix this.
    It was a few days later and the hoses were removed from my back.  My curiosity by then had been swelling and I had to ask (due to the wrestling and violent background)... if I were to receive a blow to my lower back, what's there to protect my nerves since the Lamina's were removed.  Dr. Yanos stated that they took the muscles in my lower back, pulled and stretched them over my spine and then sewed them together inside me with dissolving stitches so that they wouldn't have to go back into my back to remove the stitches.  I also had to make an appointment for 30 days from then to go and have the stitching and staples removed from my back.
     I spent 7 days in the NICU (Neuro Intensive Care Unit), then I was moved to a regular room in the hospital.  The next portion of this memory is not a good one, hygiene wise included.  I realized I hadn't hardly eaten in the 7 days in NICU, nor had I once had a bowel movement.  The human body is a very routine entity, you eat usually around the same time each day; you urinate a couple of hours after you drink something, so on so forth.  Part of that routine is bowel movements.  When you don't have a bowel movement over a period of time, your body becomes toxic to itself.  I would be brought a plate of food in the morning and not even be able to smell the food without wanting to vomit (mind you, it wasn't because the food is bad).  The thought of anything new entering my system sent shockwaves through my mind.  I shared this information with the RN on duty and again, my situation became escalated.  They started me off on small things, like warm Dr. Pepper (yes, it is a laxative).  Then I got moved up to prune juice, a mixture of prune juice and Dr. Pepper together.   Then came the worst thing I have ever smelt or tasted.  A substance called Magnesium Citrate was introduced to me.
     Here is what Wikipedia says about Magnesium Citrate.

Magnesium citrate, a magnesium salt of citric acid, is a chemical agent used medicinally as a saline laxative and to completely empty the bowel prior to a major surgery or colonoscopy. It is available without a prescription, both as a generic brand or under the brand name Citromag or Citroma. It is also used as a magnesium supplement in pills. The magnesium content of magnesium citrate corresponds to about 11% by mass.

Magnesium citrate works by attracting water through the tissues by a process known as osmosis. Once in the intestine, it can attract enough water into the intestine to induce defecation. The additional water helps to create more feces, which naturally stimulates bowel motility. This means it can also be used to treat rectal and colon problems. Magnesium citrate functions best on an empty stomach, and should always be followed with a full (eight ounce) glass of water or juice to help the magnesium citrate absorb properly and help prevent any complications. Magnesium citrate is generally not a harmful substance, but care should be taken to consult with a health professional if any adverse health problems are suspected or felt.

     I know that is gross, but it weighs on your mind that your body is not functioning correctly.  The taste of MagCite as I called it, instantly makes your stomach knot up and it basically feels as though your body is shutting down.  I remember spending about 36 hours forcing myself to get the toxicity out of me, either by throwing up or by bowel movement... I am not going to share more about this, but know that it was very stressful, draining, and I slept very well when it was done.  This also proved that my bowels were also in a state of comatose to accompany my bladder being in a coma.
     Now during my time in a regular room, there were positives.  I had a few roommates in my 3-5 days in the regular room and I had a specific young man that was a nurse tech and RN in training, his name was Robert.  He was amazing, he'd stop by the room every chance he could and he'd help me stretch my legs, trying to wake them up.  He'd come in and say prayers with me as well.  My faith during this time in my life was at the highest ever in my life.  I compared and still compare myself to Job.  I admit that I never, even to this day, have questioned God in why I'm in this situation.  God wanted me to see this, to overcome this, to use this to strengthen my testimony.  I know some of my friends reading this may not be the most religious, and that's fine, just know that my faith is like a rock and through that faith I will overcome this obstacle in my life.  I met a couple, an older couple that were amazing as well.  Christine and Mario, if you are by some miracle reading this, you have touched my life along with Melissa's.  Christine took Melissa to church on a Sunday morning that Melissa was there to visit me.  Mario was formerly in the Marines or Navy, I apologize for not remembering correctly, but it's been 2 years, please forgive me!  Mario was there while I was going through the Magnesium Citrate spell and basically told me to do what I gotta do to live through this.  I've done that, thank you Mario!
    There were also some other things that happened... occupational therapists came in from time to time bringing me "tools" to assist with common daily things you do, like a "grabber stick" to help me pull my shoes on etc.  I mean no offense at all to anyone who needs/uses such items, but to me, changing my style of life to fit this "thing" that happened to me, was a defeat.  If you adapt and accept what has happened, then you have given up.  You have to live your life, if you want to put your shoes on with your own hands, then fight to do so.  God made the earth, sky, heavens, oceans, in 6 days and then took a rest.  I think I can fight for 6 days and then rest one, then back to it.  If you desire something that is life altering, then fight for it, don't give in to the temptations that come along.  I know, easier said than done, but it's your life, your fight, you can't expect someone else to do it for you.  You can't expect God to just "make it happen"... anything in life worth fighting for is just that, worth fighting for, if you want it, go get it!  Nike nailed this on the head with "Just do it" and yes, I'm stealing that.  The one thing that the OT's did that made me truly feel progress, was to get me out of the bed and standing for the first time in 10 days.  Guess what, more bad news, my hips and "sense of balance" in a coma.  All I have are my quads, knees, and part of my calf muscles.  But here's the good news, I have my quads, knees, and part of my calf muscles!  Take that!
     So on day 11 I get the news, I'm being transferred to HealthSouth rehabilitation center.  I also made more money than those EMT's that transported me, not bragging, just letting you know what we talked about lol.  I was truly scared that due to missing work I would lose my job and was thinking of what to do next.  Helping people seemed like a great thing to do given my current situation.
     I get to HealthSouth late at night, around 7 or 8 PM.  I was met by 3 nurses, 1 of which was absolutely an inspiration.  Josey was a shorter Cuban woman that had a very thick accent that was a mix of Cuban and New York.  She immediately told me I'd walk again, to never give up.  One of the other nurses (she was moved to a different HealthSouth in the US a week later so I do not remember her name) asked me what I wanted to do the next day.  She asked if I wanted a shower, and I remembered I hadn't had one of those in over a week.  OMG Yes!  A shower, such a simple thing, but such an amazing thing at the same time!  The next day came along and sure enough, I took a shower.  Now I can't tell you it was a normal shower, you go in, clean up, and get out.  I had a mental breakdown.  The realization that I couldn't stand in the shower, turn and wash my back, lean down and wash my hair, etc... things I couldn't do hit me hard.  The best thing about a shower, it washes away your tears.
    I was given a schedule, I'd do occupational therapy, physical therapy, then more occupational therapy, then more physical therapy.  I was put on an 1800 calorie diet and told to relax on the weekends.  I put my time in, my work in, I lost 60 lbs in a month.  There were people that God brought into my life at this time that were there to show me that I didn't have it that bad.  One man was brought in, he was paralyzed from his neck down after a gunshot wound had severed his spine.  I talked with him and shared Christ with him.  If he accepted him or not is his decision.  I talked to him about things he could still do, about amazing stories of people in similar situations who became artists, musicians, etc.  I hope I was a spark for him to still do something great in his life.  I did have my good days, and I had some bad days.  I won't lie, I had one horrible night where I fell.  I fell on a male nurses lower leg and a whole group of nurses and PT's came in to help me.  I was able to get up with only the help of one person and in the 2 years since then, I have fallen twice, both times I got up on my own.
     There is a memory that means so much to me.  I had started using the balance beams and walking within my first week at HS, and Melissa and BreAnna were coming up to see me.  I told the therapists this and what I wanted to do.  As they walked into the "gym" I walked... my daughter got to see her Daddy walk, that meant so much to me and my heart for her to see daddy doing something normal.  Not in the wheelchair.  That little girl is motivation in a bottle.  I used everything I had to go home literally on her birthday.  Thirty-six days away from home; away from my daughter.
    That's what I went through/am going through.  I am still in a wheelchair.  I use the walker as much as possible.  My bowels have become less comatose but my bladder refuses to wake up.  I have Electric Stimulation (E-stim) done to my legs periodically were they try to "shock" the nerves into waking up.  I have my hamstrings back now, my hips seem to be waking up, but it's slow.
     I was told by 4 out of 5 doctors that I could recover fully from this but it may take 20 years or more.  The nerves heal at a rate of 1/8 a cm a month roughly or a millimeter a week; depending on your bodies healing rate.  One of these days I will destroy this wheelchair, I will destroy the walker, and I will walk around and nobody will know anything ever happened.  Until that day, I work for that day.  Thank you for reading this.  I know it was long, and I could have gone on and told of other trials and victories, but I've been working on this for months, recalling memories etc.
That was written on my FB page 3 years ago.  Since then I've conquered things such as the ability to drive again, shower without aid, and even getting back into the gym.  Now that story above told the tale of what happened when I became paralyzed, but not truly how I became paralyzed. 

In 2002, while living in Minnesota, I was working on getting in shape.  My dream was to make it to Canada and possibly train at the famous "Dungeon" for professional wrestling.  I wanted to work with Sting one day as he was my favorite as a young kid and even today I still follow him and his career.  So I'm working out with a buddy of mine, Jackson, when I do this one exercise out of "Men's Fitness" called a modified row.  This part I remember like it was yesterday.  I was on the 5th rep when I heard a pop, I instantly fell to the floor of my apartment and dropped all weights.  For the next couple of days I could barely crawl around.  In my head I had imagined that I had "twerked" my back.  A few days of inactivity and I'd be good to go again.  I was wrong.  I still had shifts at work to do so I tried one night (graveyard shift!) to make it through shift and I couldn't do it, I couldn't stand up straight even.  So after shift I went to a family that I trust and asked if the Dad would go with me to the ER, he said yes and followed me there. 
In the ER, I was seen by a young Dr., whose name I can't remember to save my life.  He reviewed me and asked what the pain was and where it was.  I told him I had pain shooting down my legs and I felt it was from hurting my back recently.  He didn't give me an x-ray, he didn't ask any other questions, he told me that I had hip bursitis and my prescription was for a heating pad on the pain and Alieve (Spelling?) as needed.  My pain became so bad with that prescription that I was eating bottles of alieve which I'm sure did intestinal damage.  I would chew the pills and swallow it hurt so bad at times. 
Over the course of the 7 years after the initial injury and me becoming paralyzed I saw several more doctors, did a few tests and somehow never had any x-rays done.  I even had to do physical therapy before becoming paralyzed using aquatics and aerobics.  Mind you I felt great a lot of the time during those 7 years, but there would be a few days here and there where the back would flare up and I'd be hunched over in pain.  At times it'd get worse and I'd hit an ER and they'd see me as a big guy and immediately bypass the x-rays and just give me a scrip for pain meds.  That was life for 7 years, the 7 year itch if you will.  Then everything else happened.  

Thanks for reading about what has happened to me and how I have to over come it.  In the next few days I'll probably be focusing on my sports blog as the Cowboys play tomorrow.  Monday I will be back in the gym and hope to have a new format in place that I'm working on for this forum.  I hope to be able to integrate some videos that I'm hoping to make showing how, even if your wheelchair bound, you can still get in a good set of exercises and be active.  Life doesn't end just because the feelings in your nerves might.  God hasn't given up on us, so why should we! 

If you have questions or comments please feel free to leave a message.  If the site isn't letting you do so, shoot me an email at

Thanks again!

Friday, August 1, 2014

A return from the abyss...

I'm going to rename this thing, it's no longer the Road to Recovery (I'll keep the name for the blog itself) but this is my accountability crib.  DDP (@realDDP on twitter) calls his house where others come to do DDP Yoga (@ddpyoga on twitter) and get their lives back in check, he calls it the accountability crib, this blog is now my personal accountability crib.  I'm not going to hold any punches back, if I slack up, you'll know, if I'm doing amazing things like overcoming paralysis and flying around the block like Superman, you'll know.  So now, let's get to being accountable!

So, since the last update some things have happened, some good, others not so much.  I haven't been back to the gym since the last blog, some issues with miscommunications happened and some pain interfered as well.  It started with the "Flares" that I get (see previous blogs for a description of those) and that started the miscommunication.  The guy I would go work out with thought that the pains were days long and so he stopped inviting me to go to the gym with him thinking I was still in pain, then that spiraled into me thinking he didn't want me to work out with him and me not bothering him via text etc.  I did a few days worth of cardio while waiting that out but not the level I should have done. 

Over the past week or so I've had an inflammation in my right knee, I'm not sure what the cause is, but it's rather painful unless my leg is fully extended.  I have it in my head that it's from my weight but I can't help but wonder if it's something actually inside the knee.  I am not making any excuses, just stating the truth, pain makes me not want to do anything.   No pain, no pain, that's what I like to live by, but now onto more things that will show that I'm human and have bad days.

Earlier this week I also hit a depression day.  On Wednesday I woke up in a mood that I encounter about once every month to 6 weeks.  Its hard to explain as it's not just a depression but it's a melancholy and just pure lack of wanting to do anything.  I could literally lay in bed all day and still not be happy, I find the negative in everything I do, I get bored easily, nothing seems to quench the depression and after a few hours it'll go away usually but Wednesday it lasted until that evening.  It's like a pure lack of appreciation, like "Why am I doing this, why am I wasting my time doing anything".  Time passes and it slowly goes away, but while it's lasting, there's nothing I want to do but cry basically.  So that day was wasted, end of story.

Ok, so let's wrap this up with the final negative of this post so we can move on to some positive stuff and informational stuff.  My diet during this time period wasn't so great either.  Red meat was consumed a lot, burgers were made (it's summer time after all), and carbs were consumed in the form of buns, bread for sandwiches.  I would eat chicken a lot instead of burgers, I had less than a handful of sodas during the past 2-3 weeks and continued to mostly drink water (I'll add a flavor packet with 10 calories here and there with those).  Time to kick butt and get this back under control. 

Now, while doing some research I found the sheet found here.  It's a really in depth spreadsheet from Team Beach Body for the P90X program, you don't have to do it to a T, but it's a good idea to look it over, read the instructions page, and tailor this to help you.  Google the exercises and watch the videos.  As someone who can't do things that require balance, what I do is look at the motion, what does it target and then replace that movement with one that I can do that targets the same area or even replace it all together and do something else to still get reps and movements done.  The path to losing weight is simple in concept, difficult in execution:  burn more calories than you take in.  Your body doesn't care where those calories are burned to an extent... obviously if all you did was arms, you'd build awesome arms but your legs wouldn't change much other than fat loss.  In the beginning, do what you can so that your body starts to feel better.  The first week or so will be soreness, fight through this, you'll end up craving it, I promise you that.  Get into a routine, make yourself do it when you otherwise don't want to.  Do you go to work everyday, or watch a certain tv show weekly when it comes on?  Then quit saying you can't make a workout routine when the only thing stopping you is YOU.  I'm owning up to the fact that I slacked off for the better part of the last month, but I'm working on not doing it again and getting back to feeling great, what are you doing?  Making excuses is easy, doing the work isn't and that's why the rewards are so much greater than being lazy. 

Those that do nothing, get exactly that in return, nothing. 

If you're paralyzed like I am, or going through anything, NEVER give up.  I follow a young man, Corey Borner on twitter.  His spinal cord injury left him paralyzed from the neck down initially, but he doesn't give up, according to modern medicine he will not walk again, according to scripture Through Christ Jesus all things are possible.  This young man hasn't given up, why should you? why should I?  Life is a journey, not some carnival ride you can decide to quit riding, it goes on whether you want it to or not.  So let's see, God created you, made you in His image, but you think it's OK to just give up on the life he's promised you.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say life will be easy, but it does promise great rewards to those "that sow in tears shall reap in joy." (Psalm 126:5)  If you put the work in, the rewards will be bountiful. 

I hope everyone that reads my blog has been using the tools I provide or find, and that everyone is being inspired, educated, and motivated into changing their own life.  Michael Jackson sang a song called "Man in the Mirror", I leave you with it and hope it makes sense to you.  

You can post questions and comments below or you can find me on twitter @Moosefan48 and send me messages there, I try to check it daily.  

Michael Jackson - Man in the Mirror

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 8

Alright, so I'm posting this one earlier than normal before my work out for the day.  I've got a cardio day today and I'm waiting on it to cool down just a few more degrees outside before we go for a walk. 

Today's caloric intake:  1,927 calories

I meant to post this yesterday at the end of week 1, but the total calories "saved" in week 1 was (Drum roll please......... )  9916.35 or 2.8 lbs!!! That's based on my current weight.  I haven't shared my spread sheet yet, but I'm posting it now.  The link is below.

Click here for the spreadsheet.

Once the images of the sheet open, click on open, then be sure to download.  If you don't have excel you can download the open office version for free.  If there are any problems with formulas not working in either version, please let me know in the comments or shoot me an email.

The way the sheet works is on the "Summary" tab, you put in your weight, height in feet, then inches, and your age; this calculates your BMR that was discussed on a previous blog of mine.  Then on the allowance tab, you can change the percentages marked in blue but make sure they only equal up to 100%, otherwise something will go horribly wrong in your new eating plan and you may die.  OK, I made that part up, but let's just keep things simple and have stuff equal up to 100%.  Obviously you can tweak whatever you want on this, I track sodium and cholesterol, but you may want to include potassium, or only net carbs and net fat.  Your call.  Use this as a beginning tool and make it work for you.  The easiest way to understand what you need to fix is to document what you're doing wrong (human nature initially finds the negative in everything, so use that to your advantage and find the negative in your eating habits).  Use this like I do as a food journal, nobody else needs to see what you eat or ate that day.  If you had a bad day and ate a whole friggin' bag of bagels and a pizza buffet for dinner, NOT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, but if you did, track it, and then don't do that again.  The biggest reason people don't do well on diets is because they're told they can't eat this or that and then they crave it.  Eat what you want, just track it and see how the foods you eat compare to the BMR and the calories you spend in a day.  If you're not willing to make a change, don't expect your body to make a change either.

On the summary page there's a cell colored in red called Calories Allowed, this is your BMR - 500 (3500 in a week, or 1 pound).  You can change this if you want, so 2 pounds per week would be 1000... or if you're trying to put weight on, BMR + x... where x is the calories over your BMR you want to add.  

One thing I do is set a target weight, not my end weight I'd like to be at, but a target somewhere close to where I am, within 50 lbs at the absolute farthest... and use that as my current weight so that if I forget to weigh in I'm still shooting for that target weight instead of just 500 calories under what I weighed last week and not this week.  I hope that makes sense.  So if you're 250 and you wanna weigh in at 220, put the 220 in the spreadsheet as your weight, that'll help you get used to eating what you'll need to at the 220 lbs to maintain that weight anyway and not put back on the weight once it comes off. 

Oh, and the most important thing, on the pages based on a date, when inputting your nutritional consumption, go straight off the label, the spreadsheet is already designed around mg's for sodium, grams for fat, protein, and carbs, etc.  All the formulas are converted to grams etc for you already.  For instance, 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories, but 1 gram of protein/carbs is only equal to 4 calories that needs to be burned.  So your welcome for that!  The 2000 mg sodium target is the daily recommended thing, same with the cholesterol number used.  I'm proud to say that my cholesterol has been at 25% of that number or less every day for the past week.  I am truly feeling better. 

In the upcoming days I'll post more on my actual paralysis.  The focus right now has been on the weight loss as regaining a center of balance is of huge importance and maintaining a gut throws that center of balance off.  So while overcoming paralysis isn't being blogged about as much as I'd hoped for, the two do go hand in hand and both are challenging and require daily attention.  Thanks for your patience. 

I've said this quote a few times on twitter (@Moosefan48 ) and found it in an image that I wanted to share with you all here.

Have a good night, I'm off to walk, see you all tomorrow!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 7 - 1 Week down, lifetime to go!

Quick update since I haven't posted in a few days. 

Wednesday's caloric intake - just over 1,300
Thursday's caloric intake - 200 under my allowance, slipped up a bit but was still under.
Friday's caloric intake - 1600 or so calories.

All in all for the week I'm about 7k under my allowance.  I hit the gym tonight with Lorenzo, we did 200 reps on the bench press (this was awesome as I truly felt the need to lower the weight to keep going even and at the end my arms were completely spent).  I then did some push-ups, ab twists, and boxing punches until exhaustion claimed my muscles. 

The last couple of days I've been doing cardio in one way or another, like washing all the windows in the house and car as fast as I could, etc. 

Anyway, I'm pretty beat and falling asleep as I type this up so I'll catch you all later one down the line. 

May God Bless you all.