Monday, November 12, 2007
Today is SUNDAY!!! We finally made it a week! And thursday, we're blowin this Russian JOINT. So I had an injection tuesday and saturday and they both went well. Just been doin therapy and gettin massages (ps my massagist is def. into chicks and loves massaging my boooty but I sure don't mind haha). They have me doin more difficult therapy this time; more focused on strengthening my tricepts and back muscles. The doctor in charge of rehab came to our room wednesday wanting to examine me to check all my muscles out, how well i breathe, checked my wrists, my tricepts....
Anyways, he said I have more strength in my wrists, biceps, triceps, and back. He made me get on my stomach, back, and sides and told me to try and lift my head to see what muscles were working and how active they were. He said my top back muscles seem to be working now and that my very top ab muscles flinch when i try to lift my head and that these muscles were inactive last visit. He also said I seem to breathe somewhat better and that my hands/fingers have muscle development now- more in my left. My therapist told me that I sit up straighter in my chair this visit too. So YAY!
I sure did eat chef boyardeee wednesday! We've been killlling the market- bought ham, mayo, lettuce, american bread, cokes. And it is sooo cold outside (def. not 4 us Texans)!! Thursday we went into the old freakin hospital to do an EEG (brain) test. Haha Billy was trippin over how old it is. I did an interview thursday also- HOLLLLYWOOOOD!! We ate some McDonalds & ordered pizza too- not like home but it worked. MAN we are ready to come home! Haven't been doin much else except hiding from some of the odd patients here. MY friend from Baylor Rehab is here, Eric and we met some cool people from michigan... anyways- I'm out. love, T
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
BUT one of our luggages was damaged and also our clinic driver wasn't there to pick us up. This was a first. He is usually there all eager to get us. SO my mom, Billy, and me were STUCK in the airpt not knowing the language... and all these Russians kept coming up to us asking us things. Omg it was a big wow moment definitely. Atleast we know the russian word for "NO" which is "Nyet".
Monday was a Russian holiday so we just chilled all day. Tuesday, I got my first injection (a double dose) and I had killer therapy. We've already had some odd food served... we keep getting bread with cheese slices or salami slices on it for breakfast. Haha Billys trippin out over that! And yesterday, they served salami olive soup with lunch. I refused to eat that!! Don't you guys wish you were here?! haha
Friday, November 2, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Well monday was a weird day. After we woke up and ate, the head hancho of the clinic and probably 7 more doctors came in with our GROOVY translator, basically discussing my case and their thoughts. They kept saying "Da" which means yes so I started saying it. Haha it was so funny. Something we noticed that they do here is wink... some do it with one eye and some do it with both eyes at once. It is like saying "Hello" or smiling, which we now know. At first, it was kinda odd; we were like wondering why everyone was winking at us. When all the doctors came in, they were all winking at me. So I started winking back and they all started laughing and speaking Russian. And nooo the translator did not translate that part!
Then me and Tacha went to the market. I bought a headband and a shirt :) And yeah that was our excitement of the day. Today, I got a massage & I loove my massagist too. She's sweet and calls me "My Tonya." Mom went to the market and bought us more bacon, ham, 'American bread', and eggs. We had ham and cheese sandwiches and they were the BOMB! And tonight, we're definitely making BLTs... yum! I had therapy for about an hour and then went for a brain test, "EEG. " Now we're just hangin out watching Friday Night Lights that our friend here, Mike from Oklahoma loaned us.
Please continue to pray for us. XO!
Monday, July 16, 2007
New information as of Monday July 16, 2007: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/071707dnmetmckmurders.13e176.html
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I got my first injection of this trip tuesday and it went smoothly. I had a headache afterwards like last time and felt dizzy but thats expected. I will most likely get me 2nd injection early next week. I had a test done thursday where an awesome neurologist sends shock signals throughout my body thru the nerves. And he speaks good English. He told me he was researching stem cell on google and my name popped up, my stem cell page. Isnt that weird? He was telling me how impressed he was :) My doctor told me that the results show my fingers will come back so yaay!
We went to this bar/ pool tables place... (that was cool)on thursday with this Spanish/Russian patient named Ladimir. Hes probably 50ish and his wife came and this other patient and his friend... mid-twenies(they only speak Russian & live in Moscow) They both are inlooooove with Tacha. So we get there and there are some steps but we still managed to get in. They ordered french fries for the first appetizer which was shocking but tasty! They served it with mayonaisse... it was gross. The second appetizer was sliced salami, raw bacon, and ham served with bread. I've never ate my bacon raw and I refuse to start now. The dinner was like chicken and vegetables mixed together with some kind of herbs all over coals. We were there for 3 hrs and came back to all the gates being locked and had to walk forever to the only gate still being guarded. It was just a really odd night.
Today, we went to the Red Square, Souvenir strip, and the HardRock Cafe. At the souvenir strip, I swear here were 20 brides & grooms & there parties there. We found out that alot of people in Russia go there after or for their wedding on Saturdays. The Red Square was beautiful... lots of architecture. We ate nachos n quesadillas at the Hard Rock Cafe. But the tour cost $200. We had fun today.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
When we got out into the Russian world, Tacha was trippin out on the cars.. how they drive crazy. But when we got to the clinic, it was about 1:30 pm but we went straight to bed b/c we were up for like 24 hours.
This morning I got a full body massage in bed and I got a new Physical Therapist but I start tomorrow w/ her. And the best news is that I'm getting an injection after lunch Alex (my translator) said!!! Sooo yay! Wish me luck n please pray for the best... it's a double dose injection.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
BUT after sitting without takeoff for 2 hours, they tell us the flight is cancelled. And we couldn't get another flight to take us to ATL in time so we couldn't make the connection to our other flight taking us to to Russia. So, we came home & have to try this again tomorrow. We got our flight scheduled for the same time tomorrow.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Dallas Morning News Article Online
Love you guys, T
PS Don't be afraid to write me!!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
I even ran into my friend Taryn, which was cool... so we hung out.
Also our friends, Bill & Linda & their son Wade (who I grew up with) and his friend were there hanging out with us. It was so fun, really.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
I love him!! :)
Thursday, April 26, 2007
When we got on the flight home, guess who we sat RIGHT next to? Michael FREAKIN Irvin!! And he sure was trying to sport his black velour and gucci luggage. He wore all black, shades, and a hat. He was trying to hide behind a newspaper too. He goes off. When he got up to go to the bathroom, I KNEW it was him. He is sooo TALL.
Guys, you should be so thankful for what you have- your home, the food you like, your life. Being in Russia made me appreciate even the little things, like being in my own bed and just the smell of Texas air. I feel that this happening to me- you know, me becoming paralyzed- would atleast make you appreciate your legs, your fingers, sensations in your entire body... You guys are so lucky; and you don't even realize it. That tears me up inside. I would give anything to move just one finger or one toe. And most of you take everything in life for granted. I just hope this has caught someone's attention :).
ALMOST EVERY RUSSIAN... I'VE HEARD... LOVES ALCOHOL. AND THERE IS NO AGE LIMIT TO DRINKING OR SMOKING. WE SAW 3 14-YR OLDS DRINKING BEER ON THE SIDEWALK. YOU CAN ALSO DRINK BEER/ ALCOHOL ANYWHERE; DOWN THE ROAD, IN FRONT OF THE COP STATION, IN STORES... PROBABLY EVEN IN THE LIBRARY. HAHA
THE TRAFFIC IS RIDICULOUS & THE DRIVING IS WORSE. THE LANES ARE NOT NOTICEABLE AND EVEN WHEN THEY ARE SLIGHTLY, RUSSIAN DRIVERS MAKE THEIR OWN LANE, LIKE IN BETWEEN LANES. I HAVE NOT SEEN ONE PERSON WEAR A SEATBELT AND ONLY FEW USE THEIR BLINKERS. AT STOP SIGNS/ LIGHTS, THEY WILL GO AHEAD AND GO INFRONT OF YOU, EVEN IF ONCOMING TRAFFIC IS COMING IF YOU ARE NOT A SPEED DEMON LIKE A RUSSIAN. AND THEY MAKE 3 TURNING LANES MERGE INTO 1, CUTTING INFRONT OF YOU & BLOCKING INTERSECTIONS.
AT MCDONALDS, THERE ARE ABOUT 15 CARS IN LINE AND LINES OUT THE DOOR INSIDE. THATS B/C RUSSIANS DON'T HAVE GOOD FOOD LIKE US.... STUPID CABBAGE YUK.
RUSSIANS ALSO PARK ON SIDEWALKS, CURBS, & IN THE FURTHEST LANE ON THE ROAD. AND ITS LEGAL. I JUST DONT GET IT. AND PEOPLE RUN OUT INFRONT OF CARS TOO, EVEN IF THE CAR MIGHT POSSIBLY HIT THEM. WE HAD TO SLAAM ON OUR BRAKES, ALMOST HITTING SOMEONE! THERE IS A TROLLEY IN THE MIDDLE OF MOST MAJOR ROADS HOOKED TO A WIRE AT THE TOP.
OMG! THE MOST POPULAR HAIRCUT FOR MEN & WOMEN IS THE MULLET. THE WOMEN WEAR ALL KINDS OF PANTYHOSES; ALL COLORS, ALL DESIGNS... W/ KNEE HIGH BOOTS. AND TEENAGE GIRLS THAT ARE FRIENDS HOOK ARMS.
SOOOO on Friday, we went across town to get an MRI done to my neck. It took forever to get there and back, like 2 hrs in traffic. Moscow has twice as many people as DFW, 6 million total, so there's alot of traffic. When we got to this hospital, I had to take my bra off.. and that was a big ordeal (b/c of the metal wiring) and I had to be carried from another room into the MRI room. Apparently, my chair had too much metal. But anyways, my MRI turned out normal. It showed my spinal fluid everywhere in my spine except from C4-C6; which is why I'm paralyzed. However, it did show that I have a cyst inbetween my injured site which can complicate my injury and withhold my potential stem cell treatment recovery :(
On Saturday, we went down the road to a supermarket with a Michigan couple staying at the clinic also. I don't think we have anything in common at all. Every time we mention something we like or enjoy doing; they are against it. Like I ate some Mac & cheese and the man made a big deal about how bad & fattening it is. I was like... I guess I'm fat; and I was over it instantly, but I don't think he was. Haha, me n mom were laughing. But anyways, they had little shops- like Trades Day- set up outside infront of the store but what they were selling did not look appealing. I couldn't even figure out what some of it was. ewww. So we went inside, and guess what we saw? A LONG row, right when u walk in of Vodka and beer. And their food is so different. I saw a bag of cheetos, but the cheetos had no cheese. And there is no such thing as our white bread... like Mrs. Baird's. All they have are little itty bity breads; almost like french bread but 1/2 the size.
Sunday, a missionary family (origiinally from Alabama) came to visit us. And wow, they brought us some lettuce, broccilli, and RANCH! I was homesick from my fattening ranch. Then, the family prayed over us, which really lifted my spirits.Sunday night, a hemotologist came and put a "catheter" in the artery of my thigh! I couldn't even look. It is similar to an IV u get at the hospital except there is an input & an output (a Y connection) . This is necessary for the blood transfusion that was performed today. They hooked me up to this huge machine... through the catheter in my thigh. And they drew my blood, filtered out my stem cells and put my blood back into my body. Wow, you shoulda seen all my stem cells!! Thursday is INJECTION DAY!!!
After that, I had this test done called TMS to see if my nerves were still active. When a person becomes paralyzed, the nerve signals to the brain are lost. So, the person can still have active nerves but the signal has just been disconnected at the site of injury OR your nerves can become nonactive and this is what this test is determining. The neurophysiologist places these patches first on my legs/hands; then on my head. These patches are hooked to his computer and a shocking machine. Everytime he would send shocks to my body, the computer would record results. When my legs were shocked, I couldn't feel it of course but they would jump all over the place. When the left sides of my hands were shocked (w/ palm facing up), my thumbs would move. When the right sides of my hands were shocked, all of my other fingers would move. So, my entire nervous system is still active. yay! That means there is still hope. However, when he shocked my head... which felt like I was being struck by lightening (oh yes I got a picture)...
And today, we FINALLLLY got the confirmation that tomorrow, they will begin the step by step treatment process. However, it won't be til next week that I get the stem cell injection. We spoke to the doctor in charge of it.
Wow and I say gonna alot but no one here can understand it or pronounce it.
I had an MRI taken today of my brain and guess what? I'm normal. My mom said she didn't believe the results... We had to take my nose piercing out and it hurt sooo bad b/c it was dry.
We went to the market again and I bought a headband but my dad bought 2 lbs of ham. haha We couldn't figure out how to tell them 1/2 lb. And guess what we had for lunch? Cabbage and meatball soup. And what about dinner? Mystery meat w/ rice. Doesn't that sound scrumptous? So we all just ate ham.
Man these Russians sure are different... culturally. WOW.
So I told you about the hygiene thing- they dont wear deoderent or brush their teeth... Now I've found out more.
They all smoke and wear sandals w/ socks. There is a stairwell in the Clinic that ALL the staff & even almost all the patients go to smoke at. It is INSIDE!!! They also enjoy odd food, repeatedly. For example, every morning we get a piece of bread w/ bologna on it w/ milk. Their milk tastes like it is straight from a cow's udder; it's reaaal thick and creamy and eww.
Their greens consist of cucumbers and cabbage; so does their salad. There's no lettuce, no corn, no carrots... no anything but potatos, cabbage, and cucumbers. And they keep serving meatloaf meat... Ive had it about 5 nights in a row. They call it my diet... its just unbearable.
No one is happy either except the food lady.
They drink instant tea and coffee all day. Oh and they drink tea hot.
Russians don't bathe w/ rags. They bathe w/ gauze... like medical gauze. Is that how u spell it? So this is what we've been bathing with!!
And alot of women dye their hair red, orange, or burgandy. The men look like they need to shower... OMG! ANDD the men love to show their chest hair. I guess it makes them feel sexy but its wierd b/c its my doctors that do it and they're... not young.
I just cant get over how the guys that lift me when i have to go to xrays and stuff DEFINITELY dont wear deoderent and I get a big whiff of it everytime!! Today was the first time we got to go outside the Russian Clinic. I've been doing tests everyday. On thursday, they stuck this huge needle in my spinal cord and got a sample of my spinal fluid. Then they made me go straight to bed for 6 hrs (i had to be off my back). That put me out. Oh yeah they do have a mcdonalds. We ate food from there today. mmmmmm fish filet and fries. It was the bomb... really.