Liesl Karoline Becker's Journal
Written Aug 26, 2009 11:12am
I want to let you know that that this is going to be my final Caringbridge update. I feel I have progressed enough to discontinue writing about my progress. But as I sign off, I want to tell you a few things I am happy about:
- I am progressing on my weight loss; I am still a few pounds away from my normal weight, but I have already lost ten pounds – and that’s exciting for me. I am guessing that I will lose much more over the next few months, and when I begin running, things will get only better. Also, I have great opportunities to work out at my father’s university facilities this year, as I did today. I plan to exercise every day. Call me if you really want an update, but be aware know that my voice is not quite right yet!!
- My walking is slowly getting faster. Everyday I can feel improvements, even though I may not be able to see them right away. I have a feeling I’ll be running soon! :)
Again I would like to thank everyone who has kept up with my progress. Today, several people at my father’s university (Christian Brothers University) told me that they were still keeping up with me on here. Even for those who I am still not aware of them checking up on me, I really appreciate it.
Finally, I would like to re-thank my family (both immediate and extended) for all their support and assistance during this past year. Every kind word and encouragement has been very important to me.
So, yes, this is my final post. I hope everyone has a blessed end of the year, and that your future years are wonderful.
(This is the time that you should finally just sign your name in my guestbook…I want to see who read this when I’ve updated!)
Written Aug 10, 2009 1:17pm
Today is the one-year anniversary of my wreck. Well, I suppose I have just a few things to say:
First, I really do have a lot to be thankful for:
1. I made it through everything and I still have (hopefully) a long life ahead of me.
2. I am now walking.
For me to be walking with no assistance is pretty amazing, considering the extent of damage done to my brainstem. I remember my parents recalling an instance when I was in the hospital in Memphis. They said that some of the nurses predicted that I would be a vegetable for the rest of my life. How wrong they were! It took me about 11 months (and a 6 month visit to Dallas, Texas) before I was able to walk without any assistance, but finally, with my strong will and determination, I did it; I am now completely upright and moving without any assistive device.
3. I am almost completely off my medication.
Months ago, from when I can first remember following the wreck, I was on about 6 different medications. Currently, after this week, I will be weaning of my last medication. Three and a half weeks from now, and I will be “drug-free”!!
3. I still have all my intelligence.
(This is wonderful because now all the college loans I will be paying on for the next 10-20 years are not just for nothing! Haha!)
But in all seriousness, I am very thankful to have all the knowledge that I acquired at Saint Louis University still intact. I am very much planning on returning back to graduate school at Kansas State in the fall of 2010, if they offer my original funding or something close to it again. Also, a colleague of mine and I recently submitted an article for publication in a Psychology journal that hopefully, will be accepted and published soon. In addition, I am still planning on auditing some fall classes at Christian Brothers University (Correlational Methodology/Statistics, Psychopathology, and Catholicism). My parents [and I] still want to know that I still have stamina and ability to learn and retain information. If it goes well, I will know I am prepared to return back to graduate school. Either way, I will at least enjoy spending all that time with my Daddy. (He teaches there.)
4. I met some wonderful people who I would never have met in other circumstances.
For example, I know I’ve met the my cousin and her family when my parents were married in ’94, but it has been a LONG time since I’ve seen her, and now she has such adorable children! Also, I met people including the Gumps, Emily S., and Tara and Erin C. (they are all in my sorority, Delta Gamma). I have to admit it was a real blessing to have all that support and newly made friendships behind me. (I hope I was not forgetting anyone…but hey, short-term memory loss is a good excuse!)
In addition, I just wanted to send an overall thank you to all my therapists and Rehabilitation Assistants while I was at the Centre for Neuro Skills. :)
I also have several things I need to work on:
1. My voice. I am meeting with my awesome speech- pathologist on Wednesday, and he is going to, hopefully, have a game plan of the steps I should take to strengthen the muscles in my mouth to get my voice back! I REALLY want this back; it’s up there at the top of my list.
Sometimes, when I shy away from completing a simple task that I normally would do quite easily (like talk on the phone), my mom will ask me what I would do if my voice was impaired for life (which it very well could be). Well, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure how to answer that. Sometimes, I really just am not sure I could live with myself if I was unable to speak clearly. But of course, I will have to live with myself, so if anything, for all those pray-ers out there, I would appreciate some prayers sent to me for the repair of my speaking voice. If my singing voice never re-emerges, I’ll survive, but I very much want a normal speaking voice again.
2. I really want to run again. I go to the gym now almost daily now, and so I just need to practice walking faster and faster. Someday, it will come back, so everyone better keep their eyes out for me speeding by past you!! :)
3. My weight. I have currently lost around 10 pounds from what I weighed at my heaviest, and I am around 8 pounds away from what I weighed in college. Technically, I would like to lose ten more pounds to be under my college weight, but we’ll see!
Okay, this is starting too get long, so I am going to end this before it gets much longer. But, I hope everyone has a great day, and thanks for reading!!
Written Aug 5, 2009 6:58pm
So, I just had to let everyone know that today was my last day for rehabilitation!! Hoorah, I’m TOTALLY thrilled…no more therapy!!
Oh, really quickly, since it was my last day in physical therapy, my therapist had me complete a balance test called the ‘Berg”. The highest someone can score is a 56 and that means they have a low risk of falling. Well, when I first started attending the rehabilitation center in Memphis, I scored a 37. Today, when I took the test for my discharge, I scored a 54!! The only thing I have difficulty with is standing with one foot directly in front of the other, and standing only on one leg. But that will just come with time!
**My therapists had only thought I would score a 51 by discharge, but I showed them! See, it is true: I basically just “exude awesomeness”!! :)