Rob Thompson's Journal
Rob's 25th Birthday
Written Sep 18, 2013 11:18pmLast Friday, the 13th was Rob's 25th birthday. As usual, I went into his room in the morning. I asked, "What day is today?"
"My birthday," he replied casually.
I was amazed. It's the first time in five years that he remembered his birthday.
"Yes! It is your birthday. Do you know how old you are?"
"25," he said smoothly.
When he saw the smile on my face he said, "I'm getting better all the time."
What a great birthday!
Saturday we had lots of Rob's friends over and Rob had a great time. Often, after a big event, Rob will get depressed the next day or so. That happened Sunday, but we managed a bike ride and that perked him up.
Two more items worth mentioning, we were able to give Rob's standing frame to a young man with a spinal cord injury in the Central Valley. What a great feeling to see that someone who has been twice denied a standing frame will finally have their own. An extra benefit is having more space at home.
Finally, this Saturday, September 21, is the first annual DogFest in Los Gatos. It is a fundraiser for CCI and will be lots of fun. There will be all sorts of canine activities and about a mile long walk at Vasona Park.
We would love to have lots of people join us. Here's a link to Rob's fundraising page for those of you who can help continue CCI's work: http://www.cci.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1076409&lis=1&kntae1076409=8919F75BBC6248F491... Hope to see you at the park on Saturday.
End of Summer Vacation
Written Aug 18, 2013 11:22pmThe summer has gone so quickly. We had a great time together. I did loads of paperwork for Rob. He needed paperwork to see if he could be an ectoskeleton pilot. I was hoping that would happen over the summer but apparently it is tougher to schedule than I realized. Now I'll just make sure to take a personal day to see Rob suit up like Ironman. Well not quite, but that's how I think of it.
We are working to change Rob's Adaptive Physical Education class from De Anza to West Valley College. When Rob first began Adaptive PE. De Anza was one of two junior colleges in our area that had a standing frame and a stationery bike that could be used from a wheelchair. He doesn't really need either of those pieces of equipment so I checked out West Valley's program in June.
The instructor is very nice and accommodating. The parking is free for Rob's wheelchair van and they have a machine that Rob can use from his chair for his arms. This particular apparatus has handles like his bike that he will hold onto and pull and push alternating his arms. We are hoping that will help stimulate his left arm more just as the biking cadence has helped his left leg.
In fact, as of this weekend, Dave calculated that he and Rob have ridden their bike 2,000 miles. Rob has made huge improvements and is seriously pedaling along with Dave. They average 10 miles an hour on most rides and have gotten up to 23 mph on some of their descents. Fortunately I haven't watched any of those.
We went to a comedy show at the Mountain Winery with friends and family. It was great fun and Rob still remembers parts of it. Another big improvement.
We also spent a week at a the beach. While we were there a movie was being filmed. We (I) volunteered our restrooms for the cast and crew to use. Everyone was so nice and we hung out with them all day. The movie is called "The Road Within" and it is scheduled to be released in 2014. Robbie Sheehan is the lead, he plays a kid with Tourette's Syndrome. When his mom dies, he goes to a facility run by Kyra Sedgwick. He befriends Dev Patel and Zoe Kravitz. Robert Patrick plays Robbie's father.
The last scene in the movie was shot in Capitola, not far from where we were, and we were invited to be in a crowd scene. They were hoping to shoot it before 6:00 PM but we were still waiting at 7:30. Rob was getting cold and said, "I'm freezing. Let's go home."
"No way," I said. You have a chance to be in a movie and that is one way you will for sure remember this vacation. We're staying."
We even got Deirdre's CCI vest on and positioned her on a wall in front of Rob's chair. Hopefully we won't end up on the cutting room floor.
Livestrong Davis 2013
Written Jun 24, 2013 8:22pm
We just returned from our weekend in Davis where we successfully rode 45 miles again this year.
The ride started at 7:30 am which meant we were up and getting ready at 5:00. With Becky, Rick, and Gena it was easy to get to the starting line by 7:00 am. They all know what to do for Rob and Dave was able to put our bikes together as we got Rob in his bike gear.
There were about 800 riders this year and many of them passed me as we rode out of town. Dave and Rob were biking about 14 mph which was surprising since Rob's left leg had been bothering him. I wanted to pace myself so I let them ride on ahead. I figured if they needed anything they could wait until I caught up.
Within the first 10 miles I knew I couldn't ride 65 miles and didn't think Rob should. His cadence wasn't really steady and he seemed to be favoring his left leg.
Rick and Gena rode all 45 miles on one speed beach cruiser bikes. Other riders were impressed. I think theirs were the only one speed bikes on the ride.
I was amazed and thankful that Becky, Rick, and Gena were with us. They made it more fun and easier all around. Of course, they make everything easier and more fun.
One of the highlights was the Awards Dinner Saturday night. One of the Livestrong honchos was speaking and he said, "I was talking with Rob earlier about the word y'all..."
Rob turned to me and mouthed, "Is he talking about me?"
"Yes," I whispered.
Rob got a huge grin and mouthed, "That's right. He's talking about me."
That was one of the times I realized that it had been five years since Rob's accident. To be able to sit next to Rob with his huge smile and amazed expression was fantastic.
Another time I remembered the date was during the ride. I was tired and sweaty and pedaling behind Rob and Dave. I could hear them talking, but I couldn't hear what they were talking about. I thought how amazing that here we all were as a family on this bike ride to raise money for people fighting cancer. I was and am so proud of my family. We have all come a long way in five years.