Jun 16, 2021 Latest post:
May 19, 2022
A LETTER FROM NICHOLAS June 30, 2021 To Everyone,
I am sending one message to everyone because communicating takes me considerably more time now than it used to. I am going to be completely open and transparent. Some of the topics are heavy and will not be easy to hear. Please be sure you are ready before you read it.
Before I start I want to thank you for being by my side. Thank you for making me smile and warming my heart to the deepest depths of its core. And thank you for the unforgettably amazing and wonderful ways you have all shaped me into the person I am.
To those of you feeling great despair, please know that even in times like this I feel majorly positive and happy. I am trudging on. I am making progress. I am healing. No matter what happens, I will continue to enjoy this life, for it is my life.
The doctors have said I will be able to speak again and to eat again. Everything else, they have said, is up to chance. I wish we could tell you how strong or weak the chances are but we do not know. All we can do is give you updates. The updates will come weekly, sometimes daily.
Muscle wise, I am able to control the entirety of my head. I can also shrug my shoulders and move a couple of the muscles in my chest. Feeling has been steadily coming back. Although from day to day feeling comes and goes, at the end of every week, I have more feeling than I did at the beginning.
My spinal cord injury is a contusion, like a bruise. In the bruised part of my spinal cord, some nerves were likely killed and others were simply stunned. The stunned nerves will become more and more functional over time. The stunned nerves could be touch sensors, heat sensors, motor controls, or perhaps other types of nerves I don't know about. They don't know which ones were stunned and which ones were killed or how many were stunned and how many were killed.
What we do know is that the fastest part of my recovery (the first 6 months), will come from the stunned spinal nerves. Other aspects of my recovery could involve regrowth of nerves that could give additional improvements over as many as 5 years. After then, any further improvements would likely be much smaller.
My legs could come back, my arms could come back, everything in my chest could come back and I might be able to breathe without a ventilator again. My recovery might follow a pattern and it might not follow a pattern. It could be seemingly random, they just don't know. What they do know is that it is very unlikely everything will come back.
And I'm OK with that.
The challenges life brings us are a blessing because they stimulate our minds and sometimes our bodies, they prod us to learn, help us to grow and teach us to overcome. This one has made me think a lot about engineering and new ways to solve and work around problems. My mind is generating new concepts, approaching problems in new ways and using methods of thinking I never have before. These new thought processes are stimulating and inspiring. They are not only bringing me to a good place, they are also helping me have some fun along the way.
Please know that I am fully prepared to travel this new road. I am over two weeks into my recovery and feeling full of strength, both mentally and physically. I am used to working hard and I don't give up. I have overcome many obstacles in the past and am ready to face and overcome these new obstacles as well. This has been a major eye opener and has deepened my appreciation for the things I have and the experiences I've had.
I am energized and optimistic about the future. With the help of others, I am able to communicate. I am pushing forward with the software / hardware company I am starting with a few others. We are meeting twice a week and will hopefully have the company incorporated in the coming weeks. We will be meeting with a big patent law firm in Portland in August, they are interested in perhaps writing our patents in exchange for an equity position in the company. However, as I am still in the acute phase of my hospitalization and my C2 vertebrae is still unstable, I am putting the majority of my effort into simply healing as much as possible. Hopefully I will be out of the acute phase and into the rehab phase soon.
Please know I am grateful to have all of you in my life.
Please know I am happy.
Whatever and however many obstacles there are to overcome or dodge, I will keep running in the race of life.
Loving and deeply appreciating every single one of you,