Written by: JR Vezain< Back to Articles
For this article I want to give a little progress update thus far in our journey. I say our journey for a reason. There are so many people tied to this story other than just myself. I’m not the only one that has been impacted by this wreck. My wife, my family, my friends, the people I didn’t know before that I have met since, the prayer warriors that are still praying and standing in agreement for the miracle, all the people along the way that have have helped us out, my doctors, therapists, and everyone else in between. I have been blessed with such a huge support group and I can’t thank everyone enough for the prayers, kind wishes, help, and belief in me and what God is doing and going to keep doing through me for his glory at the end of this season. Thanks also, for following along checking in on progress. It’s been a heck of a ride that’s for sure. Bumpy at times with a few steep decline mountain switchbacks but, we’re still on the uphill climb, and I’m not about to let off the throttle just yet.
So, this is the month that I’m going to have my one year anniversary, post wreck. September 22nd will mark 365 days since we began down this journey. I’ve came a long ways and have learned a lot in the last year. I’ve learned patience. I’ve learned perseverance I didn’t know I had. I’ve learned how to adapt and overcome like never before. I’ve learned the ins one out of wheelchair life. I’ve learned how to be a dad (still learning this one). I’ve learned how to truly put everything in God’s hands and trust his plan. I’ve learned how to place things so I can always access them. I was short before but the last year I’ve been really vertically challenged. But seriously, I thought I knew or had these characteristics before, but I have really learned them and enhanced them in the last year. Although, the situation isn’t ideal for me. I would definitely rather be walking, running, jumping on my feet, I know my character has been refined, built up, enhanced, and made stronger. I know once I’m out of this waiting season all the lessons I’ve learned and the character that’s been built in me will be used for something great down the road for God’s glory.
On Labor Day, Shelby and I loaded up Ryatt (our son) and headed for Utah. I had been invited to a charity pheasant hunt, that Clint Robinson puts on for people with disabilities. Since I knew I was going to be there for the hunt, I scheduled a week of rehab at my old facility, Neuroworx. I wanted to get retested to see how much progress I’ve made since coming home in April, and see what their thoughts were and what to do moving forward. We checked back into our old apartment room Monday night and prepared for rehab the next morning.
The next morning it was like dejavu. The room felt the same. The stroll down the sidewalk to rehab was the same. Everything about the morning was like we had never left. We strolled into Neuroworx, and of course everyone was excited to meet the baby. They all came and said hi to the little man. Then, my former therapist from the time I was down before took me back to a mat for retesting. The moment was upon us. Had I made any changes since being home? Had I worked hard enough? Was I going to be able to walk? These thoughts began to flood my mind and I just said a quick prayer to myself and said “Lord, your will be done. Let any new results bring glory to your name. Bless his hands and the work we do this next week. And bless this place as it is changing lives, thank you. In Jesus name, Amen.”
The first test was a sit up. With my legs hanging off the table, and arms crossed I tried to sit up. I got about half way or a little better. Matt, the therapist was impressed. The time before I could only sit up about a quarter of the way. Next test was a reverse sit up. So leaning forward laying on my lap trying to sit back up straight. I gave it a go and I made it about half way up as well. Time before I couldn’t even get started off my knees. Next test was side to side and forward reach without losing control of my trunk. Each direction I could reach about five inches before loosing control. About four inches more then when I left. This concluded testing and Matt was happy to see I made so much progress. Doesn’t seem like much but in this game progress is progress. He told us first of all we don’t usually see people back when we send them home with an at home program, and we definitely don’t expect to see this good of results from at home therapy. So, I had jumped a level on every test and was on the right track. I didn’t have any new significant leg movements that they felt like I needed to stay and work there yet, but I had made leaps and bounds on trunk control and strength. So, the next step was to work our way down and begin getting more hip control. They said when I get hip control and get those muscles stronger and firing better, it will be a game changer. So, we got to work. The next three days we put our heads together, tried new movements, and came up with a different set of work outs to head home with, challenging me and focusing on getting my glutes to fire, and gaining more control at my waist.
Then Saturday came. My old leather working buddy from down there, Kent and his son, Craig picked me up and we headed to the bird hunt. There was about twenty other people in wheelchairs all ready to shoot some birds. We gathered around had a little safety meeting, like don’t shoot the vehicle next to you and don’t shoot the dogs. We each loaded up in a side by side and in groups of five we headed to different fields. At each field there was dog handler and a couple dogs. He turned the dogs loose and away we went. We followed behind until the dogs got on point. Once they sniffed one out, a few gathered around it, got set and in position leaning the gun out the front window of the Ranger. Once we were set they would flush them up and the shooting would begin. It was an awesome experience. I hadn’t been bird hunting since high school, so it was good to get back out and do some hunting. It was a great event, and all the help setting up, taking down, and everybody that pitched in to make it all happen is greatly appreciated!
Over all it was a great trip, filled with good news. God is good and he is faithful. He’s still on the move. We’re still believing in the miracle. We’re back home and back to work, picking away. I’m excited to see where I’ll be in 365 more days!
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” 2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT