Aug 10th

2011

Grateful

It’s my second full day in physical rehab. Monday was spent doing intake and assessment. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent kicking my ass. I went to bed Tuesday exhausted, but having walked 16 lengths of the gym. Today I did 20. Tomorrow I’ll do more.

Before bed this evening I went for a walk around the ward, made the photograph above. And I kept walking. Did 5 laps. A man on the ward stopped me and said, from his powered wheelchair, “I’d give my right arm to be able to do what you are doing right now.” I am in the minority – one of the few that either has 4 limbs or will walk out of here this month. It’s not hard to see why I’m so grateful, so exhilarated to be able to walk a handful of slow, sore, and graceless feet or metres. Because I still can. And those few feet will become kilometres, they’ll hurt less, and I’ll be dancing before some of these people walk. It’s deeply humbling.

Heading to bed now. Just wanted to check in and say Hi, let you know I’m alive. Tomorrow’s a new day and I’ll be up early. You don’t learn to walk again by not walking :-) These folks are good. I’m very blessed to have the PT that I do and the support I have from all of you. Thanks again.

Comments (71)
  1. David Olmstead

    August 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Very nice, good news is always great to read

  2. August 10, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Simply put: heartwarming. Your gratitude is palpable! Thanks for sharing…

  3. August 10, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Good to see you up and about and on your (three) feet.

  4. August 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    the smile says it all… and now do your best to inspire your new friends in rehab… your attitude is infectious… that is one bug they will want to catch

  5. Nancy Johnson

    August 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    I’m waving to you David! You keep going!

  6. Ron

    August 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    First you crawl, then you walk, then you run… Keep moving! :)

  7. August 10, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    So glad to hear you’re making such wonderful progress. Well done!

  8. Peter Tomashewski

    August 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Good news. Come early October, you should be quite mobile and ready to shoot. How about hitting Gatineau Park and capturing some of those fall colours and sharing them with the world. I really miss the area because I used to take friends visiting from elsewhere to see that spectacular scenery. It was best when we could photograph it and marvel at the natural art of it all. Please continue your good news.

  9. August 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    That’s wonderful. Having gone thru 4 years of PT I totally get how hard it is. I’m happy to say I can take photos again even though I only have about 20% use of my right arm. Wishing you continued success!

  10. August 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Thumbs up from Vancouver!

  11. August 10, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Oh, what a wonderful blog. You put everything into perspective for me. Your excitement is contagious. Wishing you many more laps each day. My heart is full. Thanks for taking the time at the end of your very hard day to share with us all. xxoo

  12. August 10, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    heartwarming, david – you’re on the way.
    all the best

  13. August 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Hi David, i am happy for you, you doing better and better. You’ll surely dance again one day, maybe not with the Stars…:) but it will be a great day!
    I wish you courage, you are well supported by your family and of course the medical team.
    Have a happy day.
    Michael.

  14. Marlies Anastasia

    August 11, 2011 at 12:01 am

    You are doing amazing! Having been there, I am so incredibly proud of you and am here cheering you on. You can do this!

  15. Joolz

    August 11, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Awesome!!!

  16. Mike

    August 11, 2011 at 12:17 am

    What a great post. Your grateful attitude and hard work are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing. Praying for you.

  17. August 11, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Things appear to be looking up.

  18. August 11, 2011 at 3:43 am

    i guess one has to fall deep [sorry for the pun] to be honestly and fully gratefull. i think i’m very far from that same gratfullness you have because i had more luck (?) in my life. but i try to put myself in your shoes (sort of) and learn maybe at least a tiny bit … so thanks for sharing the whole process. keep on walking!

    greetings
    torsten

  19. August 11, 2011 at 3:46 am

    My, my, you look happier than a fat rat in a cheese factory! All kidding aside, it’s a beautiful thing, this progress you’ve made in such a relatively short period. You have been such an inspiration, always seeking those nuggets of hope. I am so happy for you!

  20. August 11, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Nice one David :-)

    It’s great to hear that you’re moving slowly but surely towards recovery. All the best, and if the blogging helps, keep it coming – I, for one, read them all.

    Cheers!

  21. Sharon DeHayes

    August 11, 2011 at 4:38 am

    Perfect Perspective!

  22. Chuck Leamoin

    August 11, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Great to see a big smile on your face. Speedy recovery David.

  23. August 11, 2011 at 4:57 am

    You look super happy in that snap! Awesome. Keep up the good work.

    P.S. your quote reminded me of another a friend used to say…’you can’t drink all day unless you start in the morning’…completely irrelevant but I always thought it was clever.

  24. August 11, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Love the the pic — beautiful smile!

  25. Shawn

    August 11, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Congrats! Love the smile of accomplishment.

  26. Bill McCarroll

    August 11, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Nice David, you’ll be saying adios to the cane in no time. Stay focused.

  27. Nitesh Mistry

    August 11, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Thanks for sharing David and I’m really glad to hear you are getting back to where you were. Keep going, you have the right attitude! Oh when you have some time aside of your routines check out this website http://www.wopg.org for more inspiration, ive enjoyed it very much. Wishing you all the best :)

  28. Rob Patterson

    August 11, 2011 at 8:22 am

    The smile says it all David, well done & keep up the hard work.

  29. August 11, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Congrats on all the progress, David. That is wonderful news.

  30. August 11, 2011 at 8:42 am

    LOOK AT YOU STANDING. Awesome.

    I’m in Beijing right now and saw Within The Frame in Chinese… (hopefully that’s legit ;-) Glad to see your photos pop up when I didn’t expect them.

  31. August 11, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Hey man, way to go….

    Seems like you’re a tough little bugger……..

    Keep you chin up and you feet movin’!

  32. Karen Watson

    August 11, 2011 at 9:40 am

    So happy for you – that you are blessed so, even in the face of such a hardship!! Keep up the hard work!

  33. August 11, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Hey, David – a newbie here. Glad you are doing well – keep up the good work and I use the term specifically.

  34. August 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Excellent excellent! So glad to know that you’re making such “strides”!
    You’re a great inspirer! {is that even a real word?}
    Keep walkin!

  35. MariAnne

    August 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Great news – it’s hard work you’re doing,keep it up!

  36. August 11, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Was feeling sorry for myself today for some very silly reasons David. Thanks for the perspective check. Wishing you continued restoration!

  37. pepijn

    August 12, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Wow that is a great step David! good for you. Maybe it is a reborn after all. It definitely gave new perspectives, but will it be a better you?

    hahaha no just kidding. I’m enormous happy that you made your first steps again. Keep up the spirits, train hard, and you will be rewarded next month with your new travel adventure.
    cheers David,
    P

  38. Bob

    August 12, 2011 at 2:44 am

    perspective…not just for photographs…great post David

  39. August 12, 2011 at 2:56 am

    Great progress David, praise God. Keep pushing and it will pay off.

  40. Walter

    August 12, 2011 at 2:58 am

    Thanks for sharing — and keep it up! (which I’m sure you will…)

  41. Ron Carroll

    August 12, 2011 at 3:37 am

    Good news. Stay off any walls.

  42. nate parker

    August 12, 2011 at 4:29 am

    don’t rush it man- step at a time, slow and easy-

  43. August 12, 2011 at 6:25 am

    When do they put the fully loaded camera bag on your back?

    Seriously – this is awesome news. Congrats!

  44. August 12, 2011 at 11:24 am

    The picture is so cool! You look like a toddler who just discovered how great it is to walk. I hope it felt like that, if just for a moment before that pain came back.

  45. August 12, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Fantastic! Keep up the good work! The pain will subside; the strides will get longer; you will get stronger. Stay at it!

  46. Barb White

    August 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Its very cool that you have mentioned the PTs . Very seldom does it seem like there are any other people working in the hospital other than Nurses and Doctors. All the rest of us are often forgotten.
    Take care David and all the best as you conquer your various mountains.

  47. August 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Such an inspiring outlook! Love this photo! Keep up the good work! :-)

  48. Adair Dammann

    August 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    way to go. Attitude of Gratitude and unbearably hard work will take you a long long way….x.thanks for opening up this experience to all of us in the ether world ~ there are many ways to teach, and to move people. thank you.

  49. August 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    David – I shared with you my own story of recovery from two back surgeries when you first injured yourself. A few months after the surgeries I also went to six weeks of live-in physical therapy. The PT’s were the catalyst needed for my recovery to truly begin. I was humbled by the other patients who fought back with everything they had and were injured so much more than I was. You will emerge from the crucible stronger and better than you went in. Reading your story has reminded me of all I have to be thankful for and inspired me to be a better person.

    Please keep sharing your story.

    JP

  50. August 13, 2011 at 2:04 am

    God Bless You! Keep it up.

  51. August 13, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Well done, David. I am a big fan of your books, I think I have them all. Tell me, you had me check out Photoshelter but I already set up a portfolio with 500px. What is the difference between them? my tweet is @morgana16 in case you want to respond via tweet. Good job with your rehab. You´ll be up and about in no time

  52. August 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I’m so glad to hear of your progress! Love your smile.

  53. Conrad

    August 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Offering up many prayers for your recovery :)

  54. Bill McCloskey

    August 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Great news, David!! Hopefully you’ll have time for lunch or coffee with Maureen, Freeman and I sometime while you’re here in Ottawa and you can demonstrate your progress. We’re looking forward to seeing you mobile again!.

  55. August 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    A smile that is felt all the way down to your toes….doesn’t get any better! How wonderful, David.

  56. Kris Ryan

    August 15, 2011 at 8:52 am

    What a great, well-deserved, appreciative, hopeful and complete smile! Beaming…and contagious…I found myself smiling back at you!

  57. Elmon

    August 15, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Glad to see you are so far down the road to complete recovery. Keep smiling like that and your destination will be upon you before you realize it.

  58. August 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    AMEN! So glad to hear of your spirited rocovery David. YOU DA MAN!

  59. Patrick Mc D

    August 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Keep going! Best wishes from Ireland David

  60. Adair Dammann

    August 15, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    i keep looking for an update; no news is good news and means you are working hard, tired, and completely absorbed. best wishes

  61. August 15, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I have just finished to read your two books translated in French. I am a bigginner in photo à 60 years old, and it is so exiting, you describe exactly what I want to do in photograph, so I practice, I practice until I move the button without having a look on the device ! I send you a lot of good energy. and when you will come in France, perhaps for a workshop, let me know. I’ll be there ! Thank you for all, David and keep going with this smile and let the bad moment go.

  62. August 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    It doesn’t matter how bad your situation, someone, somewhere will be worse off. Keep up the battle, David, that’s your ticket to freedom.

  63. August 17, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Wow David! It’s wonderful to see you standing on your own two feet, and to hear that you’ve walked so much. You look so much happier in this photo than you did when you crawled into your parents place.

    Congratulations man! Keep it up! It won’t be long now until we disband the society. :D

  64. buddy

    August 18, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Good on you. Be grateful. everyday. I have been where you are. It makes one humble. Thank you for sharing.

  65. August 19, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Good to hear you’ll walking out of their soon. Congratulations.

  66. Kheeran D.

    August 20, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Well done David. Your spirit and attitude for life is inspiring. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  67. September 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I love your sense of humor.. sounds so much like me!! I understood so much more about photography after reading “within the frame” I’m happy you’re feeling better.and i love the above photo too
    what was your response to the guy on the powered wheelchair?