Sunday, May 22, 2011

Road Trip!

This blog entry is from Sue Norman, after finishing a visit with Kelley and her Mom. I flew down with my little dog Roscoe a couple of weekends ago, and spent the week in Carlsbad to enjoy a little summer sun ( been a little harsh in Tahoe this spring) and help Kelley and Lee pack up the apartment, for their summer hiatus to Montana. Kelley is going to stay at her Moms home in Thompson falls Montana for a couple of months, before returning to her physical therapy work at Project Walk in Carlsbad.
For those of you who may visit Kelley in the future down there, I found a great little place to recreate, at the Carlsbad SUP (stand-up paddle board) Club, on the Carlsbad Lagoon. I paddled there several times while I was there, including joining in on a couple of Crossfit SUP classes. Those kicked my butt. On my last paddle Kelley and Wilbur came with me to the Club site. Kelley was still recovering from her last Project Walk workout, so she hung out on shore while I took Wilbur and Roscoe on the SUP. We paddled over to a primitive beach on the other side of the lagoon for a little dog frolic, and then they just hung out contentedly on the board together while I did a loop around the Lagoon. I have trained Roscoe to be the consummate adventure dog, like Kelley did with Wilbur. They both are ready to jump into any kind of boat at a moments notice, and Wilbur goes EVERYWHERE with Kelley riding in a little basket rigged on the back of her wheelchair. Kelley liked the scene at the Club and hopefully can figure out how to do some paddling of her own in the Lagoon when she comes back down.
I went with Kelley to Project Walk while I was there, although her progress is still moving at a frustratingly slow place, there is noticeable gain. Her therapist has really been working with her on developing hip strength, and she can fire alot of muscles in her legs and feet to some degree (toes are wiggling more). She can pedal a spin bike unassisted now, albeit with no resistance. Unfortunately there is also a noticeable pain response after her two hour Project Walk workouts. Her nerve pain is as bad as it has ever been, and continues to be her most disabling challenge. Towards the end of the week, myself Lee, and a couple of her neighbors packed up most of their belongings to put into storage, and the rest in a U-haul to go with them to Montana. The U-haul was primarily for her therapy equipment, including a new used recumbent bike, which I immediately coveted. This bike is cool, and with Kelley able to spin now she will be able to use this bike on smooth flat roads in Montana, with some assistance. It will be a fun and I think relatively comfortable way for her to get outside and keep her leg therapy going.
After we got everything packed up, the three of us and our three funny little dogs began the first leg of their journey, to my house in Tahoe. We took two days to drive up the east side of the sierras, spending one night in beautiful Lone Pine. The scenery was spectacular, and Kelleys van is a pretty comfortable ride. After spending a couple of days at my house, they went down to Sacto for a doctors appointment and other visits, and then Kelley and her mom went on to Montana. I was of course worried about them doing this long drive on their own, but one thing I have learned about the Kalafatich women, they know how to dig deep to face their challenges. They arrived safe and sound several days later.
So please stay in touch with Kelley while she is Montana, she is worried about not having the motivational influence of her trainer at Project Walk, so any encouragement, even from afar would be appreciated. She will be back at Project walk by late summer, and may fly down there for a interim visit during the summer if she feels she needs to. And Lee will be joining her again for the fall and winter.
Take care all, and as Kelley does every day, remember to just take it one day at a time in pursuit of your goals, and never, never take for granted what you have in your life that is good. Even with all the crummy stuff Kelley has to deal with she always appreciates the love of her dog, her Mom, and her friends, ..... the feel of the sun on her face, the taste of a delicious mango/lime smoothy, and many of the other small things in life for which she is grateful. Sue