Thoughts


In the span of the past 22 years, while intra-cranial, brain stem, and peripheral nerve tumors succeeded at punching tickets for many world petri-dish tours (and many other tumors happily hopped with Przybysz), the former* dumbbell-shaped tumors, particularly in the thoracic region of my spinal cord, were generally happy with the spectacles of neural activity spurred by the over eight times of losing and rebuilding of my legs/walking**.

I am truly blessed to be alive, and to have this present opportunity of building up some targeted support areas prior to surgical intervention. Tomorrow commences our weekly sessions at the site of the trifecta rebuild of 2009.

I’m at peace with all the cells in my body. I work with them, they work with me. Like any relationship, it’s all about respect and reciprocity.

Move this!

* They are now dendritic and inhibiting the flow of spinal fluid.

** Cane on campus, at 18? Liberating. The joy of walking! Golf cart stories? Priceless!
Acting as a twenty-something example for elderly neighbors who were reluctant to use mobility aids? Down with stigma; all hail function!

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One step at a time, but I’ve already worked out how to approach and think about an extended in-patient rehabilitation for my spine.

Summer in Austin; research at UT PRC on Demographic Methods in Minority Demography. It was my first time traveling via airplane alone (relatively speaking–i was joined by the flight crew and other passengers, afterall), and deaf, then via first solo passenger cab ride. It was a leap of faith going to an unfamiliar universityfor the summer. I was housed in The Castillian. Under the impression that bedding and towels were included with boarding, I did not pack any. Upon entering my room, I was faced with two twin beds with bare mattresses, and a bathroom containing only a partial roll of toilet tissue. My roommate was not expected to arrive for another day. This was before I had any mobile device with internet access–or ubiquitous wi-fi for that matter, and I found myself using the phone book to locate a Wal-Mart or Target, and called a cab (my first ever alone at night–one previous cab ride was with Chicago friends leading on a New Year’s Eve) using TTY.

Yada, yada, rich textured story… (Gramsci has his prison notebooks. Przybysz has her Austin notebooks.)

Strategy for dealing with my beautiful neon spine (inspired by the most recent Anania Update and by history and Team Przybysz):
Go to best center with great people, immerse oneself in rounded, yet concentrated experience. Receptive orientation attending to personal and interpersonal growth.

This is an opportunity, an extension of my life’s work.

Continue fulfilling potential, creating, experimenting, improvising, exploring, discovering, flipping “interruptions” into opportunities, locating threads of continuity in discontinuity, applying the totality of cumulative experiences to the unknown and unpredictable.

* Isn’t that what tumors are, when we think about it? A force of life. Sometimes conducive environments are where we least expect. It wasn’t the story I was trying to write, but that’s what keeps me so interested and intrigued. Our university is everywhere, and not necessarily what we anticipatein form or content.

Let’s set this record straight: I present with a report of symptoms, rather than complaints.

Alright, so the experience goes:
I set new baselines and much wider daily variability in ambulating and lower extremity sensation and movement, through the prior(wow) seven years. Aside: these all concurrent with upper-extremities and even previously acknowledged cognitive alterations and rebuilds (in contrast to younger fourteen years of primarily informal, targeted localized physical rehabilitation). There’s this extraordinarily complex matrix of interactions. (And, given, studies at Our Lady’s University are undoubtedly among the best cognitive therapy catalysts available.)

It’s been over twenty years since we discovered I also had spinal tumors, and almost underwent surgery, in hopes of resuming contact sports. It’s been grand, unintentional scenic routes and all. A true, living experiment.

Shall we stay receptive to the positive?

Just a cursory find, until I gain access to Wolpaw (2012)*:

Spinal Cord (2004) 42, 47–49. doi:10.1038/sj.sc.3101539
Does the neuronal plasticity exist in elderly patients? report of an unusual clinical case

G Gambardella, O Gervasio and C Zaccone

http://www.nature.com/sc/journal/v42/n1/full/3101539a.html

Abstract

Study design: Case report.

Objective: To report complete recovery after paraplegia in an elderly patient after removal of meningioma at C7-T1 level.

Setting: Department of Neurosurgery, Reggio Calabria, Italy.

Methods: An 82-year-old lady with 48 months of progressive weakness and numbness was admitted with complete paraplegia lasting 15 days. Investigations (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) demonstrated a meningioma at C7-T1. The tumour compressed the extremely thinned spinal cord. MRI after surgery showed no evidence of residual tumour and the spinal cord was of normal dimensions. The patient recovered fully and locomotion was restored.

Conclusion: Surgical decompression gave an excellent result. The result raises the possibility of neuronal plasticity.
Keywords:

neuronal plasticity, elderly, paraplegia

——–
Future ref:
Letter to the Editor: Jonathan R. Wolpaw* “Harnessing neuroplasticity for clinical applications” Brain aws017 first published online February 28, 2012 doi:10.1093/brain/aws017

Spontaneous mutation as a beginning.

Spontaneous regression of tumors as a downstream possibility. The mystery: the intermediate interactions.

Time-dependence, inflammation at different levels, negotiation and prioritization of dangers.

We need to preserve what we need for repair processes. Explorations of variants of healing continue at multiple levels, scales, and angles.

(With a lilt in pitch, and drawn out sound, as only Rob “Richmeister” Schneider can do, in an elevator with M. J. Fox)

It’s over the ten year interval, so here’s a bit that’s always been in the unlocked vault, because I see some folks searching, and I appreciated when I had something to find. Have Fun!

http://web.archive.org/web/20031231070104/http://www.nd.edu/~jprzybys/

http://web.archive.org/web/200101090931/http://www.nd.edu/~jprzybys/thoughts/990505think.html

Notably in the midst of an ongoing series of accurately anticipating themes. Great stories!

“See it and be it!”

Walking (contrast the roll and the ball, sensation, strength, balance)

NDWBB! Yes, we will!

Arms, hands, and fingers

Vision

Those products that are bought, sold, processed, and distributed, or any permutation thereof.

Great, full day — so much so that I ran out of steam to correctly quote myself in my Facebook status (and therefore ended up with one of those that will say more about any person commenting, than about any of the muliple meanings I had in mind — so I make note here of the idea train (or Factory, if one wishes) in motion, among many more strands. Interaction, baby!

Grateful indeed.

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