09 June, 2008

The Gym

I didn't have the presence of mind to take the camera with us to the gym, but managed to remember that I had a camera on me today - my phone cam!

One of the best exercises I can see to help re-build those chest muscles is one called "pec flys" as it works on the pectoral muscle group:
We did this last week at 10 lbs - the absolute minimum, after trying 30 and then 20 lbs. Today I started him at 20 and he did a full 3 sets at 30 lbs. He seemed quite comfortable with it. We'll keep it there for the week and see if next week will allow us to go to 40.

08 June, 2008


I started mentioning to Samuel at about 2 weeks post surgery that he would be able to go to the pool soon. He usually demurred and seemed uncomfortable with the idea of swimming. That's fairly understandable, but, it's one of those things I worried about. I worried that he would not be willing to go back to the pool. It's probably silly, but, that was what was going on for me.

About a week ago he came up to me and said, "I'm ready to go to the pool now." That simple. He's directing his recovery and is out-pacing my wildest imagination for recovery. My fear was wholly unwarranted.

We started lifting at the gym this past week. Just light machine weight, but we started. All the stuff we used to do before surgery, including me blocking bad shots he makes with the basketball. Yep, we had a throw-down yesterday and he won. Even with blocked shots.

Today we went to the pool and he swam. He started off mugging for the camera by dunking me in the deep end. That's my hand looking for sunlight:

Once it was "adult-swim", we had him get in, since it was much less crowded at that time, and try swimming some freestyle. He was willing as you can sorta see below:

We started at the shallow end and he swam, slowly, but all the way to the deep end. We rested a bit and then he headed back:

Here he is just at the end of a lap of freestyle:
He is awesome. I told him that this is important so that he will be back in shape for swim-team next year at Branham. That meant something to him! ;)

That was all the lap swimming we did. We kept the rough-housing to a minimum but went ahead and played a game we invented that only works in a pool with old-fashioned gutters, "Gutterball":
Simply, you try to get the squishy ball into the gutter. The goal is as wide as your arms. There's a lot more rules to the game. At this point, I was just happy to have Samuel hitting on all cylinders.

Wound update: His chest wound is healing nicely. He is able to run a towel down it to dry off and let me tough it lightly last night. Don't let anyone tell you that recovery from surgery is not improved by being in shape!

02 June, 2008

Update - 4.5 weeks out

Samuel is doing well almost 4.5 weeks since his surgery. He is back to school and just Friday asked to be back to full days. He likes to ride the bus home, so that was part of it.

Still, you can see him getting stronger. He is obviously favoring his chest as the sternum continues to heal. is wound is also getting easier for him to touch. He can pull a towel down his scar lightly and that is huge progress.

We also went to the gym for the first time last week. We saw Dick Corson there and I think he damn near fell off his bike when he saw Samuel there. It had only been 4 weeks since this kid was laid up. I have no idea what was said between them, but as always, Samuel was thrilled to see Dick and have the sort of human contact he cherishes that connects him to the world.

Upcoming for him is his sister's graduation party where lots of family and friends will be at our house. Then, in July, he'll go to camp at Camp Costanoan for a week of sports, frolicking, and friends. These are his 'peeps' and he loves his time there.

For us, we're happy and much relieved. The whole process went off without a hitch and his recovery has been astounding from where I sit. And, the future is always a mystery. As a very good friend of mine has said, parenting is not for sissies... I'm not sure what constitutes a sissie, but I echo the sentiment.