the good and the bad

So it’s been 6 months and 7 days since Riley’s accident and this was supposed to be his “golden time”. The time in which you get the most back because hopefully, by now the swelling has gone down around the contusion. However last week on Tuesday Riley woke up and he had without warning lost everything he had gained. All the sensation from his nipples down was gone and when I scratched his feet he couldn’t feel it. We immediately went to the hospital and saw his spinal cord doc she ordered an emergency MRI in fear that he had post traumatic swelling of his spinal cord. In which case he would have to have another surgery. However the results of the MRI were much more damaging then the idea of another surgery. The MRI shows that Riley has damage to his brain stem indicating a possible stroke. When and if that stroke may have occurred is unknown at this time. I had to track down all the other MRIs and x-rays from the other three hospitals and we still have to meet with a neurologist in order to decipher what this news means.

However the thing is that Riley’s spinal cord doc said there was no explanation for him being able to feel his feet in the first place after reviewing the most recent MRI. She said all the swelling and blood was gone and what remains is a very damaged spinal cord.
With that being said, Riley is obviously still trying to wrap his head around this discouraging confusing news. In the meantime he has decided to take the high road staying positive, refusing to give up hope and taking life one step at a time. As many of you know Riley’s current film project titled “Transitions” has been his passion for the last two years and he continues to work hard at it every day he’s still planning to release it in September.

The next time you talk to Riley, please don’t ask him how his progress is coming along or how the physical therapy is going. You can imagine how frustrating it is to reiterate this news to everyone who checks in on him, he will bring up his progress when it is right for him. The last thing either of us wants to admit is that he is starting at the foot of the mountain again with no view of the peak in sight just blinded by the sun trying to hike up a road that doesn’t exist.

We remain hopeful and convinced that the body and brain remain unexplainable to modern medicine and since they can’t explain how he did it before, and they can’t explain how he lost it. Then they won’t be able to explain when he summits that enormous peak and proves them wrong once again.

Always fighting
Katinka
(not an english major)

19 Responses to “the good and the bad”

  1. John says:

    You might find this link helpful.

    http://wiseyoung.wordpress.com/a-brief-primer-for-families-facing-spinal-cord-injury/

    Best wishes on Transitions. I look forward to seeing the video.

  2. Maria Bacher says:

    Riley and Katrina,
    After visiting you recently I was so amazed and proud of how you have both taken on this amazing challenge with such grace. Your ability to be so present with your situation while loving and supporting each other so tenderly is one of the most beautiful things I have witnessed in my life. Thank you for the lesson to embrace life for what ever it may be at any given moment, knowing that it too will change. I walked away from you saying, ” Riley is totally going to walk again”
    Still holding that thought! Proud to be your mother! Mamaria

  3. Jörgen Nilsson says:

    Very sad to read about Riley’s condition.

    We’ll have to pray more I guess. Starting today.

    I hope that Riley get better, even if it looks very dark right now. One should prepare for the worst and always hope for the best.

    Please hug him from us swedes. Wishing You all the best.

    Jörgen Nilsson w family.

  4. Scott Gaffney says:

    Riley,
    It’s hard to come up with something encouraging to say at a time like this. I can only imagine all of the emotions you’re going through. Let me just say this.. Since I destroyed my knee just a couple of weeks after your accident, I’ve had two surgeries and have had the most agonizing pain I’ve ever felt while trying to get range of motion back in PT. Last week I told my physical therapist that I was simply tired of that pain.

    Then I thought of you and realized how much of a puss I was. Yeah, excruciating pain 2-3 times a week, plus many hours bending it at home. That’s nothing compared to the battle Riley is fighting. And yet all along you’ve maintained a great face to show all of us what can be done. I know you’ve got to have moments when you bottom out, and now is probably one of those times.

    But still, you’re inspiring so many people. You inspire me every day, not only to be tougher and fight, but to relish what I’ve got while I’ve got it.

    I hope that mountain you’ve got in front of you is like Breck–low-angle hardpack so you can march right back to where you were just a short time ago, and then get back in the fight.

    Like everyone else, you’re in my thoughts all the time. Thanks for the push. You inspire all of us. Good luck, buddy!

    Scott G

  5. Cory & Karin Kritzmire says:

    Sometimes we slip on our climb up the mountain, but we need to always continue on up that slope. Keep the positive additude as I know you always do.

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you both,

    Cory and Karin Kritzmire

  6. Jenna says:

    Stay strong…positive positive positive…much love.

  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE
    In Vermont, I hold your vision of inexplicable success.
    YES.
    Love to you both,
    Julie

  8. Aunt Barb & Uncle Tom says:

    My Dear Kati,I hope you don’t mind, but you will always be Kati to us.Our thoughts are with you and Riley avery day. You both are in our prayers avery day.Our whole family sends love and best wishes to you both.

  9. Sallie Bacher says:

    Katrina, Thank you for letting us in on all the details. Holding the two of you and your familes in my thoughts and prayers. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished film project, I”m sure its going to be worth the wait.

    Sallie Bacher

  10. all for me??? says:

    your neck scaring has improved drastically – trake tube and below the jaw line! Perfect!!! Comments posted were key in piecing the puzzle together.

    I’m sure that you will walk again

  11. all for me??? says:

    comments – just checked those out recently … had no idea …

  12. Mike Million says:

    Riley and Katrina, just wanted to dop a line and say hello.
    Keep the faith! Still prayin’ for you.
    Mike

  13. posey says:

    Riley & Katinka, I know you are now going thru the hardest time yet. To find your progress has disappeared is totally crushing. But your ideas of miricles and unexplained progress in the first place are so right on. I can only think of the legend of Hercules, who was given one terrible challenge after another by Zeus. When he finally overcame his last challenge, he was accepted into the group of gods at Mt. Olympus…changed from a mortal into a god.

    Ri, you may be as legendary as Hercules…your continual striving to stay positive against all odds is so incredibly inspirational to so many people around the world. Our thoughts and love are always with you both.

  14. sandra hannah ben says:

    hey there Riley and Katrina…………..just sending positive thoughts and energy to you both……..you two are such an inspriation to all……..no matter how big that bump in the road is, you persevere…….and find the good in each day………..sandra, hannah and ben greene

  15. Alana says:

    Riley! You’re mind and body are so very connected…Believe! Stay positive! surround yourself with healthy things.

    my prayers are for you,

    Stay up!

  16. Rico Poor says:

    Riley, My thoughts are focused on you as often as is possible. I. am so glad that outer body work is part of your healing process. You are so strong. I have access to a free 4wheel chair for you. It needs some repairs ,but if you are innerested then contact me. At any rate, I look forward to the day.

  17. Julie Rojas says:

    Riley and Katrina,
    I’m so sorry to here about your set-back. I was looking at my Craig email to find out news about your movie and found out. I’m glad you are still able to do your work and I know that both of your positive attitudes will help get you through this and as you said, up and over this additional hurdle. The one thing we can always know is that things always change.

    Much love and hope and prayers,
    Julie (one of your techs on 3E)

  18. Revenge says:

    Писака +1

  19. a2617590 says:

    I’ve said that least 2617590 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

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