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9.05.2008

Sweet Laughter

Family,
Here is the latest story--more than update from Daniel. I trust each one of you will enjoy this as much as I did.

With my love and sincere gratitude because your prayers brought this to life,
Donna B


Hi.
For as bad a ride as Monday was, the rest of the week has been a lot more stable.

On Tuesday we had a strategic planing session with all of the spinal team. Andy set some goals that he wanted to work on for the next two week block and the team had some input as well. Because of the meeting we didn't go to the first therapy session and the meeting didn't last very long so we had some time to knock around a little bit. As most of you know, the brothers Burnett tend to bore easily and this usually leads to some form of ill-advised behavior. Today was no exception.

Let me say right now that the modern wheel chair is an interesting bit of engineering. There are three types: power, manual, and a hybrid of the two. Power and manual are the most common but the hybrid is the coolest. It has what's called force multiplier rems. Because of the weakness of Andy's arms, he can put about 2 pounds of force into the rems and they multiply that by 12 times. These facts intrigued me a great deal and since Andy was using his power chair and I had time on my hands, I thought I might investigate a little bit.

Needless to say, I can put more than 2 pounds of force to those rems. Furthermore, it became very apparent that the room we were in at the time was not nearly large enough to contain my new found entertainment. Andy had been sitting rather disinterested and dozing until I crashed into the tray table at the end of my poorly-executed, high-speed u-turn.

He looked at me and asked what I thought I was doing?
To which I replied, "Dude, look at what I can do."

Apparently, in spite of our age, individual lives and high level of maturity those words are still equal to a brotherly challenge.

It was on.

It didn't take but about 5 minutes to use up our assortment of tricks and with no clear victor, the competition spiraled downward into a combination tractor pull and demolition derby. Don't worry Mom we didn't brake anything. (That can't be fixed.) Unfortunately for me, Andy won that round. His chair weighs a lot more than mine.

In an effort to at least win a moral victory, I threw out my best figure-8 which he countered with a rather impressive deep-chair recline. Not to be outdone, I executed a near perfect zero turning radius maneuver. Andy countered with a series of fast and tight donuts and then he suddenly stopped, look right at me with semi-bug eyes and said with a smile on his face, " I should not have done that!"

I tried hard not to laugh--I really did--but he got himself so dizzy that I just couldn't help it. The weightless innocent humor of what we had been doing had dawned on us both and, like we did when we were kids, we laughed at and with each other. For those few minutes, we forgot what it was to be weighed down. In that time there was a joy and contentment that I think both of us had forgotten even existed.

I glanced at the clock to see it was time for our next appointment and before we left, Andy rather matter of factly said, "Daniel, I want to be one of those guys that the new spinal patients hear about."

I didn't understand what he meant so I questioned him. He explained that on the ward you hear of men who go on to do big things--things that no one thought they could do. He said, "I want to be one of them."

My reply was simple, "You will be."
Daniel

1 comment:

Just a simple gal said...

Praise the Lord!!!!! I have ANdy's pictures [in uniform and you and him in the hospital] printed and on my desk - I"m still praying! ~ Judy