Monthly Archives: July 2013

7/29/13

Hi Everybody,

Friday started with my usual PT/OT classes, but was great because I had Steve Dalton (an AFM turn worker) and my new friend Troy hang out with me in the afternoon. They are both in chairs and gave me some great advice about life in general in a chair. We played a little basketball, rolled out to the parking lot, and Troy lent me one of his high mobility wheelchairs to test out. Steve has continued to be a great source of information for me to learn what it is like to be in a chair, and I have to say, Steve can go up and down stairs like you wouldn’t believe.

We were trying to work on Troy’s wheelchair, so the seatback position is correct for me. To adjust the seatback we needed allen wrenches and Troy didn’t have any. Steve said he had some in his car, and he was there and back before Anneliese could’ve walked to her car, which was much closer.

On Saturday, we started by finding out that my doctor hadn’t submitted a request for my trip home that day.  This caused problems as my Saturday PT schedule needed to be much shorter because I would be leaving at noon. Resty, my nurse that day, was able to get things straightened out that day in time for us to leave at noon. Anneliese and Alli were there to make the transfer from rehab to home. The car transfers are still a struggle. We had another day of heightened discussion in the driveway during the transfers. We were able to make it work, but it was a bitch. Everything after that (especially the custom Craig Sillers ramp) was smooth.

Earlier in the week, I was talking with Wayne Rainey on the phone about how to configure the bathroom for a paraplegic, During the conversation Wayne asked where my house was, and I told him Walnut Creek. He asked if that was on the way to Sacramento, because he was going to watch the Sacramento Mile on Saturday. I said “yes,” and he said “well, why don’t I stop by your house and look at your bathroom to see how it should be configured.” I gave him my address and a time window in which he should be there. We arrived at the house at 1:00, and the time window for Wayne was between 1 and 2. Wayne arrived at 2 pm, and we went outside to greet him. I rolled over to Wayne to see how he got out of the car with his chair, to help me figure out how to get out of the car with my chair. We all went inside and started talking about wheelchairs, etc, but the conversations quickly turned to racing motorcycles, things we did as kids to get in trouble with motorcycles…and before you knew it 2-hours had gone by. At that point, I asked Wayne if he wanted to take a look at the bathroom. He said “sure,” and we went back to take a look. He offered several suggestions, some great ideas that we had not thought about before. Wayne needed to get going to Sacramento, so we all went outside to say goodbye. At that point, Wayne said “I forgot to give you something,” and gave me a signed copy of his book. Then we asked if it was okay to take a picture of all of us before he left. He said “absolutely,” so Pete Doyle took the attached picture below.

From there, we went out to dinner at El Charro in Lafayette. Once again we had trouble with getting me out of the car, but we were able to get me out in one piece. We had a great dinner with immediate family and the Normans. Our night at the Lafayette Park hotel was fantastic. Anneliese and I got some much needed rest.

The next morning, after another almost-disaster getting into the car, we went to Jon and Molly’s house to see how the bathroom demo was coming along. Matt Orange and his wife Lindsay (and friend Steve Greg) came all the way from Half Moon Bay to help with the demolition of our bathroom. Also there helping were Kenny Norman and Jeff Lee. By 11 am, when we got there, there was nothing left of the bathroom, and Matt was putting a list together of things he needed to finish the job that day. We thanked everybody and left for the hospital, so we wouldn’t get busted for being tardy. Once I got into my room, I realized how tired I was and what a great weekend it was.Wayne Rainey came to my house and hung out for two hours, how cool is that?! This was the best one day weekend I’ve ever had!

Thank you for all your continued contributions.

-Dave

Here are some pictures from Friday and Saturday (including Eddie and Jack getting a little time on the water with Eddies Dad, Happy Birthday Eddie!!!):

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Here are some pictures of racers and fans, showing support with the “Stanton 53″ sticker. Included are Mike Guasch representing while racing America Le Mans Series, Colin Edwards and JT from AFM, and others from Laguna.

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7/25/13

Hi Everyone,

There have been some changes to my rehab schedule, and I won’t be going home tomorrow. After last weeks sleep over at home, my PT people and Doctors decided it would be a good idea to stay another week to work on my skills and upper body strength. My new discharge date is Saturday August 3rd. My doctors and PT people feel that it would be good for me to sleep over again this Saturday at Jon and Molly’s house. We are going to spend the day there, and then go sleep at the Lafayette Park Hotel because the remodel will start early in the morning on Sunday. Matt Orange, Kenny Norman, and Glenn Graifman are all coming over to start on the quick remodel of the bathroom, to make it more accessible for me.

I’ve included, an x-ray of my “burst T7 & T8″ vertebrae, from when I was in the Enloe Hospital in Chico (before my surgery). I cannot feel, nor control anything 1.5 inches below my nipples. My T7 & T8 vertebrae are completely blown out and my spinal cord was completely severed. My level of injury is  “T5,” which means, I cannot feel below my T5 vertebrae down to my feet, because of my surgery. We can only hope I can regain some feeling (a couple of inches) as time goes on. The more core strength you have, obviously, the more independence I can have.

I would like to thank all of my PT & OT people at Kaiser, Todd, Amy, Carrie and Nikki, and my OT Therapist, Paul. These people bring out the best in me every day, and challenge me to do things I never thought possible with this injury,

Thank you for your continued support and donations. Without you, I would be “livin’ in a van, down by the river!” (from family: Dave referenced the “trailer by the river” while coming out of post-op meds in Chico…YouTube SNL, Matt Foley: Matt Foley – SNL ).

– Dave

Videos:

Watch out Kobe!!!

Sit up without Abs

Dave standing

Photos include:

Dave’s xray from Enloe in Chico – Burst Fracture of T7 & T8

Dave representing Moto GP

Dave experiencing a High Mobility chair

A moment with Eddie and Dave

Thumbs up, Baby!

Jon and Molly – Molly’s BDay

Anneliese and Molly – Molly’s BDay

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Dave Representing Moto GPHigh Mobility ChairEddie and Dave timeThumbs up!Jon & Molly - Molly's BDay nightAnneliese & Molly - Mollys BDay

7/22/13

Hello All,

Saturday started with Anneliese and Alli picking me up and transferring me from the wheelchair to the SUV. This was the first of many struggles during our first evening without the assistance of the hospital staff. As we drove across the bridge, It was good to see the water and the blue skies after 7-weeks of being inside. Of course, I told my wife, on the downgrade of the Benicia Bridge, to slow down because there are always cops at the base of the bridge. As we rounded the corner of my brothers house, I saw the big sign (pictured below) and balloons to welcome me home. We pulled into the driveway to make my first exit from the car to the house, at the home where I will be staying for two to three months. The transfer from the SUV to my wheelchair was an incredible struggle…we finally figured it out, after some heated discussion, and I made it into my chair so I could go inside. One more hurdle was getting up the new ramp (that Anneliese had to find Saturday morning, because the one that was ordered hadn’t made it in time), which we now know is too short. It was a struggle, but thank God for Pete Doyle, who got me up the ramp and into the house for a well-deserved night with family and friends.

While inside, it was great to be home, see my friends and get a home cooked meal. It was great to relax and even watch the Moto GP qualifying in my chair with my family and friends Pete and Christy Doyle, Mike and Laura Mahoney (and their children), Eddie (my stepson) and his father Ed Shimmon, my sister-in-law Kelly Erb, my boss Chris Terry, his coworker Harry Reynolds, Harry’s friend Christina Lum, Berto Wooldridge and Monica McFarland.  I did try to transfer to my brother and sister-in-laws couch. Although it’s so comfortable, it’s 8-inches lower than my chair, and a bitch to get out of. We are including this on the list of things to change for when I get discharged. Also, the bed currently set up in the bedroom is a wonderful sleigh bed but is horribly difficult to transition from my wheelchair. Anneliese has bruises on her shins and calves from helping me transfer in and out of the bed. I think it’s time to start looking for a new bed.  We have an incredible system from Bruce Hammer’s company (www.nuprodx.com) for getting around any bathroom and even into a bathtub. We quickly learned that even with a fantastic Nuprodx solution, the current bathroom configuration is too small to maneuver with my 6’2″ frame. Even though I disagree (and am hesitant about the dollars), Anneliese has decided to make our lives more accessible by making some changes, whether I like it or not.

Between Moto GP qualifying and dinner was a pivotal point when our breakdown began. Before some of our friends left, I had to do a cath procedure, so Anneliese and I went to the bedroom. After another difficult transfer, both Anneliese and I broke down crying to each other with the harsh realization of the adjustment to the new way we have to live. I said “how can we live like this, being frustrated at each other?” Through tears, Anneliese said ” we don’t have any other choice but to move on.” I agreed and said “we need to pull it together.”

Once composed, the rest of the day included more of the same, and a definite highlight was a fantastic meal that Pete and Christy Doyle brought, including some of my favorite foods! We were all able to sit around the table and enjoy the meal together, including fantastic desserts from Amy Hatwig, before it was time to continue the trial and error throughout the night.

I had another difficult transfer into the bed, and had to follow my 6-hour nighttime catheter protocol. My wife had to climb over the end of the bed (we will be making changes to placement of furniture) to get the supplies together for the 4am cath.

A few hours later, we woke up to a beautiful breakfast, but had to experience the very tight quarters in the bathroom once again. I used the chair system to get into the tub, and was able to take a shower. We were able to get into the car and make it back to Hotel Kaiser by curfew at 1pm Sunday afternoon.

That night Jennifer and Jason Lauritzen came to visit, It was good to see them.

I am working really hard at rehab, but still spend a lot of time thinking about how much I want to help my wife with the specifics around our home remodel in San Jose, as well as the reconfigure of the house in Walnut Creek. I am trying to be involved, but as you know I have a pretty strict schedule here at rehab. I look forward to my departure date in the next weeks (we have a meeting tomorrow to debrief from the weekend, and lay out the plan from here).

Thank you for everyone who has supported me with stickers and t shirts (thank you Pete Doyle for getting the t-shirts made). It was great to see all of the pictures of Moto GP last weekend and all of the people who were wearing t-shirts and putting stickers on race bikes and helmets. Again thank you for the generous donations that have been coming in. I’ll update soon.

-Dave

Here are a couple videos from late last weeks rehab, where they got me standing and walking a bit.

Dave Finally Gets to be Upright

I’m still taller than Berto!

Pictures include:

1. My nurse Anneliese getting ready to administer a shot

2. The sign Pete and Christy made for my “Welcome Home”

3. A picture of a few of us hanging out at the dinner table

4. I am finally in bed!

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7/17/13

Hello everyone,

I’ve had a lot of visitors and of course, a lot of physical therapy since my last post. I’ve worked on the arm-cycle, gravity table, lots of transferring exercises and “the rickshaw” (a.k.a. a tricep machine). I’ve learned to transfer from chair to commode, chair to physical therapy car, chair to bed and getting more comfortable each day.

In physical therapy, the gravity table elevates me to a vertical position. I was up to 80-degrees today. They are constantly taking my blood pressure to make sure that I can handle being upright. While vertical, I throw a small medicine ball back and forth with my Physical Therapist.

I’ve had a lot of visitors, but I haven’t had the energy to see more, unfortunately. I am grateful for the many local visitors who have stopped by, and have also had a couple who’ve flown in to see me. On Tuesday, Steve Rapp and Jason Pridmore came to visit. Jason’s girlfriend, Jamie Nastal made Anneliese a custom bracelet (pictured below). Thank you Jamie, Anneliese has been wearing it every day! She’s offered to make more, please contact us if you are interested. Today, Elena Meyers came by. Also, Jennifer Lauritzen has stopped a couple times as she is working on a project at Kaiser. Please forgive me for not mentioning each visitor in this post. I am worn after a long day/week of therapy, but I can tell you that my dearest friends have consistently been keeping in touch.

Today, after talking to my Physical Therapist, Todd, we decided to try a different chair, which was a better fit for me….the previous chair was made for midgets!

I am excited for a practice day on Saturday, where I will spend the night with my family and practice the skills I’ve been honing in rehab. I will have a 23-hour “away visit” at my brother and sister-in-laws house in Walnut Creek. I will post more on Sunday, when we get back from my sleepover on Saturday. After a few more days with the “wrecking crew” I am scheduled for discharge on July 26th!
-Dave
Here’s a video of my practice – chair to car transfer:
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7/14/2013

Hello All,

We’d like to share a few pictures and videos from this weeks rehab. We wanted to give Dave a brief blogging break, and keep you all updated…so we are posting on his behalf. It’s been just one week since he was tranferred to Acute Rehab and FIRST sat in a chair, and look how far he’s come. Keep up the amazing work Dave! You are INCREDIBLE and inspire us every day!

Love,
The Stanton Family

p.s.(1) According to the AFM at large (please see embedded video), the posters in the photo below are hung on Dave’s wall out of order….even so, we’re confident you get the message.

(2) A little insight about the picture of everyone “flipping the bird.” Mike Canfield and Dave have historically competed in catching one another off-guard….”he who flips the bird first wins!” In this photo, Dave, Martin Szwarc & Cameron Gish (“Squish”) are beating Mike to the punch!

Video: Get Well Soon

Rehab Video 1 (look at that smile!)

Rehab Video 2

 

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7/10/2013

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Hi Everyone,

Well, I’ve made it to hump day! This week has been tough so far, but I can feel my arms getting a little stronger and my legs don’t feel like they weigh 500-pounds each. My Physical Therapists, Todd, Amy, and Carrie plot my demise every day and I’m never sure what kind of medieval torture lies ahead. Paul, my Occupational Therapist, is uncomfortable with the amount of sweating I do, and thinks it might be autonomic disreflexia, every time I see him, and I have to tell him that its the “PT Wrecking Crew” that just got done with me before him. In all seriousness, my therapists are awesome and we are making progress every day – small gains each day that I know will add up in the end. Yesterday, my team met to determine that my discharge date will be Friday, July 26th. I will be going to my brother and sister-in-laws (Jon and Molly) home in Walnut Creek for a few months, while our house in San Jose is getting remodeled.

It has been great to see all of the visitors so far that have stopped by to see me. If you are in the area and would like to stop by contact my wife, Anneliese (ashimmon@gmail.com), to see what my schedule is for that day, as its constantly changing.

Also, I would like to thank all of the people who have given me money for my recovery, including perfect strangers who I’ve never met.

Thanks for all of your continued support, and I will update the blog as soon as I can.

-Dave

7/7/2013

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Hello,

Its been 5 weeks since my accident, but what a difference two weeks makes! Rehab is kicking my ass, I go from 10-4 every day except Sundays. If you would like to visit, it’s best to come after 4pm on weekdays.

Today my family, including my children (Alli, Jack, Eddie), my brother’s family (Jon, Molly, Addie), along with my mother and her partner Dennis came to spend “family day” with me. My close friends (Mike, Laura, Craig, Kelly, Matt De La Montanya) came to see me today too – what a great surprise! They had also travelled to visit many times while I was in Chico, but I don’t recall….guess I was not paying attention.

Tomorrow is the start of another six straight days of rehab! I am preparing for the ultimate torture. Thankfully, I will have my best friend and wife Anneliese, by my side! Wish me luck.

-Dave

7/5/2013

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Hello everyone,

Today was a challenging day for me, I got to sit in a wheelchair for the first time. I did Physical Therapy for 2.5 hours and Occupational Therapy for another hour! For the first time in a month, I got to put on “real” clothes and shoes. By clothes, I mean sweats, but I finally got to ditch my hospital gown.

The process of transferring me from my hospital bed into the chair is excruciatingly painful in my back. It’s hard for me to think about anything else! The wonderful people here at Kaiser, have told me that the more I can move will help with this pain. Kaiser has a Farmers Market in front of the hospital every Friday, my wife was able to take me down there and I was able to sit outside for almost 45 minutes (see pic above) At one point, we were able to go upstairs before my physical therapy appointment and sit outside in the courtyard, next to the gym. The view form there was directly looking at Hwy 37, which made me think of Sears (aka Sonoma Raceway) and all of my friends racing this weekend at Thunderhill. I want to wish everyone at the AFM good luck this weekend, and I wish I was there watching.

Please go to www.superbikeplanet.com and read the heartfelt article which touched me and my family. Thank you for your tremendous generosity and steadfast support!

My day ended with the beautiful smiles of my children-Alli, Jack & Eddie, along with my brother and my first real shower in over a month. Man that felt good.

-Dave

7/3/2013

I’m scheduled to move to my Acute Rehab tomorrow and I’m looking at all of the comments on all of the sites that everyone is posting. The generosity has been so awesome and has really made me speechless for once!
I’m overwhelmed at the donations that have come in on my Blog: www.stanton53.support.com
It means the world to me and my family. I have a long recovery and your generosity has been so unbelievable – I could never imagine having to ask for help but everyone has been just so great – and I thank you. This is something new for me and I want to say thank you for helping me and my family in every way you have.
My wife took this picture tonight as my Stepson, Eddie, was saying goodbye.
I couldn’t do this without the love and support of my wife, kids; Alli, Jack and Eddie – and of course all of you. Truly, I thank you.

Happy 4th of July to you and your family and thank you again for your generous donations and support for myself and family.

-Dave

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7/2/2013

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Hi everyone! Things are going well and I wanted to give you another update. The weekend was nice and quiet, which was great. I was able to get a little rest. Today, I was lucky enough to have Lisa Norman’s father come and give me a much needed haircut. In addition to my haircut, the pulmonology team agreed to remove my last chest tube. Great news-my lung is healing!

Yesterday, I was scheduled to get my IVC filter removed, but I had a small setback during the procedure. An IVC filter, which is designed to prevent blood clots from reaching my lungs following the accident, was put in while I was being treated in Chico. The filter removal has an 85% success rate, if removed within 2 months of placement. Unfortunately, after almost 2 hours, they were not successful in their attempt to remove the filter. Typically, the IVC filter is removed via the jugular vein, which does not feel very good! I have a meeting with a Stanford doctor tomorrow, who is the best in the country at this procedure, to discuss my options. I will let you know what I decide to do.

On Sunday, with the help of Chuck Graves, I was able to call Wayne Rainey and talk to him about my injury and what I can expect moving forward. He gave me a lot of insight and is just an all-around great guy! Wayne and I are going to stay in touch, and I am looking forward to any advice he can give me. Wayne has been living with his injury the last 20 years. He says every injury is different, and you have to do the best with what you have. I think this is about all I have right now, I am still struggling to catch my breath and speak, but I do so enjoy reading your comments.

None of this would be possible without the my incredible wife, family and all of my amazing friends. Thank you again, for all of your support and donations, it means the world to me and my family!

-Dave