Monday, September 26, 2022

getting recombobulated

Thanks for capturing this picture Sam
There Is a lot going on at the picture

A lot.

First of all, it's about 1 mile into a 10 mile race.The Bronx 10 miler.The race was on September 18th, 2022.That date means a lot to me because on September 18th 2014, I came home after being hospitalized for 135 days.I came home using a wheelchair and on that date I was unable to transfer myself between a bed and a wheelchair.But I came home because it only took one person to transfer me.That was 8 years ago.

It took a lot to get to the point where I can run a 10 miler. In fact in the last 8 years I've run many races. More than a few of them at distances greater than 10 mi.But as you can see from the picture I'm not alone and I didn't get there by myself.

I'm not alone because I wouldn't attempt to run a 10 mile race by my right is my friend Janet Janet and I have run a few races together and I'm glad you ran this one with me because she's a Bronx native and she pointed out that "As we passed the building formerly known as the Bronx YMHA/YWHA, which our West Bronx Y day camp used to visit on rainy days, because it had a pool.

To my left is my friend Linda.During the race she pointed out that she thought the course was long and I told her I thought her GPS was wrong. It turns out she was right. They put one of the cones in the wrong spot and we got to run a tenth of a mile for free.

Janet and Linda helped get me through those 10 miles.But it took a lot to get to that point. Take another look at the picture.I'm holding up my right arm.But if you look closely at my right hand I'm not really holding it up. That wrist is fused. And the tendons were transferred, so that I could move my fingers a little but with one of the tendons that used to actually move my wrist in a useless direction. Can you see my left hand there. It kind of looks like I'm making a fist.But I'm not. I cannot make a fist with that hand. Before I had three surgeries on that hand the fingers just hung there. Now all the knuckles are fused. So I can place things in my hand and hold them.I have a little bit of motion in the end of my fingers but it helps to have the knuckles stay in one place. A little bit of my wrist tendon was transferred so I can move my thumb. Now, with my right hand I'm now able to do things like hold a pen or a fork or open a door knob (Not a tight one). With my left hand I can now do things like hold my phone or more importantly use toilet paper.

Now look at the bottom of the picture.You see my right foot.  That is an ankle foot orthotic. It straps onto my shin with some velcro and a tcarbon fiber rod goes down behind my ankle and there's a plate under my foot that keeps me from tripping over my toes. On my right shin I'm actually wearing half an arm warmer to reduce some chafing from the velcro. I should have had one on my left hand because I came home bleeding. You can't see what's going on inside my right leg. Just five months ago I had three little surgeries all on one day. Mainly to reduce the hammer toes in my foot so that the bones of the ball of my foot don't hit the ground so hard.Because I have no muscle tone in my feet and I have a solid plate between me and all the padding. So it used to hurt a lot. Now it only hurts a little

Also, there's a thing you can't see in the picture. Because it's not there anymore. It's the 65 lb I've lost in the past 3 years.I'll admit I was kind of getting fat when I got GBS 8 years ago. But the fact that I kept eating like I was training for a marathon when I was in fact paralyzed, and on also it's a medication including chemotherapy and steroids help me gain a lot more weight. But 3 years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and I wasn't going to live the rest of my life with a mask on my face when I had to sleep. So, I looked into other ways to get rid of sleep apnea. And it turned out that losing weight was the key for me. I also don't have high blood or cholesterol issues nor am I pre-diabetic anymore.For me anyway, losing weight was a really good thing. Because most importantly look at me run!

But I wasn't running alone.Of course Linda and Janet was still right next to me.But I was with the team of doctors that figured out how to stop the progress of my disease.The scores of physical and occupational therapists who literally taught me how to walk again. And of course the surgeons who physically rearrange my parts so they became more useful.

I hope no one thinks I'm bragging. Cuz I'm not bragging about going out and racing at half the speed I did 10 years ago.I just wanted to use this blog post to point out that it literally took teams of people to get me to where I am now. 

updating this to add a short video of me running In the middle of an 18 mile training run. Actually, 30 km because I ran 150 laps of a 200 m track.


  1. Well, if you did brag a little, it would have been perfectly understandable. Great story, and I love happy endings. -- Janet's Paul

  2. You ain’t bragging it it’s true! You’re awesome and you look awesome. You look maaaahhhhvelous! Go Team Michael Ring!!!


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