28 July 2014

Back to Work, No More Back Brace and a Crooked Spine :: Bruce Snyder's Status

On June 30th, I went back to work part-time. In the mornings, I go in to the office and in the afternoons I work from home so that I can rest and continue my physical therapy.

Getting back to work was very strange because the day I went back was the first day for our group in the brand new office. Before the accident, I was working on the build-out of a new office space. My friend and co-worker Whitney and I had been through the design process with an architect and the construction had just begun. Then my accident happened and Whitney had to take over all responsibilities for the project. I had every confidence that she would see the project to completion and do a tremendous job and she absolutely did! The office looks outstanding, you can definitely tell it is a hybris software office by the look and feel. With a capacity of 50 seats, we now have tons of room to fill. It's so good to be back to work with everyone, even if it is only part-time. I look forward to building up to full-time hours in the office eventually, but when I go into the office in the morning and then do PT in the afternoon, I'm pretty exhausted by the end of the day. I will need to work up to it over time.

In early July, my brother and his family arrived for a week to visit. He had not seen me since he left one week after the accident. So he had not seen me out of bed at all. Now I am able to stand in place for periods of time and also walk with the aid of leg braces and a walker. I am walking around the house as much as I can. Janene suggested that I consider walking everywhere in the house that I need to be and it's probably a good idea because it will help my body to get much stronger. There's also very strong research out there that says if you teach the body to do something it once new how to do before the accident that those capabilities will return over time. This is why my physical therapist told me to walk as much as I can. Even when I am in the office I stand up at my desk while I work. Everyone in the office has a motorized standing desk so I stand up as long as I can and then sit back down in my wheelchair when I'm tired.

On Friday, July 18th, I had a follow-up appointment with my surgeon and he gave me the OK to stop wearing the back brace. What a joy to not require that damn thing anymore! I was required to wear it for 12 weeks to prevent twisting or bending over too far. While at the surgeon's office, I also got to see a clear plastic mold of the spine with some of the titanium hardware attached to it. The surgeon said, 'That's exactly what you have on your spine,' and I was very surprised because it appears to be pretty big and bulky. He said it has to be to withstand the rigors of the way the spine works. We also asked him about what seems to be a crookedness of my spine. Without the back brace you can really see it now. When I stand up straight and you look at me, you can see that I'm leaning to the right. Even in the latest x-rays you can see how crooked it is. The surgeon confirmed this and said it's probably due to the spacers that they placed between L3-L4 as the cartilage disc had to removed because it was so damaged. Evidently this is just something I will need to get used to living with now.