So I guess I’ll begin this first blog with exactly where my life currently is.
You could say I’m semi-paralyzed from the waist down. I can voluntarily kick both legs outward to a straight position. I can also lock out my knees enough to stand with a walker. I haven’t gotten any movement back in my ankles or feet to this point, but the doctors and therapists say that the upper leg comes back before the lower.
Right now I go to therapy for two hours, three days a week. I also just added an extra hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays to try and get as much as I can.
I spend 30 minutes or so standing with the help of my therapist. They place electrode pads on each muscle group of my legs. This helps them contract to strengthen them. It also serves as a method to try to activate the nerves, which could encourage them to wake them.
I can’t say this doesn’t suck, because it does. Though with the help of my fiancé, family, and a lot of great friends there hasn’t been much that I haven’t been able to do just three and a half months after breaking my back in two places and going through 16 hours of surgery.
Therapy has now become the closest thing to a job I’ve basically ever had. When I was driving for my dad I had to be at the shop at certain time every day to work on my stuff. Past that I’ve been blessed to be in situations where I haven’t had to be on a five day a week schedule.
I’m really looking forward to heading to PRI in Indianapolis this week. I’m hoping to spend some time meeting with people to discuss how we can prevent what happened to me from happening to others.
We’ve spent a lot of time worrying about our necks in Sprint Cars. It’s time to think about our lower back and realize that the driver is truly the only thing there is to give when a car lands flat on the frame the way I did.
I had every piece of equipment to the newest standards you can get. From a HANS device connected to the best Arai helmet to a full containment Butlerbuilt seat with an insert under me I had everything. Yet one of the softest flips I’ve probably ever taken is the only one that’s ever hurt me.
I don’t regret any portion of that night. I just hope that we can learn from it and move things forward to try and prevent it from happening to anyone else.
Kevin Swindell will be submitting regular blogs here at OneDirt.com to keep everyone updated on his progress and thoughts. Also, please check out his online racing store at www.vintageracetees.com.