Monday, November 15, 2010

What's New

Hello all,
A lot has happened since my last post.  I took my midterms, went to a Wild game, went to a Vikings game, and even got myself a tattoo.

Three weeks ago I took my first midterm in over a year and was very nervous about how I would do.  The two classes that I am currently taking are Marketing and Organizational Behavior. It is hard to believe that I am almost done with this semester.  I am going to enroll in two more classes next semester.

Lindsay and I had a great time at the Wild game.  We got free last minute tickets that we could not pass up.  It was nice to see them finally win a game. I always wondered how people were able to get a parking spot in the lot right across from the Excel Center but surprisingly we had a pass to that lot with our tickets!  We are planning on going to more games this season.

Last weekend, Lindsay and I were able to see a great football game.  The Vikings made a crucial comeback against the Cardinals in the final 3.5 minutes of the game.  With some help from a friend, we were able to watch the game from the field! The view was incredible and it was a fun experience. Thanks Mary! I will post pictures later this week. It is deceiving how big the players are until you are right next to them and can see their size in person. We are crossing our fingers to get tickets this week to watch the game against the Packers. 

As many of you know I have wanted a tattoo for a long time.  I had narrowed down what I wanted to get and went in to an artist for a consultation.  He drew up two designs for me and one of the drawings was perfect. I was originally just going to the tattoo shop to get an idea of what I wanted but I ended up coming back later that night and got my tattoo on my right forearm.  It ended up taking only an hour and a half and I absolutely love how it turned out. It is a daily reminder to never give up and to keep pushing myself.

I had an interview today to get a service dog.  It went very well and I am hoping I can get a dog within a year. It is a very long process but I am excited about getting one.  The service provides either labs or retrievers that are well trained to help out with everyday living. 

I am looking forward to the holidays and my birthday; it should be a fun couple of months.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Getting Back into the Groove

At the end of August Lindsay, myself, my parents, and my parent's friends went on a trip to Las Vegas.  My first flight with my chair went very well.  A couple of problems we did face included the flight attendants not knowing how to transfer me correctly and the fact that I could not get up to let a passenger through to their window seat.  I didn't even get first class haha!  After flying in we arrived via accessible cab (where Lindsay left the slide board) to Caeser's Palace.  We went to dinner and explored the hotel and casino our first night.  The second day we went up and down the strip, went to the wax museum, and went to Margaritaville.  On our last day in Vegas we went to the pool to recover, went to see the Lion King, and watched the fountain show at Bellagio.  Gambling was scattered throughout the trip but we are still not millionaires.  Overall, it was a really fun trip and I can't wait to go back!

We had the privilege of attending the Celebration of Courage at the Earle Brown Heritage Center last month.  It was an incredible event that celebrated the strides that so many people have made with help from the Courage Center.  It was fun to get all dressed up and enjoy a fancy event.  Thank you Rick and Joan Ahmann!

I am currently attending Gustavus Adolphus College to finish my degree in business management.  I go down to campus once a week and do the rest of my work online.  I am enrolled in organizational behavior and marketing this semester.  It has been great to see all of my friends and all of the Brendan bracelets around campus. Everything is working out very well and I am excited to be back on track to graduate.  I even made it down for homecoming this year and had too much fun!

In recent news, I have applied for a service dog that could help me gain some independence.  This can be a long process but I think it is something that is worth the wait.  I am also doing the the ABLE walking program once a week and am seeing improvement; the therapists even felt muscles firing in my quads! This is in addition to my weekly workouts where I have been feeling stronger and stronger everyday.  Yesterday I did the arm bike with 20 electrodes hooked up to my body including electrodes on my abs and lower back to enhance my core strength.  A few hours later it felt as though I had done 1,000 sit-ups! 

I am looking forward to watching the Twins spank the Yankees tomorrow night! 

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Sorry that it has taken me so long to blog again.  I was on vacation and then started classes at Gustavus so I am getting used to a new schedule.

The big news I wanted to share is that I was chosen to be a part of the Activity-Based Locomotor Excercise (ABLE) at the Courage Center.  This machine gave me a chance to walk again for the first time since my accident.  It felt amazing to be upright and moving again.  Usually the patients that use this therapy try to stay up walking for 40 to 45 minutes, but during my first time I was able to stay up for 55 minutes.  The therapists seemed very impressed.  I didnt think it was tiring while I was walking but when I got home I napped for 2.5 hours!  I am hoping to do this therapy once a week as it is great for my body.  Check out the video and let me know what you think.


Look forward to posts about our trip to Vegas and my school experience.  I will be better about posting! Hope that you all had a great weekend!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wedding, Standing, Boating, Golfing

A couple weeks ago I was excited to find out that I had been invited to Lindsay's cousin's wedding in Mankato. It was the second wedding I have ever been to; the first was my sister's.  It was a great day and I had a lot of fun.  The only downside was that Lindsay was a bridesmaid so I was unable to see her most of the day.  All in all I had a great time.  Thanks McConkey's!

First time in a tie in over a year!
In a previous post I had shared that I was standing at 55 degrees with a goal of reaching the full 90 degrees.  To much surprise I was able to get to 90 degrees the second time I was in the standing frame! It felt great to be back to my 6 foot frame.  I towered over Lindsay and Nicole. It was the first time Lindsay had seen me standing next to her.  She was extremely happy to stand next to me.

Towering and Lindsay is on her tippy toes.
Last week I overcame one of my biggest fears I have since the injury...  I went down a dock and got onto a pontoon.  I had not been near a dock since my accident and it brought back a few nightmarish memories.  It only took me seconds to get on the boat but it felt much longer to me.  It felt incredible to have the wind blowing against my face as we cruised around the lake.  I even helped Lindsay and her dad do some fishing (I  love to fish) so it was great to be back out there.  Unfortunately, I was a little rusty and no fish were caught.  This was just another step to show that I can do almost anything.  Thank you Jon and Jeff for your help!

On Tuesday it was the 2nd Annual Brendan Loney Golf Classic and we had perfect weather.  We seriously could not have asked for a better day.  It was unbelievable for me to witness all of the love and support my family and I received.  Many of you know I was unable to attend last year but I had heard about how amazing the event was.  The day surpassed all of my expectations and I had a blast! I was able to get inside most of the golfer's heads on holes 1 and 10.  I can't thank all of you enough for your hard work and donations.  Thank you! 

Gustie Boys
Maple Grove Boys
The Lindsa(e)ys
Heckling the players

Grandpa Loney
Stay tuned for some big news next week. We are also leaving for Las Vegas next Sunday!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


First off, I would like to apologize for the absence of my blogging.  I have been pretty busy the last couple of weeks.  I am so happy that I am able to enjoy this summer, I am in a much better place this summer than last summer! 

We finally were able to get the FES Bike up and running after many failed attempts at home.  For all those who don't know, the FES bike is a great way for me to workout.  It improves my cardiovascular, strengthens my muscles, improves circulation and keeps my skin healthy.  Each time that I ride the bike, I usually go about 5.6 miles in 30 minutes and I try to ride the bike as much as I can depending on what I have going on that day.  The bike consists of 12 electrode pads attached to me and they stimulate my leg muscles to push.
(Here is a video of me riding the FES Bike)

Last week one of my best friends turned 21 so I made it a priority to celebrate with him in Uptown.  This was my first time ever going out to Uptown.  Once we got to Uptown, Lindsay and I parked in the parking lot behind Cowboy Slims, we had a couple blocks to get to Williams.  As we passed some bars we noticed that not all of them were accessible, one being "Drink".  I remember thinking to myself, "bastards!"  So then we got to Williams and to my relief it was accessible.  Once more people arrived downtown everyone decided they wanted to go to "Drink".  Once we got to the bar, to my surprise, they had a hidden V.I.P. elevator that we all rode in to get out to the patio.   Ahh the perks of being in a chair!!!  We had a great time.

As of a couple of days ago I took off another piece of my power chair!  I got rid of my head rest.   This enables me to wear backwards hats.  For all those who know me, I live with my hats on backwards.  The next stop for me is to buy more hats :)   On a serious note, without the neck rest my neck and shoulder muscles are used a lot more and it is going to take a short while for the fatigue to go away. 

Here is a recent picture of me in a backwards hat from the front and back.

I'm still considering getting a tattoo and I would like your opinion on what to get.  I have two ideas in mind they are 1)  Never give up on forearm and 2) Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.  But I am open to suggestions.

Thank you very much.  Hope everyone is having a great summer and staying cool on days like today!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Fun

Finn and Jack came over on Thursday to hang out.  Finn is getting so good at crawling and likes to come after my chair.  Jack is at the age now where he is starting to throw temper tantrums and the only solution is Dora.  Both of them become fixated on the screen whenever Dora is on, no need for a babysitter.  I like having them come over but it can be chaos when they are here... in a good way!  Whenever they are about to leave, Jack comes and gives me a high five. It's the best!

On Saturday I went to the mall and bought a new bed.   I am very happy to be rid of the hospital bed that I don't even fit on and my arms get caught in the safety rails.  I also picked up a bunch of shoes at Journey's for my fundraiser on August 17th. I am planning on signing them all (hopefully someone will want to buy them!)

The weekend ended well with Linds and I having a little Sunday Funday.  We went to Boston's where we had dinner and lost all of our money in pull tabs.  It was a perfect night to sit outside and enjoy the weather and a few drinks.  Afterwards we went to Friday's and said hi to some of Lindsay's friends that bar tend.  They did a few tricks for us and we met some really nice and fun people (aka some crazy drunks). 

Today was a big day for me.  I went to Courage Center and decided to try out the standing frame.  I tried the standing frame at Craig Hospital two times before.  I was unable to even sit flat for more than five minutes because my blood pressure is very hard to control.  I get the feeling that I am very light-headed and about to pass out.  However, today I was able to get to a 55 degree angle!  The only reason I didn't go higher was because I ran out of time.  The standing frame is great for improving bone density, blood flow, and muscle tone.  Once my legs straightened, I could feel the circulation to my legs and it felt great. My goal is to get to a 90 degree angle and I believe I will achieve that in the near future.

I hope that everyone else had a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A New Week

This week has started off great.  I had been planning on getting my girlfriend Lindsay something special for the last few weeks and I finally was able to do that yesterday.  I surprised her when she came over after work.  I had a bracelet from Tiffany's waiting for her in the kitchen and then before we left for her house for dinner I surprised her with another gift, a necklace from Tiffany's hiding in my room.

I had a great night over at the Werder's house.  I was able to use the new ramp I just purchased online and it worked out perfect. 

As most of you know, I have spent a lot of time at The Courage Center since I have been home.  I go there about three times a week for Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.  Today I got to try out the FES arm bike.  For all who don't know, this is a machine that has six electrodes for each arm and they are carefully placed on my triceps, front shoulders, upper back, etc. I have the ability to push the arm pedals myself, but the electrodes enhance the muscles that I am using.  The lady working with me told me that the longest she has seen anyone go on the arm bike their first time was 15 minutes and today I went 24!!!  I was very impressed with how the machine works, it has been the hardest workout I have done so far.  When I was done with the 24 minutes I was literally unable to lift my arms.  They felt like 100 lbs each.

Everyone has their good days and bad days.  Luckily for me I have been able to have a long string of good days.  Each day brings new challenges everyone faces them with a different approach and lately I have felt successful.