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      Michael Morale
      Keymaster
      Monday, July 22, Through Sunday, July 28 – Overall, this was a great week. I completed quite a few work projects, and everything went smoothly. I ate well, got some good rest, and my body feels great. Other than a little bit of discomfort in my right hip, which I’ll talk about in just a moment, it was a pretty uneventful and smooth week.
       
      I had to rearrange my physical therapy scheduled this week because Emily was in St. Lucia at a destination wedding. When I went for my workout with Emily on Thursday, she was at the front desk doing some paperwork. I asked her how St. Lucia was, and whether or not she was sunburned. She laughed and said that she definitely got too much sun, but that she had a fantastic time.
      During my appointment, we worked on all my balance, range of motion, and flexibility exercises. We started out doing all of these normal balance exercises that we do, and this really went well. Along with the perturbations and Emily shaking the table, my core muscles got a great workout.
      When I sit on the edge of the therapy table, there’s a level of trust between me and my therapists. When I first started doing this about 6 or 8 months ago, I was very apprehensive. However, that didn’t mean that I didn’t trust Emily and Vikki. Now, it’s something that I don’t even think about. I know that they’re both there supporting me, and I never worry about falling off the table.
      After finishing my balance exercises, Emily and Vikki laid me down on my back. Two weeks ago, Emily and I forgot to stretch my right hip, so we focused on it this time. I thought this would be a little painful, but it actually felt terrific. As I laid on my back and zoned out, Emily asked me if I was okay. When I open my eyes and looked at her, she laughed and said I must really be enjoying all of the stretching. I told her that I could already tell that this week was going to be better than the previous one.
      After finishing all of my stretching and flexibility exercises, Emily worked on the muscles in my neck, which really felt good. Then, Emily and Vikki sat me back up on the edge of the therapy table, and we worked with the resistance band while I leaned to my left and my right.
      After we finished with this, I thought it was time to transfer back to my wheelchair, but Emily grabbed the red resistance band and gave it to Vikki, who was standing in front of me. She told me that she wanted Vikki to put the resistance band around my back, and we were going to work on an isometric exercise. She wanted Vikki to pull my upper body toward her with the resistance band, and my job was to remain upright, without leaning forward.
      To my surprise, and I think even to the surprise of both Emily and Vikki, I was able to do this without any problems. We started out with Vikki about a foot in front of me. Then she slowly backed up further and further, until the resistance band started pulling me forward. At this point, I had to use my core muscles to remain in a seated upright position. I was actually quite surprised at how far Vikki had to walk away from me before it started to become difficult for me to remain upright. Emily was standing behind me with her hands in front of my shoulders, so I knew that if I started to lose my balance, Emily would be able to grab me and keep me from falling.
      Again, this is where trust comes into play. Emily said that I did so good, we would use the green resistance band in 2 weeks. As the weeks and months progress, I should be able to use the higher resistance bands in this particular exercise. The isometric exercise that we did is important for me, because this builds the muscle and my core strength that I need to stay sitting back in my wheelchair as I go down an incline, whether it be a ramp or any unlevel service.
       
      In this week’s video, I talk about accessible travel. Recently, the 2019 Annual Cure SMA Conference took place in Anaheim California. Due to my inability to fly, I was unable to attend this conference. In my video, I share my feelings as to what needs to be changed, so that those of us in wheelchairs have the ability to fly like anyone else. This is the right that we not only want and need, it’s a right that we deserve. Click HERE to view my video.
       
      I’ve updated the flash briefings that I do for BioNews Services. Click HERE to go to the flash briefings.
       
      I hope that all of you had a fantastic week. Do something for yourself this upcoming week that will make you a better person. God bless you and I’ll see you in a couple of weeks.
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