30 Jan

Confidence feels like you can soar through the clouds. I would argue it’s the best feeling in the world. Having the feeling that no one can stop you is fantastic. The last couple of days, I have had this feeling. I really felt like I was hitting my stride. I was making aggressive moves in wheelchair class that I had not been doing before. I really enjoyed that feeling. I had not felt in a while, and I really missed that feeling.

But like most things, what goes up must come down. It was feeling great today until I had to disassemble my wheelchair and reassemble it. I really struggled with it, and I lost a lot of my confidence. I really needed a lot of help while I was messing with my chair. The good news is that when I got the chair done and I got back in it. I have come to realize that confidence is one side of a teeter-totter. It goes up and down pretty quickly, and it is quite a balancing act. With all that I am learning to do again there are so many opportunities for my confidence to drop. I guess that has my confidence drops less the closer I am to going home. And I can’t wait to go home to Erika.

Tomorrow I will probably be able to take my brace off and I am chomping at the bit to have it off. Like I’ve said many times before, it is one step closer to my independence.

Over the last week, I have gained a shadow. This young boy whose father is here has seemed to become attached to me. I believe my shadow was started by Erika. She really befriended him and now he come to my room and hangs out and watches TV. For some weird reason, it is nice having him hanging around. There is something nice about the simplicity of a young person. I seem to have a lot of hope of my own life with him hanging around.

This weekend Erika and I are planning to see a movie at the movie theater. She wants see Blood Diamond, and I am more than happy to go with her. Getting out of here will be nice.

Before I end this I want to give a couple shouts outs; Jenny Hansen, my cousin’s cousin, sent me a couple of games and a Wisconsin hat. Thanks, I fortunately had to use it the day I got it. I also got a box of really nice brownies from a buddy’s mom. Thanks Mrs. Scanlon. The brownies are really good.

A buddy of my brother’s stopped by tonight. We were talking about things when the subject of support came up. After the conversation, I realized that I have so much support it really is tremendous. So…I really want to say thank you to everyone out for all your support. Every little bit really helps a lot.

Well I am off to a “shower” and bed. Have a good hump day everyone. I am sure I will.


Posted by on January 30, 2007 in Previous Posts


17 responses to “Confidence

  1. Bernadette and Gil

    January 30, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    What a neat connection with the little boy. I know exactly what you mean about the simpliciy of children. That’s why I enjoy my job so much. Each day you think you are teaching them something when actually they’re teaching you. What a great relationship for you.
    I bet like everything else, the next time you put the chair back together, it’ll be easier. Patience, indepndence, confidence…you’ve said it all!
    You’ll have to take a picture when the brace is off…we’re all cheering for you when it comes off.
    David told me you, he and Brandon have tickets for the Crush game…that’s going to be awesome.
    Have a great day.

  2. Marge Scanlon/aka Pete's mom

    January 30, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Glad you liked the brownies. You deserve sweet things with the courage you have shown in this adversity. I am watching your great progress and rooting for you.

  3. MB

    January 30, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Each day your blog opens my mind to new thoughts, and I thank you for this. Sharing your feelings and insights is never easy, but somehow knowing you are taking the tme to let us all know how you feel makes things more clear. You will continue to gain confidence, as you should. Somedays it will be easier than others. We are all so pleased that you are really giving it your best effort, and know it will benefit you sooner than you think!

  4. Bry, Jess and Jamysen

    January 30, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    I was thinking about you, as I pretty much always do, and recalled that you get that brace off tomorrow. Now I just read the blog and you said “probably” will get the brace off. Are you simply not getting your hopes up, or for sure you get that damn brace off?

    Joel, I want you to know that even though I may not write to you I am reading your thoughts every day, and checking it all throughout the day to read the comments. I know of several people who read this and do not respond because they are lost for words or they don’t because you don’t know them.
    I love this site!! And to read day by day about your amazing progress has me lost for words.
    You will be home soon to Erika and home to your regular life in Tempe. We (Bry, Jamysen and I) will be back to our regular visits to Tempe ( I miss those).
    Thank you so much for writing to us when you can.
    We will be down soon with healthy cookies and all (diapers, toys, pacifiers, diaper rash cream, … etc).
    your sista-in-law

  5. Phillip Yates

    January 30, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Your writing has touched a nerve in a way that none of the thousands of articles I have written ever has. I look forward to reading your blog everyday when I go to work and when I come home. I am proud to say you are my brother. See you on Friday.

  6. Janice

    January 30, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    Hey Joel,

    I made reservations to come to Denver this weekend with Erika. Can’t wait to see you again and celebrate your birthday.

    I promise you I will not take away from your personal time with Erika. I’m bringing my computer and will be working (as always) on marketing real estate. Business has really picked up this month. I actually think I may make some money this yearl

    I am looking forward to meeting everyone at Craig, visiting with your family, and others involved with your recovery, including the little boy that you and Erika like.

    I’m not looking forward to cold weather but it will probably not be that different than Phoenix. It actually snowed in Scottsdale recently. Made front page news.

    Sooooo….can I get to try out a wheelchair while I’m there. I do a lot of sitting in my job and I’m way out of shape, I’ll bet I’m the worst ever. I figure it’s definitely easier than hiking, swimming or running at this point in my life. I definitely don’t want to race you or Erika or get into any games. Would be way too embarrasing.

    Joel, last time I saw you it was when you were still in intensive care in Flag. I was there when you first tried out a wheel chair on your own with your brother Brian. You had a hard time at the wheel and Brian, like a good brother, did not help you at all and you were amazing. I don’t know if you remember this or not but even thou it was difficult for you to keep the wheel chair from running into walls, and the fact you were in pain, you never complained, just joked with the staff. You were and probably and still are a favorite patient at Flagstaff.

    Well, since then you have come a long way, spiritually and physcially. I read your blog daily, emotionally it’s an up and down time but you are working thru the grind. I know it’s very, very hard.

    I truly took forward to seeing you, your family, friends, ajnd the folks at Craig this weekend.

    Keep up the good work,


  7. Uncle G and Aunt E

    January 31, 2007 at 6:12 am

    Joel…Where in the heck did you learn to write?? Niwot High? Northern Arizona? CSU? All of the above, probably and then some. It’s pretty impressive when Phil the jounalist gives you such high praise. You have a way of expressing ideas and feelings that just brings them to life. Even your titles are so perceptive. Elna and I read and re-read your entries every day. They not only tell us how you’re doing, they give us insight and inspiration about the ups and downs of life.
    So keep it up. Maybe you have the start to a new career, or at least an avocation.
    Meanwhile, good luck with losing the brace and enjoy seeing Erika and celebrating your birthday. Holy cow! I remember baby sitting you and Bryan so your parents could finally go skiing after you were born…30 years ago.
    Keep the faith, keep working hard, and keep writing!
    Love, George…


    January 31, 2007 at 7:10 am


  9. Erin Carson

    January 31, 2007 at 7:14 am

    You have so many great things to say! Thank you for sharing them with all of us!
    I am so happy Erika is coming this weekend- tell her hello for me, and I really hope I get to see her soon… maybe sooner than I think!
    I can’t imagine what it would feel like to get that brace off after so long… I guess I would equate it to when I got my braces off so long ago, (though of course not the same!) the slimey clean feeling of my teeth was so nice and different, and free feeling! That feeling you are going to have is going to feel pretty nice I would think.
    Anyway, again keep up the good work and your confidence flowing. Miss you lots.

  10. Matt

    January 31, 2007 at 9:21 am

    All your old KSI friends working up here in Utah say hello and were all very excited when I updated them on all your progress and successes. Congrats on the brace removal, the hard work is paying off!
    Matt and Amy

  11. Renee

    January 31, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Good Morning,

    So, I agree whole-heartedly with what your sister-in-law says. I am one of those people who reads this blog religiously but do not write often because I am often at a loss for words. You are truly an inspiration. Clay and I talk and think about you often. You have managed to give us some much needed perspective from miles away when things down in Tucson get tough. I am proud that I can call you a friend. Keep up the good work and enjoy your BIRTHDAY… old man.


  12. Ben Wyss

    January 31, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Joel, today I found out about what you have been going through since December 10th. I regret not being there for you in Flagstaff. It is however great to see so many people giving their support for you and reading your entries as well as theirs has been incredibly heartwarming. Good luck with getting your brace off. Best wishes from the entire Wyss family.
    Ben & Maria

  13. Ken

    January 31, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Joel, we want to thank you for your support. Do not fail to realize how much it builds our confidence to see you fight to walk again. Your fighting spirit is contagious.

  14. Janis

    January 31, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    I am feeling the same way George is. When did you get to be so perceptive, so insightful? Those of us that remember you as a baby and a little boy but have not had much contact with you as adult are getting to know again through the blog. It was great when you came up to Lake Minnewaska and to see you at the weddings but those were glimpses and not enough time to really get to know the real you. I always knew you were a sweet guy but each day as I read your blog I am blown away by what a fantastic person you have become. Much love, Aunt Janis

  15. Maggie Knight

    January 31, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    Hey Yole –

    I totally hear you about the confidence thing. It’s amazing what it can do to a perosn’s spirit. Keep riding the high wave. You positive outlook on life is amazing. You’re in our thoughts

    Maggie and Jess

  16. Jason Burch

    January 31, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Joel, you have always been a man of great confidence, and you naturally inspire the confidence of those around you even when you are not fully aware. I can only imagine how the people at Craig appreciate you, as does your new young admirer.

    We all admire you Joel!! Keep up the progrees!!!

  17. Karyl Thurston

    February 9, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Hey Joel, It is so encouraging to read your inner most thoughts about the predicament in which you find yourself. I know you have the where-with-all to make the absolute best of this situation, and I’ve felt that from the beginning. I’m grateful your not in Minnesota right now in the “deep freeze”. I’m so grateful we can hear the small and big steps going on everyday in your life. Keep on smiling…..Big, Big Hug Karyl


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