A look into my day (from Tommy)

Several people have asked me to write about my physical condition. Many of you don’t see me on a regular basis and have no idea of what my daily routine entails and what issues arise.

I am very lucky to be able to get to work almost every day. That would not be possible without the excellent work of caregivers on weekday mornings such as Lorena and Sophia, and one on weekends, Mishell or Zaira. They bathe, dress, and feed me while performing various medical procedures along the way. The most important procedure being respiratory therapy.

This morning routine takes approximately four hours. Nightly I have one caregiver, either April, Chris, or Zaira, putting me in bed via Hoyer lift (basically an electric lift utilizing a body sling) from my wheelchair to the bed around 8:30 p.m. or so to once again perform respiratory therapy along with other duties until around 10 p.m. (lights out). They must remain in the house all night due to possible and probable ventilation or respiratory issues as well as turning me every three hours to avoid pressure wounds.

I am blessed to have my caregiver, Ashley, taking me to the office at around noon on weekdays. I am a co-founder and Senior Vice President, Principal at Sage Partners, a commercial real estate firm based in Rogers, AR. She is skilled at the normal medical procedures required during the day, but also works with me on daily business to handle correspondence, emails, texts, projects, proposals, conference calls and all things work-related. Additionally, Ashley drives me to client meetings, lunches, doctor appointments, and random errands.

All of this may sound like we have a set routine, but that is hardly the case. Due to my quadriplegic condition, nothing is routine on any given day. There can be extraordinary respiratory issues, urinary tract infections, ventilation equipment failures, wheelchair malfunctions, and van issues (ramp, chair lock, parking)—just to name a few.

As you can see, without the people mentioned above and my amazing wife, Robyn, I would not be physically able, healthy enough, or have the positive mindset to get out of bed each morning.

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