Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Rowing Machine

Michael has been on the waiting list for the FES machine at the Steadward Centre at the University of Alberta. The FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) is a specially adapted rowing machine which uses electric current to stimulate the legs of those with spinal-cord injuries allowing them to get a good cardiovascular workout. Mike can exercise the upper part of his body but this would allow him to work out his lower limbs. Because the waiting list is long, we were excited when Mike’s name came up. On Friday he will go to the University to have an assessment and we will see if he qualifies and if so, what his schedule will be.

Winter weather has taken on a new meaning for us this year. Wet, slushy snow means wet, dirty wheelchair tires which means a wet, dirty car and trunk, not to mention wet, dirty gloves and pants! Even plowed roads and shoveled sidewalks can leave deep ruts and inches of snow to maneuver. If Mike doesn’t use his “road” tires, the smooth tires of his wheelchair give no traction. However, the road tires soon balloon up collecting snow in all the nooks and crannies. Thankfully we have a lot of tile at the house because a carpet would soon carry a wheelchair tire design (much like Matt’s house is getting when Mike goes to visit!).


Julie-Anne said...

Woot Woot for rowing machine thingys and execise. You show them that you qualify Mike. I know you can do it.

I hope that things get a little better with the whole snow issue. I know that playing in the snow is fun but not when you weren't intending to.

Thinking about you Barkers


Anonymous said...

Sounds like quite the machine would be great if you could qualify for it, Michael.

Never realized what winter means for wheelchairs..."road tires" many little things we don't think twice about affect you so much.

Thinking of you and praying for you,


Anonymous said...

hey michael and family,
I am excited that you are going to live in sherwood park. I don't think any of you have been our house before. So that will have to change very soon. Please let us know If you need a hand or if your around the park and want to come for dinner some time soon . Also If there is something we could do to speed up those renovations, Anyways talk to you soon

Anonymous said...

HI Barkers!
I haven't sent a comment for a long time. I just want to say how inspiring you all are, but especially Mike, to continue to laugh and move forward in days when you never know what is coming around the corner. We still pray for you all and know that God has His hands on you. You really show great christian family values and I thank you for sharing parts of yourselves thru this blog.
God Bless,
Susan Hawkes

Anonymous said...

Hi! I don't like winter and I don't have any troubles getting around. Glad things keep getting better. You are in my thoughts alot. Take care Terry Hannan

Anonymous said...

Wow! Lots going on with your workout. To use the road tires or to not use the road tires, that is the question. Sorry lame humor. Glad to hear you're doing great, as usual. It's only snowed one week here so far, but it's so cold you almost wish it would just snow and get it over with. Snow can cancel school not rain. Hope your assessment went well and Happy Rowing.
Brit in MI

Darlene Poetker said...

Hello Barker Family,

We haven't written for a while, but we continue to think of you and pray for you. Mike, you are an inspiration to us all. Life is a bit crazy here right now with our three girls, plus two Mexican girls, a Japanese girl and two new kittens, but we would love to visit again when it works for you.

Holding you in our prayers,

the poetkers

christy ward said...

hey barkers
so awesome to hear the exciting news of the rowing machine. and to hear the story of mikes tumble at the LRT was really amazing. kind of put me in my place, and such a lesson to learn. its amazing to hear of the progress and new adventures and challenges ur family goe through. family is such a special thing and its great that the boys have such a bond.
well, australia is certainly alot more wheel chair friendly in terms of weather... its so hot here im actually missing the snow.
praying for you all and that Mike qualifies for the rowing machine.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike and's been awhile! I just wanted you to know Mike that everytime I brush my car off and see your sticker I pray for you. (and it's been pretty snowy lately so I've been praying lots lately).

I hope that the new house is coming together smoothly and that you can be in soon. Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you.

~ Terri-Lynn