Sunday, March 16, 2008

Two Weeks Left

"The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author/blogger and do not in any way necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI. Any and all postings on this site are my own opinions and do not in any way necessarily represent the position, strategy, or opinion of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI"

Okay, so it's been over month since my last transmission and I am sorry for leaving all of you in the dark for such a long time. But to tell the truth nothing really crazy, or what I thought to be blog worthy was going on. So now I will update.

As far as the running is going, I've really started to put some speed into the exercise. At first I was running at 4.8 mph and now I'm running at 6.5 mph and it's such a nice workout but I still want to run faster. I feel by the time I'm done I'll be beyond 7 mph.

As for visitors I've had some high school kids watch me run one day, and a group of Case students too and then there was the United States Ambassador to Hungary (I was a stop on the Tour) I've met a couple more people from NASA and some doctors from around the world.

One day, instead of running with full force put onto the treadmill I ran with only 20% force. So instead of feeling like I weighed 150 pounds I felt like I weighed 30 pounds. It was to simulate walking on the moon. It was so cool, it was more of a bounce or a hop and a skip motion rather than a run. I loved it.

My nutritionist stopped by the other day and gave me a bottle of Tabasco sauce. Finally I get to ad some spice to my otherwise bland food. I also am getting a corned beef sandwich on rye for St. Patrick's day and she's working on bringing me a steak for Easter!

I must take a moment to thank everyone who sent Valentine's Day cards. I was overwhelmed with letters and love from so many of you. And also, thank you to all the 4th graders at James A. Garfield who wrote. Your letters were awesome!

I've been occupying my time with more movies and my new fix is watching NASA TV. They are at the ISS now and conducting space walks everyday. It's pretty interesting if you got nothing better to do.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Real American Hero!

"The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author/blogger and do not in any way necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI. Any and all postings on this site are my own opinions and do not in any way necessarily represent the position, strategy, or opinion of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI"







Hello everyone!!

I know it's been a while since my last post but I didn't really have that much going on besides laying down and watching TV, surfing the net, watching movies, and studying up on personal training. But yesterday was a very exciting day for me. I got to meet a real American Hero, Astronaut, Senator, and World War II veteran John Glenn! He was coming to the clinic to see what is happening with the program I'm in and to give a lecture later in the day.

Around ten in the morning I was taken down to the lab that I exercise in and he came around 10:30. My doctor was with me and introduced Mr. Glenn to me. We were both very honored to meet each other. He asked me how I was feeling and told me about what space was like for him and some of his experiences and difficulties upon re-entry. We talked for about 15 minutes and then he was shown around the lab and the ZLS treadmill. After his tour he came back and talked a little more and signed a NASA sticker I had. All the while a photographer was taking pictures of us. Senator Glenn had such an amazing presence about him. Gentle and well spoken, I couldn't help from smiling. He was caring and understanding and really appreciative of what I was doing for the the space program. At 87 years of age he has filled his life with more accoplishments, awards, medals of honor, and experiences to fill ten lifetimes. I invite you to go on line and find out more about him and why he is coinsidered a true American Hero!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bath Time


"The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author/blogger and do not in any way necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI. Any and all postings on this site are my own opinions and do not in any way necessarily represent the position, strategy, or opinion of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI"



Hey Everybody!




I've decided to put up a picture of my bathtub. My nurses call it "The Peanut" and for good reason. It might not be the most sophisticated piece of technology I deal with but it's kinda fun. Some people would call it a challenge but I don't think it's so bad. I have really adapted well to everything that comes my way. And after a day of working out on the ZLS it feels great to get clean.


Yesterday I got half way done with my exercises in the lab, when a supporting cable started to fray. Sarah canceled the rest of the run for the day so they could take time to fix it, so I got to leave the office early on Friday.


I would also like to make a comment about the newspaper article in The Solon Times. I was miss quoted all over that article. That man didn't get anything right. I'm hung up for "hours" I didn't go through "grueling" test. There were no other volunteers along with me either. I thought the article was flat and had no energy to it and poorly written. And I though it was funny how in the middle of nowhere it said I was single. I did however have and interview with the Plain Dealer that went very well and there should be an article in a few weeks.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Crazy Things I Do

"The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author/blogger and do not in any way necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI. Any and all postings on this site are my own opinions and do not in any way necessarily represent the position, strategy, or opinion of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI"

Hey everybody! So today I'm posting a video or two of what I actually do here when I'm in the lab. For all you nonbelievers here's the proof that I do more than just lay around all day. Basically when I'm down in the lab it takes about 15 minutes to hook me up to everything and then I walk for five minutes, rest for five. Then I run for five minutes and rest for five. The whole schedule consists of walking 5 times and running 4 times and a bunch of resting in between. Yesterday my hips were hurting a bunch because someone had taken the harness and used it for something else so it wasn't fitting me right. Sarah worked the kinks out and today was much better.

I must say that I'm still eating very well. Today for lunch I had a triple burger and onion rings! Somehow I'm still losing weight.

Today is Tuesday and Tuesday's are special. Every Tuesday I have to give saliva samples four times a day and then I'm hooked up to an e.k.g. monitor and have to stay still for six minutes. For the saliva I spit into a tube and then I also have to munch on these cotton swabs until they are saturated. I forget actually what the reason for all this is but I know I signed a consent form for it a while ago. This is just one of the many side studies being conducted here for space medicine research.

On a final note for the day, this Thursday I believe there will be a page article about me in the Solon Times. So for those of you in Solon take a look. I also got a call today from media relations here at the clinic. Turns out that the Plain Dealer wants to interview me as well. I don't know when that interview will be but I'll keep you posted.


video

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dom Goes Green





"The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author/blogger and do not in any way necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI. Any and all postings on this site are my own opinions and do not in any way necessarily represent the position, strategy, or opinion of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI"



Today is Thursday and I planted my herb garden today. It's full of parsley, oregano, chives, and basil. I went heavy on the basil so maybe come spring I can make some pesto! Today I also distributed the cookies that I made to all the nurses that take care of me and they were all so very grateful. Speaking of food, the nutritionist increased my caloric intake, so for lunch today I had a chicken salad sandwich, soup, peaches, milk, vanilla ice cream, carrot cake, and a piece of pie. Yeah, that was kinda insane! Needless to say I didn't want to go and exercise today but they make me and it was well worth it.

Today is also the second day that I am exercising at 100% force onto the treadmill. It was slow starting, not on my part but my main engineer Sarah was at a meeting and the two assistants were having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to hang me up. They finally got in contact with Sarah and had proper instruction. All that there was left to do was for me to put my feet on the treadmill and run.

That was basically all that went on in my little bubble of a world today. I also had Mrs. Solomon dropping in as an unexpected but very welcomed guest and my dad, Jumpin' Jim Prinzo came and spent some time in the evening, that and I haven't watched an episode of Lost in about two hours so I'm going through withdrawal and I'm gonna get my fix now!!!


Ciao!

Dom




Tuesday, January 15, 2008

So far so good

"The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author/blogger and do not in any way necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI. Any and all postings on this site are my own opinions and do not in any way necessarily represent the position, strategy, or opinion of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI"

It's Tuesday night and I've already taken my sleeping pill so this might be a short post.

Today was a good day. I started the day weighing in at 145.5 I've lost 5 pounds since I've been here, which I kinda like but I have a feeling that they're going to up my caloric intake soon. My nurses said to ask for ice cream...just might do that.

My Occupational Therapist came today and brought some wonderful activities. First I made sugar cookies from bed, sprinkles and everything! Grant it, I'm not allowed to eat any of these but there's enough nurses around to give them to. She also brought some cat grass to bring some life to the room and it smells really nice, we didn't get to the herb garden to plant because we got to talking for such a long time which made me very happy.

By the time I was to go for exercises I was ready to run! I'm at 75% force onto the treadmill and tomorrow starts 100% force. The nurses are ready to get me working hard.

My first weekend was wonderful too. On Saturday I watched 15 hours of Lost season 1, free on ABC.com and I just got done with Season 2 tonight. I'm hooked! On Sunday I had a plethora of folks visiting. Mom and Murphy, then Kelly and Mike, then Allison and Phil, and rounding out the day with Rd. I actually had to turn my dad away because of the amount of people coming in. Mom came and decorated my room with sunshine and palm trees, I like the sun it's great!

All the pain that I had in the beginning has vanished and my spirits are high once again, but the sleeping pill is making me yawn now so I will stop. Namaste, and I wish you all the best in surviving the cold weather coming your way in Cleveland.

With Great Respect~
Dommer

Friday, January 11, 2008

To all those who don't know my story

"The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author/blogger and do not in any way necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI. Any and all postings on this site are my own opinions and do not in any way necessarily represent the position, strategy, or opinion of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI"

Let's get some of those people who don't know what I'm doing up to speed.

Since last September I have been undergoing tests at the Cleveland clinic to qualify to be a test subject for a project conducted by the Clinic in association with NASA. The study is to research the quality of bone density in astronauts during long term space travel and the countermeasures that can be made to prevent the loss of minerals in bones. Due to lack of gravity in space, bones tend to deteriorate at a high pace. To simulate weightlessness here on earth, bed rest in a six degree head down tilt is performed. The counter measures they are having me perform consist of being wheeled down into a lab where they have a modified hammock. I lay horizontally and run on a vertical treadmill. There is a certain amount of force put onto my body forcing me towards the treadmill to simulate gravity and thus apply pressure to my bones. It's pretty crazy.

I arrived at the Clinic on January 7th and I will not touch the ground again until march 24th. That is 84 days of laying in bed. I do have Internet access. It is mounted on a table so I can write to you while laying in bed, pretty cool! Within that time I tend to watch a lot of movies, read some Shakespeare, learn some Italian, play some guitar, write a lot, crochet a bit, and basically just lay around and do my best to do my part in this study.

After I am done with the study I am put up in the Intercontinental Hotel located on the Cleveland Clinic campus. I will be there for two to four days to get back on my feet. Then I have a mandatory two weeks of rehab here at the clinic and then another six weeks of rehab on my own.

You can come and visit if you want. Hours are from 12-8 everyday. Weekends are better to come because I'm not doing anything on those days. My room number is M51-16 in the GCRC which is attached to the children's hospital in building M floor 5.

Stop on by, I'll be here...at least I won't have to shovel any snow!

Dom

Thursday, January 10, 2008

In the beginning...

"The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author/blogger and do not in any way necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI. Any and all postings on this site are my own opinions and do not in any way necessarily represent the position, strategy, or opinion of the Cleveland Clinic, NASA, or NSBRI"

Today is thursday January 10th and it is day number four for me on this new adventure. For the past three days I have been getting adjusted to my new quarters. And let me say that it has been quite an adjustment. After just a couple of hours of laying down I found heavy pain in my lower back and my stomach. On day two I was prescribed nexium for my stomach and pain medicine for my back. I spent the first two days curled up in the fetal position staring at the ceiling, I couldn't even focus on television.

On day three life got a little easier. The pain had started to go away and I got my first of many many full body massages. I get an hour massage every monday, wednesday, friday. I am looking forward to everyone of these. I also exercise on the ZLS (verticle tredmill) monday-friday for about an hour a day. This is nice because it helps break up the day and keeps my body together by doing some physical activity.

The food is ok. Basically a lot of Stoffer's lean cuisine and fruit and veggies and mashed potatoes. Everything is made some place and then reheated here so the eggs don't really taste like eggs but I manage. The food might not be that great but there's a lot of it. I have trouble eating everything. Yesterday for breakfast I was required to eat, 2 bowls of cherios 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a hard boiled egg, orange juice, milk, and a banana. I would have been fine with a bowl of cereal.

After exercising I come back to my room and take a laying down shower. This is how it works. I lay on my bed and a baby pool is inflated around me and then I am given a shower head to spray and wash myself. When I'm done I lay a towel on myself and the nurses come in with a shop-vac and suck up all my water from my bed. I then put another towel over me and the nurses give me some privacy and then come back to deflate my tub. It's a little bit of a process but it feels really good to be clean.

I have stretches that I have to do every day, twice a day. Basically these take about 45 minutes to do each time but they will be well worth it when I get out of bed later on.

Going to th bathroom wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be either, luckily for me I'm a guy and you all know we have it easy. And using a bed pan kinda makes me feel like a baby all over again. Sometimes all I feel like I do is eat sleep and shit all day.

Okay that's it for now, time to go exercise