July 6, 2014

The fun never ends…

Written by derekherrera

Derek Herrera ReWalk Exoskeleton - Boston GlobeThe past few weeks have included more down-time than I think I have had since I was initially injured two years ago.  I spent a week at UCLA with my classmates studying Business Law and Financial Modeling.  Then I went to an incredible wedding on the beach in Carlsbad.

The morning after the wedding I woke up feeling like I was having a heart attack, but wrote it off as food poisoning (late-night burrito) and made it home.  Then after flying to Boston and working for a day I had the same pains in my chest and stomach.  After waiting four hours to make sure it wasn’t indigestion and the pain didn’t go away I took an ambulance to the ER and found out it was gallstones.  I got an MRI to confirm and then decided to leave the hospital so that I could carry on with my trip (and get surgery to remove my gallbladder when I returned to CA).
I was out of the hospital long enough (about four hours) to hear that the ReWalk Exoskeleton was approved by the FDA for personal use and then began having pain again.  This time the pain was worse than any pain I have experienced, ever, and I got to spend another night in the ER before going into surgery.  The following day the surgeons did one surgery to remove my gallbladder and one surgery to remove a stuck gallstone.  I was released from the hospital the next day and drove down to DE to stay with my family for the holidays.

It was great getting to relax and spend time with my family, and as always, I was absolutely impressed by the support from everyone involved.  The team from ReWalk Robotics was particularly noteworthy, since they took care of Shaggy and spent every night in the ER/Hospital with me.  My father-in-law and brother-in-law were also incredibly helpful, and drove eight hours to come pick me up and drive me back to DE.  Similar to the experiences I have had in the past, the people I was surrounded with made a terrible situation much less stressful.

Now that I don’t have a gallbladder or any more gallstones to slow me down, I’m returning to the daily grind with that much more intensity.