Rehab. Learning how to become strong again. Learning how to walk. Learning to trust myself. Learning how to be disabled. I know that there is a lot of stigma around that word. But really, for myself, I don’t know what word to use. I used to be fully abled. Now I am not, grammar would lead me to ” I am disabled.” So for those of you who don’t “like” that word, please give me some time. Right now it is a word that I am comfortable with.
What you have to think about when you are learning to walk, is well, EVERYTHING. It is more than just taking a step and not falling. Because that is exactly what you are trying to do, take a step and not fall. It’s not like hitting a baseball. Just imagine your self hitting the ball and you will! I am afraid it is much more than that. First there is the getting out of the bed. (I will really miss the hospital bed when I don’t have it- but I must start to get use to not having it). Bring your right leg around, wiggle and try to move your left leg by itself, it’s getting there, but now lift your leg with your hands because it is too weak. Slowly move to seated. Pressure present in the hip, but otherwise no pain. Dangle for a minute, recall that you actually do have legs. GET THE WALKER- because we’re not going anywhere without it. And stand…. not just stand though, remember I said- think all the time. Scoot to the edge of the bed, start to engage left leg, then the right….push, push, push with the right leg, activate the quad, push with the arms (but not too much, because the therapist really wants to lessen the arm use, increase the leg use), balance with the hands on the walker. There you are standing. Whew. Now let’s get to the bathroom- that a you’ve been waiting 10 minutes to get to. Here we go…. push the walker forward about 6 inches, Lock and Load the left leg (that’s what I call it- contract the quad, contract the glutteal, extend the hamstring- AS HARD AS YOU CAN), step on the left foot- make sure that it is flat, lock and loaded, rock the hip slightly forward, step on it, trust it, feel the diving board, now try to lift the other leg and follow through. MAKE SURE THAT LEFT LEG IS LOCKED AND LOADED! and step. 30 more till the bathroom.
So in my mind- lock and load that leg. m again, mechanically that means- engage the quadracept, engage the glutteal, lift the hamstring- all at once and step. lock and load, oooo, don’t forget the pelvic lift and step. Use the arms, slide the walker, lock and load… step. Too much pelvic, didn’t lift the leg… don’t forget to lock and load! step. Is the bathroom set up for me? slide the walker, lock and load the leg, pelvic tilt, try to put more weight on it this time and step.. lock and load…. just to go pee… Keep going, keep going. Where’s my pump?And step, lock and load…
Sweating like I have been ambushed. I must admit when I did walk for PT the other day- I needed a towel. I was completely drenched. Like I had ran a mile.
And this is what it is like to walk. To the bathroom.
I am starting to learn the necessity of rest. whew. The body is amazing to watch heal. If you have the patience to do so. LOL. Thank goodness my husband and biggest fan club do (MCA). I am so fortunate that they all ground me. And I am very fortunate that the children find everything hilarious. Because their laughing is contagious and spontaneous and beautiful.
One year ago today, we knew change was on the horizon. We didn’t know how much or what. The uncertainty was sometimes crippling. That’s when we renewed our vows to each other. And although the faces have changed some, the love between us has only grown. Love you babe-