Saturday, May 15, 2010

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

This morning, I'm getting fitted for my Cam walker, which has been described to me as a "moon boot." Once I begin wearing it in June, I should presumably be able to walk again. Honestly, though, I'm a bit nervous about taking this next step; I'm a little afraid that at my weight, my bad leg will just snap and re-break as soon as I set weight on it. But then again, I've been putting all of my weight on just ONE leg for the past two months and it's held up. Anyway, the Cam walker is supposed to support it as it fully heals and I get used to walking again.

At this point, I have a lot more mobility in my bad leg. I can point and flex my foot and move it at the ankle. I've been told that when I begin physical therapy, one of the exercises they'll probably have me do will involve calf raises, so I've been trying to flex my foot as far as it will go in either direction so that I can stretch out my calf. Though I'm not getting the full impact as I would if I were to put weight on it, I'm hoping that these movements will strengthen my leg so that when the time comes, I will be in okay shape for therapy.

Meanwhile, I'm experiencing more and more benefits from my upper body training. The other day, my friend came over and took me downstairs to a nearby restaurant for dinner. I was a little apprehensive about having someone other than Jon take me out in my wheelchair because he's strong enough to push me and we have a whole system. Basically, I get into an office chair near my bed; he then wheels the chair into the hallway, where I switch into the wheelchair. We then exit through our building's basement and head up to the street via a very narrow and steep ramp. Along the way, however, are several obstacles: first, the office chair has to be pulled over two door moldings within our apartment -- through our bedroom entrance and then through the front door. We then have to contend with the elevator, which doesn't always line up. In fact, sometimes it's about six inches off the floor. And then we have to deal with the basement, which has bumpy, hilly and uneven floors. Finally, there's that ramp, which leaves Jon huffing and puffing by the time we reach the top.

Needless to say, I wasn't sure if my friend and I would be able to pull this off without Jon's help. She assured me that she's strong, though, and I do know our system inside and out. So we decided to make a go of it. To my surprise, I managed to get into the office chair and wheel myself over to the entrance of our bedroom without any help or support whatsoever. We then made a team effort in getting the chair over the door moldings, with her lifting the chair and me pushing it over with my good leg. Once in the hallway, I transfered to the wheelchair, again without assistance, and instructed her how to get me into the elevator and through the basement. And then it was time for the ramp.

My friend began pushing me and I could tell that this was going to be really tough for her. I then had an idea and grabbed the railings which are on either side of the ramp. Usually, Jon just pushes me up, but this time, I pulled myself along as my friend pushed from behind. Again, we worked really well as a team and we made it to the top. Needless to say, having the upper body strength really came in handy! My friend has some pretty incredible strength, too -- here's to girl power!

Last night, Jon and I went out and I showed him how I can now get into the office chair and wheelchair without his help. I'm getting better at negotiating cars, too. In the beginning, getting in and out of cars was a big procedure and I needed help doing it. But now, I can hop in and out of cars with the cast, no problem; I can even deal with curbs. The only time I felt a little shaky last night was when the cabby who was taking us home wanted to drop me off at the pot-holed corner where I initially fell. I refused to get out by what I call the "scene of the crime" and he understandingly took us across the street instead.

I'm glad that I'm feeling a lot more confident in moving my body and getting around, even if my mobility is still limited. It gives me some more hope that things will go well when I'm able to begin walking again three weeks from now.

No comments:

Post a Comment