Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Looking Forward

For the past few days, I've been trying to get out of my funk and get back into shape. I've been trying to do my weight training more consistently and found an interesting workout online that I'd like to try: chair dancing! Some of the ladies on the Weight Watchers board recommended it and it sounds great for someone who's immobile. Basically, you do full-body aerobics moves, only you're sitting while you do them. I checked out a couple of routines online and they look fairly simple. The only thing is that many of the routines require a "marching" movement with your legs, which is hard to do with my bad foot. But I think if I move it and make sure I don't actually hit the floor with it, I'll be alright.

Meantime, I'm discovering that you can get a decent workout just with the wheelchair. On Sunday night, I spent about two hours cleaning the living room, so I had to spend a lot of time moving myself back and forth in the chair. You really feel it in the arms! I also like to use my leg to push it along so it moves more quickly, so I got some movement in that, too.

As for the walker, well, frankly, I'm kind of scared of the thing. Getting up onto it to a standing position is a huge undertaking. We're ordering this thing that's like a bed grip so I can grab it and hoist myself up, but meantime, the way I've been standing is by holding onto Jon, who barks at me, "Okay, stand up, stand up!" I can go a few steps with it, but I hate the feeling of standing on only one leg, even if there is a big, secure walker to prop me up. I'm so afraid that I'm going to accidentally put my leg down or trip and fall. If you think I'm being dramatic, try hopping on one leg for a while, but DO NOT put the other one down, even if you have a balance check. This is what it feels like. I mean, I'm a klutz anyway -- hell, I broke my leg by falling off of a bus -- and this is just reinforcing it for me. My original intent was to practice on the walker each night, but in all honesty, I've been avoiding it. I feel a little guilty because Jon has this idea that I'll be up and walking by myself with it in no time and it'll give me more freedom (and he'll have to take care of me less), but realistically, it ain't happening. I feel like such a loser that I'm scared to get from my bed to our bedroom entrance, which is maybe 10 feet tops, but the area by the door narrows, there are closet doors that swing open, there's the door molding ... every obstacle makes me so nervous about falling and hurting myself again.

I was speaking with my therapist today about my fear of falling and she noted that it's probably because I hurt myself by falling in the first place. I guess that's pretty obvious. But this isn't like getting back on a bicycle and trying to ride again; if I fall, I could potentially re-break my leg and need more surgery, more time off of work. I have a difficult enough time controlling my body with two legs; now I feel really, really vulnerable. I know that Jon (and my friend Scott) would advise me to just do it, don't analyze everything so much, but seriously just LOOKING at that walker makes me break into a cold sweat.

So there have been some frustrations, but I've been working overtime to make sure I have stuff to look forward to. I know it's not realistic because most of my friends are working full-time, but I wish more people were around just to talk with on the phone. It gets lonely here all day without Jon and the cat can only say so much to me. That said, I've been trying to plan as many outings as possible. We're meeting friends for dinner on Friday; my parents and in-laws are coming over on Sunday for Mother's Day; I sent around some e-mails today asking various friends if they'd like to meet up for dinner. I know it's hard to keep in touch when everyone is busy, but I'm hoping that if I reach out to people, they'll respond and I'll be able to have some more human contact.

Going through this has made me realize that perhaps I'm not meant to be a full-time freelance writer. I LIKE having people around, even if it is just my co-workers and I LIKE being in the city where I can easily meet up with friends after work. I feel like I'm on an island right now and am very isolated from everyone else. I don't really know if I can spend the rest of my life listening to the voices in my head. Frankly, they're beginning to get rather boring.

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