Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One Week To Go...

Exactly a week from tomorrow I will be getting my hard cast off and will switch to a walking cast. Presumably, I will be able to put weight on my bad leg again and will slowly get back to normal.

This should be good news, but I'm apprehensive, to say the least. For one thing, I'm a wimp and I always seem to end up in some form of pain when I'm at the orthopedist's. Everyone who's recovered from a broken leg has told me that it feels "weird" at first, but I'm just going to go ahead and assume that "weird" is code for "painful." If I'm a little sore, I can deal with it, I think, but the last time I stood on that leg (when I accidentally put my foot down while trying to use crutches), I just about passed out from the agony. Of course, that happened two months ago, so I like to think that my leg has healed a lot since then.

However, I'm also nervous about returning to "normal." Prior to breaking my leg, my being able to walk wasn't necessarily a happy thing for me. Because of my weight, I slugged around and had terrible back pain. Even going to my office -- a 10-minute walk from the bus stop -- was a drag, especially because it's up a hill. I had all of my stops planned out. I'd walk two blocks, then sit on the steps by the church; walk another two and sit on the low ledge by the library; get my breakfast at the deli and then sit on one of the big flower pots in front of our office building while I fished out my work ID from my bag. So that was several stops in the course of a very short walk and yet I still couldn't wait to sit down once I made it upstairs to my office.

Of course, it was even more difficult getting out to do things. If we went into the city, I'd try to find things to do that were right near a subway stop so that I wouldn't have to walk far. I'd planned to have my birthday at a lounge that was right off of the E train, but then they ended up rerouting it that night. We had to get off about three blocks away ... but for me, it felt like three miles. I was so sore and sweaty by the time we arrived and I know that Jon was sick of hearing me complain.

On weekends, I'd often stay in just because I didn't want to have to walk to the movies or to the park. It was more than me being lazy. I WANTED to go. I WANTED to do stuff. It was just hard to get up the motivation when I knew that I'd be hurting. Jon was always patient with me and never said anything when I wanted to take a rest -- even if it was at every block -- but walking was just plain hard for me.

That said, I have to admit that it's been a bit of a relief to be able to go places without having to experience back pain. I've managed to do a lot in the wheelchair and it's been well, nice, being able to go out and see stuff -- and actually enjoy the experience. A few weeks ago, Jon and I went to pick up my walking boot, then took in a movie and lunch at an outdoor cafe near the park. It was such a nice day, but had I walked there (it's about a mile and change from our place), I would've been hurting.

This is why I worry. Now that one of my legs isn't going to be in great shape, how much worse am I going to feel than I did before? I've been lifting weights and trying to watch what I eat, but I have no idea whether I've lost or gained weight or what. I FEEL pretty good -- I've definitely built up some upper body strength -- but I'm still obese. If it took all of my energy to walk a few blocks on two good legs, how on earth will I do it with one-and-a-half? Is it even going to be possible or am I going to have to take more time off from work, simply because I won't be able to move my huge body?

Jon keeps telling me that it'll take time and I'll slowly get my walking back. He's suggested that we keep the wheelchair for a while so that he can still take me longer distances and then I can work on walking around the house, around stores, a block at a time. As for going to work, I guess I'll just have to take it really slowly like the elderly man in our building who practically crawls to the bus stop with his walker each day. And then I'll be in physical therapy. I'm going to be honest with them about what bad shape I was in even before I broke my leg and see if they can assist me with some exercises that will strengthen my back, as well. I guess all I can do is my best and if I need to take more time off to improve, I will. They've done OK without me so far.

I want to get well and I want to get into shape again -- and I know that the only way that I'm going to do this is if I lose weight and push myself. But I'm really not looking forward to dealing with the constant pain that's going to come with it. Part of me wishes I had just one more month to be off of my feet.

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