Monday, July 19, 2010

Small Victories

As time goes on, my walking continues to improve, though it's still very difficult for me to get around. Last night, though, I enjoyed a relatively "normal" evening out. We went to see the Sorcerer's Apprentice at a theater near us, and had a nice time. The last time we went to this theater, we couldn't see the movie because it was playing upstairs and the wheelchair accessible elevator was broken. This time, the movie was also upstairs, but it didn't matter; I managed to walk up the huge flight of steps to the second floor! I didn't count the steps, but I'm guessing that there were about 30, which is A LOT for me to climb at this point in time. I was proud of myself, even though my ankle hurt afterward.

Later, we went to get a cab home. The cab stand was about two blocks from the theater, which right now, seems like two miles to me. But I did it. I had the walker with me, so I stopped ever few feet to rest (gotta love the built-in seat on that thing). I made it to the cab with no real problems.

Tonight is my biggest test: I'm going to my first in-person counseling session since March (my shrink has been doing phone sessions with me) -- and I'll be doing it by MYSELF. This means that I'll have to make it downstairs and coordinate one flight of stairs WITH the walker, without Jon or my parents there to help me. I'll then have to get to the counseling center from the cab, since it's easiest for me to be dropped off by the corner, which is about a block away. I'm hoping that I don't kill myself while dragging the walker up and down the steps to our building.

You're probably wondering why I'm bringing the walker with me when I no longer use it around the house. There are two reasons. One, it's security. My balance is not 100 percent yet and I like having something to grab onto when I'm walking along cracked and broken sidewalks. Two, it has that built-in seat. I'm still having back issues and I like knowing that I can sit and rest whenever I want. Since I can only walk about 100 feet before needing to rest at the moment, this is really important. I don't want to put too much stress on my back or ankle as I'm still building strength.

My back pain continues to be the most frustrating thing about my recovery. It seems like it's worse than ever. My therapist thinks that it might be my shoes; she pointed out that my Sketchers (I have the kind that are supposed to tone your legs and butt) don't offer great balance and suggested that I get something with better support. So today I ordered a pair of standard Reebok sneakers and some new bras. I hope that both will help in the "support" category!

I'm very worried about the back pain, though, because I feel as if it's the main thing that's keeping me from being fully functional. I can deal with the soreness in my leg and the limp. Hell, it doesn't feel nearly as bad as it did when I finished the 20-mile walk. The next day, my leg hurt so badly that I seriously wanted to saw it off. But the back pain is really bad. I've been losing weight to ease up on it, but I need to lose a lot more before it'll make a difference -- and I'm expected back at work by the end of this month. I don't know how I'm going to complete the 10-minute walk -- that's up a hill -- from the bus stop to my office. I suppose if I have the walker with me, I can stop every few feet and just take my time, but I'm not looking forward to it. I can barely stand for five minutes and I hate to say it, but in some ways, I miss the wheelchair because when I was using it, I didn't have to deal with this.

I'm wondering if I should see a back specialist, but I'm certain that I'm going to be told that the pain will disappear if I lose the weight. Frankly, I'm a little sick of doctors right now, too, given that I've seen so many in the last three months. So for now, I'm going to continue to work on my weight loss and pray that my back gets stronger. I'd like to be able to stand tall again -- and enjoy it.

No comments:

Post a Comment