Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rose #7 - Shallow Progress

Finally home, and suddenly realizing that home wasn't nearly as handicap friendly as the hospital, I found myself yelling inappropriate things at tables and chairs and any other inconsiderate pieces of furniture that dared to get in my way.

For every effort I made to roll my walker smoothly from one room to the next, I'd find that each entry was inevitably buffered with some sort of inclining door jam or carpeting.

I also couldn't ignore that doing something as historically un-time-consuming as getting myself a glass of chocolate milk now took up a truly decent chunk of real estate on the clock. Activities like returning the milk to the refrigerator became entire projects of their own with the maneuvering of my bulky walker and bum leg. My brain signals weren't getting to their destination, so on top of the incision in my knee keeping me from bending, I also couldn't lift my leg from the hip.

Getting in and out of the car became a two-man process until my occupational therapist gave me a contraption that looked a lot like an invisible dog leash meant to stick my foot in for swinging my leg in and out of the car at will.

Trying to put on underwear in the morning - fugettaboutit - it would have been hilarious if not for how frustrating it actually was.

Once I'd practiced enough physical therapy to be able to bend my knee I still wasn't getting those brain signals, so in addition to not being able to lift my leg from the hip I also couldn't kick forward from the knee. My physical therapist kept telling me to stop throwing my leg while I walked.

I couldn't help it.

Each morning Jade and I would get up, throw on a Youtube of Eye of the Tiger, and start our physical therapy. Things for her were difficult because she was stuck in a back brace and couldn't bend forward. She was also still in a considerable amount of pain.

Mine was reserved mostly for the first hour after I woke in the morning. The physical therapy helped it to go away, which was nice since it felt a lot like I'd been hit by a car...........

Jason and my mom (who stayed with us for an entire week after Jade and I finally got home) did what they could to make life easier. The shower doors were taken down, meals were cooked, much of Jade's immediate needs were tended to (especially those which required the climbing of stairs).

They did what they could but I was still frustrated. I felt like my body was betraying me. My physical therapist trying to get me to lift my leg from the knee, one day without thinking said to me, "You just really don't want to lift that leg, huh?"

I replied by crying.

I thought I was permanently partially paralyzed.

Feeling defeated, as if progress was so slow it might not come at all, I finally got a new physical therapist who I pleaded with that I was only 33 - I needed to be able to walk again.

"Well, keep throwing your leg like that, and you will. You'll just look weird doing it."

Should I admit at this moment how shallow I am?

Hell, why not? Three weeks into having that physical therapist remind me of the inevitable weirdness that would be my gait if I kept up doing it wrong, this here is what I could do:

A rose...


  1. Oh yes. I discovered how handicap-unfriendly our home was when I had to move around in crutches. I kept banging my foot on stuff. If it weren’t for the cast, I’d probably be screaming every time that happened. Hopefully you’re a’ok now. Have a good one!

    1. It's something else, isn't it?! I am much better these days, thank you. And to you as well - hope you've healed up good as new! :)