It’s been a crazy couple of years. I’ve been challenged with some rather hefty physical … ailments which have thrown me off my normal paths and sucked my energy and emotional center dry. I’ve been distracted by self-centered care for which I don’t really apologize but do recognize that my focus has been off the grid, away from a lot of things very dear to me.
Last month after being told that my physical situation is not apt to improve at all, I balked against the obvious response of disappointment and yes, a little fear as well. Relegated to using a walker, being dependent on others’ help, constant exhaustion and more, I floundered to regain my inner footing. I’ll confess that I wallowed more than a tad in self pity. I also went through alternating moments of denial and despair.
After taking personal inventory (again) I have decided NOT to give in to the dark side (even though I’ve heard they have cookies). It’s easy to sit back and let things go downhill when you’ve been told that this is what’s in store for you. Being “kicked out” of physical therapy did nothing to dissuade my supposedly eminent doom.
I bought a stationary bike a couple weeks ago and have been working on building up some physical strength again. My legs had been crying out for some fun, and since I can’t walk around the block without a companion to make sure I don’t fall, get eaten by starving neighborhood cats or licked to death by wandering dogs, I was happy to have the option of the Motionless Bike. Today my wonderful spouse adjusted the pedals’ distance so it works better, and I am basking $80 well spent.
I also started doing curls with my measly little 5 pound weights. This is ironic because I am not supposed to lift anything OVER 5 pounds, and am restricted from any sort of reaching or stretching while bearing any weight. It’s all about control, or so I’ve been told. SO now I am also doing my reps of 25 each on several old physical therapy from the days before I was kicked out. I should point out that the reason for my expulsion from PT was not due to a lack of compliance or enthusiasm but rather the fact that my body kept breaking and falling apart while doing the requisite exercises.
This week Judy Painter gave me a very nice back brace which she is no longer using. It’s fabulous and offers support and confidence as I move about. My goal – and yes, I may be tempting fate by saying it – is to be able to walk without my walker OR cane by the end of the year. I want to be able to walk on the beach unassisted by January 1.
Anyone who has had an illness or injury that really knocked them down knows that weakness is a monster which gnaws away along with its buddy, pain. These two critters have chewed on me, tied me up, beaten me, kidnapped me, and batted me about the ears until I very nearly gave up. BUT… I am fighting back.
There are things I can’t fight. I will always be shorter and shorter. I am currently 5’1″ although if I stand REALLY tall, I reach 5’2″. That’s not going to change. My spine is twisted and fragile. That’s not going to change (unless God does something about it). I’m still goofy and easily distracted. But those are all things I can work with.
I walked to the kitchen to get a refill on my iced tea, groaning with the ache of my bones but simultaneously happy because I THINK I have these aches from exercising as much as from my evil monsters, Igor and Goolie (pain and weakness). But I have a goal. I have the means to reach it. I hope to be NOT complaining so much, but eagerly looking forward to success, growth and change.
Thanks for being a friend. And yes, I am ASSuming that since you are reading this, you are a friend. Or a stalker. Both are fine as long as you encourage me and poke me in the elbow if I get all whiny!
2 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle (Again)”
So good to get back in contact after too many years. That us, assuming that you remember the nerdy girl from Campus Life back in the late ’70s. Best of luck with the recovery.
Of COURSE I remember you, Phyllis! Thank you, and I’d love to catch up with you when you have a while to unwind. Whuzzup with you?