Sunday, August 8, 2010

Baby steps...

I am not sure when I realized that I couldn't walk. I think my assumption was that my right leg was fine and I would get right out of bed and be able to walk on crutches. The weakness didn't concern me...who knew that it that you lose 1% of muscle strength a day but only regain it at 1% per week?    I was given a band to use for arm exercises and the physical therapists started working with my right leg. My left leg was still strictly off limits. Slowly I began to make small movements with my left leg and was attempting to move my left ankle. 

The next challenge was to get into a wheelchair. I can't begin to explain the frustration of something so simple being so hard!  You want to sit up, swing your legs off the bed, and just hop into the chair. Reality is having to hold a bar above the bed to hold yourself up, moving your legs centimeters at a time across the bed, then having to try to slide on a board into the chair with the help of two therapists. The first time I attempted the chair transfer, I realized that this was going to be the battle of my life. Just that much motion exhausted me!  Thankfully they loaded me up with pain meds everyday before physical therapy.  

After getting into the chair came working on the strength to actually wheel myself down the hall. As hard it was, I was excited to be up and out of my room. The nurses would stop give me words of encouragement. No matter how hard it was I was determined to make it down the hall and back!!  After a little time getting some arm strength back, it was time to attempt getting up and taking a step!  My family had bought me some of mine had been ripped off in the accident and who knows what happened to the other one. It was so exciting to think about walking again!  Nell and Kelly were visiting me on the big day (I think Kelly's kids were there but I was still on enough drugs that details got fuzzy at times). I was wheeled between two bars and it was time. The therapist got me up and there I was, standing on my own!!!  My arms were shaking and I was on one leg because I couldn't put any weight on my left leg but I was standing!!  Then it was time for the step...pretty much a one footed hop. I am not sure if I did one hop or two but I felt like I had just won the New York marathon!  That was my first real happy moment since the wreck!  

My family was so proud of me and I was so happy they were with me when it happened. I think that was the moment that it really hit me...they were no longer extended family, they were my immediate family. On the day of they wreck they had split up so someone would be with Mom and someone would be with me. They have been with me every day since. 

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