Recovery

A new milestone

Two weeks ago I restarted my journey with outpatient physical and occupational therapy. This is a very big deal! There is a saying “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone” and this was so true during the Covid pandemic. A much welcomed relief to be back in therapy with the equipment I need to succeed.
The first week focused much on trying to get back what I lost during in-home therapy given the lack of equipment at my house. This all changed when Naomi put her plan in action. We immediately started by walking again, something I had not done in nearly 2 months. I was nervous at first and somewhat frightened not knowing if my legs would work again the way they did before.
 
For more than a year I was stuck at 75 feet for walking distance during therapy. It was a huge mile stone to hit that number but I could never get past it no matter how hard I tried. Either the tone in my upper body or the weakness of my legs would give out right at 75 feet.
 
The 75 foot mark was like a glass ceiling. It was if something was holding me back from breaking through the barrier, something I could not see and some thing I was not aware of. This changed on Thursday. 
 
With Naomi managing my gait on my right leg, Liz in the front of the Eva Walker providing motivation and Lisa following with my wheelchair and giving the usual encouragement and motivation we started on our journey.
 
My legs were feeling good and I was not having severe spasms like I sometimes get when I walk. We were making our way across the gym, first negotiating a left turn and then I had my sights on the exit doors which were the 75 foot mark. Instead of going straight for the doors Liz asked if I would be up for a turn to the left which for me meant more effort but I went along with her plan.
 
We successfully made the left turn and at that point the team was happy with what we had accomplished. But I had more In mind. I don’t know what happened but somehow I found the strength and energy to keep on going.
 
The team started to chat amongst themselves about how well we were doing and they seemed to be in a state of disbelief, awe and excitement at our progress. Ahead was another left hand turn otherwise we would hit the wall. Liz asked if I was up for this and I smiled and just kept walking.
 
We successfully negotiated the left-hand turn. There is no video or visual with this post but if you do your math we are making our third left which takes us right back to where we started from. The end goal was in sight but there was disbelief that I could get to it because this was a lot further than I had ever walked.
 
We just kept going! The teams voice tone started to change. You could hear their emotions coming through as we headed down the stretch. A number of steps later we finally made it. We finished where we began! The team provided so much support and motivation and inspired me to go further than I had ever gone.
 
Lisa went for the measuring  device and re-traced our path. She came back with a final number. 113 feet which is almost exactly 50% more than the previous 75 foot mark.
 
We had a quick celebration and proceeded with the rest of our physical therapy session. I was exhausted and did not even have time to catch my breath but we kept going.
 
When the session was over I headed outside to catch the bus to take me home. On the ride home I reflected on the days accomplishments and the adversity I fight through every day to hit my goals. I am thankful for what I have, what I can do and to all of the people in my life who keep me going!
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