Thursday, October 11, 2018

Stepping Up

I ran before I walked and now I have to go back and check my form.  My physical therapist Eddy saw me walking with the walker...

...and said I was putting too much weight on my uninjured left leg. That’s the leg that attaches to the most broken portion of the pelvis. So Eddy said we start again.  The past two days have been intense remedial. First learning to position my feet, left far forward unable to support weight, right tucked under me taking the full load. Then using my powerful arms and my right leg as a piston up I come weight biased to the right.  There I stand (when successful) looking around like bird freshly hatched enjoying the view from five feet up. 

Then I plonk back into the wheelchair my hairline rimmed with sweat, my breath rasping. Don’t be afraid Eddy says, as though the only thing I’m afraid of is falling. I’m afraid of twisting my knee and causing excruciating pain. I’m afraid of not being able to do it. I’m afraid I may be able to do it. I’m afraid my arms aren’t strong enough. I’m afraid of letting Eddy down. I am a mass of pretentious nonsense contained in my skin wobbling precariously between the past and the future. “UP!” comes the command. I rise on my right leg trying to ignore my left foot which rests on Elias’ foot so he can measure if I am doing it right or NOT. 

Eddy suiting up to take me in hand 
I rise up on the leg and he says good good good. And that means Elias can’t feel me putting weight on the left foot. The first time goes well, each subsequent attempt to stand gets a little more messy. No says Elias, too much weight, referring to my left foot on his foot. I rest. 

Elias and I
Then the big one, not just standing at the walker but using it to...walk. Properly this time with no weight on my left foot. I get coached.  “Walker. Left Foot. Right Foot.” That’s the mantra. I rise up and start calling the moves. Walker forward. Take left foot and move slightly forward, heavy weight on arms and right leg. Right leg forward. Eddy holds me by the belt, Elias supports my left arm and foot and Natalie keeps the wheelchair close to my butt. I got four steps in, the last being kind of crap with too much weight on my left. 

All that exercise is paying off. My knee hurts a little but nothing like the day before. Tomorrow I trust it will hurt less. I shall rise more gracefully. I shall learn to trust my right leg.  I shall walk with the walker. Soon.

6 comments:

Unknown said...

Oh, man, learning how to walk with a mending pelvis must be almost as mentally exhausting as it is physically! Good thing you have great upper body strength. Whew! I'm exhausted after reading that! Gonna have a nap now. ;) KWBound

Amanda Cain said...

You are doing fabulous! Try to stay upbeat and take it a day at a time. I'm cheering you on from Tennessee!

Cody G said...

I really like the hatching baby bird analogy.

Celia Bowman said...

I'm so impressed with the PT people that are working to make you stronger while keeping you safe. It also reminds me of participating at a high level in sport. Good work, Michael.

David Masse said...

Every post is a new milestone Michael.

Anonymous said...

Great job. Makes me think about the importance of staying as strong as we can. We never know when an illness or accident may happen. We need our strength to repair ourselves. Keep up the good work. Michigan.