Thursday, November 1, 2018

Stepping Out

I am closing in on the end of my time in rehab.  Next week I should have my departure date which I am guessing will be around November 12th. Yesterday I was in the surgeon’s office where Doctor Quinnan studied my X-rays and pronounced my bones are regenerating and healing nicely. 

He said I can have fifty percent weight bearing on my left foot which means I can walk properly now with a walker supporting my left leg using my considerable upper body strength. No more hopping thank God. Now I learn how to manage increasing the strength in my legs which have been inert for months and then I learn how to handle myself, my wheelchair, and my walker in banal daily activities.  A great deal of handling going on here. 

I spent all day in the wheelchair and got back to my room grumpy ready for a nap. I was exhausted which in turn forced me to ask myself how will I cope with daily demands if this is all the stamina I have?  However the sensible voice in my head told me to take it one day at a time. Yesterday was also my birthday and I was flooded with cards and electronic messages. It was delightful and moving to turn 61. Many of you have appeared not in person but as personalities in my life through this crisis and it is one of the great good things near death has brought me. I try not to think too hard about how important this page is to so many of you because if I do I start down that route I will suffer analysis paralysis. 

I have to say I really like Publix bakery and they make a mean chocolate cake but I felt like carrot cake for some reason so my wife, and Publix, came through. Apparently the nurse’s station agreed it was delicious as they weighed in and polished it off. I am lucky to be served by a bunch of really nice people in this place. I am astounded by the joy and compassion displayed by the staff everyday. I feel cocooned by them.

I was hoping to drive Sosa crazy with a Rubik’s cube I was sent. I scrambled my brains on it  for a while and then offered it to him. He went mildly nuts wandering the halls fiddling with it between rooms and came back a couple of hours later defeated. Keep it I said, until you get it done. He flashed a glare at me and went outside to smoke and calm his nerves.

My wife brought me birthday greetings from her class. Apparently she “sure does miss me” so I wonder how much time the students can score deviating her mind from the class subject matter in hand to pondering my situation. We used that technique when I was a student: get the teacher off course wasting time on a favorite subject of hers to avoid giving the rest of us a test...glad to be of service students! 

The details of what I work on next in therapy, when I leave this place, how I cope in Key West and what work will feel like when I go back part time December 1st...all of that is uncertain. But I am not concerning myself with all the uncertainty at this point.  I am here, I am alive, and I am learning and all that feels great. As you all have shown me in this process, it will all come out in the end. Thanks for following along. 

A PS to Andrew from Seattle who sent a card recalling our chance meeting in the Dry Tortugas years ago. It was lovely to hear from you and yes I still recall that time fondly as does Layne. Thank you for the card. Much appreciated.