Barry suggested it was time to do some outdoor walking today. We planned a nice little get away to the Beaches area of Toronto. We first parked and wandered into a couple of shops before finding a bakery for fresh treats and coffee to take to the beach. I was using the rolling walker so we stayed in the boardwalk area and found a bench to sit and look out at the water and dream about home. We are both feeling the strain of the 28 days we have now spent at the hospital. I say we because Barry has been there every day of those 28, Jerri has missed one to go to a concert. Meg has been here every weekend, driving all the way from Sudbury 4 weekends in a row. There's a lot of stress when a family member is in hospital. That's why I say we. No they don't have to eat the food, take the meds or deal with the sleepless nights but they have been here every other step of the way. It will be a relief for all of us when we drive away and hit highway 400 to head home.
The biggest news of the day was I went to Physio this morning with a fire in my belly. I had a need to move forward in a big way. My physiotherapist Megan is great. She could see I wasn't going to be satisfied with the same old things. She got it. She took out the cane with strict warnings "for Physio only. " I have to admit I was secretly scared to death as I took the cane from her, but I wasn't going to show that. Imagine if you can, someone asking you to walk out of a third story window. That's kind of what I imagine my lack of feeling in my foot feels like as I take a step. I have to trust that the foot is actually on the floor and where it should be. I took the cane from her, took a deep breath and stepped forward in a very wobbly uncoordinated way. My foot hit the floor nicely because I saw it and then I kept going. I was forgetting to alternate once in a while but soon it came together. I was excited. I was doing it and it felt "not that bad." I wanted to surprise Barry and walk to my room where he was waiting for me. I walked into the room and he said "I knew it. I could tell by your attitude this morning you'd be up to this." He knows me well. I was pleased. The physiotherapist was very pleased and we hugged each other to celebrate our accomplishment.
The visit with the doctor today revealed severe muscle weakness in my right ankle, knee and hip. She watched me walk and deduced that the stumbling I have been experiencing could be helped by building the muscles around those joints. The nerves in the right leg leading from the back to the foot are damaged and can take a full year and half to see how much function will return. In the meantime what I can do to help myself is to find a balance between working the muscles and not over-doing it. I hear it from everyone, over doing it is dangerous at this time; slow down but keep plugging away at it.
So, as the saying goes, "slow and steady wins the race." I'm moving forward and I just have to be happy with the snail's pace at which I am going.