Once we moved key things within my reach and finished breakfast it was time to venture out.
I didn't think I would feel nervous, but I did. Once outside though, it felt great. I have a goal of walking a mile. It will take me a while to work up to it, that's okay. Once I have achieved that with a walker and it is comfortable for me, I will start over again and do it with a cane. Finally graduation day in the head of Maureen Clout will be when I can do it on my own steam, no devices required. I will become a superstar when I can do it with Whinnie on my own!
So day one of the superstar training began. What I wasn't prepared for was the staring of people in cars as they passed me. I understand natural curiosity but do_ you really have to slow down to get a better look? I'm a bit used to it, having gone through this process once in my life already, but when you are putting so much effort into walking, balance and outside terrain, you don't need the distraction of people so obviously staring.
Before I get too far into the topic I want to say that is natural to be curious especially if you are a child of any age. From my last experience I learned to make it a teachable moment for any child I encountered, because they will stare. I would speak directly to them and say this is my cane, wheel chair or walker. It is helping me walk right now because I can't walk on my own. Then I would ask if there were any questions. Some parents are horrified or at least embarrassed when they would catch their kids staring. I always assured them it was okay, and natural. My thoughts are the more we normalize it, by talking about it, the more kids will take it in stride. I remember being in a grocery store with the girls one day when they were about four and seven when a woman with an oxygen tank came into the isle we were in. The girls stared. I stopped what I was doing, and explained (loud enough for her to her because it was obvious we were talking about her) that she had trouble breathing and that tank helped her breathe easier. She smiled at me and the girls accepted my decision and that was that. So I say to parents of any age make it a teachable moment and remember most people don't mind being approached to answer a question. Asking a question is better than uncomfortable staring.
Read more about staring and people with disabilities here.
So, back to my walk. It was lovely to get out in the fresh air and to have Megan and Whinnie with us. I walked almost half a mile. It was tough, but as I'm saying lately "I'm tougher!" I was only able to go once; and I had to skip my at home Physio routine, because the drive the day before had really taken it out of me. I'm proud of what I was able to do and I really hope tomorrow I will go a little farther and include my Physio.
We had a pretty laid back evening just the three of us. Meghan knowing my love of sunsets ran across the road and captured a beauty for me. It was just what the doctor ordered!