Since my first Physio appointment on Friday, I have been dealing with discomfort and pain. It has slowed me down considerably; I have to rethink my whole plan. I wasn't able to go for my walk on Saturday or Sunday. I'm not sure if that will continue as I continue Physio, but if it does I assume I have done too much and must cut it back a little.
Walking and exercising underwater means you can do so much more, but it also means it is easy to overdo it. I want to get as much out of my appointments as possible to gain strength, but I want to make sure I am sensible about the impact it is having on me. It will be a couple of weeks before I can get a hold on that. This is where the balancing act comes in and makes life difficult for a little while as I figure this out. The body has to be healed enough to be able to handle the physical stress of Physio, however at four weeks post op, I am cleared for under water therapy. It's up to the therapist and me now to not overdo it.
I'm of the belief that the sooner you can get started the better. Starting early also means going slow, which most of you reading probably know by now is not my strong suit. Eventually I will be having two sessions a week in the therapy pool then adding the gym equipment as well. Each time I will see the physiotherapist, and he will add at home exercises for the other days of the week. Each day I will walk once as I have been, then twice a day as time goes on. It is a rigorous Physio schedule at an outpatient rehab center.
I'm deemed to being ready for all of this. My mind was ready two weeks ago but my body is weak. I'm not used to having to stop, rest and reset. Even at the worst of times I have been able to push through anything that is asked of me in rehab or Physio. Things have changed considerably. I tire easily, and sometimes my body just doesn't allow me to go on. Rest and reset has been the pattern. Even when I go for a walk here I walk to the park, sit on the bench for 15 minutes or sometimes longer, then walk home again.
I have not increased the length of the walk because I know it's about all I can do now. I do more and more around the house as time goes by, and that takes my energy. That's real life so I have to get back to that. I make a coffee for myself now without any trouble. I still can't carry it very far. Walking and carrying coffee apparently is a skill. It is progress, believe me. I remember deciding to top up the coffee Barry had made for me and when I tried, I couldn't lift the coffee pot. You can imagine my shock at how weak I had become. Now I pour my own coffee, make toast and help in the kitchen and a lot more. It's slowly coming back and I am stronger every day. It is just a very slow progress.
It's hard to imagine all of these things when you are healthy. Hard for someone from the outside to see what happens when there is a health crisis or a traumatic event happens in a family's life. There isn't a way to describe the little things that fall apart and how hard it is to put it all back together. That's one of the reasons I am writing this blog. I try to articulate as much as possible what it feels like to be this vulnerable. What it feels like for my family as they watch, sometimes helplessly, as I go through the medical interventions. But mostly it is for all of you out there who have ever felt that life has taken a wrong turn and you want the courage and strength to get it back on the right track. I think knowing that others, and by others I mean all of us struggle a little more than we let on. It is difficult to see at times and maybe it is all about timing, but every one of us that walks this earth will have a major event that will bring you to your knees. It may be a physical one such as mine, or it may be an emotional or mental one. We sometimes see them differently but it takes the same inner courage for both. You have to dig deep within, and you have to have the courage to ask for help. Asking for and receiving help makes all the difference. This is a time in ones life that pride can take you down. You must have the humility to see you are not alone on this earth for a reason. We need each other and we need to know how we can help others and have the good sense to allow others to help us.
In many ways I would say this past year has been one of the hardest of our marriage,yet we are closer than ever. I allowed Barry in, allowed him to see how vulnerable I was and I accepted his help; that of his and many others. I'll write furthest about that later but I want to extend a challenge. I want you are ask someone you wouldn't normally ask for help to do something small for you. This is someone you have a preconceived notion about. Someone you have decided wouldn't want to help you or "just doesn't get it. ". Ask, and see what happens.
People like to help others, it's a part of life.