Although I feel as though I'm improving at a snail's pace, I'm reminded daily from where I came.
A week or more after I arrived home I tried to pour myself a coffee. I couldn't. I couldn't even lift the half full pot. I almost dropped it. I remember being so shocked by that and feeling such a sense of helplessness. Now I do that daily without a second thought. That's not the only area I needed help.
When I needed to go to the washroom I had to have help to get from sitting or lying position to get up to do so. I couldn't carry anything and take a step, my balance required that I walk with complete attention and intention. I had to think about where I was going and how I was going to get there. If there was the slightest thing on the floor it could throw me off. I'm getting up and moving on my own now and although I'm stiff and sore I can do it independently.
And up to about a week ago a shower really took all of my energy. In fact if I had a shower, I usually slept right afterward, sometimes with wet hair, because I didn't have enough energy to dry it first. Showering is not easy for me now, but by comparison it is so much better. No nap required!
I started with every meal, snack and drink was prepared for me and now I have prepared and cooked most evening meals. I admit It feels like a lot sometimes but I do it.
Physio, which I started five weeks ago was a real challenge, in many ways. I had to get myself there, get changed, get into the pool, carry out exercises, get out of the pool, take off a wet bating suit with every muscle in my body hurting, change and get home. All of those things still happen. The ease of which they happen has changed tremendously. I still struggle, dropping things, carrying things and getting in and out of the pool, but I do it much easier than before. Yesterday there was a milestone. I drove myself, got myself in the building, granted I parked right in front of the door, but I did it. I admit the feeling of freedom was only overshadowed slightly by the fatigue I felt afterward. I am always tired after Physio and always hungry but yesterday I felt as though I couldn't decide which need to fulfill first. I fell into bed and slept for two hours straight. Even when I woke I was very groggy and had to force myself upright.
I have been experimenting with the help of my Physio toward independent walking. I still use the walker outside and in stores. I had a goal of ten weeks to independent walking. We don't think I will make it. He says it's a little to risky and risk is not something either of us feel is worth it after enduring three neurosurgeries in a year.
So my amendment is Independence by 12 weeks, and I'm told that could be amended again. Patience!
I have gone from spending every minute with someone to spending most of my time alone again. It's a bit of a transition. Neither is ideal.
I have seen a steady improvement in the strength of my legs. The very good news is the Physio is working. The recovery time from Physio is brutal. Today I needed help out of bed and to be walked to my recliner and a coffee put in my hand. That was over an hour ago and I'm still stiff but more mobile.
I have my first independent activity planned for 1pm today, I hope I can make it. It's a lunch for a friend from our pain meditation group for her birthday. I'm driving myself and using handicapped parking. I will require free hands for canes so pockets are required for money and phone. Thinking ahead is key. I would like to bring her flowers but the extra stop and how to carry them is too much of a challenge.
So as time marches on so do the changes in ability. I have to remind myself to look back to see the difference from where I came. It will get better every day but the changes are small daily, so I have to remember to look back to see where I'm going be in the weeks to come.