Sharing the lessons along the way…


Amore' and me  in 2008.

Amore’ and me in 2008 atop an agility hill at the boys’ first dog park.

Despite the changes and new sensations in my right leg since Tuesday’s decrease in intrathecal baclofen, I am moving forward.

After driving to dinner and walking to and from the car to the restaurant for dinner Thursday night, I was concerned about how I should get around the Homeless Emergency Program’s (HEP) campus when Duke and I went to work on Friday.

I rearranged the manual wheelchair in the car and made an agreement with myself that if I walked at all like I did last Friday at HEP or even like I did to my car the night before, I would break out the chair from the car and use it.

The other part of the deal was that if walking was difficult enough to keep me from going far or keeping us from going where we would normally go, I would break out the chair.  There is a power wheelchair there at HEP for me to use as well.

The power chair at home continues to be the safest way to walk my dogs each morning, but I think using the cane when I am out and about is helping me to better figure out how to walk better with the cane at each decrease.

It also seems to give me opportunities to keep my feet from turning inward by walking as normally as possible, no matter how slow that has to be.

Duke and I got out of the car and started walking over towards one of the veteran’s programs.  This walk was part of the plan to better figure out what I was going to do from there.  It wasn’t horrible.

In fact, it wasn’t bad at all.  It was slow, but not nearly as slow as last week.  It was tiring, but I would sit and chat and rest in between spots through our time there.

The time came for Duke to go into the offices to get his treats from the staff.  Would I try the stairs this week?  Of course I would and again with someone in the stairwell with me.

I needed a bit more help from the railing than I did on Monday at the doctor’s office, but I also didn’t have a dog who has one speed up the stairs at the doctor Monday.

I was more winded and it was a bit more slow, but none of that mattered.  I still rocked the stairs.  I decided it was good physical therapy to do it, and as long as it doesn’t keep us from doing what we do, I now look forward to doing it each visit.

After our treats and chats with the staff, we went back out to see more people.  We ventured all the way over to the new veteran’s program too.  We rested there in the air conditioning a bit longer than we intended, but Duke was getting so much attention that it didn’t seem to matter.

It was our usual time at HEP.  The only difference was my speed and a cane.  I wasn’t impeded.  Duke wasn’t missing out on anything, nor were the residents of the programs we serve.  We lost track of time and were totally present in whatever we were doing.

Remember when I said I needed to step up my coping strategies a notch?  It appears that writing is my #1 go-to coping strategy, and as you can tell with my increase in posting, I am doing more of it.  Not to worry if you cannot keep up with the volume because I will do my best to keep up the weekly catch up post on Sundays to summarize it.  I find that to be a great exercise in writing more concisely, which is a challenge as my weeks are so full of things to share.  It is important to me to have all of this information to refer back to later, and also important to me to share the life lessons I am learning through these experiences.  

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