Sharing the lessons along the way…

Walker Groundhog Day


groundhog day

They say that the best predictor of the future is the past. I do not know who they are, but they probably knew that yesterday’s walker experience at HEP would look very much like last week’s.  Monday must be Walker Groundhog Day in my world.

Imagine pushing the walker along and every crevice in the sidewalk, every rug, every tiny little pebble stops you suddenly. Now add a dog into the mix.  The idea for the new walker was to keep my right arm flat on the platform and strapped in.

If I had strapped my arm in, I would have fallen face first four times within my first hour there. I spent more time and effort picking it up with my left hand to move it where it needed to go, than pushing it straight ahead.

Edison, my physical therapist, suggested that I conserve energy while I’m at work with the power chair. He said pushing a walker takes more energy than walking alone.

Last Monday I realized that, but here I thought that a different walker might produce a different outcome.

I guess the joke’s on me.

Wednesday, when Duke and I return to HEP, we are borrowing back that red power chair. Since I can’t walk my dogs with the cane anymore, I have also surrendered to walking them with the power chair.

Part of my brain battles with the notion of using a power chair for any purpose, quite honestly. The other part, probably the part that registers the wrist pain, knows that this is what I have to do for now.

Clearly I have found my limit. I’m not likely to stop testing my limits, but I am more likely to try harder to listen to my body.

I realize I say that periodically. I struggle with this one often. The conditions of my body have changed countless times in the past three years alone. It is hard to keep up with what my limits are, and what is functional pain versus chronic pain that is no longer functional.

In an attempt to cut myself some slack here, I will go with the argument that I am less than seven weeks after a surgery that removed my pump. It hasn’t been that long ago that my body was receiving the intrathecal baclofen to manage my symptoms, so really this is all new.

Before last week, this was a race against time, or maybe it was a race with time. Because it hasn’t been that long ago since my symptoms were managed, I have muscle memory on my side. In my efforts to keep that intact, I did too much too soon.

I’m more okay today with doing what I have to do, even if that means using a power wheelchair while I rehab my wrist. Sometimes, I have to arrive at surrender more than once the hard way. I guess it doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there.

Now I just have to stay there long enough!

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