Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stepping Out

Major advances today during physical therapy. I’ve felt a significant surge in my ability to ambulate over the last few days, a marked lessening of the need for even one crutch’s support. When my PT arrived I demonstrated this for her: I walked entirely unassisted for four steps, right-left-right-left; turned with the crutch, and walked four unassisted steps back. Now, mind you, they were shorter than my normal stride, but neither were they hobbling gimps; they were real steps. A day shy of three weeks post-op, I walked without aid.

Kristin was gobsmacked. She’s been surprised and delighted all along at how well I’ve progressed, but this just amazed her. I then tried ambulating with my cane rather than the crutch. It’s not as reliably steady a feel, but no problem; let me get a few days farther along and I’ll be caning merrily around the house; for now, I prefer the greater security of the crutch.

We went downstairs to the garage so I could practice getting in and out of my car under her supervision, both passenger and driver side. Piece of cake. We went for a walk outside, me back on both crutches for safety’s sake though I needed very little of their support, down the driveway as far as the mailbox, then instead of turning back we kept going onward down the exit drive all the way to the street, a doubling of distance. I stuck my toe over the property line in triumph, then we marched back up-slope to my condo, moving right along. Well, yes, yes, I was a bit winded by the time we got back, but oh! What an invigorating expedition it was!

To be fully back to myself, able to do everything as I had before the hip went to hell – able to muck a stall, push a loaded wheelbarrow, haul hay and shavings and grain – I know is still some months away. But by golly, I’m going to get there, and do it faster than your average bear.

A confession: I did take one oxycodone today, a couple of hours before PT, because the exercises and house chores I did in the morning got me to hurting. But this doesn’t depress me; it’s not a defeat; it’s merely being sensible, not trying to be a hero. I doubt I’ll need another today; I’ll go on tomorrow and thereafter without taking any unless I push myself too far and need the relief; and I have no doubt that I’m very nearly done with that drug.

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