Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Not feeling all that great today. You know that whenever the weather changes, my sinuses act up, even after the surgery last year. Have a stuffy head, cough, and slightly queasy stomach, so the therapists took things easy with me. Andrea said she’d rather I stop to rest than push on until I fall down. Hard to argue with that logic.

Big win for today was having maintenance tighten the right wheel lock on my chair. It would lock but still move, which is very scary when relying on it to be rock solid when standing. And in therapy today, OT and PT overlapped so my rest time from one was doing an activity for the other. To save time, I did both arms and feet on the Omnicycle, with weights on the arms. It was a little bit confusing but seemed more productive than doing one, and then the other in the same place. I walked a total of 275 feet with a few stops.

My right foot feels as though it weighs about 10 pounds more than the left foot, or more understandably, as though it one foot has a weight around it and the other doesn’t. I don’t know why and it’s throwing me off balance. The right foot was the one that was numb and frozen for the the last year, but I don’t remember it feeling heavier. Question to ask my surgeon next week when I see him, since it’s the right foot/leg that were damaged by the spinal stenosis. They did a nerve study when I saw the doctor in July and I think it would be smart to ask for a copy of that report so my therapists (and I) know which ones are dead and which ones have the potential of coming back, at least in part.

It’s really hard to write that. Sometimes I can pretend that this is all like a play and I’m only in the chair/unable to stand/needing help with everything for a limited time and then I’ll wake up and everything will be back to normal. I can dance around the apartment, move where I want, reach things on high shelves, and fully settle into my new place. But then I remember that it could be 6-8 months before I see improvement from the spinal surgery, and the lower extremity weakness was a surprise to everyone, so who knows when that could improve. Well, it’s improving because I’m working my butt off to strengthen muscles that I used to take for granted. But it’s unlikely that I’ll wake up one morning and be able to throw off my foot splints, leave the walker and chair behind, and just go home. Sometimes it’s really hard to keep optimistic when what I want to do is cry.

But it could be worse. Those muscles might not be able to respond, leaving me a true paraplegic. That’s not where I am, and I need to remember, even when the sadness hits, that this is going to be a long slow slog requiring constant vigilance and hard work. It’s the hardest thing I will probably ever have to do. And I’ve barely started.