I Bit the Bullet

And ordered a NuStep for my apartment, along with a rubber mat to go under it, extended warranty, and white glove shipping to get it set up and working once it arrives. It’s a certified pre-owned unit that I should be able to use as soon as it gets here, after we make sure I can safely get on and off. I know that I can get on and off – I used this for my three weeks in therapy at the Olympic Center when I was just starting this adventure – but I haven’t used one for four months. I promise I won’t try to do it without someone here to help me. Once I get that part figured out, I will definitely use it. Partly because it’s wicked expensive, too expensive to just let it sit and collect dust. But mostly because I really need to get stronger.

I’ve lost strength in my legs these last few weeks. When home health PT was here yesterday, I had problems walking even a short distance because I didn’t trust my legs to hold me when I stepped out. My right foot feels like a sponge on the bottom, which, to be fair, isn’t a new feeling. But not trusting it to hold me feels new. The left thigh/back nerve pain is much less severe, which is great, but the leg just feels weak. So I need to work harder to get back the strength I had and worked so hard for months to get in the first place. I have standing leg exercises to do at the sink, which I used to be able to do lots at a time and am now down to doing only five at a time. But I can still do them. And seated ones. PT comes again tomorrow so I’d better get my act together.

It will also help that I finally have an appointment to see a “foot guy” next week and can advocate for a new, better AFO for the right foot. I can’t believe that after four months, I still can’t put on my shoes with the brace by myself, and without it, I can’t walk using the walker because I’m too great a fall risk. So I have high hopes for this visit and hope the doctor doesn’t disappoint.

I confess that I’ve gotten really used to using the wheelchair. I don’t WANT to be dependent on it, but it’s been necessary since I can’t do the shoes myself and most days that means no walking. It’s depressing to rely on it. Some things are easier, such as feeding the cats, but it’s hard to carry things while also using hands to wheel myself around. Everything is at a different eye level, which is great when in the grocery store and looking at the gelato counter but not so good for other things. What makes it bearable is that I still can stop and lock the chair, stand up, and do something like take down a mug or bowl. I’m not stuck in the chair with the limits that come with that. But I want to not be in it at all, and that will take a lot more work.

And I’m tired of working. I want a vacation from it, but that’s not possible. Because if you let up, you lose ground. I want to just crawl in bed, pull covers over my head, and burrow in. But I’ve been sleeping in a chair for the last week when climbing into bed became too excruciatingly painful. I’m hopeful that will change in the next few days coz I miss my bed!

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