Tuesday, June 01, 2010

now (and earlier today)

Since I'm 365-ing it here this year anyhow, I thought this month I'd play along with NaBloPoMo's theme for June: NOW.

kinda smacks of zen, don't it? ;-)

So here's how I'm going to do this. I'll still be posting the normal whatever it is that gets posted around here that makes up my crazy mish-mash of a blog. But somewhere in the post I will throw in a line or two about what is happening "NOW". I'm inclined to let it happen where it may, so it could be smack dab in the middle of a post (and it could just BE the whole danged post, if things spin out of control on some days). I'll put a little "sticker" nearby so that you know what it is, k?

Quiet piano music coming from the radio. Dog barking and human voices up on the hill. Crumpled napkin beneath my cell phone. Day planner open to June showing a busy month ahead. I fret.

Like that.

For the record, I know I need to write about the Women Food And God book/workshop. I think about it every day, and not just in the, "Damn, I still haven't written that up yet," sort of way. I think about it in the, "How do I make this fit into a post when I'm all over the place about it," sort of way. I AM indeed working on it. Not just in my head, either. I'm writing about some of the exercises she took us through. Those seem to be the most concrete things I can relay at least. It is in progress. Stay tuned.

I'm also still working on a post back from February about Olympians, if you can believe it. Sorry, dudes. It's just how I roll.


In other news: man oh man, is Physical Therapy ever kicking my ass.

This walking thing is so hard. The funny thing, is that she (ThePT) seems to think I am doing fantastic. I'm going to take her word for it, because my word usually includes not giving myself a single ounce of credit.

This morning I showed up after not seeing her for over a week, and I thought she was going to cry. She said she couldn't believe the difference.

I have ditched the crutches and am using a cane, but only because when I use the crutches for support I use them like crutches. I have been on crutches for 6 years now, and I can't seem to use them any differently than the way I do, which means I throw a whole lot of weight onto my hands as I lean forward to take a step. This is not what needs to happen for walking two-legged and upright, though. Switching over to the cane instead has forced me to be vertical and to get weight onto the prosthetic leg where it belongs (and where it needs to be in order for the leg to function and bend properly).

I also managed to correct (although I'm not sure how) the width at which I keep my legs apart. It would seem that after years of one legged-ness, I have learned to keep my sound leg directly underneath me. Like as if I were doing the tree pose or something.

Well, okay--not "as if". I DO keep my sound leg directly under my center. It's the way I tick, man. I AM the embodiment of the Eternal Tree Pose really, if you think about it.

Anyhow. In PT last week, I was walking with a very narrow base of support. Almost like the way a model would walk.

except that I don't look quite that chic when I'm in PT
or any other time...LOL

So my automatic gait was to walk very much one foot directly in front of the other, like being on a balance beam. When I tried to give myself some space in between my feet, I felt like I was walking like a duck. Or like a was a two year old toddling about the room. I felt like I looked like a waddling idiot, and it was totally unnatural for me to do it. The only way I could plant the foot in the right place was to chant (and I mean literally chant, like a mantra): walk like a duck, walk like a duck, walk like a duck, with every step I took.

Silly, I know. LOL

The funny thing is that what felt wide to me was still narrower than normal. And last week while this little lesson was taking place, ThePT had me take a full pass across the gym while walking towards a full length mirror she rolled out in front of me just to prove her case because I didn't believe her. It may have felt like I was "gettin' my waddle on", but I was actually still a bit on the narrow side.
Just goes to show ya'.
The brain is goofy.

Anyhow, I guess somehow when I was asleep I corrected this and she nearly weeped tears of joy when I saw her this week because the change happened so quickly. This is interesting to me, because I'm going to be honest with you (and I was not even this honest with her)...I put very little time in on the leg this past week between appointments. I hurt my knee during the zen retreat from all of the getting up and getting down off the mat for three days, and I have been in pain for over a week now. I mean, I can barely even put weight on it with a bend in the knee (I am finding a solution for that for the next retreat...I can't have zen practice taking me out of commission like that). So here I am at today's appointment and she is teary eyed over my amazing progress and all I can think to say (to myself) is, "Well, imagine if I had actually PRACTICED." It kind of reminds me of MyFavoriteKid and the clarinet. He is awesome. His teacher even has him in line for 1st Clarinet. And he doesn't play a note outside of school.
Imagine if he practiced.

Okay, so back to PT today. There she is watery-eyed, and I'm sweating from a kajillion passes to and fro through the gym, and what is the reward for my hard work? More hard work, of course.

Outside we go to the Minefield-Of-Ambulatory-Encumbrances.

No, I don't know what it's really called. Probably the "Rehab Garden" or some shit. i shouldn't knock it. It's really lovely, actually. And amazing. It's a beautiful rooftop garden. Full of ramps. And curbs. And a bed of gravel. And a sandy path. And a patch of grass. And stairs (ooh, the stairs: 2" stairs, 4" stairs, and 6" stairs). I think I also spied a putting green in the corner.

So we go up and down and all around the garden for a good long while, and then we go out to my car so she can help me find a better way to get in and out of it without falling down, because that seems to be when my disasters occur. I kid you not. Twice so far. Ugh. Pavement is not my friend.

Then she takes me back inside to practice (you'll love this one) "falling techniques". She lays a big wrestling mat on the floor and has me walk towards it until I trip over it basically, and go flying. Fun times. And multiple fun times. The biggest thing I learned today from her today was (hellooooooooo) LET GO OF THE CANE so you can use your hands to break the fall.
Dudes, I hold onto the cane.
Like it's gonna help me once I'm going down.


So now I know to throw the cane, get my hands underneath me instead, and try to keep myself from going straight down on my knees, because it isn't good for my real one OR the fake one (but how long before can you say "hip replacement next?" LOL).

So, yah. PT today. I feel like I was hit by a truck.
Pass the ibuprofen, please.

And this week, I practice.


~Donna~ said...

you should chant what we did when we were younger and pretending to be ducks...

quack quack waddle waddle quack quack waddle waddle

Makes one just wanna waddle about. :)

You are making progress! That's the most important thing. Yay you!

Wheelchair Dancer said...

you go! (yes, I'm still here and reading).

You go!


Kerry said...

Keep up the great work!!! It'll all come together eventually. :-)

And happy, happy birthday to TheMIG. ;-)

Linda said...

Love the clarity of your writing! I am fascinated by the numerous, often daunting, lessons of life post amputation, as you learn to walk with your legs further apart, to fall -- without breaking any bones -- and to unlearn the crutch-walk. I admire your journey, and aversion to despair. Your process gives hope to others. I wish I could show others to knit...don't think I have the patience.