Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Picking up sticks
I had a physiotherapy appointment this morning, to strengthen the knee that collapsed during the biggest nightmare of my life. There's nothing quite like having your body fail you while watching your father slip away.
I finally got organized, and let's face it, woke myself out of this slumpy fog that I've plopped myself into the last three months. Wishing and hoping that it would get better on its own was not exactly working.
The good news is that the ligaments are intact and there's no permanent damage. Bodyjam is NOT forever out of my grasp - whew! And the ladies at the clinic didn't think I looked like I was in my 40s (although I think it's fairly easy to look young when you're in the company of 60-70 year olds.) It's better to look good than to feel good, right? I wish, as I don't think I'm doing so hot in either department these days.
The bad news is that I have lost muscle in that leg. And apparently I also have flat feet (a friend told me this wasn't uncommon after pregnancy. Who knew, I thought my shoe size grew because my feet were getting fatter). After this morning's session, it's also apparent that I've lost a lot of respiratory strength. Five minutes on bike, five minutes of lunges, five minutes of balance board and five minutes of jumping on a mini trampoline (albeit, on one leg) equals a whole lot of huffing and puffing that just about KILLED me.
So I've made up my mind. Pre-the period of drama known as winter 2008, my regular routine included exercise. I went to the gym at least three times a week. I didn't realize how much I needed the normalcy of this routine to keep me going and to keep me emotionally stable. To keep it going for my kids, for my family, for my husband, but most importantly for me.
It was easy for me to slip into the cloud of self-pity. Whenever people ask me how I've been (at appointments, with people I hadn't run into in a while), my standard issue, "Oh, actually everything has sucked, I've had two gall bladder attacks, I wrecked my knee, my Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer and died 10 weeks ago"... was making people feel decidedly uncomfortable and wondering why they had asked me in the first place. I must stop doing that.
I'm tired of being tired. After spending an evening with a difficult to watch, but infinitely inspirational DVD last night, I have no excuses for NOT getting back into life. Really getting back into life.
Not being able to get in the car or go up the stairs without fear of an uncomfortable twinge in my knee? Try waking up three weeks after a massive stroke and only being able to move ONE EYELID!! And then having the tenacity to use an ingenious method of communication developed by your therapist, to communicate and then dictate your memoirs, one letter at a time, and live to see it published only days before your death.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le scaphandre et le papillon). See it.
My sticks scattered this past winter. I need to pick them up. Be grateful for what I have, for what I am capable of, for the NOW.
And with the help of my daughter and the rest of the family, we might even build a better picture for tomorrow.