Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Greetings from Elkhart!
Things at the Walden Inn are continuing to improve. We're currently working on plans for the second phase of our renovation, which will include the Food and Beverage areas and the Public Space. With so much going on I've decided that it's time for me to start easing back in. As of this week I'll be going in one day a week. It's exciting and a little scary. I've always been a very physical manager and I'm now going to have to adjust to the new physical limitations. However, while inspecting a room with the Executive Housekeeper (Christy) and the Chief Engineer (Scotty), I got down on the floor and looked underneath the couch and started pulling up cushions. The perspective was interesting but it took too much energy.
The Therapy session on Monday went well. A few weeks ago I was given a new pair of crutches. The kind that attach to my forearms. These give me more stability but they have been more awkward to work with when standing up from a chair. Well, I finally figured out how to stand up from a chair with them already attached. The first attempt at this was quite comical because Renee decided to hold my left crutch against the arm of the chair I was getting out of. All of a sudden I found myself standing mostly straight on the right side and completely unable to stand up on the left! Don't get mad at Renee though, she was trying to stabilize the chair and simply didn't realize where her hand was. After she moved her hand I was able to stand.
This may seem to be a small thing, but the more confident I become with standing and sitting on my own the more likely I am to practice walking at home, or other places. At this point the only places I have felt comfortable walking are therapy and home. Hopefully as my confidence builds I'll start appearing in public places. So, with that in mind, listen to the rest of the story from Monday.
At the end of my Therapy session Renee received a call from Sarah in the ARC. (Remember Sarah is the one who oversaw my torture before I was sent home for Christmas.) Sarah had a patient in the ARC that she wanted me to come talk to. He's Hispanic, and doesn't speak any english, so we had to use a translator but the conversation went very well. This young man lost his left leg and arm in an electrical accident. I've spoken with his parents previously but up until now he hadn't been ready to speak with me. His eyes lit up when I came into the room with my prostheses on. I was in the wheelchair but I could tell that he was excited to see my legs. We talked for a while and he asked me to show him how I walk.
So, I made the first attempt at getting up without Renee present. For the first time since the beginning of May I was able to get out of a chair and stand without any assistance at all. I'm still putting too much weight on my crutches, because my balance is still really far off (In fact, I now have Tendonitis (sp?) as a result), but I'm standing straighter and walking easier. When I have the new sockets that fit well I hope to see some pretty big leaps forward!
Speaking of big leaps forward...tomorrow...I swim...
Such great news and great progress. Especially your help to the young man. Work, too. Swimming, too. Just everything.
Easing back into work AND standing up on your own - very proud of you(and excited for you too!)
Your strength of character has always been a blessing, now it can be a tool.
The girls and I were watching Zoom the other day and they featured a 12-year-old boy who was a double-amputee. He had lost both his legs just above the knee when he was just 6 years old. Not only was his walking smooth and fluid, but he was an incredible hockey player! He played on a league with other amputees. It was impossible to tell that he was an amputee when he was playing hockey and almost impossible to tell even when he was walking. The girls were very interested in it -- especially the part where he showed how his prosthetic legs attached and how he had a different set for when he played hockey. Of course, we talked alot about you while we were watching it. I think we rewound and watched it about 3 times. :-)
It is exciting to think of what you are capable of! But as you told me a few months back: "I wasn't a runner before the accident and I'm not going to be a runner now!" So, I won't be looking for you on any hockey rinks soon. ;-) Unless, you decide to surprise us, of course!
Can't wait to hear how the swimming goes!
I'm also glad to hear that you are able to get back to work some. I'm sure that is something you look forward to.
You are simply amazing! Keep up the forward progress. The inspiration you provided that young man is impressive. Have fun swimming this weekend.
(From one hotel guy to another...Get up from under the couches and trust that your Exec Hskpr knows how to inspect rooms:)
Take care my friend.
I talked to your mom Mon. evening, and I thought about you all day Tuesday. Sounds like you had a really good 1st day back at work! :-) Also glad to hear you had a chance to talk to that young man....what an inspiration you are!
We're looking forward to seeing all of you next Saturday at the family reunion! Hopefully, it'll be about 75, low humidity...and no rain!! :-)
Merrilinda and Skeets
I am so happy to hear that you are doing so well! Much love to you!!!!
Give me a holler sometime!
Slowly but surely. I'm glad to hear that you are getting into a routine and that you are providing inspiration to others in similar circumstances.
Let us know how the swimming goes.