Saturday, September 22, 2007


Three weeks from yesterday

This weeks therapy session was a huge success! We began with the obstacle of stepping off a curb. My current method has been to dangle one foot over the edge of a curb and wait until the opposite knee bends to lower the dangled foot to the ground. With the old set of legs I probably fell about 40% of the time I would do this because the knee would bend too fast and the other knee would bend on impact. I haven't fallen with this set of legs but the knee consistently bends too fast, which could still be potentially dangerous. Thanks to Renee's training I am now comfortable taking a wider step off a curb without having to break my stride. Of course, if a car is coming I will still stop at the curb.

The next obstacle was walking with a grocery cart. You may recall that I was able to do this with the old set of legs. However, with the new set of legs it is actually more difficult. The reason is that the energy return provided by my new ankles actually propels me into the next step, so I have a hard time stopping without something stable to hold on to. We figured out that if I use a crutch on my left arm and push the cart with my right arm I'm able to shift my weight onto the crutch and can easily stop.

When we were done with the grocery cart Renee offered me the crutch for my right arm and I asked her to take my hand instead. Walking with one crutch and a cart made me feel more comfortable with my balance and I wanted to see if I could walk with one crutch while holding someones hand. To my amazement it worked fairly well. I couldn't walk very fast but, for the first attempt, it didn't suck! This is a level of intimacy that I feared I might have lost forever. After 36 years of marriage my parents still hold hands when they walk down the street. I want to be able to do that too.

After that success we got into a discussion of canes vs. crutches. I've never walked with a cane and we hadn't really talked about when/if that progression might occur. We decided to see what would happen so I took a walk with a cane in my right hand and a crutch on my left arm. Again, for the first attempt, it didn't suck! We switched the crutch to my right arm and the cane to my left hand. This was less stable but still successful.

My next therapy session, which will be three weeks from yesterday, will focus on continued work with canes. We'll continue to practice with a cane and a crutch, and will probably see what happens with two canes. I've also suggested that Renee should get all the women who want to hold my hand together so that they can take turns walking up and down the hallway with me! Somehow I doubt this will happen (because none of the other patients would get any attention) but I'm thinking it would make a great fund raiser. A "dollar walk" instead of a "dollar dance"? (I'm referring to weddings, not strip clubs)

Seriously though, I was so happy with the progress that I had to fight back tears as I left the hospital. It felt good to have tears of joy for a change!

Jeremy...tears of joy...let them flow. Why do we think those should be eliminated from our lives. I think they are healthy. I'll carry the kleenex box and even hold your hand if you would like that from a 69 year old lady.
That is great news! And Im glad you worked out how to stop your grocery cart, can you imagine all the bruised ankles otherwise ;)

I will be in Indy in a few weeks and was hoping to be able to go for dinner or something, I know you said you've been super busy so I'll email you to try and sort something out :)
p.s Id be quite happy to hold your hand to help you practise, although Im sure it wasnt married ladies you were hoping for ;)
It was great to read your blog today.
It gave me some perspective on hand holding, which my husband loves to do.
I can't imagine not having a choice, and I am glad it won't be an issue for you either.
Maybe you could set up this hand holding fundraiser as a reality show...hey if Brett Michaels can do it, you can too! You might end up with the future Mrs. Warriner.
:) hehe.
Obi Wan

Well you know I'll be the first one in line for that! :) Sign me up!!!!


Ps I'm really proud of you too! Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
I'm quite sure that there will be NO shortage of volunteers for hand holding. Great news all around this week - love it!

While I'm holding your hand, you look for traffic. Or we can both look for traffic and hold hands at the same time. Than we can run after we hit people with the shopping carts..ha,ha
Great news about the therapy session...and by the way, let the tears flow honey, let the tears flow.
God bless you my friend,I love ya dearly and I'm glad that you are who you are and making the rest of us realize the little things in life we take for granted.
Like holding hands and playing in traffic..not sure if that goes together or not but thanks kiddo.
Have a great week !!!!
Love ya,
Glad to hear(read rather) that you are having so much success lately. Well I will not be able to read your blog this week or next most likely. As I have a lot of family in town for my brother's wedding this coming weekend. I am so proud of you and of my brother. I am glad to say you are one of my friends. Keep up the good work!
Jeremy.....We'll see your folks' 36 years and raise you 19 more. Like we told your granddad on his birthday card.... it works for us!!
Let the tears of joy continue to flow for us all!!!!

H and L

Yay! I'm so excited and happy for you for this recent success.

What a nice tribute to your Mom and Dad, too. I wonder if they have ever read one of your blog posts without being teary. I doubt it.

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