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It's the Little Things

Hey everybody. I've been wanting to write this post for a few days now but
I haven't gotten around to it so I'll write it now. I'm sitting here in my
recliner with Taz and my keyboard on my lap, my feet up, and the ceiling fan
on. I think it's a pretty good set-up right now.



As of tonight I will have been home from the hospital for a week. In many
respects this has been a very slow week, and in many others I can't believe
it's been so long because it doesn't feel like it. I've chatted with many
of you, and I continue to appreciate your comments, thoughts, and prayers.
This morning I saw a physical therapist here in my home, and she's
recommending a couple of minor things that should hopefully make things a
little easier for me. I've got an occupational therapist coming in a little
less than an hour, and I don't know at all what's going to happen with that.
I'm still not working until further notice, and I assume that'll at least be
the case for the rest of the week because I've got more PT on Friday, and
probably more OT as well some time during the week.



What I really wanted to talk about though is something I've learned through
this whole experience. Think about your morning routine. Typically you
probably get out of bed cussing out your alarm clock and the thing that you
stubbed your toe on as you head toward the bathroom. Then there's the usual
bathroom things, breakfast, and whatever else you do. It's the stuff that
comes naturally and you pretty much pull it off without thinking about it.
Now, imagine this same morning routine again. This time though, imagine
that you're about 80 years old. Your hands may or may not do what you want
them to do. Your bathroom, although very close to your bedroom, seems like
a very long distance away. Common tasks like eating, brushing your teeth,
or even just using the toilet or shower are now things that you really have
to concentrate on doing. I know that some of you on my Friend's list have
already experienced some of these things for various reasons, so you can
relate. What I've noticed over the last week though is how much I really do
take for granted. Walking down a hall, holding onto items, so on and so
forth. These are things that I've done for years and never given them a
second thought. Now though, these seemingly small tasks take some
forethought, and in some cases, deliberate concentration.



The first time I took a shower last week was an absolute thrill to me. I
was able to get my walker into the bathroom, sit down on my shower chair,
and get my legs over into the tub. I realized the advantage of having a
smaller tub at that point. I have my chair in the middle, and I am able to
reach in front of me or behind me for items that I need. I felt so good
after that first shower because I knew that I'd done it on my own.



I'm finding other ways of adapting as well. With an extension cable for my
keyboard, I'm able to sit in a recliner rather than at a desk in a regular
chair which cuts down quite a bit on the constant dizziness. And, it has
the added benefit that I can play audio on the computer, or just lay back if
I want to take a quick nap.



Walking is a very slow process. I was told today that I am putting a lot of
weight on my arms with the walker because I guess I'm counting on it for
balance. Every time I move the world spins, so I try to move as slowly as
possible, and support myself fairly often on the walls in this building. I
try to make it a point to walk at least once a day in order to keep my blood
flowing and everything. Sometimes just a short walk exhausts me, and other
times I can go a little farther.



Anyway though, I just wanted to post and say that the next time you do
something that just sort of comes naturally, stop for a second and think
about how great it is that you can do it so effortlessly. I know I've
learned not to take the small things for granted anymore, and any successes
I have, even the extremely small ones, are successes that I'm proud of.



Okay, I'm done now, but I've been thinking about this for a while and wanted
to post it. More later.

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