No, this isn't about any new updates on my condition. My wife, Gina, has been in need of an operation on her back in order to stabilize some pieces and straighten out a few things. She went in last week, fearless as always, already with a rehab plan in mind.
This was to be a two - stage process. The anterior portion of the procedure was finished a week ago. Part II was last Thuesday, ann 8 hour, difficult and intermiably painful bit o' work. She was into recovery early that evening, with pain killers helping her maintain the slightest ability to communicate.
I was at her bedside that night when she told me she couldn't move her left leg. I brushed it off at the time, figuring that with the amount of pharmacalogical products she had in her system the comment was probably a bit overstated. Her post - surgery CAT scan showed all was lined up well, and everything should be in good working order.
But as the days went by the leg barely improved. There was some movement and some small bit of feeling. But by now we, and especially she, were very nervous about this development. I kept telling her she's come to the right guy to help with rehab, but she wasn't amused. Her leg wasn't working, after all, and she wanted answers.
Her surgeon is a wonderful guy, well respected and with a reputation for building things that last. Even he couldn't put a finger on it, but it shook Gina to think that she wasn't going ot walk for awhile. Add to that the powerful effect of the pain meds and you have a volitile situation.
Today she just broke down, wondering what she'd do...she missed her hikes, her workouts, her friends, family and dawgs. So tonight we took a little walk. She'd been practicing short bursts of only a few feet with a walker. Tonight I was to accompany her for a round of the hospital unit she's been inhabiting. She got up from her bed, cautiously grabbed her walker and we motored on down the hall.
It was clear she was having weakness on her left side, but with each step she seemed to gain confidence. I know how it feels to be cooped up in a hospital for extended periods of time. No picnic. I was a bit nervous she'd just keep going out to the car and give me her usual "Home, James."
Fortunately, she got around the floor without incident. I think she was pleased to have shown me what she could do, but was also at least equally gratified to be able to do it herself. It's hard for me to watch, as I am full of unwanted advice about how she should be doing this or that. So I just tried to shut up and celebrate this with her, a first step back to her vivacious self.
Gina's progress in the face of very depressing news is noteworthy. Overcoming the depression is the "fork in the road" I refer to frequently when speaking to disabled people - you can continue following the path toward complete depression, or you can go the other way, perhaps paved with yellow bricks. You can choose to participate in your recovery, to celebrate each small step you take whether aided or not. The most subtle improvements lead to recovery for some, simple manageability for others. But for all the fight is what's important. It's wanting to be all you can, even if that may not be what you were.
Congratulations, Child Bride. I look forward to having you back here where you belong!