Walk like a man, talk like a man/Walk like a man, my son/No woman's worth crawlin' on the earth/So walk like a man, my son - From "Walk Like a Man" by The Four Seasons
Not long ago, I took what I now consider to be a very important (besides literal) step in my recovery so far. Actually, this step was what I've termed as being a "walk-limp."
I have now been trying to shower and shave at least every other night. Stairs are going to be difficult for a while yet, and I have been using a walker all the same. This time, though, as I was on the landing and tried to balance without the railing, I could do so.
I took the last flight of stairs before my parents' bedroom (it being connected to their bathroom) and figured I could walk to the doorway without the walker. Though it was like a limp, I did it. "Huh," I think I shrugged to myself as Mom followed behind me.
I was sort of floored by this. Though my leg is always sore to some extent (but still not necessarily painful), this was really the first time it didn't want to just buckle trying to.
I walk-limped again — and again without the walker — last Wednesday to get to the other side of the second-floor hallway and back again. I went without thinking much of falling because I had to get there (i.e., to isolate our dog before Jared came to visit).
I'm not at all suggesting that putting a lot of pressure on it doesn't hurt. Bear in mind still that my pain tolerance is higher than normal people's because of the spina bifida. I am considered a fall risk, but there is peace of mind. I am only a little bit stubborn.
What I do think is that being able to go a short distance without the walker is a major development from two weeks ago. Physical therapy has certainly told me that much.
Going to Athletico and doing my exercises here at home is a big part of the process, slow and steady though it has been and will still be for a few months yet. If I can't do anything else productive (and I have for the Banner), I will take ownership of this.
Just so it's clear here: "Walk Like a Man" is about walking away from someone who hasn't been faithful in a relationship. I'm not making any metaphorical leaps; I think that the lyrics at their simplest face value are cogent. It is about having confidence.
I want to reiterate how this has not been easy mentally. Being stir-crazy sucks. But I feel that though my paradigm has been greatly challenged, I am recentering myself.
I have told a few that I'd consider it a miracle to be walking with a cane by May. I'm definitely not where I need to be yet, but improvements like these can be heartening. Knowing I can move like this gives me optimism for where I could be in short order.
Ending it here, I want to thank everyone again who has sent me messages and cards since this journey began. You know who you are, and it's all very much appreciated.