In my thirty-one years on this Earth, I have had to learn how to walk three times:
- As a toddler, just like everyone else.
- After a ten-day stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) when I was 23 years old.
- And, when I was 30, after developing drop-foot during in-patient cancer treatment.
Learning how to walk as an adult is downright painful. It’s also a slow process. I thought that I had successfully “gotten back on my feet” when I was able to ditch my cane, but after having an appointment with my neuro-oncologist in January of 2018, I realized that I needed help.
My doctor had me flex my foot into a ninety-degree angle. She then pushed down on my toes; I didn’t have the strength to resist her. I couldn’t keep my foot at the correct angle. My ankles weren’t strong enough. My balance was off. If I knelt down on the floor, I had to use something to pull myself up with. My doctor issued a referral for physical therapy. I let the referral sit on my desk from January to April.
Why? Because I didn’t want to be a burden. With my recent seizure history, I can’t drive. Due to the fact that I still don’t have a functioning immune system, I have to be very selective about who drives me (they must be 100% healthy). These parameters often result in me asking the same people, again and again, to take me places. In my mind, physical therapy was just another appointment that I would have to pester someone to take me to.
I don’t like asking for help—even when I need it.
So, I delayed setting up a physical therapy appointment…until the beginning of this month. My fiancé was urging me to take care of myself—and that includes rebuilding leg strength and balance.
I had my first session this past Friday. My therapy plan focuses first on stabilizing and strengthening my ankles. We’ll build upward from there. I am excited about it. My therapist is one of the kindest souls that I have ever met. You can tell she loves her job; best of all, her joy is contagious.
Please, Dear Readers, continue to send light and love. Thank you, thank you, thank you.