Sunday, January 21, 2007

Seven weeks...ugh...

Tomorrow marks seven weeks since I thought I should demonstrate to the world how acrobatically inept I really am.

Seven weeks is a long time, but in seven weeks I have learned a whole lot and come to really appreciate a lot of things...

Number one on that list, in case I get distracted and forget to mention number one...my family and Alex. They have been ├╝ber supportive, extremely helpful, patient and wonderful. And a close second at number two are my friends...also supportive, helpful, patient and wonderful!

Lots of people helpfully (or not) indicated to both me and to Alex that this would be a huge test and when it was all over, we'd have a better idea if we really wanted to spend our lives together. Keeping in mind that I fell only three days after Alex proposed, I think we both really thought that we knew that we wanted to be together and at first those comments were most unwelcome. As time progressed and as we both realized how much help I really did need, we both understood what those helpful (or not) people meant.

The day I came home from the hospital my aunt and uncle helped us out tremendously. I slept for hours that afternoon. The next day the real coping and healing and strain began. It took two hours to get me out of bed, to the bathroom and into something other than pjs. TWO HOURS.

And I couldn't do it alone.

I couldn't do anything alone. I needed help sitting and standing. I could barely move my arms. Once I was painfully helped into a standing position and securely gripping the walker, I could slowly, very slowly, shuffle places on my own, but once I got where I was going, I still needed help doing everything. I really mean everything...just about anything you can think of I needed help doing.

Injuries are very humbling and modesty is quickly thrown out the window...

But through it all, through the tears of pain and frustration, through the need for constant assistance, through spending literally 24 hours a day together for the first five days, I had Alex with me and he was incredibly patient. And we didn't even come close to killing each other...good signs...all good signs...

They say that patience is a virtue and in the last seven weeks we (Alex, my parents, my sisters and I) have all been trying to perfect the art of being patient...especially when we don't want to be patient anymore. I don't need help with everything anymore, in fact, the walker staged a revolt this week and tried to buck me and throw me face first on the ground, so I have graduated from it and am using only the cane, the arm of the nearest person or my own steam to get around. The physio did say that it was time to wean myself off the walker...I'm not one to be weaned without the help and protest of the inanimate object from which I'm being weaned. When it was time to give up my nightly bottle, I managed to pull the nipple through the ring and spill water all over myself and my bed. At the age of not quite two, I asked my Mom if the bottle was broken and of course she answered yes. When I wanted my bottle the next night, she reminded me it was broken and I said okay, fine, put me to bed (well, maybe not in those exact words), so this marks the second time in my life an inanimate object has helped eased my dependency on said object...

But back to patience...while I am now much, much more mobile, I'm still not quite there. I can get my feet into my shoes, but I can't tie them. I can take a shower by myself with my special shower seat, but I still need to be supervised. I can get in and out of the car, but I need someone to open the door if I'm outside. And even though it would be nice if I could do it myself, Alex and my Mom are still happy to help me...well, maybe not happy, but they do help me willingly. I still have to be patient because when I want my shoes on, my "helper" of the moment might be otherwise occupied, but my shoes will get tied up eventually...

I had a conversation today with a woman I know from Guiding, and R. said something to me that I think all those (un)helpful people were trying to tell me back when I first fell. We were waiting for Alex to come pick me up (because in recent weeks he has become my chauffeur as well) and she asked me if this was one of those things that happened for a reason or one of those unfortunate things that just happens...no reason at all. I said to her I think it happened for a reason, or if it was for no reason, we've been able to take a lot from it.

I've learned to stop and be thankful (and say thanks) for the important things in life and also for the little things, that we often overlook, but are something even more important than the important things. I appreciate my mobility and independence. I appreciate help...I can ask for help, even when it's hard...because asking for help for most things will never ever be as hard as some of the things I had to ask Alex and my Mom to do those first few days. It's wonderful to see the community that surrounds you and it's too bad most people don't notice it until something "bad" has happened. I've decided to slow down...to work less (meaning only 35 hours/week), spend more time with my friends and not try to cram my life full of STUFF...

Then R. and I were talking about those (un)helpful people telling me that Alex and I would figure out if we really did want to get married and she said she thought maybe "For better or for worse" might make more sense to us than to other young couples because we've experienced one of those worses already...that made some sense to me...and you know, we've survived it, whatever it was and we're still planning on getting married, so I guess it's meant to be!

Anyway...this was a long rambling ramble...I'm just glad that seven weeks have passed, so that must mean that I'm one week closer to being better!! YAHOOOOOOOOoooo...when I can move again, we're having a party, possibly the second to last one ever, at the blue house...

2 comments:

  1. Does this mean you'll be doing the Sun Run with me? Hee hee

    Glad to hear about everything you've learned....and through your post others can stop and really think of what they have.

    Heddy :) xo

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  2. I wish I was doing the Sun Run with you...and that's saying a lot since I don't run!!!

    and it's certainly been a learning experience!!

    Biggest lesson though: just don't break your back and everything else will be fine!!! ;)

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