Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Goal

I can walk. I don't have very good balance, so I use a cane when I'm not home. I also don't have much endurance. I am beginning to walk faster, but that depends on how much energy I have. I do most things by myself, and rarely need help. I have felt that if this is the best it ever gets, I'll be okay.

I haven't gone to therapy since the beginning of summer. After almost a year of going I'm tired of scheduling my life around it, and I feel like everything we do are things I can do at home anyway. So, I quit going. It doesn't mean I've given up. I'm still working on things on my own at home -- doing as much around the house as I can standing or walking, some chair aerobics that I found a dvd for, some walking at the track at my kids' school, and some simple balance exercises.

But I have come to terms with things for the most part. It's possible that I may never fully recover, and it has been 11 months. I'm still within the two year recovery window, but most progress in Transverse Myelitis patients is seen in the first 6 months. Don't get me wrong, I'm progressing. But it's slow now. If I never progress beyond where I am now, I'm comfortable that I can at least take care of myself, my kids, and my house. I can drive thanks to the use of hand controls. I do my own grocery shopping, I cook for myself. There are things here and there that I need help with. I am unable to get things that are high off the ground. I lack the strength needed in my legs to be able to climb onto a chair, and even if I had something like a step stool, my balance is off too much to feel like I could get something down safely. I also need help carrying heavy or cumbersome things. But for the most part, I take care of things myself. And I've been learning ways to still enjoy my life.

So, I could live like this. But after two vacations this month, and seeing people all around me running and chasing their kids, getting in and out of a swimming pool or lake with no help, climbing into a boat, etc. Plus the stares I get from people when I'm out. You know just what they are thinking. Why is someone my age using a cane? It makes people feel vulnerable.

So, with all of this I suppose I've gained a new sense that it HAS to be better than this! It HAS to be! I am always thinking of things I can do to help me progress. And I've come up with a new goal.

I have two nephews, ages 8 years and 8 months. They are brothers, and they have Cystic Fibrosis. Every May there is a Great Strides walk here in Ogden that our family participates in to help raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. It usually goes on during soccer season, but unless I've had a kid that has a soccer game at the same time that year, I have always participated. Last May, I didn't. It was partly because Johnathan did have a game. But it was also partly because I knew I couldn't have walked it. It's a 2 mile walk.

I have been working on my endurance lately anyway. So, I've decided. Next May, provided neither Johnathan or Elizabeth have soccer games, I am walking it. That should give me something tangible to strive for. It will take some hard work, but I think I can do it.

1 comment:

Kris said...

Jayme, I think it is great that you are striving towards that walk. You can do it, just be patient and optimistic.