Monday, June 15, 2009

Chapter 9

Eric later told me he hated taking me on as his new patient because my physical problems were so severe that there was very little hope for me to ever walk again. These problems became magnified because I thought it would be very simple to just get up and start running. I quickly learned that I had another thing coming. Eric first taught me to crawl.  He had to stabilize my left arm and leg so they would be able to accept the weight necessary to move my right limbs forward. The first day it took me twenty minutes to crawl across our living room floor.  I couldn't even master simple physical tasks so it  became clear that much work had to be done.  Home had many things in common with the hospital. I continued to have therapy all day long and began to realize that although it was essential for me to do as much exercise as possible everyday, I could never do enough.

My birthday was quickly approaching and it stands out because this was the time that I took my first steps. I had to use a cane but all my hard work finally paid off. Everyone agreed that I wasn't ready to be up and walking yet but Eric said if I wanted to risk falling it was okay because I bounced well.

At this time someone had to walk next to me and be prepared if I started to tumble. My balance was worse than horrible so Eric gave me certain exercises to help me start walking normally. The brain stem injury I suffered made me very ballistic.  Being ballistic meant that if I started falling to the left my reaction was to attempt to regain my balance but instead would overcompensate and go to the right. This was so frustrating but it made me work harder than I'd ever worked in my life.  Luckily we had a swimming pool. Thanks to this and my life preserver I had a chance to swim everyday. Swimming was great exercise for me. On top of this I rode my stationary bike several miles every day, walked around as many blocks as possible, blew bubbles for breath control and did many other muscle strengthening exercises.  I played the piano for fine motor coordination and occupational therapy, and did any other exercises that could possibly be done. I realized that the only way to overcome my physical problems was through much repetition and hard work.

September, which was the one year anniversary of my accident, arrived. I wondered where the time had gone. I wanted to go back to Okalahoma and meet all of the people that were responsible for my being alive. I went to the hospital and met all of the doctors, nurses, therapists, x ray technicians, transporters, and pastors that were there for me. It was very strange meeting these people for what seemed to be the first time but they all acted like they knew me well. While there they allowed me to go into the intensive care unit of the hospital to see where I was kept for three and a half weeks. Intensive care was for really sick people and in no way was I that sick, or so I thought.

1 comment:

  1. Your story is inspirational. How we all take our lives for granted the ordinary things like talking and walking. Thank you for sharing your story.