“Its okay to be scared. Being scared means your about to do something really, really brave.” -Unknown-
As my second week of rehab rolled around I was really starting to enjoy my therapies. I was seeing progress, little as it was, it was still there. But there was always something to remind me of the work I still had ahead of me.
One afternoon as I was working with my new physical therapist and she asked if I ever sit on the ground to play with my kids. Well i do so I answered yes. She then pulls out a mat and tells me to sit on the ground. One I hadn’t had to lower myself down that far since my surgery so the task of just getting to the ground was difficult. Then she put a ball on the ground and told me to crawl to it. So there I was on all fours looking at this ball 3 feet in front of me. And I could not get my body to move forward, not even an inch. My legs were back to being useless.
In that moment as Jasper, Evey, and my mother in law watched me go nowhere, I decided to try something new. If I couldn’t get my legs to move by willing them, I would give them a little help. I started rocking back and forth, like a baby learning to crawl, and guess what I was able to move one leg a tiny bit forward! And I got to the ball even though it took what felt like forever! And then I had to stand up! Gave me a little bit more perspective for what I would be dealing with once I went home.
(this is me transferring from my wheelchair to the bed, which was a big accomplishment!)
Piece of Cake.
The hardest thing I did while in rehab was baking a cake with my occupational therapist. Yes you heard that right the hardest thing I did was bake a cake. And let me tell you why. I had to stand for a long period of time, balance myself while mixing, stiring, pouring etc. When I finally put the cake in the oven I was on the verge of tears. I was SO tired I was shaking and my leg felt like nothing I could barley walk back to my room to have a rest.
It was after this cake baking experience that I truly realized just how difficult going home was going to be. I would have to cook, clean, take care of my 2 energetic kids, among other things. At this point I was doubting that any of those thing would be possible for me to accomplish. I called Michael and told him how scared I was to go home. And my sweet husband reminded me of the support system I had waiting for me, and that I wouldn’t have to do any of those things alone.
(Look at how much faster I got in just a week!)
The Big Day!
The day came when I was to discharge from the hospital. I was so very excited and terrified at the same time. I packed all the things I had accumulated over my extended hospital stay and just like that I was out of the hospital. It was snowing when Michael and I drove away. I had been a patient for 23 days. That included 2 spinal surgeries, 2 stents in the CCU, 2 stents in the neuro unit, and 10 days in rehab. I felt free, free to do whatever I wanted, well not anything😂.
The first thing I did was go to Costco, which was a huge mistake. I couldn’t push my walked through the snow for 1 and about a quarter of the way in I was so exhausted I had to sit on my walker and be pushed around the rest of the store. What I wasn’t expecting were all the strange looks people would give me. In the hospital everyone knew my story, I was sort of a celebrity. But to all these people I was just some young women with a jumpy leg and a walker. It was just one of the many things I would just have to get use to.
The best part of my discharge day was when we went an picked up Jasper and Evey! They had been bouncing between being with my parents Michael’s parents and being home with Michael. When i finally got to the door the kids were waiting for me. I got the biggest hugs and kisses! It was a very happy moment to say the least😍😍😍!
The past month hadn’t been hard on just me. I was hard on Michael, our kids, our families and our friends. But without all of them I know I wouldn’t have been able to recover as quickly as I did. But my recover didn’t end when I got out of the hospital. It just got a little more complicated.