Reaching Goals

Over the last three weeks I’ve been training with the parallel bars. My last blog was actually written about starting this new step in my recovery. It was a very different feeling from walking with a trainer, which I was doing prior to the parallel bars. It took more effort in my lower back and trunk to find my center of balance and keep it as I took each step. When I would walk with the trainer they would help out with balance. Needless to say, it was harder work. The one thing that was a big challenge with walking the bars is that the bars themselves are very thick and hard for me to grip. This got me thinking that if I can stand by just holding onto something, I could probably walk with a walker and electrical stimulation on my right leg (that’s my weaker leg that still needs help from an e-stim).

When I went to physical therapy Thursday I bought up my idea to my trainer. He also thought it was a great idea, so we tried it out. Turns out my idea was a pretty good one. It was so much easier to grip the smaller handles of the walker. It also was a lot easier to balance myself with the walker, which I wasn’t expecting, considering there’s wheels on the walker making it less steady.

This was a big lesson for me to start taking more risks with this recovery. I’m always nervous to take the next step, because of the uncertainty of what the outcome will be. If I just do it and don’t worry about failing I will heal faster. Either way this new milestone in my recovery has bought me a great feeling of relief that things will continue to get better, and that this hard work is indeed paying off. At times that can be a huge struggle, the feeling of working and not seeing immediate results. It can really test your belief in yourself and recovery. But by pushing forward and seeing past the doubt, goals can be and will be achieved.

If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.

Proud Moment

Something happened today that I am VERY proud of. Before I reveal the good news I just want to address the fact that I am my biggest critic. It takes something pretty spectacular to impress myself. Since the accident there have only been a couple incidents where I truly surprised myself. The first would be gaining movement in my legs (not even steps, just movement). The second, that I can think of right now, would be retraining my bladder. That was the ugliest, most uncomfortable experience ever might I say. But it was also one of the best decisions I’ve made in my recovery. Instead of self catheterization, which the doctors told me was my “best option”, I am completely in control of my bladder today.

Anyways, you’re probably wondering what this awesome news is that I have.. Well as many of you who follow my recovery know, I have been walking with the guidance of a physical therapist for the past few months. In order to take steps I have to basically throw my body into it, hence why the trainer is needed. Today for the first time I walked the parallel bars, which require a lot more work on my part. I tried this about 3 months ago and couldn’t even stand with two physical therapists.

This just goes to show that all of my hard work is paying off. It may not be happening nearly as fast as I want, but it’s happening. So, when I’m having one of those bad days I can just think about where I started, which is nowhere near where I am today. Thank God.

Happiness is not pleasure – it is victory.

Here’s a short video of walking the bars: