Wednesday, October 3, 2012
First Steps, Literally
Ever since I arrived here, I have been on strict bed rest - that would be a month on Friday. Almost one whole month of simply being forced to sit or lay in this lumpy old bed, bored out of my mind, simply waiting for the time to pass; like every single student in their least favorite class at school, where the teacher is trying his absolute hardest to explain the most boring, and pointless theories to the class, simply talking to the wall while the students anxiously stare at the clock every second, eagerly longing for the bell to ring, to be over and done with the subject for the time being.
I know that bed rest is necessary for me right now and I trust the experts here; accepting to not move away from my mattress for what seems like it’s been a decade. The only times I have ever really “left” my bed is with the help of a nurse - to go to my own personal toilet, like on of those “potty pots” for toddlers, making me feel like a four year old, as well as the two remarkable times that I was given special permission by the doctors to use the shower, making me overly ecstatic; like when you buy that last pair of those exquisite, trendy and currently fashionable Prada shoes that everyone so desperately craves - including me - at the designer sale on Fifth Avenue. I was given the approval to shower as my hair was in need of some serious deep conditioning and washing.
Although I have a “kitty wash” everyday, I was never able to wash my hair because of it. And trust me, only washing your hair that seldom is horrendous, something that I wish for no one, but I had to endure and learn to live with it. Luckily, my lovely mom always braids my hair into a different style when she comes for a visit - which, right now, is daily - making me know as Sissi - or as some people call her, Queen Elizabeth - by everyone here at the clinic. Sissi is a Bavarian Princess, wife of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, who is known for her style, extravagance, sense of fashion and her famous lavish hairstyles.
Enough of my rambling on about hair and shoes, now back to the point of this entry. Today was the first day since September 7, which is roughly 28 days, that I was given permission at the daily round of the nursing team and doctors to take my first real steps. During the passage, they tested the strength in my legs and noticed that I am now finally capable of pushing against their firm grip against my lower leg - which was so incredibly hard to accomplish, but I managed, as I used all my strength, just like the hulk does.
I couldn’t do that when I arrived; nor did I have any feelings in my legs - I couldn’t feel anything at all when someone touched them, regardless of the strength, whether it was a stroke across my thigh or a firm grasp around my lower leg. But today, the doctors checked that as well and came to the realization that my condition regarding my legs has bettered a lot.
Even though I still have strict bed rest, I am now able to leave my haven, my bed that has been my home since September 7, with the accompaniment of the physiotherapist everyday for as long as I can withstand - as I get dizzy easily, even when laying down at times as my body isn’t used to much movement as a result of the bed rest.
So today, for the first time since September 7, I managed to take my first real steps, with the help of the physiotherapist. Together with her, we walked around the clinic - with me finally seeing the other rooms and everything else the station entails for the first time - for a good ten minutes. Despite the fact that I must’ve looked like an old grandma, as I was incredibly hunched over during the process - since the muscles in my legs have shrunken and started to deteriorate as a result of the lack of movement they have had to endure these past few weeks; that I was, and still am, unable to walk completely upright - I am proud of myself for what I have achieved. I also took the tiniest steps, like a baby learning to walk, because I am so shaky on my feet. Additionally, the physiotherapist continuously held me around my waist to give me support and to ensure that I wouldn’t fall over - as I got quite light-headed during the process - which, may I add, I didn’t.
I’m sure it doesn’t seem like much to the regular person, but it was a huge step for me as I am now relearning how to walk, like a toddler attempting his first steps and eventually succeeding. Everyday I will become better at walking with the help of the physiotherapist that I will now see me daily.