With a broken left shoulder and my left ankle and foot in a cast nearly up to my knee, doctors orders for non weight bearing activity means confinement to the bed or wheelchair. No, it’s not an easy thing in body, mind or spirit. In terms of activity, everything is dependent on the assistance of at least one additional person, especially if the starting point is in bed.
Everything takes time, timing and planning. Just getting out of bed to try to use the bathroom is a good example. Do you go at it with or without panties and yoga pants? What happens after one get’s out of bed determines that. It is a work out either way, dressing in bed, transferring to the pot, getting unsuited, finishing your business, suiting up again, and then getting back to the chair. Thankfully, there are tools to help, in addition to the muscle needed from your own body or the aides. For example, transferring from bed to wheelchair is made easier by using a very smooth and sturdy board that bridges the space between bed and chair. Gravity helps if you raise the bed higher. For some reason though, getting back to the bed is more challenging. Go figure!
The next destination after getting out of bed to “hit the head”, is going to the PT/OT room, aka “the gym”. The exercises I am doing are specified to help me gain strength and ultimately more independence, here and specifically when I go back home.
Every effort to use and strengthen what I can is important, whether attempting to push myself down the hall with my good leg and foot or lifting 2 lb. Weights for 3 sets of 20.
“The Gym” itself is a pleasant, contemporary room, filled with state of the art exercise rehab equipment, basic resistance bands, ankle weights and hand-held weights, and other helping aides. As you enter the facility, your eyes are automatically drawn to the wall of tall, wide windows that then draw your eyes to the sky. The lower part of the windows are etched with undulating horizontal waves that span one end of the room to the other. It’s very soothing to look at. There are a couple of inspiring collages on 2 different walls as well, depicting active older adults. I find myself imagining that lifestyle and it compels me to push on to complete a 12 minute stint on a bicycle that has been adapted to one-legged-ability.
TNWL has daily community events here too. I haven’t been to any yet, but I am making a point to get out of the room for at least 2 meals, I had my husband take me outdoors for fresh air last night, and if I hadn’t needed a pain pill, I might have gone to a community church after dinner, just to be among people.
Each day is a step closer to getting better. Each moment is too actually, when an insight pops in to make progress possible.
And sometimes, it just means allowing sleep to come and to give that step its own momentum.