For the last week, I’ve been feeding my horses. This may not sound like a big deal but for me, it involves walking over uneven ground while carrying things — flakes of hay, bags of grain and either a crutch or my
snazzy new cane. So far, so good. It’s great to see the horses every day and to be back involved with their lives. I can’t say that they missed me, but they sure do look happy when I show up at meal times. Actually, Freedom has been very sweet. He spent quite a lot of time nuzzling me and blowing gently on my face. For him, that’s a real show of affection, especially since he was scared to come near me for so long.
So far, I’ve limited myself to feeding. Bringing the horses into the barn and grooming them is my next goal but I realize that I’m not steady enough on my feet yet. It would only take a bump to send me flying. That could be a problem because I’m not sure I could stand up from the ground if I actually fell.
My recovery is moving a long. I’m a lot more mobile. I can’t walk far or fast but my gait is looking more and more like a human walking, rather than a drunken toddler. I can even walk for short distances without my cane (it’s much easier to carry things with two hands). My PT is intense. I have two sessions a week with the therapist and each lasts just shy of 2 hours. I have a lot of limbs to work on. Last week when I was sitting on the table, working on one of my many my ankle exercises, the therapist gave me a list of things to do, then said. “After that we’ll work on your knee and move on to your shoulder.” The woman next to me looked over in horror. “What did you do?” she asked. Most people are there for only one limb.
The best part of physical therapy is the aqua therapy. When I’m in the pool I can walk normally. Nothing hurts and if I fall over, it’s not a big deal. I try to get to the pool 2-3 times a week, where I join a number of elderly ladies water walking and aqua jogging. It’s a far cry from my days as a Masters swimmer, but at least I can move more freely. And the ladies are very welcoming. Like in the TCU, they all tell me I’m young and will recover quickly.
I’m constantly reminded that it’s weight bearing as tolerated. Yesterday I went to watch my daughter row at a regatta and spent more time than usual on my feet. Today, my ankle is swollen and sore; I had to backtrack to my crutch. I keep reminding myself that there is no deadline. I’m ready when I’m ready. And as long as I keep showing up with food, the horses will be happy.