From Patient to Caretaker:
A little over a year ago I was wearing the gait belt while my physical therapist and my lover taught me how to stand and walk again. Today I held it.
Today was my first day officially working as a caretaker. Granted, it was only for one hour of my morning, but considering the circumstances, it was a pretty huge triumph. The tasks were simple, walk with my new friend, take out some trash, open some boxes of bacon, put away a pan in a low drawer, water some plants, set them in the sun, and chat…Intriguing, entertaining conversation is a must.
Since it was our first day alone together, my friend added a disclaimer after a few minutes of our walk down the street, “You can talk if you want to, just know that I’m not listening, so I’m not going to answer you. I’m just concentrating too much on walking.”
I chuckled and nodded. I hadn’t been talking because I already knew how much focus it takes to walk when it’s no longer natural and pain-free, as well as how exhilarating it feels to take a short walk with a walker in the sun.
It was a surreal feeling, not wearing the gait belt nor using the walker, but holding onto it like my lover did for me for so long. The sun was high in the sky and felt warm and soothing on my skin. The walk was slow. It was short. It was a victory. It was so reminiscent of my time in the hospital, but completely different.
After our walk, my friend expressed her satisfaction with the fact that she was deteriorating in her older age, since she doesn’t have to deal with it too long. She said, “I’m glad this didn’t happen to me when I was younger, because then I’d have to live with it for a long time.”
I’ve been thinking about my recovery throughout most of today.
I’m pretty sure being in a diaper behind a walker at 29 constitutes younger.
I searched myself for how I truly feel about life in this state. This is what I found:
I’m less concerned with being upset that I have to live with neurological issues, nerve damage, a malfunctioning colon, bladder, chronic pain, and nightly spasms for the duration of my recovery, however long that may last, than stoked that I’m simply alive, connected with myself, the Earth, and my soulmate in Magical Moab.
Thought you’d be interested in knowing. 🙂
Live, laugh, love, dance, recover.
Tomorrow’s not guaranteed, so live like you believe it!