So I just got home yesterday from an almost two week long trip to Denver, Colorado (that would be one reasons why it’s been quiet in my blog-o-sphere—goodness, is that even a word?). It wasn’t a vacation, per say, but when it got up to 70 degrees one afternoon, it sure felt like one! Anyway, I was back in CO for my first ever 6-month-post-discharge re-eval at Craig Hospital.
What’s a re-eval? Well, you pretty much have a bunch of appointments all week to just see how everything is going and get help/advice on whatever you may need. Basically, it’s heaven for a perfectionist and lady who has way too many questions for her own good….
It was really great to be back on the old stomping grounds. To be able to see and catch up with my nurses and therapists and techs was so much fun and I totally got some of the best hugs ever. I mean, it was a little strange to be back. I guess everything is just so different now. I’m so much stronger and I’m in a different place mentally and emotionally with my life and my injury. Plus I’m truly happy and looking forward to whatever my future may hold instead of questioning all that had happened.
I think the best part about the whole re-eval was having the opportunity to sit down with my doctor and really go through the MRI and CAT scan of my injury. I had seen it when I was an inpatient, but that was at a time when I simply wasn’t ready to see it, to see where in my body things had gone wrong. But now, those 45 minutes were the most interesting and fascinating thing ever. And just so you know, I have a pretty awesome looking spinal cord:)
Both Mom and Dad made the trip out, so that was pretty awesome and pretty entertaining. Dad even got to catch up on some reading which I know he appreciated…
I worked on a lot of stuff in the physical therapy portion of my re-eval including chair righting, so when I tip over in my chair backwards I can get myself upright again. It’s way harder then you think and takes a massive amount of brute strength, but I’m way closer to being successful than I ever was before. The most important thing I worked on though, was pop-over transfers.
Transfers are your everything when you’re living life in a wheelchair. Right now, I tend to use a slide board to get from my chair to where ever I want my precious booty to be. My slideboard is a little piece of wood that basically acts like a mini bridge. It works pretty slick, but it’s not really ideal to have to carry that thing with you where ever you go. So all the hardcore awesome people do pop-overs where they just scoot themselves forward in their chair, put their hands in the right places, and “pop” right to where they want to be.
It sounds wonderful and easy and when you’ve been doing them for years and years, they are. But right now, they are everything but easy. They’re a lot closer to the realms of terrifying.
When I was an inpatient, I didn’t have the strength to get my butt up in the air. Now, I have that strength, but I also have something else. A whole lot of fear.
To really be successful you have to lean waaaay far forward which sounds wonderful, but when your abs can’t hold you there, it’s a whole other story. Then you extend your elbows and depress your shoulders and your butt that you can’t feel goes up somewhere in the atmosphere. At that exact moment, it feels like you’re gonna face plant and all you can think about is that your legs aren’t a heck of a lot of help and how hard the ground is below. I wish I could explain what it’s like better because I know it sounds super lame, but this is as good as I can come up with.
It’s simply terrifying.
Fear does crazy things, right? I think some fears are completely reasonable and pretty well founded, like the fear I would feel if I saw someone standing under a dead tree without realizing it. Other fears are a bit more irrational, like my childhood fear of worms. I’m pretty sure at one point in time I thought they were gonna eat me…
Some fears are healthy and prevent bad things from happening. Other fears just get in your way, they stop you from reaching the things you really want to.
But how do you overcome them? I mean, seriously, how?
While I try and figure that out, I’m just gonna go for this one. That’s what everyone says, isn’t it? You overcome your fears by facing them? But man, that’s kind of the issue with being afraid of something…talk about a predicament, ever realize that before?
Exhale. I’m gonna go pop-over to bed now…
Oh! But before I go, a quick comical view into the Schroth travel world…So when you travel as a paraplegic, you get to and from your airplane seat in a tiny little aisle chair. That being said, one of the people who loads/unloads the planes helps lift me up and into/out of my seat. The last transfer when we were back in WI went super well and was done by a guy who was probably about my age. I had just gotten into my chair and was pushing up the ramp back into the airport…
Me: That kid was kinda cute…
Mom: Sam, he’s right behind Dad, he can probably hear you.
Me: Meh, I’ll probably never see him again, and he is cute.
Dad: If he’s cute, then I’m a god!
Cute guy: (laughs) I’m gonna hang out with you guys…
Dad: Oh! Whoops…
Yea, we can’t take him anywhere.