A New Sort Of Walking Adventure

Last week the physical therapist at Virginia Mason asked the date of my surgery, and then said: “Oh just three months? Bones can heal in that time, but then they must “remodel.” Using the image of extra mortar oozing out during construction of a brick wall, she explained that bones make extra material when repairing, and then need to smooth things out and shape the bone to meet particular needs, which requires more time.

At my low point, the surgeon told me that if he had to go through this, he’d need cheerleaders – and the physical therapists have been that. Yes, they force the bend, but they also encourage. A week ago, the therapist here asked me to walk with her – without any of my aides. I crossed a vast and empty space (or so it seemed to me), with no support except her confidence that I was ready for baby steps.

In the last three months I forgot a great deal about regular walking. The therapists encourage me to eschew the safety shuffle, stand up straight, look ahead instead of down, lift my toes, and engage the muscles of my leg. All those instructions, and my atrophied muscles and sense of balance, made me awkward and tenuous. But a couple of days later another therapist had me walk and swing my arms, humming “Tea For Two,” while she walked along with me. Steps to lift spirits.

And, as instructed, I weaned myself from wearing the brace in the house – and now in a giant step – no walker indoors either (small house, lots of walls and countertops)! Outdoors – albeit with brace, walker, and an element of pegleg – I can walk to town and back – steps to a real destination.

Blogs seem to fade away nowadays – and this one has come close – but in these months when the world has narrowed, work – being accountable to writing and image and reader – meant much to me. I often wish I had more energy to think up a project or to have some richer experience to write about. One step at a time, I tell myself.

It’s another three weeks till I can even hope to ditch the walker and brace outdoors – that will truly be a walking adventure. Not the Via Francigena or the Dingle Way – but a meaningful step all the same!

10 thoughts on “A New Sort Of Walking Adventure

  1. Every step is a step forward. I weeded my asparagus bed yesterday — last year it took me three days because of having to stop to rest. This year — one morning did it. Progress is slow but so appreciated. Keep it up!

  2. Perhaps I can pay you a visit one of these days, Katy, for a slow walk in the mist, or sun, or whatever. Healing does occur. I shattered my kneecap in 2009 and it took long to heal, and is lumpy now, but I can walk, even hike, without difficulty. I was told I would need a new knee in five years, but 10 years out, I am still ok. The Rhodes and azaleas are magnificent just now. Thanks for taking us on your journey.

  3. It’s not really the richness of the experience, it’s what you make of it, and how you tell the story. It’s wonderful to read about the progress you’ve made after such an ordeal. And that you have kept up the blog through it is so admirable. And very welcomed. Carry on! xoxoxo

I love to read your comments - thank you so much for taking the time to leave one!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s