I have family in West Cumbria and when I was a kid my dad would often choose to take the much longer scenic route home. I was thinking about this earlier as today marks three months since I was discharged from the neuro rehab ward on 6th January. What happened to Christmas and where has the time gone?!
At the moment I could be said to be taking the scenic route.
The thing is, I left hospital with one crutch and a foot-up three months ago and I am still using these now. The days of overnight significant breakthroughs are over.
This is the hard part. Persisting when it might not seem to make a difference, but believing eventually it will.
Sometimes blaming the tools helps. The original foot-up I’ve had since January didn’t seem to be working anymore so I was trying a new one. The new one also didn’t work properly! I mentioned this to my physio yesterday and we put on an industrial one (example below). It didn’t make any difference either. My foot was still scuffing when I walked meaning I have to hitch at the hip to raise my foot and prevent myself from tripping up.
We’d had an unexpected breakthrough. The lack of flexibility in the left ankle/foot/toes is no longer the major issue. Weakness in my left outer and inner thigh is. A month or so ago when the problems with my ‘drop-foot’ were more pronounced, the support (any support) made a massive difference. Now the foot has improved it’s the leg that needs to catch up.
Neuro physiology is incredibly complex, and the body is brilliant at compensating. By the end of January my natural ‘centre’ of gravity had shifted significantly over my right leg because putting weight through my left was a risk.
The challenge is not only sorting the original post-surgery problems, but correcting all the adjustments I’ve unknowingly made since.
From next week we up the ante and in addition to my weekly one-to-one physio I’ll be going to a neuro/stroke rehab circuits class. I doubt it will be like the Metafit circuits I’ve done before, but am looking forward to it none the less. My physiotherapist would also like to look at doing some sessions using the Felden Krais method so I’ll let you know what that’s like.
My long term goals haven't changed. I want to walk at what I'd class a normal pace, without the need for aids. One day I’d like to run the 10K I missed in September 2016, and of course, I hope to be back in my heels again. Frivolous as it might sound, it matters.
At a time living in a major city I am guilty of expecting to get everything now. A taxi in 2 minutes and my restaurant dinner delivered by bike in 30. Neuro rehabilitation of this sort is a marathon and not a sprint. Focusing on what you can do, rather than the things you can’t definitely helps and I made a conscious decision to do this sometime ago.
As for West Cumbria and the views on the scenic route, well, they are quite unbeatable. As a child and teenager I didn’t understand the logic but I have to say, I do now.