After 6 months of not being able to walk up or down stairs normally, of not being able to put all of my (considerable) weight on my left leg, of having to take a back pack instead of my hard-earned handbag and always, always remembering to have my crutches with me, I’m still revelling in the novelty of being able to do all of the above without crutches or have the behemoth boot in tow. It may seem a bit odd to be marvelling every time I carry plates to and from the kitchen, or take a load of clean washing upstairs but to me, it’s an amazing achievement after being reliant on Husband for pretty much all domestic tasks. I’m fairly independent and only a bit stubborn so having this independence back again is a huge gift.
The physio tells me on a weekly basis not to be so hard on myself when I’m sweating and blowing my way through seemingly baby like exercises. Walking heel to toe and balancing on my left leg leave me with a screwed up face, cursing my weakness and pushing myself to do one more repetition of whatever exercise I was doing while she says “go slow, don’t push it, its early days”. One of my goals was to get back to some form of exercise routine and the first thing I asked was whether I was ok to get back in the pool; thankfully there was no argument from the lovely physio. This week I’ve been twice, doing 10 and 16 lengths – the 16 was a fluke, I miscounted and thought I’d done 14. The lady I was using as a pacer said she’d been counting and she’d done 14 but I was 2 lengths ahead of her – turns out the people in the pool are fab for a natter and bit of pacing.
As part of my gym membership, they give all members an MOT, essentially a check of all the things you never really thought about to get a baseline assessment of your general health and then use this as a starting point to improve physical health. What it felt like was being quizzed by a teenage about the amount of cheese I eat while having to lie on a pseudo doctors couch “relaxing” so he could get my resting heart rate. The end result? I’m over weight, out of shape and if I’d have been a car, I’d have been scrapped as a Cat A failure.
It was nothing that I didn’t expect, given the sum total of my exercise over the last 6 months was gentle blinking, but it did give me the motivation to get into the pool the very next evening. My new prescription goggles are simply magic and I haven’t hit the edge of the pool once and the new swimming costume doesn’t make me feel like I’ve been squeezed into a sausage skin that chafes as soon as I move. Admittedly, I’m still walking like Bambi on ice when I’m getting into or out of the pool but who cares, I’m finally exercising again. All I need now is for the swim teacher to return any of the 3 messages I’ve left and I’ll be on my way to having more than one type of swimming stroke in my repertoire.
For now, the costume is dry and the towel is ready for my next swim, my physio exercises are done throughout the day and as for washing, I’ll bring it back upstairs in a minute…when I’ve walked downstairs again, grinning, just because I can.