The Roller Coaster
Quite the roller coaster it has been here. I am going home on Tuesday, and so far have experienced only very minor recovery. My left foot is still completely numb up to the knee. My right foot is less numb and it’s just to the ankle. The left lateral side of my left leg is severely weakened as well, as well as the left quadriceps. All of this weakness and numbness obviously makes walking exceptionally difficult.
When I entered the hospital, I could barely walk with a walker. I have learned a lot and am now able to do that fairly well. I can still almost not walk at all without my walker, except very slowly and for short distances. Both balance and endurance on the left leg are quite bad. I have come a very long way in rehab, learning to live my life, avoid falling, and how to be as productive as possible given my substantial disabilities at this time.
None of this, of course, says anything about what is to come. I may yet recover fully. Or almost fully. Or slightly. Or not at all. There is no telling. Some recovery is perhaps more likely than none. Roller coaster.
The last few days have been hard. Though I am still fully prepared to live the life I have to live, and though I am still upbeat and optimistic about the road ahead, losses simply must be mourned. We cannot and should not suffer loss on this scale and go on as if nothing has happened. Life is a roller coaster. The roller coaster has ups and downs, and if we’re not experiencing both of them, we’re not living.
I am thankful that 22 years ago I had the wisdom to choose to go to graduate school to be a counselor and prepare for a possible life from a wheelchair. That may, or may not, be my destiny, but I am sure glad I have made a life out of my mind and not out of my body all these years. i am glad I planned for the twists and turns the roller coaster might bring.
Not in the least afraid, but sad and a bit discouraged at the moment. I had hoped for more progress, and I obviously may have more letting go to do in the days and weeks to come. I will do it, and will approach it with all my heart, because I have learned that letting go is the key to peace, God, and happiness.