I sigh as my right hip buckles to the left, causing me to tip too far to the right. My right arm flaps for a moment, contrasting my left arm which remains steady as I reach it behind my left buttock to brace for the fall. My left leg shoots too far to the side as I desperately attempt to counterbalance my weight. I fall anyway.
I scramble to my feet the second I plop onto the sofa, take a step forward, raise my left leg, and stand precariously balanced on my trembling right leg for all of – one, two – two seconds before my right hip gives and I topple unceremoniously to the sofa. Again.
I scramble to my feet and begin again.
Over and over. 30 minutes drag by before I allow myself to settle on the sofa, my heart thudding and my right leg trembling from exhaustion. My eyelids squeeze shut while I try to catch my breath, willing away the frustrated moisture threatening to glide down my face. Balancing is the only activity almost guaranteed to cause a desire to cry. It’s maddening – the bleak act of balancing and my tendency to topple over. It’s like going on a date even though you know it will end in a breakup.
But at least I can practice balancing. At least there’s that.
Stay positive, self. You’ve got this. You’ve made it this far.
You’re not in a wheelchair anymore. Rest up so you can get on the bike. Only 10 miles tonight. Don’t forget to smile.
A lot has happened. I’ll try to explain things as I go. I know I’ve forgotten a lot, but I’ll give it a shot.
Things happened toward the end of 2014 that turned 2015 bleak. I don’t want to go into it, and I’d appreciate not being asked about it if you know me personally. The reason I mention this is to explain in simple terms that I won’t be picking up this blog where I left off. I’m picking up the story with today. Things will be explained later. Just not now. That’s it.
So, what’s new? I’ll start.
I had a physical therapy evaluation today. Back to physical and occupational therapy. I’ve been discharged from speech therapy. I still have anomia, but it’s a barely noticeable tick now. I don’t walk normally, yet. Or run normally. Yet. I haven’t been able to try again until recently. I’ve been on either light duty or bed rest for the better part of this year. Last month, December 2015, my heart rate dropped too low while I was coming out of the aquatherapy pool, and I lost consciousness. My heart rate fluctuated between the mid 30’s and high 40’s, so the emergency room neurologist had me admitted for the night.
It turned out that my 25mg of Atenelol was enough to drop my heart rate too low. My cardiologist halved my dosage and that was that.
But now I get anxious when I think about going swimming. I only take showers. I don’t want my face underwater. I get nervous.
I hadn’t noticed it until recently. Maybe my apparent trend of going to hospital after getting in a pool has finally caught up with me. Whatever it is, I need to shake it off. I’m not scared of the water. I love the water. I can’t complete an Ironman if I’m too nervous to get in the water. I’m not scared of the water. That’d be ridiculous.
Adam and I are registered for the BP MS150 in April. I’m medically cleared for it, so I’m doing it.
No more going to events to watch other people do what I can’t. It’s not that I can’t; I just can’t yet.
Andrew, a friend whom Adam and I met through Achilles, put us in contact with the team he’s riding with. The emcee, Audrey, is the team’s namesake. She’s a fighter, that one. MS certainly won’t get the best of her.
I’m not friends with Meg anymore. I’m here if she ever needs, but our friendship has been absent for over a year now. I miss her.
I’m not friends with most of the people I’ve mentioned in this blog so far. Heather and Eric, they’ve been with us through most everything. I likely wouldn’t recognize the others from that group of friends if I saw them again anyway. I miss them anyway. Memory is a funny thing.
That happened this past December. Not recognizing people, I mean. Adam and I were at Heather and Eric’s “Ugly Sweater” Christmas party. I asked Kat what her name was. Jamie. Keagan. Matty. I asked Heather who Alvin was, as he walked out the door. Alan. Matthew. Erick.
I met Jamie #2 and Tim #2. They easily rival me and Adam in the nerdy department. I think we’ll keep them. They’re good people.
I study in my spare time. A lot. I’m not in school or anything, I just like to learn. Audio books for now, until my attention improves enough for me to actually read again. There are things I want to know about; movement disorders, physiology, neuroscience, CVA, etc. And so I read. Listen. Same difference?
I’m thinking of resuming the Houston area Stroke & Young Stroke Survivors meetups. They take energy though, and I use a lot of that just trying to make breakfast. At least I’m cheery even then! I’ll begin meetups again; I just need to think it out.
I really miss the meetups. There’s something that feels like home about them.
I need to get on my bike now. I’m tired, but it’s only 10 miles.