Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A.F.O. Artifical F@!king Something-er-other

How messed up are ya, exactly? Hell if I know. If you know me in real life, I know this is at the heart of what you want to ask me. It's ok. Lately I'm just not sure how to answer the question. It's been a little over two months now. Compared to two months ago, I'm doing quite well. I'm on my feet more, although the actual walking isn't much better than before. The difference is I can stay on my feet for longer periods of time. I'm still using a walker and an AFO. An AFO is a big ugly plastic leg brace that helps hold up my fat, useless foot (who I previously named Bertha) since my ankle is paralyzed. I have no idea what it stands for but I'm sure it's something generic and lame that didn't really warrant an abbreviation. This is what it looks like:

Yes, that's Bertha. Fat ass. Anyways, before the strokies and purists point out the obvious, yes I wear it with socks. I just slapped it on for the sake of the picture. Bertha's a ham, but I digress...

As my stamina and strength have improved I've found myself in this weird, in-between, disabled purgatory. I'm disabled, but I'm not immobile. I figured out how to safely do things I was too scared to try before. I can lift my son into his highchair now, but only if I do it a certain way and only if he doesn't fight me. I think he's realized that I need him to cooperate because so far I've managed to not fall or drop him. Yay me. On a positive note, I can go almost a whole day feeling normal. My family has grown accustomed to our new normal, so I almost start to forget I'm disabled. Funny thing when you forget - the universe is quick to remind you! I'm walking more but my leg is also giving out more, without warning. I actually tried to pick up a laundry basket full of clothes and take a few steps with it. I didn't make it a single step, and my compromised center of gravity almost made me eat shit. I came close to going head first into an end table. Luckily I hit the wall instead. You learn to aim in these situations.

I can do most things for myself but I can't drive anywhere. This has been the real pisser lately. (Don't tell me if I incorrectly used the word "pisser" you'll only make it worse - me being pissy, that is.) I love my family very much. But once in a while it would be nice to ditch them. I am never alone. Ever. When there is a toddler in the house, you don't even get to pee alone. The other day I was in the shower, on my shower bench, and was startled by the cold steel of a hot wheel driving across my rear end. Endearing, I know.

I miss the stupid things that make us normal. I can't take my kid to the park or shop for groceries or get the damn laundry from the bedroom to the garage. All the things we consider chores have become milestones I strive to meet. I admit I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I took a bite of food the other day with my right hand. Just one bite. But I did it. Sorry for the pity party today. I've been very positive about my recovery and that is how I am most of the time. But some days really bite me in the ass and remind me that as far as I've come, I still have a long way to go.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
~Charles Darwin


  1. when i was at the 2-month mark i used "feelin' stronger every day" as my rally song, to help motivate me to get movin' on the hard work of recovery. but every once in a while i'd crank up "poor poor pitiful me" instead and just let myself be pissed of and grieve. as i improved and adjusted to the new normal, warren got less and less airtime. it's a shocking thing that's happened to you, and i think that it's healthy to let yourself be bummed sometimes. it's hard work to stay positive all the time. i found that just like i needed breaks from physical therapy, i needed breaks from being positive. but they were just that - breaks. then back to work.

    you rock for sharing this stuff. i appreciate it - it helps me. and keep up your good aim!

  2. Nice to meet you Bertha~ This is a great post. It's good to be honest about how you feel, and pisser days are to be expected, especially in what you are going through, which most of us can't even begin to imagine. But I think u r doing great. I love the way you write. I can totally see you making this into a book someday.