Saturday, April 24, 2010

The night before my first day of rehab

Sunday April 25 2010

I’m writing this from my new room at the Drake Center. The Drake Center is a very well known hospital that specializes in physical rehabilitation. My rehabilitation will start tomorrow, and from what I understand it should be challenging. I’m looking forward to it.

Wait a minute; am I really looking forward to it? Usually I run from challenges.

Since I moved here on Friday the staff has been encouraging me to think of myself as more independent. That means I spend a lot more time thinking about moving before I start moving. I have to pick a goal, and then visualize the steps I need to go through to achieve it.

What used to be a simple job, like taking off my shorts, can take several minutes as I check my environment for obstacles, and then use my hands to position my legs. Next I undo my shorts and rock my hips back and forth while pushing the waistband, little by little, over my hips. It is challenging to negotiate the shorts over my knees and to my feet. Getting the shorts off my feet is also tricky since it again involves using my hands to reposition my legs.

Once I have the shorts off, what do I do with them? I can't put them in the laundry hamper because it's across the room. For that I will need help. Should I ask for help now? Or should I wait until later? Since the idea is to be more independent, I choose the only thing I can do by myself right now. I fold them neatly and try to toss them onto a nearby chair. Lastly, I have to figure out how to get my knees back down. I am damp with sweat and my mind is frazzled.

By the time I finished taking my bath this morning, I stank of the sweat again. I'm also proud that I was able to do as much as I did.

I was able to go to an Al-anon on meeting today (the first in a long time). I talked about my fears and was reminded that this is a process that's going to take a while. I will be working with many people who are professionals at taking people in my condition and teaching them how to live strong and independent lives.

Another thing that bothers me is my whole question about believing in God. Do I really have the faith that I think I have? Or am I alone? I worry that my faith in God has more to do with my hope that He will tell me to pick up my pallet and walk and not be the long-term relationship and that I thought it was. It is easy to look back on something and say “Faith carried me through that.” But to look ahead and say “Faith will carry me through this” is scary.

A friend came to visit me this weekend and I confessed my doubts to her. She was quick to point out that this whole experience will radically change my relationship with God. I told her that she is a good friend. Especially now, when I am so needy.

Is being needy part of God’s plan for me to break me from this illusion of self reliance I have been cultivating all my life? People have told me that I’m a perfectionist. Often, if I can’t do something perfectly; I will not try. But now I don’t have that option. I have to go out and be imperfect and I am afraid I cannot do it by myself.


  1. Hi Sweatheart,
    This was a great posting. I especially liked your description of taking off your shorts. I know a lot of people come to see you and say how great you look but have no idea what it takes for you to look that way. Sitting in a chair or bed no one could tell the struggles that you go through for simple things that the rest of us take for granted.

    I also like the idea that this experience will change your relationship with God. That may seem scary now but I know for me that through my struggles in life my relationship with God has grown stronger. Sometimes God is the only one we can hold on to. He is always with us. With God we are never alone.

    See you tonight.

  2. You know you truly are my biggest fan, I mean support. I am blessed top have you.