Saturday, September 18, 2010

Literal baby steps

I worry that I don't have enough computers

Saturday, September 18 th, 2010
I survived last week's computer loss quite well. In fact, I ended up buying a new computer. It's a used Dell netbook that I bought from our neighbors. It came loaded with Windows XP, but I also installed Ubuntu’s Net Book Remix. Typing on the small keyboard is very difficult, but I love its portability. The 10 inch screen is fairly bright and clear, making watching video pleasurable. Which is great because I spend plenty of time watching movies in bed.
The main reason I’ve been watching so much video at night is I’ve decided to stop taking the Ambien to get to sleep. Sometimes I am up until 2 or 3, sometimes I am asleep by 9. I’m not sure why I quit taking the Ambien. Maybe I’m trying to feel like my old self again; the self who didn’t take sleeping pills. Or I’d just like watching movies in the middle of the night (One evening I watched a Barbra Streisand movie and The Exorcist.  There were several similarities.). Which is something my old self did anyway.
I’m feeling a lot calmer now too. The people around me are probably relieved to see that. In my effort to rejoin the ranks of the temporarily able-bodied (the TAB), I’m spending a lot less time in the wheelchair; I would rather sit in regular furniture.
I’m experimenting with locomotion in the vertical position, also known as walking. On our last date night, we left the wheelchair at home and I used my walker. It was tiring and I was in a lot of pain later, but it felt so good!
One of my biggest challenges is relearning how to move my feet. I can lift up my leg at the knee and move my hip forward then put my leg down, but I have to concentrate on placing my foot. Otherwise it just tends to flop and drag my toes along the ground. Not very sexy.
The other big challenge is keeping my balance while I walk. I can’t stay upright and unsupported for more than a few seconds. Adrienne said that at first she thought I looked like a toddler, then she realized it was more like Frankenstein's monster. For the first time, living in a small house has an advantage. As I careen about the house on my journey, being able to reach out to a nearby wall and steady myself is a great comfort.

These journeys represent my attempts to rejoin the TAB. It’s easy to get discouraged at how short the trips are and how quickly I get tired; just walking from the office to my bedroom was cause for a brief nap. But then I remember how long a journey it has actually been, and I feel a sense of pride in myself and gratitude to the Lord.

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