It's really kind of sad when I feel the need to write a blog entry because I went out to dinner with friends like a normal person!
It's funny the things you take for granted, and then after having your life turned upside down the simplest things because milestones.
My friend Kat and her boyfriend B took me to dinner tonight. Kat and I have known each other for what seems like forever. It felt good. I didn't feel nervous like I have felt in weeks past. On the scooter I have more control, in the wheelchair I was kind of at the mercy of whoever was steering me. I still need special consideration like seeking out the wheelchair ramp and having to be seated in an area where my scooter won't be in the way, but overall I feel much more "normal" now. I put quotes on normal, because this won't be my normal forever but til' January or so. And then I will reach another new normal.
I don't feel afraid anymore. A couple weeks ago I was showing some signs of PTSD. Fear of leaving the house, talking on the phone, seeing friends. I feel like I have already grown past that. What is there to be afraid of, honestly? What is the worst that could happen at this point? I mean there is still a level of nervousness but I think I have identified what makes me feel secure.A person who has confidence and is willing to advocate for me. If the person I am with is nervous about what to do with me (especially when I was in the wheelchair), then it made me nervous. Also I am a really horrid advocate for myself, even before the accident I was awful. So if I'm tired, or having trouble standing or need help opening the women's bathroom door I won't say anything. So I need someone who will check. Who will go "do you need to sit down?" and then let me sit so I don't have to draw attention to myself by asking if I can have a moment to sit. To grab something from me that I'm trying to hold while steering at the same time, or hold open the door for me. I really dislike asking for help.
Being in a better space both mentally and physically has also required some accepting of limits. I don't think about it consciously, but I have been operating like I can do everything I did before, just on one foot. More balancing and hopping but essentially the same as before. When I hit a limit, I feel frustrated.
I'm finding I get exhausted really fast on the scooter. It's not like I'm going on marathon rides or anything, but even after running a few errands or standing for a long time exhausts me. I can't go all day, I have to take time to rest constantly. I visited some Vitamin Cottage friends and that meant standing in one place while talking. It wiped me out and hurt my feet, Today I tried to stay off my feet all day except to go to dinner with Kat but I was really struggling with pain because of the cold. Today was the worst it has been in weeks, I was losing my mind. While hopping up the step to my house after dinner, my right foot was so exhausted and hurting so much it just gave out and I fell. Luckily I was aware enough to keep my left leg bent so it never touched the floor, but I fell hard in front of Kat,B, and my mom and that was embarrassing. You're never too old to fall I guess!
Well to tie it all together, my fear has diminished so I'm no longer that scared to go back to work. It will be an adjustment, yeah, but ultimately it can only get better. I'm going to do half days from 7 am to 12 noon, with Margi taking me in and either Cheri or Shaina picking me up midday for a week or two. Then I'll probably go to two full days a week, 3 half day. And so on. Be my own advocate and allow myself plenty of rest, to take it slow and steady. I've never been very patient with myself, and this is a lesson in treating myself better. My stamina will return with time, and of course I am going to have to expend more energy than normal while hopping on one foot to do everything.
Well thanks for reading my ramblings. I'll probably write a post after my first day back, see how it all goes.