Words by Julie - Living Life With Paralysis

Another 2000 steps 1

Frankly, I am getting quite tired of driving to London every week. Not that I am actually driving, I have friends help me with that, but it makes for a very long day and we can’t seem to find a route that has no construction. On the way down today we made good time (only two construction incidents) and I was there and ready to walk by 10:40 a full 20 minutes early! This is a good thing when I am using the exoskeleton because it gives me my full hour of therapy time to actually walk.

My energy today was such that I was able to walk the full hour and only had a couple of “hanging in the air” incidents. These occur when I don’t weight shift properly (because of fatigue) and the robot sort of pauses mid stride which makes for pretty awkward walking. So I think that I am finally coming back up to a level of energy that mirrors that which I felt back in the summertime. Let’s hope I can keep this up. Regardless of construction is was a lovely day to drive and I had great company.

I always get a bit energized by my Parkwood days. I have been talking to some inpatients when I can – people who are newly injured and are trying to figure things out. I have so much compassion for where they are at – learning to use the transfer board, using their upper body strength to move their legs off the physio bed, trying to understand how to manage yet another UTI. They are often impressed with my walking – just as I was when I was an impatient. I could not wait to get into the Lokomat – I saw Megan in it the first day I went into the physio gym – and from then on I knew that was my goal. I wish I could do more to support them, but talking and showing what is possible is a start.

Even though I had a good walk and still had enough energy to write this post tonight, the highlight of my day today was meeting the 102 year old veteran who created my birthday art.  I have been walking the halls for a whole year now, admiring the art, because I can see it when I am walking. My Mom surprised me by buying one of them for my birthday (she is pretty sneaky) and today I decided to buy two more (happy birthday to me) to complete the set. The artist (did I mention he is 102?) is a resident at Parkwood in the Veterans wing and he spends a great deal of time in the art rooms. He is more than twice my age! It made me feel warm inside to be able to talk to to him and thank him for creating the art that I so admire.

One comment

  • susayoun says:

    I'd love to see pictures of your new art purchases! I made similar purchases many years ago, and continue to love what I got back then. How wonderful that you are able to attach your memories of the actual artist to his work.

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