Saturday, October 1, 2011

The line

I can still stand. I can stand at the sink to do dishes, at the counter and stove to cook. Although I walk very unsteadily, I can. I can walk from bed to bathroom, from house to car, from car to office at school (where my powered wheelchair awaits me), and from office to home. From car to doctor's office.

For a while...

But there's a line, somewhere. If I've been standing too long, walking too much... suddenly, everything plunges onto another line, a line of failure. When I've been standing too long—however long that may be, I'm sure it changes from day to day, and I have no idea how much time "too long" actually takes—suddenly, my "standing" is ready to fail. I can feel my legs simply wanting to give out from under me, and I feel like heading for a chair or the bed immediately is the only sensible option—because the next place I'm going is the floor.

When I remember, I do deep knee bends. Twenty five is a safe number, thirty is the target—just crouch and rise. Very simple (to most people). But there's a line there, too, and if I cross it, I may not be able to walk very well the next day, much less the rest of the evening. Can I tell that it actually has built up muscle tissue in my legs? Oh yes, it has been wonderful in the doing of that. But although it is increasing my strength (when I remember to do it, at least) and my strength once built does indeed stay with me, "the line" doesn't seem to move.

More dedication to leg exercises is definitely called for. I hope that in talking to you folks about it, I may have a bit more stick-to-it-ive-ness in continuing the exercises.

But when I do the exercises and my muscle tissue is rebuilt but it doesn't feel like it makes "the line" move, I am not exactly "encouraged." Certainly I perceived no improvement in walking steadiness, even when I could tell the muscles were coming back.

I wish there were something as glibly easy as Yoda's "Do, or do not. There is no 'try'" to fall back on. "Well, if you do it, you get some good out of it, even though it doesn't make any difference in the things that effect you the most" just doesn't rank high in the "powerful motivational sayings" list.

"Do it and at least something worthwhile happens, don't do it and nothing worthwhile happens." Right. It's easier to convince yourself to practice playing scales on whatever instrument(s) you're supposed to be learning. Those suck too, as far as "fun" goes, but at least you can tell when they've helped you.

"It's better than nothing."

Oh, that's the trick. I feel so ready just to leap up and take on the world!

Ah, if I could only do it without falling over. Pretty much the best I can muster is struggling up to stumble to the bathroom.

But, I've got to admit, being able to do that is definitely "better than nothing." Take what you can get, right?

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Great post, I guess only we ourselves know our limitations, pity it's hard to stick to them! I always find myself pushing hard when i'm 'able' to and then regretting it the next day or week. Take care, Catherine