Have you ever taken golf lessons? A number of years ago, I took some private golf lessons. I'd golfed occasionally in the past but obviously had had no real training. I'd line up, hit the ball and it would travel surprisingly straight landing about 100 feet away. This made for a very LONG round of golf! When I took my lessons, the instructor told me about body positioning, hand placement and various techniques that I needed to learn. I positioned myself took a swing and missed...completely. I was so focused on everything I was suppose to think about, I forgot to keep my eye on the ball. After a number of attempts, my drives got a bit longer but now veered way off to the right...every time! Was this a lesson in frustration? Apparently learning a new skill takes time.
My mom asked me last week how I liked using my WalkAide. To which I answered "I HATE IT". If she was to ask me this week, she would have heard the complete opposite. I really like the WalkAide and I'm starting to see how it will work for me but it's taking practice. It's also not really something I can wear around the house as any slight bend of my knee will cause my foot to flex. So bending to empty the dishwasher or pick something off the floor or pick up my son are not made easier using the WalkAide. Where is does help is in walks from point A to point B...like grocery shopping or going for a walk outside. These are all getting much much easier and efficient using the WakAide. I also notice that my gait when I'm not wearing my brace or WalkAide has improved. According to my physiotherapist, my walking has improved HUGE in the past few weeks...maybe I just don't notice the difference myself as easily. Or maybe I just have higher expectations for myself.
I saw a woman walking the other day at an office. She had a fast pace and walked with purpose. She was carring some papers and obviously had a purpose to where she was going. She wasn't thinking about her steps or concentrating on landing heal first, it was just very natural. She reminded me of me, 10 years ago. Seeing her walk made me a little sad and yet I couldn't not watch her walk. I told my Orthotist, Carla, about my frustration in using the WalkAide. Carla explained that I'm doing really well but that I need to SLOW DOWN my pace. She said that she had worked successfully with a lot of people who previously relied on using scooters or walkers to get around. They were use to moving at a slower pace when they started to use the WalkAide. Carla said my challenge is that I'm use to getting where I need to go as quick as possible and not necessarily using proper technique. She understood that since I have a 1 year old, this is often required but this will impact how quickly I pick up the correct gait for walking. The key for me is to take time each day to practice walking slowly and deliberately and soon my pace will increase.
I went to see my Neurologist for my annual check up today. Until today, I had not told Dr. Patry that I had had the Liberation procedure done. I was both excited to show him my improvements and really nervous about his response. To my surprise he was very interested in all my detailed documentation from Sanoviv. He was also quite impressed that they prepare a follow up program as well as complete follow up visits at 2 and 6 months. He said that it is the only place he has heard that is doing such and inclusive program. He suggested we do another MRI but that it's unlikely we will be able to have it done before my follow up visit to Sanoviv in March. I have to say, I was very impressed with Dr. Patry's response as it really showed his commitment to his patients health and choices.
That's it for now. All in all, things continue to improve. I am extremely grateful for the amazing people I have working with me and to all my family and friends who continue to be supportive of all my efforts.