Monday, April 26, 2010

Each step I take....

At therapy today, I set a new record of walking 39 feet with braces. I didn't really know what Jeremy (my therapist) had in mind. We have braced up (I sound like a horse getting saddled up!) many times before and practiced standing and some steps at the parallel bars and also in this harness thing where they take like 50% of your body weight off. However, today he said "Give me a minute to go get a spotter".

He came back with a rolling walker and another therapist and said we were going to the hallway. I wish I had a camera for the scene that followed - well, no I don't because it must have really looked silly. It gave me a good laugh. Imagine me sitting in the chair with my legs sticking straight out (because they are braced). I can't go forward myself because my shoes are touching the floor and my legs won't bend to put them on the footplate. I can't pick them up myself and push myself, so Jeremy just gets in front of me and picks up my feet and the other therapist pushed me and I just set there wondering where they were taking me and what were we about to attempt. You probably had to be there but we looked really funny!

Out in the hallway, Jeremy said that we were going to see how far we could go today without bars. I was able to get up (with a little assistance - rolling walkers on linoleum is not the most secure feeling in the world!) and we were ready to go.

This is the part of the story that has inspired this post. I can't feel my feet on the floor and can't really tell where my legs are in relation to the rest of my body so I have to watch to see what is happening. Since you can't tell where your feet are, it is very hard to ever feel balanced. With the balance issue and feeling very unsure of what your lower body is going to do, I cling on for dear life to that walker! Ever so slowly, one lurching micro-step at a time, you make progress. I was focusing so intently on each step that I didn't even notice where we were in the hallway. My arms were burning, every muscle from my neck to my waist felt strained, 3 fingers on each hand were numb from gripping the walker so tight, and Jeremy said "just a tiny bit more Alicia". It was then I looked up and we were about 5 feet from a doorway. I said, "I want to pass that door." He said "Okay."

After awhile, my legs just hardly won't go anymore. The muscles just decided they have had enough and they will not do anything else. When this has happened on the parallel bars, Jeremy always takes his hand and moves the leg/foot where it needs to go and moves it forward for you. By the time, I had looked up and decided to pass that door, I was already struggling. He kept reaching down and wanting to help and I said "Jeremy, I am going to pretend to be my 2 year old. I want to do it all by myself." So, he was patient with me and let me try.

I didn't think I would make it those last 3 feet - literally the width of that doorway. It took about 10 minutes, but I finally made it! I collapsed into my chair absolutely drenched and exhausted and Jeremy patted me on the back and said "Good job."

My mind has been thinking about this beautiful hymn and what it really means in our lives. Of course, music is a huge part of my life and always speaks to my heart. If only we would concentrate hard to make sure to guard each step we take. If only we would cling to our precious Savior as much as I clung on to that walker! Realizing that without it, I could do nothing! If only I tried so very hard, that every ounce of energy I had would go into a life of pleasing Christ because I have a goal in mind - not of reaching Heaven, that has been paid for by the blood of Jesus, but of hearing my Heavenly Father say to me "Good job. Well done thou good and faithful servant."

Each Step I Take

Each step I take my Saviour goes before me,
And with His loving hand He leads the way,
And with each breath I whisper "I adore Thee;"
Oh, what joy to walk with Him each day.

Each step I take I know that He will guide me;
To higher ground He ever leads me on.
Until some day the last step will be taken.
Each step I take just leads me closer home.

At times I feel my faith begin to waver,
When up ahead I see a chasm wide.
It's then I turn and look up to my Saviour,
I am strong when He is by my side.

I trust in God, no matter come what may,
For life eternal in His hand,
He holds the key that opens up the way,
That will lead me to the promised land.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I just got home from vacation. We went to Tennessee to visit our families. We love to do this every spring because my in-laws live on a farm and it is so relaxing to go and do nothing but hang out. I always get like a little girl and get all giddy before we go. I can hardly sleep the night before we are to leave because I am so anxious and excited. I always want to drive because my hubby actually goes the speed limit and I like to go 5 over because I think we get there quicker!:)

We were on the interstate and I got behind this big semi that was hauling this huge piece of machinery. He was going up a hill and so he had really slowed down. I was in a hurry to get around him but couldn't because of the stream of traffic coming around my left. I started to get really irritated that I had to wait a few minutes longer to be able to get around this annoyingly slow semi. As I was waiting, the thought hit me, that many years ago, we would not be on a 4 lane interstate but on one lane roads and then I really would have a long wait. I thought "Alicia, you better be thankful that you only have to wait a couple of minutes and then you can get around this big guy. Be thankful you have the extra lanes to safely do that." Well, that got me to thinking some more - about our perspective.

I get aggravated because of obstacles that get in my way. I get aggravated at building designers and such for not thinking about people in a chair. My own local pharmacy here in town has 2 steps to get in their door! I'm sorry but that doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that eventually someone in a wheelchair might need to go to the drugstore! I have said myself "Good grief. Don't they know this is 2010!" But if you compare it to where we were years ago with this stuff, we have come a long way. Many advances and improvements have been made for wheelchair users.

I don't like being in a wheelchair, but I am thankful for it. If I didn't have it, I would be stuck in bed all day long! So, no, "they" don't have it all figured out, but I am glad for all that we do have to help us, sports we can play, support groups we can join, public voices that can be heard for our sakes (Christopher Reeve), and the internet, blogs and Facebook (smile) to keep us all connected.

Not thrilled with getting behind slow semi's, but glad for the extra lane to pass him with. Just the way you look at it I guess.