A Most Unexpected Change

My patience was in shreds. The week was a long one, trying to forge ahead with rehab alongside lectures, meetings, appointments, marking assessment, and everything else that happens in between to make life go from one day to the next. Thursday afternoon though was when my patience broke. My patience wasn’t in tatters because of the leg spasms that kept disrupting every exercise that afternoon; my patience was torn to shreds by my physio’s response. I know from my discussions with the surgeon and with other physios that if I can push through the leg spasms, then I need to do so; we work with what we have. But the outpatient physio just kept stopping. Any sign of a leg spasm, the physio changed the exercise. And my muscles wouldn’t behave given any exercise. My outpatient physio gave up that afternoon. She stopped our session early. This wasn’t the same physio from the previous day, she wouldn’t have let the leg spasms win. I was beginning to wonder again whether I should stop my outpatient rehab work and focus solely on Pilates at the other rehabilitation clinic. I filed the thought away for another day.

So when I walked into my bedroom late that evening, having finally arrived home, I wasn’t in the kind of mood to smell the roses, so to speak. The few bits of bark on the carpet that my dog had trampled into the house caught my eye, which didn’t do anything for my broken patience either. The pieces of bark weren’t supposed to be there still, the cleaner came that afternoon. So sitting on my bed, unzipping my boots, I was making a second mental note for that day, which was to contact a new cleaning service. I was so buried inside my own impatience that I nearly missed it. I had already moved onto the next thing before I realised what I had seen, and I didn’t quite believe the flicker of movement at first. I had just taken a sock off my right foot and was just about to put it into the washing basket. Did my toes just move? I tried to splay my toes, and they did, the smallest of movement, but still, my toes moved. I was so used to my toes being lifeless. I sat for over ten minutes repeating the movement over and over, starring, mesmerised, letting what I was seeing sink in. My toes were really moving! And that smallest gain was enough to piece my patience back together for the time being. I was thankful again. Thankful that my spinal cord and nerves were still recovering. Progress hasn’t stopped.

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