It’s been two months, shy a couple of days, since I had to quit work and begin physical therapy and home health care. It has been emotional and stressful, changing each day. There were unknowns to get past and a new way of living each day to get used to. There were goals to meet as I worked towards increasing my strength and hopefully get back my ability to walk with its limitations. There was fighting the fear of being totally handicapped and totally dependent upon others for my care and wondering if it was actually possible to get better.
Now I am in transition. I have finished my physical therapy for now. I have progressed, fallen back, progressed again, fallen back and progressed to the point where there is nothing else the therapy can do for me. I’m the best I can be at this time. I am taking an emotional rest and trying not to think of the next step. That is still up in the air and the path ahead is once more hidden from my view.
In my last evaluation of the progress I have made, the therapist supervisor could tell a difference in my strength and endurance. I can get up from the love seat and transfer to my rolling office chair with success most of the time. Sometimes it is easier than others. I still can’t just stand up to use my walker or to get out of bed by myself. I have to totally pull my weight up with my arms and for now, it is working. Whatever muscles and help you use from knees and legs are not there for me. So I am totally dependent on my upper body strength to move around.
The last step, the only resource left, is to see an orthopedic surgeon about knee replacement surgery. If he is not willing, because of my lymphedema, or my weight, then I will continue to deteriorate until I can no longer walk enough to get to the bathroom and will be totally dependent on others to care for me. It is something I try not to think about.
And so, we are in a waiting time, trying to get the appointment with the surgeon while hoping that there actually is hope left to strive for. It has been an unexpected and emotional journey and we are entering the next phase. And so…the journey continues…