Thursday 20th October 2011:
My very first physio session was a team effort.
As I'd been given the schedule for when I would be seeing the physiotherapists, I was up and dressed in the new comfy sweatpants and jumper that my mum and dad had bought me, and I was ready and waiting to see what was in store for me.
It was before lunch time, but due to my new, broken body, and the struggle and effort it now took to just get out of bed and go to the toilet, I was already exhausted, and not in the mood to do anything. It was all too much, everything was too hard. Please let me just sleep...
Soon enough the physio's were knocking on the door (there was two of them, a senior physiotherapist, and a student, shadowing.) I painted on my most confident smile, and greeted them as if I was pleased to see them.
As I was sat on a chair, the physio's entered the room and sunk to a crouching position so that they were at my eye level. I appreciated that they cared to do that, but a part of me also felt like I was back in primary school being spoken to as if I was a five year old. I kept my smile though, I didn't want to make them feel uncomfortable. Just deal with it Bec...
The plan of action was to allow my family to practise walking with me. As I couldn't walk on my own, I needed two people assisting me, holding on to me on either side. As I hadn't yet walked any where since being in hospital I was nervous as I anticipated whether or not my left leg would hold out on me. The two physio's came at either side of my chair and with one hand grasped under the tops of my arms, and the other held on to my hands, after placing my feet correctly on the floor, they hoisted me in to a standing position while holding me very firmly.
I was scared... How can a person be scared to stand on their own two feet (literally)? I don't know... I'd gone from taking everything my body did for granted, from just expecting my body to work, to now not even being able to stand up still on my own.
The senior physio asked if I was ready to take a step. I was ready, but I didn't know how, 'What foot do I use first?' I asked. Why wasn't this coming naturally?
'Good foot first,' she told me. So I tried it. Clinging on to the physio with my good hand, I took my first step. I felt so unstable. I quickly ground my heel in to the floor, feeling almost safe once again. Then with all my might, strength and will, I pleaded with my left leg, for it to follow my right... and it did. I couldn't feel it move, and if I'd have had my eyes closed I wouldn't have known whether it had or not, but I stared hard at my left leg, not blinking, watching it slowly move and settle along side its well behaved companion.
I took a few more Bambi inspired steps before I needed to sit down. The sheer concentration of mind over matter was exhausting, and mentally and physically I was about ready to give up for the day, but the physio's had not finished with me yet. They wanted me to do the same thing again, but this time with my family members assisting me. They had to learn how to support me correctly for the physio's to feel confident to let them help me walk without a nurse or one of their team watching over us.
After what felt like half a day had passed (really it had only been about 45 minutes) I was about ready to drop to the floor. The physio and her student were happy with my first days work, but told me this was only the beginning. A small, frustrated part of me just wanted to scream, but I couldn't let this beat me...Just deal with it Bec...
When the physio's had departed I was told that the MRI scan I had been booked for would be happening later that day. Until then I lay in my bed. I watched my Dad reading the paper, Chris attempting to complete some coursework for university, Anna playing on her phone and reading magazines, and my Mum begin to get back to all the texts and phone calls she had been avoiding, due to not being able to talk about the incident with out breaking down.
I hazily drifted in and out of sleep, occasionally opening my eyes to check that they were all still there... They never left my side.