Thursday, March 22, 2012


I got the first really good news of this drama yesterday at my neurologist's office. It was the post-surgical, post-rehab, post-outpatient physical therapy appointment. He watched me take a few steps while holding on to me and said this:

--You will be walking unassisted by the end of the year. To which I replied:
--No shit? How confident are you of that? To which he replied:

Boy oh boy, was that good news. I don't think he would give me false hope at this point so I choose to believe him and work very hard to make his prediction come true. I won't be tap dancing or running a marathon, to be sure, but I at least hope to walk onto a stage again with a modicum of comfort and ease, if not elegance, and be able to stand through at least half a rehearsal.

My physical therapist punishes me three times per week and thinks I am doing beautifully, given the damage to my nerves and the resultant weakening of leg muscles. For the first time since the Minor Setback, she took away my walker and put me onto two canes and made me walk with them about 150 feet, with rest stops every fifty feet. I was sweating at the end of it. I have to keep doing that because Two Canes is the third stage of treatment, with One Cane being the fourth (wheelchair and walker are One and Two).

I am lucky to have a superb caretaker, Dorothy Miller, during the week, who punishes me almost as much as the physical therapist and is a joy to be around. We're going out for Happy Hour oysters and martinis tomorrow for a minor celebration of sorts. Erin comes home Sunday and maybe we can do the same.
This will be the last post about this soap opera for some time: nine months is the gestation period for humans and my gestation period for a rebirth of ambulatory independence. It's a long time. I may go back to discussing politics, which at the moment is rich with topics. Who knows? Maybe I'll run for president in 2016.

Thanks for staying tuned. All told, I'm a lucky guy: I have two daughters, two old friends, an adopted family, and numerous former students who apparently really do give a rip about me and bother to tell me so, for which I am more grateful than I care to express here.

Cheers, then,



Alisa Kim said...

Great news. I am so happy (and relieved) for you.

Dominic Gregorio said...

Great news! You know, one of the greatest teachings you gave me as a conductor was to set a powerful intention through willpower and gesture. I believe your words were something like, "You have to *really* want it to happen." That always stuck with me Dr. D, and I can now say that I apply that to everything I do. And I believe it applies to healing as well.

I don't say that flippantly, I'm going through my own healing challenges too, and I'm doing my best to keep my eye and positive energy and intention on total recovery, health and wholeness.

I pray the same for you always!

Much love, admiration and respect,

Dom ^____^

Russell said...

I too am impressed by your persistence and endurance. The delay in reaching the correct diagnosis is certainly regrettable, and you are right to celebrate Dr. Somerville's diagnostic skills. A fresh look at an old problem is often helpful.

Dr. Mulpur is also an excellent physician. You had a "zebra" diagnosis and we are all taught "when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras."

I agree you have an excellent prognosis. Keep the faith, and work diligently with the therapists.

william dehning said...

Dear Russell:

Thank you very much for the comment but, please, tell me who you are and how you know both Somerville and Mulpur. How do you know me?


sukjoon said...

A little late, I know....

but this is really wonderful news! I'm sure I don't have a clue as to what you've been through, or what you are currently going through, but I am very happy to know things seem to be looking brighter.

persistence and endurance....I wouldn't expect anything less from you!

Take care Dr. D.!