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.