Friday, September 26, 2014

Keeping balance

I have found out just how useful a second leg is!  It will be no surprise to those who have attempted to master crutches just how complicated every move becomes when you cannot put weight on your right foot.  I was given a hospital leaflet briefly explaining the process. Its two diagrams showed an athletic man swinging forward on crutches.  However, this totally (and I stress totally) failed to prepare me for the high tension wobbles that threatened to wreck my very move when I tried. Indeed, I failed to leave hospital on the planned day because my physiotherapist was so dismayed by my lack of balance. I still fail to impress.

However, on a later visit a physiotherapist told me that the trick for moving around corners is to imagine I am negotiating around a large 50 pence piece (sorry there is no six-sided US equivalent!) Each tiny shift around its sides requires many segments of immense concentration and effort. I am retraining myself to see the hazards lurking in the simplest of moves and to employ the 50 pence strategy.

It will get better and I am sure the stress on my arms and shoulders will build up muscle (eventually).  But a curious thing happened as I looked out of the window while typing this.  I found myself marveling about the people I could see walking, cycling and even jogging down our road. Truly marveling.  Every one of them seems to stay upright without any trouble, without apparently giving any thought to the balance required.  I smiled to myself at the absurdity of projecting my wobbles onto ordinary everyday walking. But, we do take so much for granted don't we, and I shall need to remember this when I have the use of my right foot again. Oh, the lessons I am learning!

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