Celebrating Little Wins

Sep 15, 2021

It’s 5:50 a.m. and I can’t sleep. I feel drained and exhausted. To the left of me is a window overlooking the Charlestown Navy Yard. I can see the reflection of the water; it looks peaceful and calming. It’s still dark out. However, you can see the cars drive by.

I can hear the birds chirping, which is music to my ears. I take a deep breath, and remind myself today it’s going to be a good day. Because I’m up so early, I make sure to start my day off in a good mindset, writing down what I’m grateful for and what I want to accomplish throughout the day. I’ve found this to be helpful to stay in a good headspace.

Later in the morning, I had my first physical-therapy session; I had two physical therapists, who will be working with me throughout my entire stay. Both therapists wanted to practice standing. It has been a more than a year and a half since I’d been able to stand up, so I was thrilled when they told me this.

The therapists brought me to the third floor, where the gym was. The gym was big, overlooking the water. The therapists had me wheel up to the parallel bars. In front of me was a tall and long mirror. One physical therapist was in front of me, and the other one was behind me. With their assistance, I stood up and cried from pure happiness. I was on cloud nine. As I watched my reflection in the mirror, I could see both of my legs shaking; the left leg was the worst, as it’s the weakest. I didn’t care that they were trembling; I was standing on two feet.

Later in the day I had my third round of physical therapy. I felt like I was going to pass out and haven’t been able to stop puking since 1:15 p.m. The pain is awful. My physical therapists have been incredible, and they said that they think they pushed too hard and need to stop working on standing at the moment. They were so sweet wiping the puke off my face. My spine feels like it’s pulsating out of my back. I’ve puked over ten times. My doctor who’s in charge of my case was paged, to help tweak the pain medication.

It feels like the shit has been kicked out of me. However, I’m so proud of this milestone I haven’t been fazed by it.

Always remember your goals, and what you’re working toward. The hard work will pay off.

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