1, 2, 3, Wobble
This Monday at physio, Mike had me practice a whole bunch more difficult tasks. We did a lot of standing on my own before grabbing on to his arms so that I wouldn't immediately drop back into my seat. He also had me find my balance before closing my eyes and trying to remain on my feet. For most people that would obviously be an easy task, but because of the wonderful world of nerve damage, when my eyes are closed, my whole body is immediately lost in space. I literally have no idea where my lower half is located if I can't look down and see it. It was a huge success to stay on my feet with my eyes closed, and Mike had me attempt to sit down with grace and control - I didn't immediately drop, but grace wouldn't be a good descriptor of what actually happened.
The other significant task we worked on was taking independent steps. Mike would let me get my balance on the soft carpeted floor before he took a step away from me and asked me to move a foot towards him. I'd work myself up to it and lift a leg forward doing my best not to collapse; I didn't have the fine control to place my feet exactly where I wanted them, but they were going in the right direction, and I'd catch myself on Mike as my body weight wobbled over my insecure legs. I'd then regain my balance and we'd repeat the process. Deep breath; lift leg; wobble; catch myself on Mike; situate my weight over my legs again. Repeat.
"Don't touch me this time," Mike instructed.
It's not like I was trying to - I needed to each time. But I tried. And I succeeded.
I managed an independent step where I didn't wobble. It was one small step for this girl, which was really a huge accomplishment for me. Mike stepped back and told me to do it again.
Two steps where I kept my own balance. They weren't beautiful, but they were independent.
The third step I needed to catch myself on Mike, but I was grinning through the rest of the session because I'd managed those two glorious unaided steps. I've not done anything like that since the four steps in the giant baby walker three years ago - and this didn't have the same safety net that situation did. I've been elated about this new accomplishment all week, and I can't wait to see what I'll manage tomorrow with Mike.