If I had a dime, or probably even a nickel, for every time I’ve had to face (& overcome) a challenge I’d be rich (or close enough).
My biggest challenges would have to be having to learn to walk again, which I’ve had to do enough times that I’ve actually lost count (my best guess is 3 or 4). The only way I got through it was not giving myself another option. I HATE crutches and I refuse to allow myself to use them any longer than necessary. I know some people don’t mind them and will find what I just said as an insult but something that works for one person doesn’t always work for someone else.
The last time was particularly daunting because I was told the success of my recovery from surgery would rest largely on my shoulders, being the oldest patient to have this particular surgery, my surgeons had the easy part. I also set the bar high for myself I was told the typical recovery lasts about 6 months but mine would be about a year, given my age. So I wanted to be better than “back to normal” at 9 months (not that I told anyone this, until now).
When I couldn’t even take two steps independently (and reliably) on day 366 post-op I was more than a little disappointed, to put it mildly.
As annoying as it is to learn to walk again (and again and again) I do enjoy a challenge.
In fact after I was discharged from post-op outpatient PT (far too soon, in my opinion) I would go to the gym and work with a trainer who interned (mostly in the inpatient units) at the same hospital I was discharged from so he knew a lot of the same therapists I saw.
It didn’t take very long for one of us (or both of us) to get bored by doing the same thing every time I went to the gym. But the thing with CP is, “if you don’t use it, you lose it,” basically you have to do the same thing over and over and over again or your brain will just forget it. So we made a plan.
Mondays I would be at the gym so early (6am or 8am) that routine was welcomed. In fact most of the times I was half asleep and didn’t even realize when I was making progress, although sometimes that can be a good thing.
Wednesdays were mostly gait training aka walking practice. Usually walking and stopping without falling over, or being able to catch myself before said fall. Yes, it was much like an adult version of “red light green light.” And/or there was an obstacle course to go through, which were much less fun than ones in gym class or public play area.
Fridays were typically devoted to filling in any gaps that happened on Monday and/or Wednesday, whether it be from a loss of progress, a potential loss, or something that just didn’t happen. But inevitably there would be “the challenge of the day” (occasionally there would be more than one depending on how the first one went).
As much as I would bitch and moan about them (and question my trainer’s sanity) I enjoyed them. For one thing they kept me (or us) from getting bored. They also ended up being easier than I thought; at least once I got the correct movements down. If I didn’t get it that day we’d work some element into it for the next week and it would become a new goal.
What advice would I give others facing daunting challenges? Set goals; big ones and small ones, short term goals and long term ones. Don’t give yourself another option either, at least not without a lot of hard work first.
I’m taking part in The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge this month (also known as #HAWMC).