Today I proved to myself that I can take care of my son and do everything required in our daily life on my own. This is an amazing thing. And we’re just getting started.
My husband is now in St. Paul, Minn. with the volleyball team for the NCAA DII Regional tournament. GO BLUES! This is both a great thing and a challenge (there’s that balance thing again). The more the team wins, the longer my husband will be gone — and the more practice I will get doing everything for me and the Little Guy myself.
I feel lucky that I can do this on my own and I didn’t have to ask my mom to come back down to help me. I am starting to trust myself again. I’m starting to know I can do it on my own as the list of things I’m able to do continues to grow.
- I can drive
- I haven’t used the walker at all in nine days
- I can carry the Little Guy upstairs walking normally now, one foot per stair.
- I can successfully step over toys, twist, bend and squat — THANKS AMY!
- AND I have the stamina now that I don’t even need a pain pill after putting in a full day of walking around (to the Union for a meeting, back to my office, to my husband’s office before lunch, downtown to get from the car to lunch, back to the car, to my class, back from class, to the parking lot in front of my husband’s building to drive home, to get the Little Guy, get him back in the car, to get the mail, get the Little Guy into the house, up the stairs twice, down the stairs twice), playing with the Little Guy on the floor, making dinner, doing dishes, folding laundry, all that real life stuff. Come to think of it, I have had one of those in 9 days either. AMAZING!
I really am improving every day. All of that stuff isn’t easy to do yet, but I can do it without feeling like I am hurting myself, that I am unsafe or in danger of crashing to the floor and that is an incredible improvement.
This momentum is giving me my old personality back, too.
For years I was fiercely independent. Doing things for myself was how I liked them done. I moved eight hours away for college, moved to a city where I didn’t know a soul afterward, bought a car and bought a house I imagined would be the place my cats and I would call home for maybe ever. By the time I met my husband, although I was only in my late 20s, I figured I would be by myself and that was OK.
Through marriage, my independence changed. It didn’t go away or decrease, but my decisions became our decisions. Then, in January when our son was born and my pelvis separated, I began to depend on him, my mom, my sister and the dear friends who came to visit for my very survival.
I know, that sounds dramatic. But I would never have gotten up the steps to our apartment the day our son was born without the help of my husband and father-in-law each under an arm. I physically could not carry all of my own weight on my own. There were dozens of times in those earliest days that I contemplated just wetting the bed because it would be better than getting up and inching my way to the bathroom.
It got easier to move myself around as plotted out paths that would allow me to keep a hand against the wall and I figured out how to walk with my knees almost touching. But I didn’t feel safe alone with my son. I always thought of danger. If there was a fire, how would I possibly get him and me out of the apartment and down all of those stairs.
Then, for the nine and a half weeks I spent dependent on Blue Sunshine to get around in our non-accessible apartment, I was even more dependent on my husband, my mom and our visitors. I couldn’t get myself a glass of water because I couldn’t turn on the sink from my chair. And I still had that worry about a fire. I couldn’t get my wheelchair over the threshold of our front door on my own. I needed a mini-wheelie in clear it.
During that time it was such a joy to be at work – where I could use a real toilet because of the accessible stall, where I could get a drink whenever I wanted because I could fill up a bottle at the drinking fountain myself. And I could go anywhere I wanted on campus, and fast, too, as my arms got stronger. There were moments of panic though, when I caught a wheel funny and felt for a second like I would fall over.
Not today! Today I’m not scared to be alone. I feel good about getting my son up and ready for school tomorrow and tackling the day. Nov. 27, 2012 is my independence day from the pain, stress and limitations of diastasis symphysis pubis.
And I can’t wait to see how much stronger I will feel when my husband gets home.