On Friday, I wrote about how I finally accepted, positively, my physical therapy. I think I started the intensive physical therapy program two weeks ago today. On Friday, I talked about giving into the therapy program; today I want to gloat a little …
About a month ago, I was rapidly losing control of my body and didn’t even realize it. A month ago, I was struggling to walk from my bedroom to my kitchen, struggling to put my socks on, struggling to crawl into my bed. I felt trapped in my body, my mind lost with anxiety, I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I had a lot of support, but I felt lonely.
Today, I noticed I could crawl into bed myself instead of having to sit on my bed and painfully swing my lower body onto the mattress. This was painful, and took a lot of energy. It was harder too, much harder than crawling onto my bed. But at the time it was the only way. Today, two weeks after I started physical therapy, I am able to crawl onto my bed. Thinking back, I’ve done this a few times over the last two-to-three days.
Today, I attempted to put my socks on again by myself since I had little pain, and I did it — in under three minutes! A month ago, it would have taken me about 15 minutes to put on both my socks and shoes, a task that used to take me five minutes max to complete. Today, my physical therapist told me she was surprised at how fast I was responding to treatment. She noted that I have a much more positive attitude about therapy this time around. I admitted to her that this time around I was actually doing my stretches outside of therapy, and that I was no longer trying to cheat my way out of them while I was actually in therapy. I don’t know why I was so negative about physical therapy for all of these years (although we’ve already talked about my suspected reasons).
But what I didn’t tell my therapist was that, for the first time in my life, I wanted to do stretches. I wanted to be stretched and looked forward to coming to therapy. I told her, instead, that I had previously had a lot of pain before I started therapy again, and that it was so bad I would have done anything to fix the problem at its root. That was all true. However, I’m not sure if she really heard me, or maybe it’s that for the first time in my life, I am hearing me. I’m hearing my body. I’m listening and I want to do better by it.
For me, this has been a slow, lifelong process of figuring out and listening to my body, because I’ve been born with a chronic illness. But I’m finally listening and I’m finally ready. I feel so positive and good about myself and my body despite the way we have to go.
Is this something every person with a chronic illness experiences? I think I’m finally growing up 🙂
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