My fall-iversary came and went. I spent it with friends: drinking tea, baking scones (may I recommend the cheddar-apple variety?), and eating tacos in Oakland all while being the awkward pace-setter for our slow migration between events. My walking is getting considerably faster, though! Friends who only see you periodically are a great source of encouragement. I can’t take the same things for granted with such an audience. I got to show off my walking and the small movements in the right leg.
This is the time to take stock, I guess. It has been a year since my life was changed almost completely. I find it funny that Halloween marks the transition point.
This is the last picture I took before my accident.
I was in lab and decided to document the bottom half of my Wild Things costume. That day I drove to Yosemite and my fall was the following morning. I often looked at this photograph when I was in the hospital. The casual feat of strength and balance demonstrated — sitting on my desk and perching my feet on the back of the twirly chair — seemed impossible back then and far off just a few months ago. But I set it as an arbitrary goal.
So here is my best impression today.
I’m sitting in my wheelchair and the left leg is doing most of the work. This is as much as I can lift the right. But I’m happy to be here. And I’ll try again next Halloween.
This year has been a swing of ups and downs. In the beginning I was incredibly optimistic about how long change and recovery would take. That optimism kept me afloat during the hardest months: right after coming home from the hospital; after the surgeon re-broke my thumb and I was in a cast, again; after the fast changes stopped and there was still no movement in my right leg.
I’m glad I didn’t know, back then, how much more there was to endure. I’m much better at dealing with that reality now. So much of happiness and acceptance is habit. I can deal because of the changes that come with learning a new system. But I still don’t have my mind on board. Mentally, I haven’t made progress with accepting what happened. The adjustment feels entirely physical right now.