For about 10 months, avoiding the pain and weakness of arthritis and torn meniscus in the left knee, I lifted myself up steps one at a time using my right leg. Elective surgery restrictions somewhat lifted, I was able to get in for a partial knee replacement before the next wave of COVID-19 crests, which appears to be soon.
The recovery of any surgery is excruciating, and I confess to a probable low threshold of pain. Nevertheless, I understand walking the fires of hell to reach the soothing streams of heaven. And as each day brings a measure of progress, I force myself to forge ahead keeping the goal of unlimited but body-appropriate movement in my sight.
So today after enjoying coffee on the patio before the heat of the day, I returned to the kitchen and surprised myself by stepping up the shallow curb with my left leg, with minimal discomfort!
People involved in any type of teaching or instruction is familiar with this: the long term goal (full movement) requires many incremental steps. One reason I liked to “grade” patients’ work in speech therapy was to show them the improvement. “Look, last week you could recall only 3/20 items; this week, 12/20.” Okay, the patient couldn’t recall what he had for breakfast, but neither could I. The numbers, though, were a visible sign of change. Sometimes that is all we need to keep us going.