So these past few weeks, I have been working hard at trying to enlarge my life, millimeter by millimeter, without tiring myself out beyond all enduring. And I am actually doing better at it than I thought I would, though I have been up and down a lot.
It is not that my life is full of exciting new events. It is the same round of physical therapy, "chair" yoga (that is, yoga made easier, not that we sit the whole time), a weekly hour with my trainer Glenn, assorted doctor's appointments, my two hours a week respite with the Gentle Tough/Guided Imagery Program at the hospital, and weekly walks and visits with Meg and Myla.
The Gentle Touch/Guided Imagery Program is a Complementary Medical program my friend Robin started at the local hospital three years ago. I was wildly excited, but unable to take part then. This winter I was able to take the training, finally! What we in the program do is go to various floors, to rooms of patients who have requested us, or who the nurses think need our service, or even walk in cold. Each of us have our own perspective, but similar ways of explaining.
I try to keep it simple, saying it is a free program that helps with relaxation, and includes a foot, hand or head rub. Then I plug in a CD player with quiet music playing, take off the footboard of the bed, wash my hands, then start reading a scripted guided imagery asking them to relax, to put themselves in a safe special place, and eventually spend 10 minutes or so giving a gentle foot or hand rub. I doesn't sound like much, but people zone out, and when I finish they talk about how much their pain has lessened, how much less depressed they feel, how much more relaxed. Some go to sleep and stay there, even as I put their socks back on, unplug my music, put the footboard back. It is quite amazing.
This has led me back to the same floor I had my two week nightmare experience four years ago, when I first fractured my arm. During that time nobody touched me except to hurt me-to draw blood, to move me, to take my BP. Now, finally, there is a hospital sanctioned program that helps makes that less likely. I love doing it, although I am limited to only two hours a week because of my pain level. The neat thing is that the patient is getting a Complimentary Medicine experience right under the oh-so-scientific doctors' noses. Of course some docs and nurses have welcomed the program, while some still think its hogwash, but more and more, I find nurses and aides grabbing me to ask if I will do so-and-so, who is in a lot of pain-a triumph in my book!
The other joy of my life is Myla, my granddaughter. Meg has been calling to meet for a walk once or twice a week, and Myla's little face lights up when she sees me! Myla toddles around on the grass in my yard handing me toys and favorite rocks and eating the ground up ice from my cup, while Meg tells me about her two play groups. One is quite preppy, uptight stay-at-home mothers with husbands who have good jobs, who think Meg is crazy to cloth diaper Myla, and the other "crunchy granola," the long term nursers-some are like Kas, nursing their 6 year olds. They wear "hippier" type clothes and struggle to make ends meet so they can stay home and raise their kids. Meg falls somewhere closer to the Crunchies, but enjoys both groups. She keeps me laughing with stories of both groups, while Myla tries to push her stroller across the yard. It is wonderful!
And I am getting ready for my Road Trip-1900 miles on my own as I drive down the East Coast to Virginia, then out to KY to visit Kas, then home via Pittsburgh. It is a crazy trip for me to make, with my are and shoulder still hurting a lot, and my inability to walk very far, which will curtail sightseeing somewhat-But I leave in a bit more than two weeks and am crazy excited about it. I just wish I could stop and visit every one of you! More on the trip next post.
Many Blessings, Margo