Monday, October 13, 2008

Rehab progress 16

I have made regular visits to the physical therapist in Mt Pleasant. They have gotten to know my dad and me pretty well. He is getting therapy for a painful back condition -- something I hear them referring to as "lumbago".

I have been making slow but steady progress, improving my performance and increasing the weights and the length of time, so my workouts are building stamina, as well as muscle strength.

Unfortunately, I have a vast gulf of disability to overcome. Compared to my capabilities before I had the stroke, my recovery is so slight as to be almost not worth noticing. I walk on the treadmill, for example, at 3 mph for 20 minutes. After that exertion I am reduced to a sweaty heap. I can't manage much more, in present condition. Before, I could climb on high mountainsides all day without stopping. I passed the fireman test which requires walking 4 mph for 3 miles. It makes me feel sad to remember, I thought I was doing so well. I wonder now if I will ever regain such capabilities. Probably not. But I will keep trying, nonetheless.

Everyone is very encouraging at the workouts. They all say I am improving.

But if I am doing so much better. why don't I feel happy?

1 comment:

Billy Bob Bambino Bombabious Baby the Third said...

I think the reasons why we don't feel happy when we think we should are legion. But two of the most obvious to me are the work of the adversary and the failed realization of unrealistic expectations.

Nephi said that his soul was often afflicted bacause he gave place in his heart for sin. He says "When I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth becuase of my sins..." and further, "Why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul?" The Lord has promised us that He forgives and forgets our sins. But I don't. I struggled with this for a long time, just as Nephi did. I still struggle, but I came to an understanding that I remember the sin and the associated pain so that I am less likely to commit the sin again. It also tempers my actions and judgements of others, knowing that I am not much better (if ANY better) than they with their struggles.

The second thing is the failed realization of unrealistic expectations. Jim, you have been through a huge experience. Your brain has come under attack - not dissimilar to having a bullet to your brain, from what I have read. And you ARE getting better, but you must understand that it will take time. You know how these things work. If professionals are telling you that you are getting better, then you believe them and keep at it. It seems that you are doing all you can...

Which leads me back to the thoughts of Nephi: "Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions...Oh Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh... My voice shall ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God." Sounds a lot like you, Jim. And me, too, really.