The following morning I felt pretty good considering all that trouble with the epidural. The sun was shining brightly for a change, my pain was actually being managed and I was feeling pretty hopeful. I could see the possibilities. I'd get out of the hospital in a few days. The weather would turn around for summer and I could get back to life with my horses.
I was willing to do whatever it took to get me there.That meant I needed to be eating real food and getting myself up and walking around. The food issue wasn't going all that well but getting some exercise surely would help. I was definitely motivated and even looking forward to getting on my feet and out into the hallway.
Of course, I knew I wasn't ready to be walking by myself so after the morning shift change I made sure the nurse's aide assigned to me for that shift knew I was ready to get walking. She was probably about 5 feet tall and some petite size that I wouldn't have fit into even when I was born. I remember looking at her and thinking I better not get into trouble because there was no way she was going to catch me. If I fell on her, I'd probably squash her flat as a pancake.
At this point in my hospital stay I still had a catheter in place and there was the IV pole that connected to my epidural. Just getting the logistics figured out for those two things so that I could walk had tired me out the first time. Now, I was feeling pretty perky and thinking I could handle things. I even helped the nurse get "things" together so we could get moving.
I was frustrated I couldn't bend enough to put my slippers on but the aide took care of that. She also found me some kind of robe to cover my back side. It was about as chic as the hospital gown but at least it covered me. That guaranteed I wouldn't be doing any fanny flashing so I was good to go. I had absolutely no hesitation. I was looking forward to getting out of that room and showing everyone I was on the mend.
Walking at this point was really more like shuffling my feet. I doubt any part of my foot really left the floor. Each foot just slide forward maybe the length of the other for each "step" but it was forward motion and all they really expected of me. I remember thinking I was more like that old woman I am always referring to myself as instead of the energetic, take on the world, type A I normally am.
On my right side the nurse's aide assisted me, holding onto my arm. On the left I had the pole with the IV and my catheter bag. I don't think I pushed that pole as much as I leaned on it but it was a controlled movement so I felt secure.
As we made our way out the door, the aide asked which direction I wanted to take. This time I told her I felt secure enough to head down the long hall instead of the short walk I had previously taken. Despite the fact my feet were shuffling along instead of moving normally, I felt like I had a pretty good handle on things.
Right at the doorway was my doctor, not the original surgeon, but his replacement from his practice. I had met this man the previous day and found him to be very kind and caring as well as a bit of a comedian.
Now, he was watching my progress and remarking to the nurse beside him about how well I was doing. In fact he actually said I was moving more like someone in her thirties than the sixty-four year old woman I am and that comment was followed by an approving chuckle.
Considering I felt like I was moving more like a ninety year old, that comment stuck in my head. I was pleased to hear the shuffling pace was something normal. Knowing that helped me feel even more secure as I turned the corner and headed down the hall. I remember thinking at the rate I was moving this walk could take forever but I was going to keep going as long as I felt I could handle it.
We made it just past the nurse's station, which was not far, when I began to feel my energy draining. I told the woman beside I didn't know if I could continue. She calmly told me to take it slowly as I turned around and headed back to my room.
I didn't even make it completely through the turn when I realized that something was seriously wrong. I wasn't loosing my strength at a rate that made any sense. It felt more like the life was being sucked right out of me than just getting tired.
Again, I told the aide I didn't know if I could make it and, again, she told me to take it slow. I knew I wouldn't get there if I continued on at this pace so I forced myself to step it up as much as I could.
My feet were still sliding across the floor but at twice the rate they had been moving before. I could definitely tell I had accelerated but I was afraid it wasn't enough. Something inside me told me I had to make it to my room and I was determined to get there no matter what.
I pushed for all I was worth heading toward my room. My eyes were turned towards my feet willing them to move faster, measuring each step as one more foot closer to safety. Each shift of weight from foot to foot felt like I was defying the laws of gravity but I wouldn't let myself stop. To me, my life depended on getting back to my room and I pushed forward with nothing but sheer will power.
My surgeon and the nurse were still standing in the doorway to my room. I don't know if they realized something was wrong with me or not . My eyes locked tight on my feet , willing them to get me to what I perceived as safety. I did, however, "feel" like they were somewhere right behind me as I moved across the room.
I remember glancing at my bed and seeing it pulled apart waiting for clean sheets with the used bedding still piled high on top. So instead of heading straight for the bed, I made a bee line to the oversized recliner on the other side. I had started off from that chair and it was still pretty much in the same position I'd left it. The back was pushed downwards to about the midpoint and there was nothing in between me and it but lots and lots of floor.
The closer I got to the recliner, the harder it became to take each step but I wouldn't let myself stop. I had no idea what was happening to my body but I was determined to make it work. I focused on that chair like it was a drowning victim needing my help and I ignored every other signal my body sent to me. What mattered was getting myself to that chair and into it.
As I got close to the chair I turned myself around and stepped backwards with the same dogged determination that had gotten me there. The aide tried to help me sit but feeling the chair on my heels and not having the strength to actually sit down properly I let myself collapse onto it.The second my body hit the chair I began gasping for air and all hell broke lose.
To be continued.............
This video is Hope. She is a full sister to Faith and out of the midget mare, Lilly.
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