Four Weeks

I’m feeling happy for a change. I just realized that Wednesday marked four weeks since I left the hospital. It seems like forever ago that I could barely survive the trip home from Richmond. The local hospital transferred me while in a coma, so I had no choice in the matter. 

I do remember being so weak that I almost couldn’t walk from the Uber ride to the apartment, and that was less than 100 feet. I nearly passed out as I walked through the door. Only the greeting from The Stooges kept me conscious. 

I made it to my favorite chair and sat there for at least an hour before I felt like moving again. I tried, unsuccessfully, to take a shower, but I realized that I was too weak to stand. It would be four more days before I could shower.

Hal immediately took charge of my recovery and therapy. I made steady progress listening to his advice and recommendations. I still let him boss me around now. 

I started rehab slowly. My first goal was 500 steps daily. Bouts of vertigo made it a real challenge, but I knew that I had to get started and overcome vertigo to recover fully. I still have vertigo if I stand up too quickly or if I forget to breathe correctly, 

I had to learn to be mobile while lugging an oxygen tank everywhere I went. It was/is inconvenient and embarrassing at the same time. I needed the oxygen, so the tank was necessary. 

As the weeks went by, I progressed from 500 steps to 1000, and now I’m up to 4000 steps per day. Everyone tells me I’m doing great, but there are times when I wish I could do more. Whenever I feel that way, I remember the previous times when I left the hospital and tried to recover like Hercules. All that ever got me was another trip to the hospital. 

I stayed under Hal’s guidance. That is why this recovery is successful. I am very deliberate and careful when I do something for the first time in forever. I wasn’t allowed to drive for the first week at home because Hal knew I wasn’t ready for the stress. The slow pace helped me to adjust and get my strength back.

Now I can drive locally. I am still cautious when I go to the grocery store or pharmacy. We get most of our groceries delivered directly to avoid being in crowds. Eating out or movies are definite no-nos for us. We’ve adjusted to a life spent at home. 

The most significant adjustment is that Hal still doesn’t want me to spend most of my time in the kitchen cooking. I understand his concern if I’m not using the Instant Pot. Hal doesn’t want me using the oven because that requires bending over, and bending over can quickly cause vertigo, and vertigo is not good around hot items or surfaces. This constraint keeps me from doing laundry or making the bed. It also means that if we do go to the grocery store and I need something from one of the bottom shelves that Hal or someone else needs to get that item for me,

I have monitored my endurance, and right now I could probably put in 2-3 good hours at work, but my boss wants me to take all the time I need before attempting to return to work. I will last longer as I grow more robust, but that takes time. I plan to at as much time as I can to recover entirely before jumping back into work.

I hope that my recovery continues to make steady progress. I’ll do my best to make it happen.

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