As I open my eyes after a nights sleep I feel like I have been in an accident the day before. My right leg hurts and is senseless at the same time, and in my lower back I have this knife stabbing me right between L5 and S1. The muscles along my spine are tense from the top of my neck to the tip of my tailbone, and the small muscles are twitching. Sometimes rhythmical, sometimes all over the place. I don’t linger at these sensations, as I know they will be better once I start my day.
“What are your expectations in participating in this rehabilitation program?” my supervisor asked me on my first day. I was really honest and said that I do not expect much, but I hope that it will give me time to prioritise working out and that it will help me work out in a more structured and targeted manner. I didn’t mean to be negative, I just thought that 12 weeks isn’t that long and I don’t like to get my hopes up only to be let down.
What I should have mentioned is that I hoped that we would be given individual programs, as the group of eight struggled with quite different stuff. By all means, I can see that there are things to learn from each other even if our challenges are not identical, but as the program progressed I felt like the odd kid out because a lot just didn’t sit right with me. Especially I found it difficult how this program offered yet another solution as to what would be my way back to me, a solution that did not take to account where I was in my healing prosess and what was realistic end goals for me.
“I think you can learn how to feel the ground under your right foot, if you just work on it,” she says. I try to tell her that I have a non-reversible damage to my nerve, that my orthopedist, my physical therapist and neurologist have all told me that the sensation is lost now. That it’s been more than two years without any development. I just can’t get through to her. She really believes she can help me. That it’s all in my mind. After she joins me for my next appointment with my physical therapist, she stops telling me that.
The view is magnificent. I’m with my mountains again, as I have been so many times during this vacation. And I’m filled with a feeling of being home again. I’ve found my way back to me. The last few days I’ve worked out, gone fishing, hiked, played with my son, carried heavy photography backpacks, been up longer than 10 PM. And apart from the fact that I wake up feeling like I was in an accident the day before, my body is ok.
What did I take from the rehabilitation program? I’ve just got to keep on moving. In the most literal sense of the word. The human body, or at least my human body, is not made for the static positions at the desk. And to keep me sane, I have to be with nature every damned day.