There was a joke started in my family while I was in the hospital. Back story: my sister’s baby turned 1 the day before this past surgery. I have a knack for having surgeries around important dates. The surgery prior to this one was on my dad’s birthday. The one when I was 10 was just before Easter, but luckily the Easter bunny still managed to find me there. It’s like I ask “when is the next holiday/celebration?” and then I plan a surgery accordingly. Or so it seems.
Back to the joke. So because my baby niece is 1, my mom and I started joking that there were two new competitions between me and her: 1) see who could walk first; 2) see who gets out of diapers first. Ok, so one of the glamorous awful side effects of back surgery is that sometimes the bladder is harmed. Luckily (and I do count this as one of the luckiest things in my entire life) is that my bladder came back quickly. So I beat the baby girl at that one. Booyah!
The other one, well, she has me on that one. The little angel decided to cheat. She decided to skip crawling and just go straight to running. Almost literally. My sister got her a walker thing and from her first step, she was literally off. And that little baby didn’t go slowly and unsteadily. She went full speed ahead. Cut to me who can barely take a few steps. I’m like a baby giraffe on wobbly and unsteady knees. I’ve been walking for 31 years off and on. How have I forgotten how to walk? And how can this little baby monkey just be up and running? To add insult to injury, she loves to hang on my wheelchair as if to say that not only is she more mobile, she’s doing acrobatics on my wheelchair! What I find comforting though is that she’s into cruising around on her own and figuring things out. And by the time she wants to walk around with me and play games, I’ll be healed. That’s my biggest motivation in getting back on my legs.
I’ve come to a realization though: baby girl is smarter than I am! She skipped crawling. She went from sitting there to running. You know why? Crawling sucks? I’ve just gotten to the stage where I am able to crawl. Not to brag, but I’m pretty good. But, it still sucks! My knees get dirty. If I’m not careful, I get rug burn on my toes. Getting back up off the ground is super hard. It sucks. But, it’s the most mobility I have right now, so I’ll do it. And they say it will help me walk better, so I’ll do it even more. And I’m resourceful so I’ve found ways to cope. Toes get rug burned? I’ll wear socks. (Shoes cause too much resistance and I’m not trying to make things that much harder on myself.) Knees get dirty? I’ll wear shock absorbent knee pads. (Funny story: before my surgery I was falling so often that my dad bought me volleyball knee pads to wear under my pants as my knees were pretty much destroyed.) It’s hard to get back up? I’ll keep doing it until I get up easier. Little baby can walk better than me? Use it as motivation to one day be able to keep up with her.