All week sincec coming home from the hospital, my energy level has been great, and the challenge has been to keep from overdoing things and causing some sort of regression to my rehab levels. The danger here is real, because of where I was a week ago (before skull surgery), and I have no desire to fall back to that place. It was dis-empowering and dehumanizing. In "normal" life I’m used to being able to add new challenges to life at a whim, and I find that this is one of the things that keeps me very happy.
So my improved health since skull surgery keeps me happy from this standpoint. Very happy.
To put my current health into clear terms, I’ve got a ways to progress before I’m myself again. First – through the course of my recovery I’ve lost over 30 lbs. i’ll freely admit to being a bit heavier than I’d prefer prior to the accident, but I’d call it perhaps 8-10 lbs maximum. 30 lbs is a lot to make up, and given my poor energy level and high degree of pain I was continuing to lose more weight prior to the surgery, which scared me. Late this week, I’d progressed to the point of eating about 5 meals per day, which means I’m rebounding nicely – finally.
The second progression has to do wit my ability to deal with background noise when traveling by car or being in a random "outdoor" setting. Prior to surgery, I had lots of trouble standing this. Well – this week I’ve spent a fair bit of time out and about, a couple of times in restaurants, and much more time riding from place to place. I can’t tell you how different I feel relative to last week. I’m feeling human again, and really enjoying general socializing again. This is a huge advance to my spirit, as I’m feeling much more like myself.
Third, I’ve been enjoying my walks much more. Yesterday, my brother and I walked into Bridle Trails State Park, and made it a ways towards the mail corral. That’s a very minor distance to claim for a run or walk, but for me it’s a great start into rehabilitation. Bein able to stride confidently over the roots across the trail feels great, and gives me confidence to slowly increase the duration of my walks, which (hopefully) lays the basis for re-entering the running world when I’m ready for that. I’m only walking for about 25 minutes so far, but am confident I’ll do more in the coming days.
Interestingly, my appearance prompts lots of questions from folks. For example this evening we attended the "opening ceremony" for Kayla’s new school. It’s an all-girls school in Seattle, so it’s a big change, but one she, Kris, and I are really excited about. Mingling about with my white turban on prompted several of the students, and a number of parents to ask what had happened to me. And this was an opportunity to introduce myself to them as a positive person, who feels he’s one of the luckiest souls in the world.
I’m really feeling that provided most of my health issues reconcile, I’ll look back on my experience with the accident as positive. Yes, really.
I know it sounds strange, but the lessons I’m drawing from this experience have taught me some important lessons about how good people are. And their goodness has kept me from feeling bitterness about what’s happened. Not completely, but by a very healthy majority of the time.
Living positively through this all is much better food for my soul.