Wait, how do you walk again?

Time for an update! I have now been home for 8 weeks, and a lot has happened in those 8 weeks. I flew home with a Peace Corps Thailand employee who was very helpful. We got to fly business class so I was able to lay down most of the way. I passed the time by sleeping and watching movies. When I got to Portland my aunt, cousin and two paramedics were waiting for me. They were bearing gifts of a vanilla latte and granola, a Moleskine and a stretcher, respectively. I got to visit with my aunt and cousin for a while then rode to Roseburg in an ambulance.

I ended up having to go to my pediatrician in the first week because the orthopedist couldn’t see me for three weeks and I wanted a referral to start physical therapy right away. It was very nice of him to see me since, as he pointed out, I’m a little older than his typical patients. The next week I started going to PT 3 times a week for 6 weeks. I would still be going, but sadly my coverage for PT ended on October 9. I was given 1.5 hours of at home exercises to do every morning and night. I also started doing 45 minutes of pool exercises 3 times a week. I was very tired most of the time. On September 11 the orthopedist allowed me to start putting 50% of my weight on my leg.

Last week I went to the orthopedist again and was released to put 100% weight on my leg. Walking was very exciting and very weird at first. I told my mom it was like I had forgotten how to walk. I’ve been practicing though, and I think I’ve got it down now. I can walk without assistance now, but my physical therapist told me to use a cane when I go out in public so people won’t bump into me, and so I can swing it around to keep people back (I might have added the swinging it around part…..). I went to PT one last time after I could walk to learn my new exercises and how to progress from here. I now do 1.5 hours of exercises at home (6 variations of planks included. I hate planks) daily and 45 minutes of pool exercises and gym work 3 times a week.

In Thailand I was told I would be “as good as new” in three months, and since the 90 day mark is less than 30 days away I can tell you that isn’t true. But I’ve been told 6 months to a year by doctors here and I think by 6 months I will be pretty close. I’m happy with my progress so far.

Other than all the exercising I’ve been reading a lot, watching the Ducks and beating my mom at various board, card and dice games. In fact, I think I’ll go do that now. Thanks for reading. Go Ducks!


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