Small Wins

As in many facets of life, small wins are critical in recovery too. Here is a litany of firsts I accomplished in the last three weeks, in my ongoing recovery from knee surgery:

▶ Standing with weight evenly distributed on both legs, without a crutch or having to brace myself on something.

▶ Lifting my injured leg on quad power alone (photo above). My thigh muscles had weakened significantly from almost three months of unuse. It took a surprising amount of physical therapy and work to get them functional again.

▶ Leaving the house on my own, even for something as unremarkable as going for a walk around the block, was significant. I’d mentioned in the first post, that I’d lost confidence as my body lost its ability to carry me. Trusting it to carry me for that sloooow 50 metres around the block, meant that my strength was coming back.

▶ Graduating from both crutches, to just one. Then graduating from that, to a tongkat (walking cane).

▶ Being able to stand in the shower. This is huge. Getting showered has been a circus of furniture moving, timed swap of walking aids and other … I’d say song and dance, but I was definitely not dancing, so I’ll use “drama” instead. What used to be 10 minutes showering and 2 minutes getting dressed, would take an hour — more on this in a later post.

▶ Walking the first few steps, then first 10 metres, then first 100 metres, without a crutch. I’m still using a knee brace for stability though. Looking forward to the day I’m feeling good enough for that to come off.

▶ Taking public transport for the first time! Just me, my walking stick, and my sorely missed independence.

In August this year, I had surgery for a knee injury sustained the month before. I’m documenting my process of recovery, and learning to walk again. See all posts in this series.

Me and my robot (braced) leg waiting for the MRT (metro train), for the first time in three months. This incredibly ordinary activity felt incredibly momentous.