Actually it has been three months, 23 days, and 18 hours since I found myself on the floor and unable to do anything about it. I have to remember that day often to make myself realize that I really have made a lot of progress…a LOT of progress. The problem is that the progress comes so slowly and in such tiny increments that everyone, including me, gets very bored with trying to mark it.
So where am I on this crazy journey called labyrinthitis? Still on the couch most of the time but beginning to be off of it a little more the past couple of weeks.
1. About an hour at a time is all I really feel like holding my head at attention so I go to worship on Sundays, but not class. I see progress there though.
a. I was able to remove my shades for the first time last Sunday.
bb. I can now look at the minister a good bit instead of having to look at the floor.
c c. For the most part, I walk in and out without clinging to Rickey.
These are things that most people may not even notice…well except for the shades. Rickey assures me that every drug dealer in town is excited to think that he has a new customer!
2. We had a death in our family, and I was able to ride to East Texas last week. It did make me very sick, and I did not go to the funeral, but I was able to visit with the family. I could not have ridden that far even a few weeks ago so that is quite a bit of progress.
3. Last week for the first time, Kallie was able to put me in the shampoo bowl. Even a couple of weeks ago, leaning backwards would have thrown me out of the chair because the room would have turned over and thrown me.
4. I did my first real walk yesterday. Before November 11, it was nothing for me to power walk 8-10 miles per day. Yesterday, I managed about two miles…on a cane…and extremely slowly. I was so tired that I don’t think I ever closed my eyes last night, but the walk was HUGE progress. Here’s where I am on walking now.
a. I have to look straight at the ground, never looking up.
bb. I lean pretty heavily on a cane, but I think that is for tired, not balance.
cc. I can’t turn my head.
dd. If I want to look at something, I have to stop, get myself planted, then look up, and then turn my head carefully.
If I do any of these things differently, I will fall. However, I tell myself that there are lots of healthy people who can’t walk two miles and that makes it sound better!
5. Inside my house, I seldom fall anymore and really don’t think most people would notice that I have any problem if they were to watch me go through my daily routine.
6. I am no longer walking on marbles, which is great since marbles are very slick. I am, however, now walking on marshmallows, not so slick, but still able to flip me if I am not careful. The energy that it takes to measure every step while walking on marshmallows is tremendous, the exhaustion that comes from it huge.
7. I am still riding with shades and closed eyes because I still can’t stand the motion of things coming at me or even buildings flying beside me.
8. Today, I plan to go to a track meet. It has not been long since I could not have watched a race without becoming very sick. I don’t think that will be the case today.
I think that is about it. I talked with the doctor last week who told me that he believes four more months will see me much improved and even driving once again. He told me that the things I mentioned on 7. are the things that will be the last to improve. So far, he has been right on so I assume he is correct about this as well.
I look forward to going to Johns Hopkins at the end of April just to see if they can find anything that we have missed. It has been a LONG 3 months!!