Thursday, March 15, 2012

Feeling it

I've been going to physical therapy (PT) for way over a year. It's a weekly ritual where I started using a gait-assisted treadmill shortly after starting Ampyra. The treadmill holds my upper body in a harness and I walk. I started at .2 mph with a bunch of big therapy (ie fat rubber) bands attached to my feet to help me kick, and my therapist stood behind me doing a lot of work guiding my legs so they went straight and landed on the treadmill, without crossing over each other.

Now the therapy bands are gone and I'm kicking on my own and up to 1.2 miles per hour. My therapist is still behind me, but not doing much at all (she says) and I can walk about 30 seconds on my own.

Today was different. In this weekly walking ritual, I have to think to kick each leg forward with almost every step, in order to keep a rhythm and speed. Today I was thinking of that as well, each leg. But something happened. Even while I was thinking, I had a sensation, and how to explain this is difficult. I had the sensation that I really was walking, that the motion of my foot, pressing from heel to toe, across the ground, was natural - the motions felt natural and not awkward, hesitating, or like I was swaying from side to side in order to walk. In a sense, it felt calm.

That sensation - I don't recall the last time I had it. And with it came this old "runner's high" feeling - that's the feeling that I could keep going forever, that this was easier. And so I kept going for 20 minutes. before we had to stop (muscle recovery thing). We I started again, the feeling didn't come back in quite the same way, but I walked 10 more minutes and then we simply had no more time.

So today I'll celebrate the "runner's high" in my walking, where walking felt natural and that was emotional - it's another one of those things I hadn't realized I had lost - the feeling of walking naturally.

2 times in my life I have heard someone in a presentation say "What's the one thing you want in life?" I won't write it here, but many can guess what it is. The first time I heard it I went home and called my mom in despair. This week someone asked that again. I didn't feel that despair, and today I felt...

Never say never.

You really never know what's going to happen in this mysterious thing called life.


1 comment:

Anna said...

Istumbled across your blog-I'm in the process of being diagnosed with MS right now. This much improvement in walking is definitely worth celebrating!!