96. Pardon


If I tripped at The Place and needed rescuing I used to say, “Pardon.” You know, like “excuse me” – it was just reflex, but apparently it was funny because other patients don’t say that when they bump into their PT or almost fall on them. I got it from my cousin JE. She was born and raised in Malaysia and I think I adopted some of her verbal traits, or at least that one, when she stayed with us for a while when she moved to the States for school.

My children are used to my own patterns of speech, e.g. if I say I’m going to powder my nose, they know I really mean I’m going to the restroom. I think I got this phrase from Tanpo – isn’t that funny? But the phrase, “Pardon,” is more opaque for them. Since I’ve had hearing loss, I often don’t hear what Ezra says to me, so I say, “Pardon?” “It’s not ‘pardon,’” he responds, and then he repeats whatever he said. I’ve tried to explain the word to him, but he doesn’t really care at the moment.

Years and years ago, around the time of the “considerate” conversation, Hannah asked me, “What’s ‘pardon’ like?” I told her it is another way to say “Excuse me.” “Oh,” she said, comprehendingly, “In my family we just say, ‘What?’” I couldn’t argue with that so we just carried on with whatever we were doing.

I had a chance to use Hannah’s turn of phrase at my last evaluation with PT37. Not only has Leo (the cane) been banished from the gym, but PT37 has added all sorts of fun tests to the roster so I keep on progressing in the direction of normal walking. The picture above is the list of things you’re supposed to do. If you’re having trouble zooming in on your computer I’ll just tell you it includes regular walking, hopping on one foot (!), skipping (!!), and some other stuff I’ve blocked out. I know what hopping on one foot looks like (I wasn’t able to replicate it very well, but I didn’t fall down), but I needed a reminder about what skipping is supposed to look like. When I asked, What’s skipping like?, PT37 obligingly demonstrated by skipping down the hall. At least one passer-by laughed at her. Thanks,PT37! FYI, skipping is kind of a step-hop motion, and you’re supposed to switch between legs as they lead you forward. I got about 3 skips in (with PT37 holding my hand and gait belt), before I had to stop due to my (left) leg protesting and my prohibitive giggling, but a nice lady (the family member of a patient) cheered for me as I ended my skipping adventure.

I haven’t skipped since I got sick. I can step-hop with my right leg, but when I try to skip with my left leg in front I don’t get much, if any, air, which kind of puts a damper on the step-hop motion. But hey, we’re trying – and the unexpected encouragement I received at the end made my day.