459. Lean On Me

💗Please pray for Mom Bjorlie as she prepares for surgery tomorrow/Friday! 💗

Before I learned how to walk I learned how to stall. When Dr. A6 Frankenstein told me to leave my walker behind and just hold on to his hands I was so scared I tried to buy some extra time by asking, “Are you sure?”

“Yes,” he answered (with great finality).

“Quite sure?” I pressed.

Yes he was sure. PS. He offered me his hands but I gripped his forearms instead. I tried the same trick on R8, who treated me sometimes at The Place. When I asked him the 2nd time (Quite sure?) he responded with, “I’m sure – are you sure?”

But he knew I was afraid so when it came down to it he told me kindly, You can put as much weight on me as you would on a walker.

Note: You’re not really supposed to lean in to a walker. R8 was one of the PTs who told me this. He was just trying to make me feel better.

I didn’t feel better but consoled myself by leaning heavily on both of his arms.

We’ve come a long way since those early days when PT was more of a contact sport since I was a greater fall risk. The guarding style has become looser as I’ve gotten better, which is not to say it’s not vigilant – I’m just given greater liberty since I can self-correct more often now.

Example: One day Coach R said we were going to do a side lunge walking sort of thing. So I eventually made my way to the yellow line on the floor that was supposed to be my guide, took both of the proffered hands and started to do my duty.

Uh oh. As I leaned to the right – not even my left/weaker side! – I felt my entire leg collapsing. We both braced, I avoided contact with the floor, and eventually got my feet under me so I could stand up. But it felt like we were there forever – arms locked, and me trying not to fall. Coach R has told me multiple times that it’s good that I have enough upper body strength to use him to stay upright.

Mmm hmm. I’m just saying that if I had been wearing the gait belt I only recently removed from my purse since no one lets me wear it anyway, that wouldn’t have happened. Yes, we would have had to enlist someone else to actually hold the belt, but the more the merrier, I say!

One morning I saw Trainer D and he had chosen (infuriatingly) to only speak Spanish. I took this as permission to ignore everything he said.   He can communicate well enough in gestures so I was getting ready to do something and I told him I was nervous about keeping my balance.

He opened his arms wide, the ample spread indicating, I’m right here! What could possibly go wrong?

I looked at him with the arms open and the mouth smirking. I think he was holding a water bottle or something. That’s your ready stance?

My open doubt made him laugh bc of course he was planning on keeping things safe – he just likes to see my squirm first.  So he moved closer to my side and then he forgot himself when he saw how appalling my form was on the first rep so he corrected me in English. Once we were speaking the same language I really grasped what he was saying and shifted my weight etc. appropriately.

Several months earlier on my first day back from OR and Boo Boo’s house we were at the same spot in the Gym except I was seated and was supposed to do a twisty balance thing with a medicine ball but Trainer D refused to let me wear my gait belt. Boo Boo was visiting and stood nearby.

Hey, D, I said, twisting to my left and trying not to fall off the bench, Remember that time I was glad to see you?

I’m happy to see you, too! He immediately replied.

[Me, out loud]: Yeah, so I think I might be over that now.


[Me, internally]: Wow – you really walked right into that one, didn’t ya there, Buddy?

He laughed, I did not fall off the bench, and he provided a ton of evidence for Boo Boo that he is the cheerful, neuro nerdy, and Animal Muppet-ish person you read about here.

A friend and fellow AVMer recently told me her son had noted the return of her sarcasm as a true mark of recovery.

I must be really healthy.

Or maybe I’m just mean. You decide.

 Ann Ning Learning How |Nonprofit books on Amazon!

2 thoughts on “459. Lean On Me

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