On our nightly call, I got to hear all about your day.
The occupational therapist got you a proper wheelchair today. Last Friday they set you up with one that had a defective left footrest. Then they found you one that was far too big and when you got tired, you would sort of slumped in the chair, putting pressure on your bad left shoulder. It had small wheels so you could not self propel properly. You had that chair until this morning. You like your new chair. You can maneuver it about with some ease although distances can be tiring.
Your physio session was good you said. You walked! I was stunned. I could imagine how you did this. You told me of how you stood between the parallel bars. You held on with one hand. I think you had a support on you for safety and a brace on your left leg. You shifted your weight to your left foot and take a step and then somehow shuffle your left foot forward so that you could take another step. You repeat this action until you got to the end of the parallel bars. You are a little confused as to how this happened. But you are happy it did. I wondered if the PT ‘helped’ you shuffle the left leg a bit.
“I really like the PT. She builds confidence.” After the parallel bar routine, you did some standing with the PT student. It was good. You stood for a little over a minute but you tired out quickly.
You have a ‘through the grape vine’ visitor today. He is going to rehab a few times a week. He stopped in to visit you. His daughter, Jennifer, you know well and love from the church. You liked your visit with Brewer. You confessed your sins to him. “He is very nice and positive. I hope to see him again.”
You played a card game with the recreational therapist. The game is called ‘Sequence’. It combines cards and chips into a game. You won… twice.
The afternoon passes slowly. TV sucks, not enough channels. You have been spoiled by all the channels that you have at home. Do you remember those days when we only got 2 ½ channels on a good day. The reception was so poor, we didn’t really know what the main characters looked like on our favorite TV show then, the X-files.
In the afternoon, you got over to the Timmy’s for coffee with some other patients. You drank your coffee with the coffeemate. “I could get used to it.” You said.
The long afternoon hours will be hard. Hopefully soon there will be other appointments for other therapies. “I can’t even read well.” You said. That’s not true. You seem to read newspaper articles all right. I think it’s to do with the small column width. You don’t have to track your eyes so far to the left to catch the left-hand margin. I printed up the first 150 pages of you journal for you to read. Tomorrow we’ll see if you can read it OK. If not I can re-format it and make it into columns.
You said that you have been confessing to everyone and anyone who will listen. You confess to both the smoking and gambling. I think you are proving that confession is good for the soul. “The truth I told in the past was tainted with my giant lies. I lived a double life.” You said “I lived a lie. I was good at lying. Compulsive gamblers are very good liars.”
“Will I ever get to play the Dad role for real again? Or just be your big kid?” The day you chose to live was the new beginning of your father role. Now that you are rebuilding yourself, you are going to be a more amazing father. I think the children have already seen glimpses of their new and improved Dad. Just as I am seeing a new image of you as a husband.
I asked you if I could write about your gambling too? (I had written some a few days ago but I didn’t want to post it until you felt that it was OK.) It helps explain a lot about your need to run. You traded one addiction for another. I thought that it was your only addiction. Now you are trading your smoking addiction for another addiction … Addiction to Life. Addiction to a new life.
You said “YES, I have nothing to hide. Maybe my pain and experience might help someone else. I want to help others.”
I told you that I feel like we are in the home stretch of the marathon. You don’t agree. “If this was the Johnny Miles Marathon, then I would be just finishing the first 2.5 kilometer loop. I have a long way to go.” You added “I know this is where I have to be, so I can get home.”