Posted by sean on February 23, 2020 at 8:58 am in Health with No Comments

It has been 104 days since my mobility scooter toppled over, resulting in three broken limbs, surgery, almost three weeks in hospital and an inability to wash and toilet myself.

Since that awful day in November, I have been unable to work, or even get myself out of bed and walk without major assistance.

The entire ordeal has been horrendous – not only for me, but for Claire. My dedicated, loving wife has taken herself out of work, in order to attend to my every need.

Our wedding vows couldn’t have been more appropriate. “For better, for worse.”, “In sickness and in health.”.

I continue to feel increasingly frustrated at my lack of independence. Although there are no words to express my gratitude to Claire, I just wish that I could do more for myself – most notably, moving, washing and using the toilet.

I am also desperate to get back to work. I know that all of these things will return in time, but there are occasions when it feels like I could be waiting a million years to return to how I was before the accident.

This was never intended to be a downbeat blog post. After you read the next few paragraphs, I hope that you’ll understand that and notice the positivity which I originally intended to convey.

On Friday I took my first steps. This may sound unremarkable to many, but to me, this showed huge progress. I had basically been bedridden for three and a half months. It was as if I was a baby, learning to walk again.

Admittedly, this time I used a walking frame. Unfortunately, barring a miracle, that is my life from now on.

I only managed three steps forward, before retracing my path back to the bed. It’ll be a long time before I can walk out of the front door, cross the road and take on the Cotswolds Way.

For the past few weeks, Claire and I have been of the same opinion that my rehabilitation should be based around baby steps. So far, this has worked, with a little amount of progress being made each day I try to stand or walk.

Hopefully later today, I will be able to try and walk again. I may even manage a few more steps than last time.

You never know, the next time I provide a progress update, I may be walking to my wheelchair and taking myself to the stair lift – my current short term goal.

The final part of this blog is about a programme I watched with Claire recently; focusing on the running of a hospital.

There was one patient with motor neurone disease. He couldn’t have been more than fifteen years older than me.

The gentleman’s only means of communication was by moving his lips. This would control a computer, which would then relay his message using a digital voice, not dissimilar to the one used by Stephen Hawking.

I mention this remarkable man, because despite all his health problems, he remained remarkably upbeat and grateful for life.

When I was much younger than I am now, I had a spell in hospital for reasons different to my recent visits. I overheard an elderly man telling a nurse “I am grateful for every day I wake up alive”.

To some, this may sound morbid, but I find it an incredible and positive way to think about life. It must have made an impact on me, almost twenty years later.

I have been told that I am mentally strong and cope with whatever health problems are thrown at me. As I tell people, what choice do I have?

Despite my many boxes of medical records, my problems don’t come close to those of someone inflicted with motor neurone disease. Then there are those patients missing limbs, brain damaged, suffering with dementia and the terminally ill.

There is always somebody worse off than yourself. Not that I take any pleasure from that, of course. What I can take is inspiration, that if they can cope, so can I.

I hope that somebody will read this and remember my post and the story of the brave patient with motor neurone disease.

I hope that if they or a loved one is ever suffering, mentally or physically, they take inspiration from the strength of others and use this to help in their own fight.

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