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The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

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and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

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Tuesday
Nov052013

The Step

As of today I have been in treatment for five weeks. My world has been shaken, stirred and dumped into the lap of my pain therapist. Bits and pieces have scattered to my physical therapist, pain management doctor and neuro-feedback specialist. Other bits have dropped through cracks of light to my friends and family who have stayed with me throughout these past weeks to take me to appointments from morning to night. Some days have been easier that others, but this past week was the toughest so far.

With each step, my perky got perked. by the reality of where I am. Which is - not at home.

As a mother and wife, the hardest thing to do is take care of yourself. In retrospect, I don't know how I ever parented or wived at all without knowing what it feels like to nurture my self. So I have had to accept that these steps I am taking in treatment are the most important of my life.

Part of my treatment is releasing past traumas. Retraining my brain to operate optimally under my circumstance. Learning to walk again in my mind, then transferring this to real world practice. I am peeling layers away from who I am to discover the potential in who I am to be. Will I be a mother, a wife, in a wheelchair? Or is this just for now? I am learning to live hour by hour when I used to think day by day was enough. But it looks like the hour has come that is shedding light in what has been the darkest of times.

A different kind of step. Physical Therapy is trying to retrain my legs to walk. I am placed in a harness suspended from the ceiling as I practice walking with aides lifting my legs and feet as I go. We discovered this week that I have hip flexion and can begin to raise my knee while vertical! When I am sitting, I can move my toes, pulling my feet up and then pointing my toes down. The issue is - when I stand and try to walk, something changes. My toes feel drilled into the floor. I can raise my heel but my leg won't pull off the ground. So this is where I am at.

Now my therapist, Jim, devised a brilliant exercise of tying my toes to my shin with a therapy band so my toes are pulled up as my legs move to walk. As long as I don't have to raise my toes myself, it looks like I could maneuver. But the key is can I get this movement back naturally or would I need leg braces to work this world?

We will see. Until we know, I will work harder than ever before to relearn the most basic of chores. The step. The step to being who I was, from who I have learned to be.


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