Monday, August 1, 2011

Have Walker Will Travel

Sunday was as close to a perfect day as they come.  My oldest daughter, Jessica, called in the morning and we had a lovely chat about her week spent on vacation with friends.  (Later I found that one of her friends posted photos of the week on facebook, so I got to "see" her, too!)

David dropped me off at church before heading out to the fairgrounds to work on the Bee Barn in preparation for the fair next week, and Kailyn met me at the car to walk into church with me.  (She teaches preschool at the first service.)  I enjoyed the service and seeing friends and former students who attend, as I've been gone for a few weeks during my recovery. Three people volunteered to help me set up my classroom, so that was an added bonus!

After church I asked Kailyn what she wanted to do, and she said, "What do you want to do?"  I wanted to go for a drive out to Lucia and Moulton Falls, and take a short "hike".  As David wasn't home to tell me not to, we packed up some ice bags in a cooler, a few snacks and water bottles, my walker, and headed out of town.

Oh, the drive was gorgeous!  The sun was shining, and traffic was fairly light.  We both love the drive out along the Lewis River, and have spent many hours hiking the various trails and visiting the many falls in the area, but the last time we'd been out there together was New Years Day. Finally, we have something that looks and feels like summer around here and we were loving the warm breeze through the open windows as we puttered along.

We drove past Lucia Falls and turned off on Hantwick Road, as there is a wheelchair assessable trail leading from the parking lot that we remembered from previous trips.  After parking, Kailyn brought me the walker and we set off toward the trail.  As we started down the paved pathway, my eyes filled with tears and turning to Kailyn,  I told her, "Thank you for bringing me out here.  I appreciate you so much."  She snapped a picture of me "walker hiking" when we got a bit further down the path.

I was one happy momma!  I still tear up, remembering the earthy smells of the trees, listening to the gurgling of the river near by, and the smiles and "hellos" we received from those we passed on our "hike".  It wasn't very long, as I am more careful about overdoing, now that I've learned it just sets me back.  We walked, Kailyn as always matching my pace, over the little bridge and along the path, soaking up the sights and sounds of nature.  The path had a few hills and dips, not significant in my pre surgery days, but more than I've attempted as yet, so after about 15 minutes, when I began to feel the tell tale effects of discomfort in my knee, I told her I needed to turn back.

By the time we returned to the car, I was more than ready to slap an ice pack on my knee, but thoroughly thrilled at having my little adventure.  We drove back toward Lucia Falls and parked.  Kailyn wanted to walk over to look at the falls, and I thought I'd take the wider upper path for a short walk, but quickly decided I had done enough, as it was not paved and pretty bumpy.  I returned to the car and kept the ice on, and people watched while I waited for Kailyn to get her fill of the falls.  

Stopping for sandwiches and shakes at Dollar's Corner, we talked about our "hike" and Kailyn told me she was proud of me for not insisting on going farther.  I even took a couple of short rests on my handy walker seat!  I thought about what a change I've gone through, forced by the recovery journey, to pay attention to my body, and really listen for how I should be caring for this new knee.  I desperately wanted to go on a real hike, however, that's just not reasonable just yet.  Kailyn, in her willingness to drive me in the van, (which she doesn't care for!) allowed me to experience my love of nature, and a mini hike, which soothed my soul as not much else has the past few weeks.

This week I feel confident that full recovery is near enough to taste.  I'm experiencing little pain, except after "strenuous exercise" (the hike pain actually didn't last . . . but after physical therapy, as they are adding new exercises every time now, I do feel the pain!)  I'm making sure and steady progress on my range of motion (now 115 degrees, goal 120!) and I can stand longer periods of time.

I am eternally grateful for the continued support and encouragement I've received from friends, family and my blogging friends.  I am looking forward to future topics other than my recovery journey, yet acknowledge the "rightness" of being here today.  I am grateful for my walker, but can't wait to trade it for a cane, and eventually be free of both.  However, for now, "Have Walker Will Travel" is my mantra and my ticket out the front door!

My driver and hiking pal, Kailyn, and me!


  1. This is just wonderful! Key blessings I picked up from reading this:

    * you have a great daughter and wonderful friends
    * you have a positive, forward looking attitude
    * you listen to your body
    * your spirit, soul, and body were renewed by time in church and in nature

  2. We gotta do what we gotta do! Congratulations on pacing yourself. Hard to do sometimes, but it really speeds the healing. WooHoo!

  3. Oh, Sandi! What a joy-filled post. Isn't it interesting what healing balm being outside and moving can be. I love both pictures, as I love you and your family. So glad you've got help with your classroom.

  4. It sounds as if your determination is going to get you to your goal. I am glad you had a good day out, even if the walking part was fairly curtailed.

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I've scrolled down yours and found a black lab with a white chin and pictures of a garden. Guess what, both apply to me too.

  5. It's amazing what nature can do for one's soul. I'm glad you got to go on your mini hike.

    To answer your question on my post. Yes we had enough hamburgers and hot dogs. We had to break out the just in case box.

  6. Wow! Well done! Church, nature, family and friends all contributing to healing, but most of all that fantastic effort you are putting in!
    Thanks for your recent visit and comment Sandi. I guess we will get there on all counts, one small step and a time, with those familiar tears but happy smiles at the same time!

  7. How wonderful...being close to nature always renews my spirit.

  8. What an adventurous day you have had out there in the comfort of nature! No wonder it has soothed your soul.
    It's heartwarming to read this blog which is full of optimism and promises of a better future. You are truly blessed to have all these people who care about you.

  9. Now that is true progress, Sandi! Not only going out and smelling the proverbial roses, but also getting a little bit of exercise underfoot. How uplifting and happy it makes me to hear that you are getting there, and listening to your body as you heal and learn how to take care of the new knee... Yayy!

  10. Good job! You look so happy and I'm glad you're getting out and about. I know many people who don't want to go out because of the walker..I'm so glad you didn't let that stop you from enjoying your life. Soon you'll be back on those trails with just a good pair of sneakers!

  11. Good for you! You're making good progress. What a joy that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I bet you slep well that night after your hike.

    Jann aka #1Nana...blogger is conspiring to not let me post with my name.

  12. Years ago I read a book called "Joy in the Morning." It was truly a joyous book and left me feeling buoyant. Your blog today does the same. It is woven of the joy of family and church, nature and care for yourself. This truly says to me that all shall work out unto good. Thank you for this delightful story from your life today.

  13. You have done so well with your rehab. Congratulations!

    My patients seem quite fond of those rollator walkers. I had a lady who asked for a red one--the medical supply provider didn't have that color at that moment. She was okay with a blue one :-))



Thank you for visiting my blog. I enjoy the connections made with others, and welcome feedback! I make every effort to read and comment on the blogs of all who visit my site. Seek the light!