At Home Recovery

Outdoor Walks

The weather is getting more springy here in Saint Paul. Heck, it has reached 70 both yesterday and today. This is a welcome achievement for all of us, despite the continued stay-at-home order. We can have windows open, and also spend more time outside. Though we still should not interact with those beyond our households, this does mean we can see neighbors, and interact with them from a safe distance. Quite a change from just a few weeks back.

At my last PT appointment I was given the task of taking one longer walk a day, weather permitting, outside. So far I’ve done this twice, one to each of the corners of our block. Yesterday I used my walker, but found that much more difficult due to the way sidewalks are built (the breaks between the concrete segments meant that I could not really just go without constant stopping to get over obstacles). The walking itself seemed easier than needing to maneuver with the walker, honestly. After that walk we experimented with what it would be like with the walking stick my uncle Christopher gave us for Christmas a few years ago on my left side, and Eric helping support my right side. This was far more successful, and also enables things like going on the grass to maintain 6 feet of separation from others when needed.

This morning I did my second of these endurance exercise walks using the walking stick and Eric (who would join me on the walk even if I didn’t need him at all, to keep me company and get outdoors himself). I managed to achieve a very close to normal walking gait at times, when not really thinking but just walking and enjoying the nice Saturday weather. I think that this is the way that I will do these walks from here on out. This also showed me a clearer path onwards to eventual full recovery, because I was walking far more normally than I ever have with the walker. It forced me to put weight on my right foot in a way that I’d need to be intentional about not weight bearing through my right arm when using the walker. The ultimate goals with these walks will be to be able to do such walks without relying on Eric, eventually without even relying on the walking stick, and somewhere in there increase the distance first to around the whole block, and then beyond. When we approached the house, Mary took the below video to show off my progress (and document that we’re actually using the walking stick for once):