Sunday, January 07, 2007

what if?

When Robb was in the hospital, we had hours of time together with nothing to do but talk. It seemed like no topics were off-limits, and so, for this reason, I actually recall this horribly difficult and stressful time with some odd fondness.

Lately, Robb and I have realized that we have been avoiding discussing certain subjects. The really, really big subjects.

Like, how we are both dealing with the notion that Robb is in the midst of a recovery whose outcome is a complete unknown to us.

And like, how his recovery is going to happen or not happen, regardless of how hard he works in his therapy sessions. All the work he does, with the therapists and at the gym, may not be the thing that re-enervates his muscles. So little is known about "incomplete" spinal cord injuries, because each case is so different. Only time will tell.

Additionally, we have been avoiding discussing what our lives might be like in the future, when the recovery period ends, and we are living with the outcome of this injury. We have been living in a sort of limbo, where we don't dare to make any long term plans.

I think we stay away from these sorts of subjects the way one might try to avoid re-stubbing a sore toe. But I'm not certain that avoiding thinking and talking about all this is a very good idea. Especially not for me. If I bottle up something that upsets me, it eventually comes bursting out, with a scary amount of force.

I believe that these thoughts were festering inside of me, because for a while, Robb's recovery seemed to be a bit bogged down. And strangely, I think I was finally able to face some of this stuff when I realized that improvements were happening, again.

Robb is now able to feel more of his back. He is starting to feel more "complete" again, and not like a collection of disconnected body parts. He has more energy.

Of course, that still doesn't mean that every day is a good day. In fact, I think Robb's mood has been rather sober, of late. We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of Robb's spinal cord injury, and whenever the Cosmic Odometer rolls over, it has the potential for being an upsetting time. Robb and I were out walking today, and he admitted that he had hoped to be much further along than where he is now. But he also said that in the context of a recovery that may go on for over two years, thinking of where he is now as the Halfway Point is not such a bad thing.


shiloh said...

I'm not in the medical or rehab field so my opinion isn't worth much so take it for what it's worth.

Concider that Robb is as recovered as he'll ever get and make your long term plans based on that. You know he WILL get better as time goes on but that will be icing on the cake and you both will have moved forward.

Anonymous said...

this man as a lot of insights on spinal injuries.. you can listen on the radio, or read his columns or book


Anonymous said...

I just got an email from a nice Nigerian nun who wants to give me money. When it comes to me (as I'm sure it will) I'll set you guys up financially for life, so that your next career will be giving money away to worthy letterboxers across the great state of California. So don't worry whats to happen next, I'm sure this will work out.

My back up plan depends upon Pat Robertson, believe it or not, he is predicting some "bad things" to kill off part of the USA this year, and I figure since he's such a GOOD PERSON that of course God will call him "home" as well. My plan to deal with this event is to have Mr Pat sign all his stuff over to me, as he won't need his cars or money or homes or tax exempt status if he's dead right? Think of all the cool stuff we can get! I bet that guy has a flat screen tv as well. I should have thought of this scheme decades ago!

In reality, I figure since its a new year, its only gonna get better, or get slightly better, but it's a far cry from where you both were a year ago when this first happened to you. Make small goals that can be worked up to, in order to get a feeling of accomplishment. Me, I'm up to bathing once a week, and am quite proud of myself, all my neighbors are pleased as well.

Smelling squeeky clean, Annalisa


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