Thursday, January 11, 2007

First Steps!

The lake in Prien (the Chiem See) where Marlis and I went for an outing sometimes

This last week has been very eventful, with me shifting to an apartment round the corner from Ariela’s place, for a few days, together with Marlis who has come down from Berlin to help me get back on my feet. The “holiday apartment” which Marlis tracked down from the internet is perfect. Cosy, well furnished, clean and bright. And it is on the ground floor so that going out is not a big deal.

Marlis at the lake

A couple of days after we arrived the landlady, a friendly soul, probably in her late fifties, came over to collect the weeks rent as she was off on vacation the next day. She talked a blue streak while Marlis and I nodded politely every now and then, hardly able to get in a word edge wise, and it felt like she would never stop. She talked about having lived in Berlin for 30 years and then having moved to Frankfurt and how she came down to Bavaria and how the Berliners in Bavaria never really settle down and look down their nose at everything. Then she told us about one of her regular tenants, a man who has spent a lot of time in India, with Sai Baba and heals sick people in the area with meditation and “energy work”. Finally, almost reluctantly she took leave of us and Marlis and I were able to return to philosophising about life in general.

A slightly hazy pic of me taking my first steps with a pair of crutches

We’ve been at work of course ever since we arrived here which was last Thursday – me exercising, with Marlis helping me to find my feet and my balance again and I am discovering both the joy and pain (literally!) of being able to walk again. The first day was both the most frightening and probably the most rewarding. I was told that the point at which I felt most unstable and was filled with the most fear was the very point to which I needed to drive myself and where I had to learn to stay, in order to be able to take my first step. Anything short of that would mean that I was still hovering in the comfort zone which didn’t offer any promising returns.

I realised that in the weeks that I’ve been immobile I’ve actually lost my sense of balance (if ever I had it in the first place!) and that the straight position which Marlis made me stand in made me initially feel as if I was standing crooked and at an angle. Strange how even your body loses touch with reality if it hasn’t been working for a while.

By and by, with my heart in my mouth I learnt to take the first few faltering steps. When we moved in here the walker had not arrived so we had to make do with the wheel chair. I would hang on to the handles of the wheel chair and push it forward in order to be able to take a step. Today almost a week later, I am comfortable moving around on my own with the aid of the walker and learning to also cope with crutches – which is the next step. I don’t know how long it will take for me to get back to where I was before I fell, but at least at this moment it feels like it’s been an eventful week and apart from learning to walk again I am learning what it means to take risks and how important it is to be able to deal with fear and instability to be able to move ahead.

2 comments:

Stardust said...

I am cheering for you, Uma! Just take it one day at a time and you will get back to normal before you know it.

Sudha said...

Good show, Uma. waiting for you to get back here. Tell Marlis she looks great.