"Old age comes on suddenly, and not gradually as is thought." Emily Dickinson
Well, it turns out that walking without a cane was something like a teaser. Shortly after that accomplishment, I changed therapists, and we decided that the mechanics of my walking are are too chancy to make walking without a cane a serious goal. The risks of serious back pain outweigh any benefits. We focused instead on posture and walking with good results. I rarely use a wheelchair now, and I walk much longer distances. My goal was to be able to walk from a parking lot to a doctor's office and back, and I have done that and learned to translate that into longish walks in my neighborhood and local parks. I managed to spend a very hot and thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at a minor league ball game and I continued to enjoy piano recitals at local performance halls. Last time out we parked in the basement of the building next door, and I walked to the performance. Other milestones I can remember:
I stopped relying on a wheel chair.
I stayed out of the hospital the whole time.
I learned to walk up and down stairs without assistance, which gives me access to much more of my house.
I filled out the term of the Public Relations Officer who left our Toastmaster District for new employment. This assignment meant I attended many meetings, had many new opportunities for socializing, and produced a monthly newsletter for six months.
I started receiving Botox injections and tried serial casting with some success to coax my right arm into a more natural position.
I finished Middlemarch with great satisfaction and Garrison Keillor's Pontoon. (Cranford is the book I'm working on now.)
During the first part of the year I opened a Netflix account and have started to catch up on movies. I haven't seen anything I haven't enjoyed, and the most significant thing I've seen is The Butterfly and the Bell Jar, in which I could see many similarities to my own experience,
I stopped regular rehab sessions about a month ago. I'm working on organizing the next couple of months. I will work the PR program for my Toastmasters club, have a chance to do some speaking for the hospital at which I've done rehab, will work with a local Brain Injury organization I think mostly on household organization, and have the chance to do some high-vis web work.