“Consider the momentous event in architecture when the wall parted and the column became.” – Louis Kahn
I discovered the above quote the evening of December 30, 2014. Ironically the same day I was released from physical therapy after being a patient for 22 months. It instantly spoke to me. Architecture is the structure of anything. I compared it to the construction of the past two years of my life, where I am the column.
I started physical therapy in February 2013 following my disk herniation. I went to several appointments weekly for 22 months. This became a very important part of my life. Something I was committed to, which helped me greatly along this difficult journey. My physical therapist, Kristin, was wonderful. I appreciated her honesty even if I did not receive the answers I was yearning for.
She saw me on some of my hardest days. Like the days when I was unable to stand upright in the pool to do my exercise routine due to the unbearable pain. On days like this Kristin put a floatation band around my waist, which enabled me to float on my back in the pool. This helped alleviate the pain so she could do exercises with me. Then there were the days when I had to have a medical transit van transport me to my appointments because I had a grand mal seizure and was unable to drive for three months. The van was so bumpy that I would arrive to my appointments in so much pain. Kristin and I worked together leading up to my back surgeries and helped me post-surgeries. Then came the exciting day where I transitioned out of pool therapy and into the gym. She and physical therapy were a consistent part of the past very difficult two years.
I was apprehensive leading up to my last couple of appointments knowing that I would no longer see her every week. My husband, Noah, joined me on my last appointment. We asked Kristin several questions about the do’s and don’ts in the gym and in general. Kristin showed Noah how to do a couple of maneuvers to help realign my hips, sacrum and ribs. Kristin reminded me that my back issues are chronic, that it will not be easy for me, that my recovery will be long and slow and that it is now up to me to continue my exercise routine in order to regain strength and hopefully a better quality of life.
On the momentous day Noah and I walked out of the physical therapy center, I felt a sense of freedom and accomplishment. Although my guided physical therapy concluded at the end of 2014, my physical therapy will continue the rest of my life, guided by what I was taught. I am cautiously optimistic and excited to see how much strength I will regain in 2015. I hope the New Year gifts me with healthy days that enable me to work towards getting stronger and reaching one of my goals to hike again. I may not be able to hike the mountains I once did, but I at least want to get back on those trails and see the mountains again.
When reflecting on the quote by Louis Khan (above), my “wall” was physical therapy. It helped, protected, supported and guided me. As I exited the doors of physical therapy, it was the wall parting. I am now the column strong enough to stand on my own. I am now free from the wall with the foundation and tools; it is now up to me to stand tall and strong.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir
I hope the New Year gifts you with good health that enables you to enjoy wonderful adventures with loved ones.
What goals have you set and/or what are you looking forward to in 2015?