On February 1st, two years ago, I stood up for the first time since my accident! I have made lots of progress and gotten so much stronger in the past two years. Standing up makes me feel strong and proud! It was wobbly and hard to balance at first but now it’s pretty easy to do! I have even stood up all by myself at the gym!
I am able to do it pretty easily from the bicep machine because my feet are positioned right under me. I recently learned that standing up from my wheelchair is different from standing up from the bicep machine because my feet are more in front of me so I have to strengthen different muscles in my legs to be able to do that. I have added standing up from my chair (on my own) to my list of goals!
There are a few things I have to do to make sure I’ll be able to stand. For example, I have to stretch my ankles every morning or it’s almost impossible to stand up straight. They are super tight so if they aren’t stretched out I push through my tippy-toes. Also, I have clonus in my ankles which is a neurological condition that occurs when nerve cells that control the muscles are damaged. The damage causes involuntary muscle contractions or spasms where my feet jump super fast. Also, I have to wear those pink boots (?) to keep my knees from hyper-extending and my ankles from rolling. So, hopefully, the stronger I get, the less these things will happen!
After the last shunt surgery a year and half ago, I wanted to get back to how strong I was as fast as I could. I started standing up everyday. I mainly focused on just getting up and doing squats so that I could get to where I could stand up easily, but lately, I have started standing for longer periods of time. My back gets tired a lot faster than my legs and I start leaning forward. That’s also something I have to work on! I’ve made it to almost 3 minutes of standing on my own. It’s amazing to see how strong my legs have gotten over the past two years and I can’t wait see how much more progress I make over the next two!