So there hasn’t actually been any blood, but plenty of sweat and tears involved in the Kunming Walking Programme! I can, without a doubt, say that any progress that patients make on this programme is through sheer determination and hard work.. nothing comes without trying and we are all busting our asses in the gym all day every day.
My mum left last week, so I have been finding a way to cope without her here. The first few days were extremely tough. I felt so overwhelmed and exhausted and kept randomly bursting into tears in the gym. It was all just becoming too much for me and I hadn’t realised just how much I had been relying on my mum for emotional support as well as taking care of all the domestic chores. Getting back from a long day in the gym and finding that I needed to cook, clean and sort things out before I could relax and sleep was taking its toll. I really began to question being out here… is this what I really want and why the hell would I put myself through all of this?!
Then I came to my senses.. I had some sound advice from the people over here as well as my family back home, and I realised that of course I want to be here. I need to take full advantage of this opportunity, and I have worked so hard to get where I am that I would be crazy to just give up now. The physical exhaustion was clouding my judgement and so I took the whole weekend off to just relax and catch up on sleep. I felt refreshed going back into the gym on Monday and this week has been great so far.
On a more practical note, I have also hired a housekeeper who will come everyday to clean the apartment, do my washing, go to the market to buy food and chop all the vegetables up. It is extremely surprising just how time consuming chopping vegetables is!! She will make my life so much easier, and I can get back to focusing solely on the gym.
My progress in the gym is still continuing in the right direction. During my low point last week I was starting to feel like I wasn’t progressing at all. At times the language barrier can become extremely frustrating.. I can only get limited feedback from the physios, and I need Emma (the hospital translator) to walk alongside me and translate what I’m doing well and what I need to work on.
And then yesterday I was completely thrown when half way through my walk, my physio announced that it was time to take the other rope off that helps to lock out my knees. She had removed the rope from my left leg a couple of weeks ago, but she now thought it would be time to take off the other one. She also now thinks I’m stable enough to be left to stand on my own most of the time… she of course stays nearby, but it always terrifies me when she takes a step back!
So all in all it has been quite an up and down couple of weeks.. but I think I’m through the worst of it! I am definitely hoping there will be no more tears for a while. The poor Chinese student physios must think I am crazy with all of my emotions in the last week! Hopefully there will be no blood either… I have had a few impressive bruises on my feet from kicking the front of the walker when I take a step. So that just leaves sweat.. I am pushing myself probably harder than I ever have in my life, so there’s bound to be some sweat involved in that (also, it is boooiling in the gym in the afternoons!)
I have uploaded my latest walking video here, so check it out.