Pretty Good for a Monday

October 7, 2008

Mariah greeted me with a big smile when I returned to her bedside yesterday. She said she wasn’t doing “so good”. I chattered for a moment, asking questions, and she said, “I missed you, Dad. Would you please stop talking so I can sleep?” Obliging, I read Allan Johnson’s excellent, “Privilege, Power and Difference” while she snoozed.

Then it was time for the daily Mariacle.

Sue, her physical therapist, arrived and suggested some outdoor perambulation, given that it was such a gorgeous Southern autumn day. To my surprise and delight, Mariah readily agreed. Sue moved the wheelchair close to the bed, and Mariah sat up. She reached out to grasp the arm of the chair, and lifted herself from the bed and into the chair in one graceful motion! “Wow,” I thought, “I’ve never seen that before! A week can make a big difference during reemergence.”

But wait. There’s more.

Mariah used her feet to propel her chair from the 2nd floor ward through the hospital and to the edge of the grassy lawn outside. Sue and I extended a supporting hand to each of hers, and she slowly stood from the chair. Nodding her readiness and holding our hands lightly, she walked carefully and deliberately about 35 yards in the grass and up a slight incline. Then she stopped and asked if she could turn around and return to the chair. Sue agreed, but said, “Let’s just try something first.” Then she simply let go of Mariah. Without hesitating, Mariah released her grip on us, and I followed suit. And there Mariah stood amazed, proud and tall, in the warm sun and cool breeze, as she surveyed the world from her full height. “You didn’t know you could do that, did you?” Sue asked. Mariah whispered, “No.” And, gazing into some distant place, the (triumphant?) tears flowed.

To avoid resting on laurels, we returned to the clinic for more workouts. There was no photo record of the outdoor success, but here’s Mariah in the clinic immediately afterward.

Standing Unaided (McGuire VAMC, 10/6/08)

Standing Unaided (McGuire VAMC, 10/6/08)

Mariah Boogies with Sue

Done with Physical Therapy

Upward and onward. – Mark


4 Responses to “Pretty Good for a Monday”

  1. Grandma said

    Fantastic, sweetie. You walked farther than I can unaided. To go that distance I need my cane.
    I’ll have to play the videos later. Right now I am listening over and over to The Messiah because the first rehearsal will be Sunday. There will be I don’t know how many performing it at Christmas, and Judy and I are two of them.
    Keep up the good work, Mariah. My bankroll is on you. Love you

  2. Jenni said

    I love you, M. I’m pinking of you…


  3. Leah said

    I love that you got to do a little dance. I love you and miss you and am amazed by your strength and progress daily. I know this is all incredibly hard and you are amazing. Stay strong, be patient with yourself, you’re fantastic.

  4. Maureen and Rich said

    You are an inspiration to all who know you. I/we love your dance. Just loosening up those hips for a mambo and chacha. Can’t wait to see you again.
    Maureen and Rich

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