On Saturday we just needed to get out the house and get some fresh air. We found ourselves wondering from Hampstead down through Regents Park and into London.
As we were walking and chatting we realised the last time we were in Regents Park it was nearly a year a go.
I was in a wheelchair, wrapped in a throw for extra warmth. One year later, I’m casually walking with a limited limp, coffee in hand.
"But what is also important and sometimes missed is the need to reflect on the progress made"
Rehab is centred around goals, good job I’m goal obsessed and ambitious. But what is also important and sometimes missed is the need to reflect on the progress made.
April 2021 - Learning to Walk Again in the Wellington Hospital
I’ve had to and I’m still building back the muscles in my legs, arms, core and glutes. I had no idea how much you use your bum and abs. It’s a lot. We should all have buns of steel and amazing 6 packs.
Today the walking distance was nearly 9km. Yes, I needed a sit down half way and when I got in (as did Chris), but even I was impressed.
The speed of my walking has increased, in fact sometimes I actually shock myself with how fast I am. When I first started walking outside it took an hour to walk round the block. Now my average speed is 4km per hour and I’ve reached 6.8km per hour on the treadmill.
I now walk up and down the stairs alternating steps. This took a while and upwards was easier. I’m reducing my reliance on the handrail. I no longer grip on for dear life.
Every muscle has to be rebuilt and that’s on both sides, the right more than the left. Muscle wastage caused from no to limited movement happens ridiculously quickly (every week you lose more than 5% of your muscle mass when not moving).
Along with rebuilding my body I’ve had to relearn and control my balance.
Gaining balance is not just from your strength. It’s your inner ears. There is still the odd occasion where I feel like I’ve gotten up too fast. Luckily, this feeling doesn’t happens very often.
But my ears have been damaged. I have an on going challenge with background noise. I’m still working through what works for me. So far discreet ear plugs seem the best.
Looking back isn’t pleasant, there have been some very low and gross moments. But sometimes you need to take a moment to reflect on where you’ve come from and what you’ve achieved.
I know my rehab journey is far from finished. In fact shortly after Chris filmed me on the bike, I fell off into a massive patch of nettles.
April 2022 - Riding a Bike for the First Time (before failing off)
I regularly have to brush myself down and have another go but I cannot forget the achievements and the progress. It’s unfortunately rather easy as you aim and focus on the next goal.
Saying that, of course I’ve got the next goal on my list. Well the next handbag is waiting.
I Took myself for a much needed, fab and very successful hair appointment at a new salon. A salon I had researched and booked appointment.
The Louis Thorold Foundation is a charity registered in England and Wales with the aim of preventing all deaths of children on Britain's roads. For more information about our campaigns or to make a donation visit www.louisthorold.com.