Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 241

I walked all day yesterday with no foot brace.  I have been getting so sick of the thing, I thought I would see how my foot does on its own.  The brace was molded after my left calf and foot.  It sits underneath my foot, goes up my calf, and straps to my shin.  I have been wearing it for its intended purpose; to keep my left foot up at a normal position so when I walk my toes don't drag and make things harder. 

Now that I am feeling more, it itches, hurts, makes me sweat, and is just all around annoying.  I don't feel when things itch, but it still creates an annoyance for my nerves, which then make my muscles spasm.  So, while wearing the brace and sitting, my leg spasms and hurts.  This gets to be quite a pain in the foot!

I figured if I can feel more, perhaps the muscles move more.  Afterall, whenever I walk barefoot I don't have much problem with that foot unless it's early morning, or late at night.  So as a true test, I ditched the brace yesterday and did some walking in my sneakers without it, and I did great.  I'm so excited!  My foot eventually got tired and it was harder to walk, but the idea that I can do it at all means great progress and I just need to keep on and it will only get stronger.

It hasn't even been five weeks of solid walking and I am already contemplating removing my foot brace for good!  I no longer use a wheelchair in my home at all, and I have only used my outside chair three times in the last two weeks, and that was just for long distances. 

Step count today:  815

Steps I'm ahead:  6,439

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 240

I woke up today and clicked on my blog and it was gone!  For a minute I had a deep sense of panic and loss, until I figured out google had detected some suspicious activity (which wasn't me) and I just needed to verify a few things and now it's back!  Phew!

Even though most of the time I feel I just ramble on about nothing, it would still be a huge loss to me if it were one day gone.

Step count today:  928

Steps I'm ahead:  5,898

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 239

I bought some Myoplex today in hopes that will help with the muscle cramps that have been keeping me awake at night.  I know the muscles just need more nutrition.  I haven't exactly been good about eating all the right things, or eating enough, and my body is letting me know.  So, it's time to focus harder on proper nutrition.

Step count today:  824

Steps I'm ahead:  5,244

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 238: Yup, it gets worse!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I'm sure that the pain I am feeling is only going to get worse - and it has. 

However, here is why I am overjoyed at that fact:

The fact that I can feel pain in my lower body in and of itself is a good thing.  No, it's a great thing!  Any feeling, good or bad, is feeling.  That means the nerves are at least working, which is just what I need to happen.  The fact that the pain is getting worse only means I am getting more feeling back.  Even if they hurt, feeling my legs more could never be a bad thing.  It is positive progression, and that's the main goal.

I never thought I'd be overjoyed at the idea of feeling more pain, but it's the feeling that has me giddy, period.

I can remember when I would have given anything to just be able to wiggle my toes, and now I am walking every single day, and feeling more and more every day.  Who'd a thunk?

I don't often cry.  In fact, I could almost say I never cry if people and animals in my life didn't die.  Today, however, I broke down crying when I realized how far I've come in such a short period of time.  Tears of joy, of course. 

It's all just so overwhelming, and so unreal, sometimes I have to pinch myself and make sure it's not all just a dream.

Step count today:  549

Steps I'm ahead:  4,694

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 237: "This is going to be a little uncomfortable, Miss Egeland..."

Oh! The pain! 

I used to hear that phrase in the hospital any time they had to do something to me that was actually going to hurt like hell:  "This is going to be a little uncomfortable, Miss Egeland"  That's just a polite way of saying "brace yourself, you're gonna wish you were dead".

Four weeks after no more wheelchair, I am starting to realize why I must have decided one day it was too hard and gave up.  The pain.  The constant, never ending, gut wrenching, torturous, pain!

I'm a strong woman, and have always prided myself as such, but some days it's like "what the hell did I ever do that was SO bad that I deserve this?"  I'm not a big fan of pity pots, in fact I think they are a huge waste of time, but now and then I sit my ass right down on one and contemplate why in the world someone would torture themself the way I currently am, and how it's probably only going to get worse.

What gets me through?  The fact that four weeks into ditching my wheels and going upright, I just put a roast into the slow-cooker (which took me an hour) and did the dishes afterward without so much as a second thought.  Something like that four weeks ago -- in my mind -- would have required the use of a chair.  Granted I sat while chopping veggies, or doing the dishes, but there was a lot of walking and standing required as well.  So much that just four weeks ago it would have taken me two hours, at least.

I am getting better.  I am getting better.  I am getting better.  This mantra keeps me struggling away and working hard toward that ultimate goal -- total and complete independence!

Step count today:  848

Steps I'm ahead:  4,419

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 236: Week Four

Today marks four weeks with no chair!  I know I have put on muscle because although I did lose pounds on the scale, I lost more in inches (1.5 inches lost since I left for vacation, to be exact) than in pounds.  Muscle weighs more than fat, therefore, I have put on muscle!  How exciting!

Step count today:  799

Steps I'm ahead:  3,845

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 235: Progress; Bewildering

I have been catching myself standing and doing things I never would have thought I would be doing so soon after dumping the house chair.  I came home from the grocery store and just started bending over picking up groceries and putting them away;  then I thought, "whoa..."!  My brain is finally remembering I have legs, and it's allowing me to use them beyond just dragging underneath me to go places, and then sit.

I still walk very, very slow, but whenever I feel like I'm at a stale mate, I remind myself that it really has only been a few short weeks that I've been completely without wheels.  Before my trip I was using my house chair on a regular basis and only using the walker to get some steps in each day.  Now... all I do is walk.  I have no chair to slide over into and wheel where I need to go.  It's actualy quite amazing how far I've come.  There may just be hope for me yet!

I still kind of feel like I'm going backwards when I have to use my outside chair for trips to the store, so to combat this feeling I just think of it as keeping my arms in shape.  I earned the "buff" arms I now call my own, so I must keep them in shape somehow!

It just doesn't seem real that I may actually be walking all by my little self with no assistance someday!  Wow!

Step count today:  861

Steps I'm ahead:  3,320

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 233: Making Concrete Plans

I am working on planning my move to Minnesota more and more every day.  I have nothing left here in Florida.  I would even see my father more if I lived up north.  I'm not getting any younger, and I am really craving a slower-paced, goal-oriented lifestyle.  I have not been able to find that in the 19 years I've lived in Florida, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.  Nor do I see myself finding the kind of hard-working family man I so crave, either.

So, it's time for me to really crack the whip on myself and work, work, work.  I need to help my father get this house finished up so that when I do decide to leave it behind he can do whatever he wants with it and won't have to worry about the work needing to be done.  I need to start saving every penny I can (which honestly I don't have a lot of to begin with), and I need to start deciding what I want to do when I grow up.

And, of course, I need to really push the walking hard.  By next summer it would be nice if I could walk with just a cane - or even nothing at all - but I'm trying to be realistic.  I am getting stronger day by day, but it's in very small incriments.  I have been idle for so many years, it's going to take a very long time to get revved back up.  I remember back in the day when I was working as a dancer and I got pregnant with my daughter.  I only took a few months off, but in those few months I lost a lot of strength in my legs.  So much strength that simply standing up from a crouched position required me to use my arms to assist.  I was 20 years-old then, and in peak physical condition.  I'm 35, and I've been in a wheelchair for 12 years.  This might take a while.

Nevertheless, I'm up for the challenge, and it will certainly give me something to keep my mind occupied until I can go back home.

Every day I try to push myself past my comfort zone and do more than the day before.  Some days are better than others, but as long as I continue to push I should be OK.

Like my dad says; "If at the end of the day you don't feel tired, you didn't do enough."


Step count today:  1,212

Steps I'm ahead:  2,781

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Testing My Faith

My Faith is continually being tested; from faith in my abilities, to faith in other human beings, I am constantly feeling like Faith just isn't enough.  It seems like more so now then ever I am feeling like there is no end in sight to the physical and emotional pain I feel on a daily basis.

So, I decided to repost this just in case anyone else needed a "Faith Boost" like I did today:


1. Faith is the ability to not panic.
2. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you prayed, don't worry.
3. As a child of God, prayer is kinda like calling home every day.
4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.
6. Do the math. Count your blessings.
7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
8. Dear God: I have a problem. It's me.
9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.
10. Laugh every day -- it's like inner jogging.
11. The most important things in your home are the people.
12. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.
13. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open. Come on in.
14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.
15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.
16 . We do not remember days, but moments. Life moves too fast, so enjoy your precious moments.
17. Nothing is real to you until you experience it; otherwise it's just hearsay.
18. Its all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
19. Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking! Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.
20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I have been told by many that they love my honesty.  I guess I never really thought about it, but yes, if one is going to have a blog revealing the ups and downs of learning to walk all over again, it must be nothing less than pure and honest.

How else can I convey what I am going through except at a real, and raw level?  There is no other way.

In person I think sometimes I am reserved and a bit shy, but when writing I have a tendency to let it all flow.  Writing is my catharsis.  Without it I think I'd end up with cancer, or hanging over the edge of the Golden Gate ready to jump.  Everyone needs a release and a way of expressing themselves that feels good way deep down into your core.  Writing is mine.  I may not be the best at it, but I think I'm getting better, and I'm certainly always learning.

I just feel priviliged to have an outlet such as this to blabber on and have people actually read it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 229: My Country Kick

I sat here yesterday playing some old-time favorite country music, belting out the lyrics as if no one was listening.  Well, technically, no one was -- at least not that I know of... 

It reminds me of my days growing up in Minnesota and the simplicity of life in general.  I miss that.  I miss having things move a little slower, and mean a lot more.  "Haste makes waste" has never wrang more true to me then at this time in my life.

I am forced to move more slowly now that I am walking, but everything, and everyone around me wants to move at the same pace as before;  the speed of light.  Even if I could walk faster, I no longer wish to move at that speed.

Everyone is in such a hurry all the time they miss out on the important things in life.  I no longer want to miss out on those things.  The whirlwind that was once spinning around my head is now gone, and I plan to keep it that way. 

I'm just afraid if I don't get out of Florida, it will return whether I like it or not.

Step count today:  974

Steps I'm ahead:  1152

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All That Really Matters

When all is said and done, relationships are all that really matter.

It does not matter how much money we have, where we live, or how many beautiful toys we have collected.

None of these can comfort us, console us, cry with us, or love us.

Our investment in the people we care about is the only legacy that has the power to endure beyond our lifetime.


I am having a harder time adjusting to being back in Florida than I've had going from wheelchair to walker. 

All I want to do is go back to Minnesota.

Speaking of adjusting to the walker... it will be three weeks tomorrow that I have been without my chair.  I'm very proud of that.  On  top of that, I've only had to use a wheelchair three times in that three weeks.  Once for Niagara Falls, and twice here at home when I went to the grocery store and the mall. 

My confidence when using the walker has improved dramatically.  I still walk slow, but I just don't care, I am walking, that's all that matters to me!   If anyone gets gutsy enough to ask me what happened, I'll just tell them I flipped my last Corvette going 200 mph, and that's why my tag on this one says "LastOne", because it's the last one I'll ever own provided I don't flip it, too. (technically it belongs to my father, but in the interest of story-telling I will just pretend it's mine ;-) He likes when I drive it because I am forced to use my walker)

My clothes are hanging off of me and I've lost another 15 pounds since I left for vacation, so that rocks!  With every pound that comes off, it just makes it that much easier to walk.

I am slowly getting back to my former self.  In fact, it seems unreal how far I've come in just a few weeks.  I can't wait to see where I am in a few months!

Step count today:  726

Steps I'm ahead:  452

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 227

I'm finally home and getting settled in.  Yesterday was my birthday, and I celebrated it in the quiet comfort of my home with my daughter.  I'm 35, in case anyone is curious.  Wow.  Time really does fly the older you get.

I miss Minnesota.  Or, maybe I just miss one person in Minnesota.  Perhaps I need to spend Christmas break up north.  I'm sure my daughter would love that, she loves the snow.

I am keeping the step ticker even with the 274 steps a day required to make 100,000 in 365 days, but I know for sure I have walked more than that.  Maybe after things quiet down even more I'll start keeping track again to give us a better idea of how much I'm walking these days!  I know it's a lot.  I no longer have a house chair, and I only use my outside chair for very long distances like grocery shopping and the like.  I would like to eventually get to the point where I don't need that one either.  If I keep getting strong like I am, it shouldn't be long.

My endurance when simply standing has improved ten-fold.  I used to only be able to stand for short periods before I would have the need to sit, but now I can stand a lot longer.  My neighbor caught up to me a couple of days ago to fill me in on the goings-on while I was gone, and I must have stood talking to him for a good fifteen minutes.  I shift my weight and move my legs around, putting some weight on my walker for support, and that makes it much easier to stand much longer.

All in all I have gained in strength by leaps and bounds.  So much so that it has made me all emotional and weepy!  I'm just so happy to be back on my feet that I'm now a big mush-ball and sentimental freak, but I love it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm a Changed Woman

I had to use my wheelchair for the first time in two weeks today because I'm not quite strong enough to walk the vast expanse of our grocery store yet, and I have to say it was weird, and I hated it. 

I truly hated it.  Every brutal minute of it.  It is my sincere hope that I get strong enough, quick enough, that I no longer have to sit down and wheel myself anywhere!

Day 225

I will be spending much of today updating the blog with posts I wrote while in "lockdown" in a cabin in New Hampshire.  It was very peaceful, but I could not leave without a spotter because of the dangerous terrain leading to and from the car. 

As far as the step count is concerned, this is what I have concluded:

I haven't really been keeping track of my steps. I know I have taken a lot, but a number I can not produce. So, I am simply going to make the count even with where I should be on the ticker. I know I have taken many more steps than that, but as long as I'm not behind, I don't mind.

I have climbed things and done things on this trip that I didn't think I would ever be able to do again. I feel so incredible simply because of that fact that I'm not real concerned with how exact my step count is!

Have I mentioned the fact that I've gone over two weeks without a chair and don't miss it?  Or how about the fact that I'm about 10 times stronger then I was when I left for my trip! 

It's really happening.  I'm really getting stronger.  Wow.

Welcome home!

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The girls!

A Reflective Morning in New Hampshire

It's beautiful here, it's just too bad I woke up this early because of blinding pain; just another side effect of all the walking I've been doing. Some days are better than others, but this morning is one for the books. The only thing keeping me from screaming right now is how peaceful the morning is, and the fact that I can't wipe the smile from my face no matter how much physical pain I'm in.

This trip has changed me. I have gone from a sad, miserable, and angry person to a happy one. Genuinely happy. It's been years since I've been able to say that. Even as I walk, and every step feels like I'm walking through hot broken glass -- I am happy.

Maybe that happiness was what attracted the most wonderful man I've ever met. My mom has always said "how you're feeling on the inside will show on the outside", so maybe I was radiating peace and calm and he knew it was OK to approach. We have both said we were oddly comfortable even in a situation that's usually awkward. Perhaps it's because I've found peace with myself, and my situation, and I no longer radiate "keep away from me, I bite". Or, everything that has happened in my life has happened in order to lead me to him, and make me appreciate him. Or, maybe, we are just that comfortable around one another. I'm voting for all of the above.

It's not the trip that has made me this happy, it's leaving the chair behind. Letting go of that "crutch" has allowed me to feel somewhat normal again. Feeling normal has allowed me to interact with other humans without feeling like such an outcast and circus freak show. And not feeling like that freak show has released my demons and allowed me to love myself once again. After all, one can't love another without first loving oneself.

I spent years feeling like life had let me down, and I gave up once and figured to hell with it all. I hope I never make that mistake again. The path I am on now has led me to so many wonderful places, and all because I got off my ass and began to care once again. I made the decision to change, and it's been one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Almost 4,000 miles and two and a half weeks with no wheelchair!

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The Trip of a Lifetime

I hardly know where to begin. The first words that come to mind are amazing, mesmorizing, and unbelievable. My trip this summer has been incredible in so many ways it would be difficult to pinpoint a favorite moment. They are all my favorites, and there are just too many to list. I guess one of the highlights would be our visit to Niagara Falls. I've never seen such beauty! It's absolutely magical. But, aside from all the things I've seen, there is one thing I've done that I will never forget, and it has changed me into an entirely different person: I left my chair behind and never once missed it.

The thought of being without wheels was not something I warmed up to in the past. In fact, it scared me half to death. Somewhere along the way I had lost faith in myself and my inner strength, so the idea that I could actually do what I've just done seemed impossible. Considering I'm a firm believer in "anything's possible", I was a rolling contradiction of myself. I could often imagine being strong and making the walking thing happen for myself, but the action just wasn't there. Until now.

Throwing myself into this trip was the best thing I could have ever done.

In large part, I have my father to thank. He has been tough on me all my life, but only with my best interests at heart. "Get up, rub some dirt on it, and get back in there!", he says. In other words: get off your ass and try! His not-so-gentle coaxing forced me to toughen up and begin my journey back to me. A journey long overdue. So, for that, thanks old man, you're my hero.

I certainly must also say a big heartfelt thank you to my mother. The world would be a terrible place without mothers like you. You have always had my back, and been right by my side. You're my best friend, and the person I know I can tell anything to, and someday you and I are going to walk on the beach together and think back to the days when I couldn't. The days I laid in that hospital bed calling out for my mommy because I could no longer breathe and figured I was dying. You rock! Sorry I was 10 pounds when I was born and gave you a hernia! :)

There are of course many others in my life who have contributed a great deal to my road to recovery, and I want to just send out a huge thanks to all of you. You know who you are, and what you've done, and I am forever grateful. Rome was not built in a day, nor was it built by just one person! From the biggest of gestures to the smallest encouragements, it has all culminated in my finding myself again and realizing I can do anything I set my mind to. I am truly blessed to have so many people care about me and want me to succeed.

I still have a long, hard road ahead of me, but I'm looking forward to it. Bring it on!

As I write this I am sitting in a lake cabin in New Hampshire enjoying the wind rustling through the trees, and the cool breeze with the scent of burning wood coming through the windows. I could stay here forever, but real life must resume eventually.

When I get home, I am donating my chairs to someone else who actually needs them and taking the next crucial step in returning to me.

Someone knows we're home!

Home sweet home! Needs to be mowed!

A power pole. Disney style!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Finally Home

I am back in Florida at a hotel in St. Augustine that my mother got me in celebration of my impending birthday.  I had planned to post some of the writings I did while holed up in a lake cabin in New Hampshire, but they need some tweaking and I am much too tired so it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Good Night all, I'm so tired I can't see straight! 

More good stuff to come!

And still not home!

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We spent a little time in DC today and got some really great pictures which I will post once I am back home. It's the last leg of the trip today. Spending time with my mom in St. Augustine and then It's back home tomorrow!

Monday, August 9, 2010

My little girl came back to find me snuggled with her tiger :)

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I am unable to update

I am unable to update the ticker from my phone but my total should be 60280 !

So I will update the

So I will update the ticker where it should be according to my daily targets but i can assure you I've walked much more!

I have not been keeping

I have not been keeping track of my steps but i know it has been more than enough to catch me up and at least haven ticker even!

Good beer!

My happy girl :)

The climb up.

Downtown Concord NH the sign reads "Caution: falling snow" I didn't know snow did anything else.

Checking "Rosanna's" oil. I need smaller clothes when I get home nothing fits me!

Where I've been staying in NH. Quite a climb up and down to the car! I'm getting my workout!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Curious? Do they make an

Curious? Do they make an otc pain reliever for mind numbing excruciating pain? Ugh.

Twelve states in two and

Twelve states in two and a half days! In New Hampshire working on my next post. Will post when I have internet!

Getting into the Adirondacks

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Niagara Falls

Chicago baby!

Megan and Grandma!

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My Grandma!

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Ten states in two days

Ten states in two days and i'm about to travel one more! We will be in New Hampshire this evening. I will update more later!

Niagara Falls

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The lake

I sure hope to return again real soon!

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Sunrise over the lake