It reminded me of what my brother Reed said about meeting his new wife Deborah. Sometimes in life you need to change your seat. For Reed, it was a figurative seat change, but for Patrick, it will be a literal one.
It is the shifting of a wheelchair mindset to a walker one.
I have to confess that when we were first married, I felt like I did a much better job at this. We would almost always take the Geo metro when we were out and about and so we usually had just the walker. Because it is so much easier (and faster) to take the van and the wheelchair, I have been guilty of not presenting the opportunity to use the walker as much as we should.
But just watching the therapist ending each session by having Patrick push his wheelchair for a bit is giving me some new ideas. Even if we don't always have or take the walker, there is no reason that Patrick can't push the wheelchair (or grocery cart) for a few feet on each isle when we grocery shop. I know it will be hard at first, but isn't every worthwhile thing difficult?
Patrick seems a little bit discouraged by the advice the therapist gave him but I actually see it as a wonderful sign. Because of Patrick's hard work over the past few months, perhaps it is easier to see him walking on his own someday as a possibility.
At our last appointment, the therapist had him working a bit on weight shifting, and eventually had him take a step or two on his own while weight shifting. To give this proper perspective, Patrick didn't have anything in front of him and the only place the therapist was touching him was a light touch on the shoulder to help him feel more secure. It brought tears to my eyes because for just a second, I got another little glimpse of how close Patrick is to meeting his goal. Now we just need Patrick to catch the vision!
So please help me to encourage him in his goal to walk. When you talk to him, text him, or see him, ask him what he has been doing lately to increase his walking efforts by three times. Help him think of outside of the box (especially fun) ways to practice walking and strengthen his muscles.
To those who are wondering what to get us for Christmas, I would love nothing more than a box full of ideas on ways to get Patrick to do a little bit more walking each day or activities that help encourage us to change our seat in relation to his walking.