Over the past few weeks I've grown used to Joe laying in bed, of a morning, and doing a series of exercises. These were prescribed for him because of pain that he was experiencing in his hip and which resulted in a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. When he was assessed the therapist thought that if he were diligent in doing the exercises and other bits of advice that she gave him - she even taught him the right way to lift a manual chair out of the trunk of a car - that he would be pain free in a few months.
We've managed the last few trips by using the MV1, there is a company locally that rents them out, so Joe has neither had to lift a chair or push me in it. We wanted some time for him to really heal. Well we head out today for a one day trip. And, we are going in a typical car and using my wheelchair. This means that our trip will be a test of the treatment. Given that it's only one day he won't be carting lots of luggage and won't be hauling books around, but it's a good first step along the way.
I have worked out where I could decrease my need of Joe's assistance, Joe has practised his lifting and pushing skills. We're both a bit nervous about how it goes. The therapist is clear the he's not ready for a long trip with huge demands yet, but she's also clear that he's well on the way to be doing it, although doing it differently, again.
This phase of our life has had me being the one in the waiting room. Me being the one who worries about how he is. Joe's never even had a stay in a hospital, he's pretty solid, so this whole thing has caught me unawares. But it's what comes from ageing. I imagine more will be coming a few years down the line.
But we set out. We'll see how this day goes. Joe is up and confident. I am a little wracked with worry. I don't want him to do too much too fast. I can see, and he's told me, that he feels less pain and he feels confident in his therapists treatment. He said that she's open, interested and like to problem solve. He said that her little class on lifting a wheelchair out of a trunk was born after she listened to the question, asked a few questions, and then designed a 'lift' ... finally teaching it to him. He liked the fact that she saw the challenge in the question and was engaged by it, not dismissive of it.
So ... I'll let you know tomorrow how it went.