We're nine days into Extreme Steve Makeover: Home Edition and I feel like I'm starting to get into a routine.
The plan that we had come together with at GF Strong was for me to stretch and strengthen in the morning, and then go to the pool and maybe take a walk in the afternoon. Today was the first day we managed to pull it off.
In my defence, we had been told by all sorts of people to take it easy the first few days after discharge, Canada Games Pool down the street was booked with a swim meet last weekend and we did have other one-off events cut into things this week. For instance, I needed to go for a driver's rehab session at GF on Thursday, and I was dead-set on hitting the mall on Wednesday to buy Carol-Ann a ring, a memento for us making it through 20 sessions of radiation for a Solitary Plasmacytoma tumour, eight back surgeries and six months in VGH/GF.
With coaching from friends Bif Naked and Susie Culp, I picked out a little Topaz number. (Anybody who thinks that I'm sucking up to my wife by buying her a ring and then talking about it here...you're right.) And as much as it was about making Carol-Ann happy, it was a learning experience: assorted good folks at GF suggested I purchase a wheelchair for longer trips, "like to a mall," and sure enough, I was gutted by the end of the day. (The wheelchair we bought remains a storage cabinet for the time being, as I'm sticking with Walks, my walker.)
Originally, we were going to search through all the stores at Oakridge. Instead, we made it to a pair, and, thanks goodness, there was something very Carol-Ann at that final one.
I didn't have much left by the end of Thursday, either, but that was more mentally draining. The driver's rehab was largely computer generated, looking to test my reaction time with my hands and my feet. We also went over rules of the road and did a few basic strength tests.
The final bill? A tidy $275. (Could have gotten a nice pair of earrings to go with the ring for that.) Next up, I have to report to the Motor Vehicle Branch my spine injury, which in turn makes my current license invalid. I need my GP, Dr. Jennifer Rogerson, to fill out a form explaining my limitations and send it to MVB and then I take a road test set up by GF.
The final bill for that GF test? I think it's $325. (Could have gotten a nice pendant to go with the ring for that.) I pass, I get a license. I fail -- and we've been told that 50 per cent of people with my type of injury do -- and it's lessons ($161 per) and another road test (another $325, I think).
I did pick up a "Learn To Driver Smart -- Your Guide to Driving Safely," from GF, so I'll be studying that in the days leading up to my test.
We'll have to make it part of my routine.