The good news is that my physio has cleared me to start using a cane for walking. The best news is that I've already got a name for it -- Evander.
Evander Kane just happens to be one of my all-time favourite athletes. He might be the most competitive person I've ever met. My favourite memory of him dates back to him being a 15-year-old call-up with the Vancouver Giants during their 2007 Memorial Cup run. In practice, he took a hack on the hands from Brendan Mikkelson, then a 19-year-old defenceman who had already signed a pro contract with the Anaheim Ducks. Kane said something to him, gave him a stiff right to the mouth, and skated away. Mikkelson shrugged and went the other direction.
It's not the kind of thing that wins you favour with your teammates. Evander knows that. It definitely went against your "respect your elders" code, but it gave an idea that Kane wanted what he wanted and wasn't afraid to upset people to get it. It's something I could appreciate.
Off the ice, he's always been very good to me and he was one of the first athletes I've covered to call me after I got the cancer diagnosis last October.
We're actually supposed to get together over the next few weeks, and hopefully I can introduce Evander Kane to Evander Cane.
My physio, Paula Peres, had me up on the cane, instead of the walker, last Tuesday, and I went from the laundry room in our basement, through the back yard, to the end of the driveway. She says that I can use it on a limited basis for the next while, as long as Carol-Ann is around.
I've only been out of GF Strong for about a month, so I think it's decent progress, at the very least. Paula says that she's pleased, too.
This rehab thing is still hard, though. I wake up sore every morning and it takes me awhile to feel even somewhat human. I don't know if it's the six rods and who gknows how many screws in my back, but it might be that. And emotionally I feel beat up at times; I cried much of Thursday, frustrated about how I was feeling and how tired I was and how worn out Carol-Ann is, from having to do so much more around the house.
Carol-Ann has been an angel, though, like always. She's keeping me together a lot of days, helping me focus on how far I've come rather than how far I have to go.
My spirits are better today. I had a good session at the pool (we're going four or five times a week...just walking in the shallow end right now) and felt like I had some jump afterwards.
Maybe a little work with my new friend Evander will work wonders for my psyche, too.