During the months of May through July I experienced two types of moving. Both physical in nature, but each had its own particulars. The first began surgically and hampered my usual movement. The second move meant more changes as we moved from one city to another, downsizing.
On May 5th I had posterior lumbar fusion to correct stenosis. The surgery went fine, placing two titanium rods in my back. The recuperation period is the longest of any surgery I’ve had, about one year before I can tell if I’ve gained back what I lost – a reduction in pain and an increase in movement. The main restriction is that I am not supposed to bend. I say “supposed to” since I’m not always obedient, nor have I been consistent with the prescribed leg exercises.
My only exercise now is walking and that with assistance, first with a walker, now with a cane. At my four-week check-up I received permission to drive and do stairs. Being able to move means that I learn how to depend on others to pick-up things I’ve dropped and to reach for items on lower shelves. And it seems that I’ve developed a good case of the dropsies, for whatever is placed in my hand I drop.
At the 12-week check-up I got a good report but still with restrictions. I’m now assigned to physical therapy and to walk, walk, walk. I’m not anticipating a return to what I consider normal activity, but I want improvement in mobility. Not being able to bend has made me more dependent on others and that’s not easy.
The second move involved more people. Because of my surgery the preparation and progress of moving became more of directing traffic. Our retired son helped the most, coming twice to our home in Terre Haute. He not only packed, lifted boxes, and ran errands to get more supplies, but he also assisted with decisions. We had a running exchange of what could be discarded and what would be moved. He quoted the comic strip Lockhorns: “Can you say yes or no in less than 24 words?” I would explain who gave me something during what event. He cited that most everything we own had been given to us, making these decisions difficult but needful.
I chose movers by comparing three companies’ prices and methods. We settled on Two Men and a Truck from Indianapolis, and it amounted to four men and two trucks. They were super-efficient and fast. When they had loaded the trucks, ready to move, I had not finished packing the kitchen. Our pastor and his daughter helped with the transport so we didn’t have to drive. We ended up leaving kitchen items – pots and pans, pantry products, even refrigerated food – along with the DVD player. A couple came the next day to clean, surprised about the leftovers which our pastor and his wife delivered later.
The trucks arrived before our cars, and decisions again meant my directing traffic while others did the heavy work. We’re moved in but not settled. We are grateful for all the helpers, especially our family. It’s a house with three generations and we’ve named our apartment the East Wing. I’m thankful we did not all move the same day: we were the first to arrive; then our daughter and her husband three days later; and a week later our grandson and his wife arrived. While we miss our former home and friends, the arrangement is working; we’re family.