23 August 2013
This month my main focus has been learning to walk on uneven ground. I have mastered flat ground, and can now lift my heel properly and walk properly on easy surfaces.
Balance is still a big issue with anything a little uneven though, so Dre and I have been going out into the rice fields every afternoon to walk through the fields and for my lower leg and ankle to get stronger and used to walking on different surfaces. This is a perfect excuse to watch the sunset everyday, too.
When we first started doing this, a walk of 50 metres would take me several minutes, as I slowly worked out how to negotiate the bumps and angles on the ground, and it felt like I had just walked a marathon.
I have been amazed at how much the lower leg is needed for balance and how many different muscles are needed for each step. Even my right lower leg, out of practice due to the limitations of the left, would be tired after these daily walks. My left leg was totally exhausted the first few days, and as the days pass this gradually is becoming better.
Now I can walk a good 200 metres in the fields along the narrow pathways within a few minutes, as my leg has gotten a lot stronger and I am learning to trust my feet again.
The journey out there each day is also really good to practice being calm on the back of the motorbike, as I have realised that although I thought I was doing a pretty good job of being back on the back of a bike I was/am actually extremely nervous and worry about every vehicle that approaches us. I have been meditating and thinking many calming thoughts so that I have begun to feel quite comfortable on the bike again.
I am surprised that I am still having a fair bit of pain in my ankle, and as I’m trying to increase my exercises to get back to normal activities, I’m having whole days where it just aches and hurts a lot for several days at a time.
We are actually back in Chiang Rai now, staying at the same apartment we rented for the 2 weeks rest and recovery soon after the accident. It’s been interesting to look back on the time here before and compare it to being able to walk around this time and it’s nice to think that the healing process has come a really long way.
I am still often excited and thankful that I can walk, and often comment to Dre how amazing and convenient walking is. He says he’s really glad I’m still getting so much enjoyment out of it.
The burns don’t seem to have faded too much this month, we are still using Hiruscar and Vitamin E and Bio Oil. We are interested to see if our legs will scar or continue to fade; apparently we are meant to wait a year to see if we will have lasting scars. The fading process has definitely slowed, although as long as I can keep walking, then to me it’s pretty much irrelevant if it scars or not.
Click here for the update for the completion of Month 5.
Click here to read the story from the beginning – healing from second degree burns while living in a third world country.
Catch up on last month:
Month 3 – Slowly Increasing Fitness