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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Walk (07/20/06)

TITLE: To Walk Again... (ii)
By Ranelle Woolrich


“One step in front of the other. That’s correct, right foot, then left foot. Right foot…”

Really I wanted to scream SHUT UP. Her instructions are getting annoying. I know she is just trying to help but it isn’t like I don’t understand the fundamentals of walking. It’s just that I can’t walk anymore.

Yes, she is just doing her job. But I don’t need someone tell me HOW to walk. I know the reality. The statistics aren’t that great. It is going to be a long road to recovery with a good chance I will never fully gain the control the use of my legs.

I must have sighed in my frustration because there she goes again…

“It’s okay, you are doing great. That’s right, just one foot in front of another…” Her voice continues but my mind trailed off again.

The effort it takes to put one foot in front of another, if only she realized. Here she is, supposedly an expert in her field. But really, how can you be an expert at something you only experience when you are one year old? Like she could really remember how to learn how to walk. None of us can remember that.

How many years did I take this walking thing for granted? Walking was what got you from point A to point B. When you were in bed late at night and had to go to the restroom, you got out of bed and walked to the bathroom. When you were in school and had to pass a note to the girl you had a crush on, you got up and walked to her desk…when the teacher wasn’t looking. You walked to and from your car whenever you had to go run errands or to and from your boss’ desk for the next assignment. And here I am stuck in this hospital, not able to walk.

I could replay the “if onlys” in mind so many times. If only I had not gotten on the motorcycle that night. If only I had gone to the right instead of the left at the intersection. If only the other driver had seen me. If only the motorcycle had not landed directly on my legs. But what good does asking the “if onlys” do????

I realize everyone around here is trying to help. The nurse with her painted on smile telling me yet again it was time for food. (Don’t they get it? I just want to be able to walk to McDonalds across the street? What I wouldn’t give to walk across the street and order a Big Mac) Or how about the orderly that comes in to help me go to the bathroom. Ever experience something so humiliating? Seems like everyone around here is treating me like a one year old.

Everyone that is except that guy that was in here today. What was his name? Pastor Tom? He is the only one that does not seem to be pretending the situation isn’t as bad as it seems. You know, I liked him. He is the type that calls a spade a spade.

He looked me squarely in the eyes, “Sounds like life is about to change drastically for you. You won’t be going home the same guy as you entered this place unh?”

You know, I appreciate his genuineness. His goal wasn’t just to make me smile. Or to get my mind off things. He really seemed to care about me as I was, not as everyone wanted me to be.

But what else did he say…what was that? He was just starting to talk to me about a different kind of walking when this PT came in. Something about learning to walk in the footsteps of Someone who can really heal me, Someone who could lead me step by step. I really can’t explain it, but for some reason I want to hear more from this guy. Never really had an interest in that religion talk before…but I want to learn how to walk again. And if not on my own two feet...

“Okay. That is enough for today.” The physical therapist’s voice shakes me back into the moment.

“Hey…” my first words to her today. “Could you ask the nurse to send that Pastor Tom guy back this way? I think it is time I learned how to walk...”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Allen Scovil 07/27/06
Nicely described situation, but I found the constant changing of verb tense confusing. You should probably stick just to past tense in your writing.
Marilee Alvey07/30/06
I really enjoyed your writing. You have handled the frustrations of not being able to walk very well. Also, you've touched on how the mind is ahead of the feet, unlike the one year old. I felt the frustration. Today I will appreciate my steps more...because of your writing. I think that the ending could be a bit more subtle, though. Telling the nurse that he wants to learn how to walk....I'm not sure someone would really say that. It sort of takes away from the realism of your piece. It's a very small detail, however. Good work!
Rita Garcia07/30/06
It is so easy to fall into the "if onlys". good story and well written.