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Richie Two-Cane and How Do I Know She Loves Me

I’m still improving day by day. A major advance was on Monday afternoon when I got a home PT visit from Nichine, who agreed it’s fine for me to use two canes or two hiking poles instead of a walker. I have to use the former when my wife is with me because she says people will think I look like a dork with the latter. See this post for my opinion on what people think, so I’ll use the poles when I’m alone. Either choice is, for me, vastly superior to a walker. Those are a great short-term solution for keeping the mobility challenged (which has included me recently) safe. But I don’t like them because you can’t swing your arms so the gait is unnatural, and you are always fussing with bringing the back legs forward. The four-wheeled ones shown below are better, at least they roll continuously and are more impervious to obstacles like uneven sidewalks. And they are still safe because you can squeeze the brakes. My mom was on a walker for years and did well with one of these.

But I still prefer the natural gait with canes or poles, and am used to doing “nordic walking” and using poles when hiking.

Gotta get me a top hat…

Balance is improving day by day, Nichine says I am “high functioning” now so Medicare won’t pay for many more visits. The problem is that my condition is subjected to relapses in a certain percentage of people. I won’t know more until I’m more accurately diagnosed by an ear specialist. So I’d like to work with her at least one more time to make my balance more robust. I already do generic balance exercises. I’d like to improve my dynamic balance so I’m less subject to falling due to a misstep. I’ve always been a bit of a klutz, if I’m hiking in a group, several people might catch their toe on the same tree root, but the others take an awkward step and recover, while I’ll be the one that does a faceplant.

How Do I Know She Loves Me?

There is a line “how do I know if he really loves me” in the Shoop Shoop Song, a hit by Betty Everett from 1964 (also remade later by Cher).

The famous answer is “if you want to know if he loves you so, it’s in his kiss”. So how do I know if my wife really loves me? Our first kiss was over 50 years ago, and she’s still got it. So yes, I am pretty confident she still loves me from her kiss. But there’s something that makes me more certain. She has been my rock of a caregiver seven times now:

Hip Replacement number 1Hip Replacement number 2Major skin damage from velodrome crashHeart-valve replacementBroken CollarboneRotator cuff surgerySevere vertigo incident

Three of these are arguable “self-inflicted”, two on a bike and one while hiking. If only I was a sensible old guy and stuck to walking or golf they might not have happened. Each time she has been steadfastly with me through thick and thin and that saintly woman has not left me yet.

Her demeanor is always kind unless I disobey her about something related to safety. Then I might get a stern talking to. Like the time during rehab of hip number 1 when I was only a few days out from surgery and was a major fall risk. I was not supposed to go anywhere near the stairs by myself, and I totally forgot where I was when I was talking on the phone. She saw me walking and talking while headed right towards the top of the stairs. After she got my attention with some loud choice words, she kindly explained why that was inappropriate behavior. Yes, dear, sorry!

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