When I started walking with the crutch, Eric followed, ready to catch me if I fell. And he had to catch me quite a few times. I thought and thought, but couldn’t find out what was causing me to lose balance. Yet, Eric had a quick answer – it was because my right leg was getting ahead of my left. I had to think carefully beforehand to make sure I took small steps.
Then I started walking with the harness and the crutch, and I almost fell again. My nurse aid also had an easy answer: If I wanted to avoid falling, I had use my right shoulder to support myself with the crutch while I lifted my left foot.
So many things to think of… to keep my balance, I had to pay attention to every move before I made it, and then breathe, and then make it slowly. And this applies to drinking water from a glass as well – to avoid coughing, I must pay attention to the amount of liquid I pour into my mouth and to the way I move my tongue to push down the liquid.
Whether I’m walking or drinking, I should move very slowly, recalling each direction I was given so as to get it right; I have to restrain my natural compulsion to rush; and repeat the movements I’ve learned over and over again. If I do so, when I grow up, I’ll be able to walk and drink without thinking.