Can you see it?
The look of terror on her face? The defensive posture? The stress in the raised eyebrows?
Tuesday was Botox day. And stand-for-the-first-time-in-six-weeks day.
She survived them both.
We saw Dr. Mendoza, the rehab doctor, Lisa, the physical therapist, and Dr. Doyle, the orthopedic surgeon, for her six week surgery follow-up and the third and final prong of her three-step recommendation. Ever since they told us two weeks ago that she’d be having Botox on this visit, she’s been worried about it.
She cried when they brought in the numbing cream – you can see her red eyes in the photo below – and nearly lost it when they came back fifteen minutes later with the syringes.
I won’t sugarcoat anything. It was awful. She nearly hyperventilated from the anxiety before the injections, and it went downhill from there. She groaned loudly during the two injections in her hip flexors, and screamed the scream of the damned when they moved on to her left hamstring.
But then it was over, and rehab began.
She bent her legs to 90 degrees, then extended them – over and over – for the first time in six weeks. It was a little tough in the beginning while she got her bearings, but it didn’t take long for her to settle into a solid, steady movement.
Then came the moment of truth.
Would the intentionally-broken-and-screwed-back-together legs hold her? Would she be able to stand? Would she even be willing to try? The answer – to all of the above – was yes.
It was almost like that day eight-plus years ago when she walked into the PT gym and sat criss-cross applesauce on a mat for the first time in her life. This time, she stood with her feet and knees straight – no crouch, no inward knee turn – for the first time in nearly a year.
We’ve still got a long row to hoe, and the thought it is daunting, but there’s a tiny sliver of hope – a small ray of sunshine beginning to push through the clouds – that it will all be worth it in the end.