|The photo op area outside the Magic Castle.|
It's been a wobbly recovery, much the way I felt wearing the dressy pumps, with 1 1/2 inch heels, last Sunday during our birthday celebration at the Magic Castle. Even before the coma, I didn't tend to wear high heels, and those are the highest-heeled shoes I own, but also the dressiest. They have a squarish heel, but I still felt unsteady enough in them to bring my Hurrycane.
I guess you could call it a crutch.
I hadn't worn the shoes since my coma, but the strict dress code at the Magic Castle prohibits sandals, and the only other pair of non-sandal dressy shoes I own have a lower, but wedge-shaped heel which kept making my feet go sideways.
Neither were ideal shoes for someone who still wobbles slightly due to lingering vertigo and a slightly weak right leg from stroke damage. Though I've taken to leaving my cane at home because I don't generally need it anymore, I felt it would be wise to take it with me this time.
We were visiting the Magic Castle at the invitation of Norman and Madelyn Gilbreath. Norman has been a member since before it was the Magic Castle. He's a magician who invented his very own magic principle that has its own Wikipedia page.
He gave us a private demonstration that was loads of fun.
I won't give you a blow-by-blow account of our delightful evening, but suffice it to say that it was the funnest birthday celebration of my adult life. Well, I have to give at least one supercool detail: We ate a private dinner where they hold tongue-in-cheek Victorian-style seances to contact Harry Houdini, in a room lined with priceless Houdini memorabilia. If only they allowed photos inside the Magic Castle!
The shoes are of glittery gold, and Madelyn said they looked like fairy shoes. They're the most expensive shoes I've ever owned--$80!--but they were originally cost much more because I picked them up these Stuart Weitzman pumps on clearance at Nordstrom Rack (probably because they didn't have a lot of takers who wore size 5). I didn't buy them because of their heels, but despite them. As I've always said, wearing high heels would only make me a very short person in high heels, with a bad back and aching feet. But they are lovely.
Still, I'm no Carrie Bradshaw, and this post isn't about shoes. It's about my confidence that my fairy shoes wouldn't launch me into the air as I climbed up and down the stairs repeatedly in the unfortunately not-handicapped-adaptable Magic Castle.
As we ate in the coolest room ever, I describe how in the nursing home, at first, the physical therapists counted as steps every time I moved my feet forward a tiny fraction of an inch. Two physical therapists had to support my weight for that, and even when I could make a few actual steps I still needed them in the beginning.
|My first unsupported steps. As you can see, I was barely lifting my feet.|
It was a technique John Silva learned at Rancho Los Amigos. Norman said that he had an aunt who
|My first outside steps with John Silva.|
I went on to recount how I couldn't stand, but eventually found that I could use a special walker with arm braces (see above). I would throw myself at the braces and grab on for dear life.
But if John hadn't pushed me as fast as he did, I wouldn't have been able to go home in time to save my Kaiser health insurance.
The "fairy shoes" that carried me from from that walker to the Magic Castle were not infused with pixie dust, but determination and rehab. I felt unsteady, but I had faith that I was strong enough to wear those somewhat high-heeled pumps, with the slippery leather soles, without falling on my face.
The last thing I needed was to set back my recovery in celebration of the third birthday I wasn't expected to see.
Admittedly, this step in my recovery pales in comparison to the sequential steps I took on the long staircase in the Magic Mountain. Still, this is another advance on the road to normalcy.
The ruby slippers in the classic movie version of The Wizard of Oz were silver in the books, but not gold in either. Yet I was easing on down the yellow brick road to recovery, in impractical designer shoes I took off the moment I got home.
As pretty as they are, I prefer comfortable.