Four months ago, I could barely walk across my kitchen.
One month ago, I marched, along with thousands of others, from the Bank of England to Parliament Square. A march of protest against austerity, but for me another protest too: against ill health with the physical proof that I could walk the length of the march.
And so I did -- from the Bank of England to Parliament Square and then on to our train at Waterloo Station, at a brisk pace covering 3.5 miles (5.6k).
Has it only been four months since I had to stop staff at Heathrow Airport to ask for a wheelchair so I could catch my flight home to Detroit, a flight I only took because I was waiting biopsy results I knew were going to be bad? While in the States, I struggled to climb the stairs or stay awake for more than a few hours at a time.
Today, I woke at 9 AM. I walked to the post office with my son. We skipped down the road and had a contest who could skip higher (I won. "Jump higher next time if you want to win," I told him. He's four.) My husband and I drove to a country pub for lunch. When we got home, I took May for an hour and a half walk, pushing her wheelchair up and over two bridges and around a small lake.
A lake. Who cares if it was small.
I'm not the only one with good news. Our little May-May, well... for one she isn't so little anymore. Everyone comments on how much she has grown. It's a sign of how healthy she is and how much she is eating.
She had an excellent end-of-year report from school. (WARNING: 'Proud mother boasting' to follow) 93% attendance -- in a year when she had hip surgery. Far more responsive than she was at the start of the year. She can self-soothe and doesn't get so upset when activities start and end. Next year, her teacher wants to try her on Eyegaze, a computerised communication tool that uses her eye movements alone.
May? Eyegaze? What? When her teacher told me in a meeting, I almost cried.
We had the most surreal experience the other day when my husband took May to the hospital to get her spine checked. Her physiotherapist thought she may need surgery at some point.
My husband phoned me on the way home. "She's fine!" he said. "There is not a single thing wrong with her spine. It is perfectly straight!"
"What! That's amazing!" was my answer. "I want to scream but I'm in public."
I thought it was inevitable that she would need surgery. I don't think this has ever happened to us, that May was referred to the hospital and they told us everything was fine with her.
Our luck has taken a severe change for the better.
Tonight, feel free to have a toast on us. Or, five. Go for it.