CMT BOOTCAMP 2017
It’s a rigorous agenda; and certainly not for the faint of heart. Some end up here willingly, and others just happen to land here unknowingly, without a means to escape. Yohan, a victim of the latter scenario, is counting down the days of this grueling summer when he flies free into the real world.
“Yohan, ” I venture, saying his full first name for the effect, “Once that walking cast is off, boot camp starts here at home – immediately – and comes to a close with your departure at the end of August.” He furrowed his brows in annoyance and sounding more irritated than usual, he shot out, “OMG, what are you even talking about? You get weirder and weirder every day. Could you please leave now? I have to get ready to go.”
Well, that went well, I thought. Hmmmm…. Note to self – Plan B -must be more abrupt.
A couple of days later, the walking boot came off and I cautiously began to implement and move forward with my cunning plan. If you want a sense of what his days have been like the past 2 months, read further for the highlights, and a few lowlights.
Rise and Shine! It’s 11:00 am on a Monday morning, quite early for a gamer who plays World of Warcraft or League of Legends into the wee hours of the morning. I carefully crack open his bedroom door, wiggle my bugle into the narrow sliver of darkness and blast “Reveille” at a piercing tone, which only Yohan hears as most of the neighborhood moms and dads have already left for their 90-minute commute to work.
Click below to hear exactly what went on that morning:
“Time to GET UP! UP! UP! UP! Today is the first day of the rest of your life!” I yell with parental satisfaction.
I hear moaning and groaning and a sudden thump of some hard object against the door. Uh, oh….maybe that was a bit over the top. I think I’ll retreat and let him sleep a bit longer. If he actually falls back asleep, there is a small chance that he’ll think that entire episode was just a bad dream.
Well, so much for that technique. Maybe a more gradual approach?
Yes, soldiers. Boot camp HAS changed since you were kids. Deal with it. Firing off commands and expecting immediate action don’t work as well as it used to. Subtle manipulation really is the way to go.
Once Yohan started speaking to me again, we established a routine. Most days go something like this:
11:30 AM – Breakfast
11:45 AM – Ankle range-of-motion exercises
11:50 AM – Break
12:00 PM – 10-minute walk
12:15 PM – CMTA-related calls and work.
3:00 PM – Lunch
3:30 – Ankle Range-of-motion exercises and 10-minute walk
4:00 PM Free Time
2-3am – Bedtime
And at 11:00 AM the next day, we start all over again. Honestly, I’m not sure how he does it all with only 9 hours of free time, but he manages to fit in all sorts of other activities too: allergy shots, physical therapy 2X/week, doctor appointments, play with the cat, bring out the trash, help around the house, etc…. It’s truely amazing.
Seriously though, he’s doing well. Very well. Although I may poke fun, I told him that his only real job this summer, besides his 2-3 hours/day working for the CMTA, was to take care of himself, get physically fit, and to strengthen his calf, leg, foot so that at the end of August, he can walk right out of this house and on to grad school in southern California. And that is exactly what he’s going to do.
Dr. Pfeffer checks in frequently, for which we are all very, very appreciative. We’ve sent him pictures, video clips of Yohan walking, more and more pictures. At first, I was concerned because his foot still looked overly pronated. We were told not to worry about it…..yet. Healing takes a while and all the muscles in his foot and leg need to strengthen and relearn their own particular jobs. And, he has been walking without blisters, pressure sores, ulcers, pain, which is the best news ever.
In all of this, Yohan stood unwaveringly positive. Just last week, he again taught me a very important lesson about expectations.
Me: Walk back and forth down the hall again. Geez, ya know, that foot still does not look straight to me.
Yohan: I’m walking pretty well.
Me: I know, but I wish the foot did not turn in like that.
Yohan: Listen, Elizabeth. I’m walking. I am not getting sores on the bottom of my foot. It’s not too painful. The pressure is evenly distributed across my entire sole. I’m getting orthotics next week. You just gotta’ stop worrying. It’s not helping me. It’s not helping you.
He was right. Absolutely, 100% right, and I told him so, “Thanks for the reality check, buddy.” I constantly need to remind and convince myself that good enough trumps perfection. Always striving for perfection, a concept that is not even humanly possible, is defeatist – it will only lead to continual disappointment and dissatisfaction. I don’t want to live like that. Why do I set myself for failure time and time again? Old habits are hard to break. As Yohan would say, “Your perfectionistic tendencies are a “you” problem. You should work on that…”
On second thought, kicking him out of the nest may not be such a bad idea.