Friday, September 21, 2012

Moments in PT

Thought I'd share a little insight into something that was unknown to me and basically what I thought was crap. Physical Therapy. "I don't need to go to PT, I can do this stuff on my own, there just gonna tell me to exersize. I'm not going to pay to use their equipment, thats all it is anyway." Nope, big misconception on my part. These guys really help. I couldn't do it on my own, my foot wouldn't bend, I was in alot of pain trying to move it. So I go... First couple weeks were ok, I had a little routine, warm up in the foot bath/whirlpool thing. That was nice. Little too nice, wanted to fall asleep instead of moving my foot against the soft jet. They had me do other things, little things that I could barely do. Pick up marbles with my toes, stretch with a rubber band, march on a trampoline, squat lifts on the total gym. Then at the end the Dr. would try and manipulate (joint mods) my ankle, get it to bend and what not. Finish with icing. At first the tramp was not my favorite, it hurt really bad. joint mods were the same, someone cranking on your foot thats been injured and hasn't moved in 10 weeks isn't the greatest. I went twice a week for 6-7 weeks. Each time I was getting better, was able to do things easier and with less pain. At first I didn't see it, but looking back I was strides from the begining. I was still on crutches, eventually moved to one crutch, then cane, then just limped around. The dreaded tramp is nothing now, I can march on that thing all day now. Trying to balance on one foot at the begining wasn't happening. Now I can do it. I don't go in the foot pool anymore, instead I warm up on the stationary bike. now I'm doing band stretches, shuffeling, step ups ( my nemisis now) the eliptical, balancing on a ball, ect... all kinds of good stuff. The new joint mod is where the Dr. straps a belt around my foot and his body, kinda like a lumber jack. Pulls back with his weight, pushes on my joint while I do a squat. Not my favorite! Trying to get more degrees of movement, just not working, maybe my foot doesn't bend? On to some "Moments".... The trampoline was the first "ah ha" moment I think. When it was the hardest thing to do, after a couple weeks I was like, "I can do this now! Yay!" Felt good. Doing balancing on the trampoline with one foot. Couldn't stay on it for more than a second. Dr. had me stand on good foot, piece of cake. Then back to bad foot, nothing. Then back to good foot and "Watch your foot, notice its not you balancing, its your foot constantly moving,contracting different muscles to keep you flat, its not your body or your leg, its your foot." - Ah ha! My good foot did exactly as he described, I never noticed before. Went back to bad foot, still nothing but I could see where my muscles were gone & needed practice. Couple weeks later I can balance on one foot for 10 or more seconds. Felt Good. Going only once a week now... Standing on a half plank/half ball your feet work together. Then Dr. starts tossing me a ball and I have to catch it and toss it back. Trying to your body to catch the ball and keeping your feet still to balance is awesome practice and itsn't too strenuous but a good work out on your foot. Alot of the time I would have to do something on my good foot or at the same time with my bad foot in order to 'trigger' that muscle memory. Very Weird but effective. This week had the best moment yet. Started on stationary bike (loosens up really well), talking with Dr. he mentioned he wanted to get me on the eliptical machine, since it wasn't impact he might try it soon when my ankle bends a little more. I said, "lets give it a shot now". I got on the eliptical machine and started moving. Felt fine. Went for 7 minutes no problem. When I got off the machine I stated walking over to the total gym to do squats. I noticed something strange... ...I was walking normally. No pain, full movement and no limp. I walked around all the equipment in the room, making a couple laps, looking at myself in the mirror, going "AH HA". It was such a great feeling, I got a little gitty. I haven't walked normally in almost 18 weeks. I walked a couple more laps around enjoying my new freedom. Did the total gym exercises, when done I still felt normal. Did balancing routines, still normal, leg strap bands still normal. Did the step ups/toe offs - poop back to be crippled :( Your toes are used for everything, pushing off, going up and down stairs, ect... I don't have the strength in my toes yet. So I was crushed that my newly found freedom and joy was crushed in 5 minutes on the stair master, but I did do better then I had the previous week. Doing the joint mods that same visit, Dr. was cranking on my foot when I hear a very loud "POP". We both looked at eachother with wide eyes, pursed lips, just stairing at eachother for a few seconds before he asked, "You ok?" I said still stairing at him, "I think so, you?" He then moved my foot around a little bit more, nothing big just scary. He said your joint can still move, get bubbles and stuff in there. Bubble are a good sign the impacted swelling and scar tissue is subsiding. One of the helpers heard it from across the room, she said, "Now that he's ok, that was really funny to see. You both had the same terrified look on your faces." PT has really helped me, far more than I could help myself. I am going to milk it as much as I can while insurance is covering it. As I 'kick it up a notch' I'm getting closer to being 'graduated' from PT. That will be a good feeling when Dr. says, "Your good. Theres nothing more I can do for you". Maybe I'll get a T-shirt or something? I'm kind of a goof, so when I'm in there everyones all serious, especially the other patients, but I try to liven it up best I can. Dr. asked me what they could do to make the experience better for the patients? I responded with,"Well sometimes its a little crowded. Could be because of my schedule and thats not your fault, but a little more one on one time with a Dr. and not an aid would be nicer." Of course an aid was right there. But she knew what I was talking about ;) I also said, "Maybe you could have a box of swedish fish around, so when we do good you could toss us a fish like they do at sea world." Thats what it feel like when on the balancing ball tossing a ball back and forth. When I'm done I'm like, "Hey where's my fish?" Anyways, thats my PT so far. Its mid-September now, is it realistic to think I could run a mile by then end of October? I won't be playing basketball anytime soon, or maybe not ever, thats scary to think of right now. But running and hiking I need to do as soon as possible. Mainly running to get in shape for hiking ;)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Beast of Burden

It's one of those things you start writing, then delete, then a couple days later start up again, then delete, then a couple weeks, then a month.... Being as insignificant as it is I thought about blogging my broken ankle injury. At first something fun to pass the time as I literally sat there. Then maybe someone could find common ground from a similar case and be comforted. Then maybe some triumphant recovery that would inspire people or something? ...None of these things happened. So my blog sat. In past I've posted about running, overcoming weight or broken rib non-sense, mostly to make myself feel better, give myself pep talks and whatnot. ...I thought maybe I'd do the same again. I know I need constant pep talks. 2010 was the year of pep talks, the last couple years it just hasn't worked. Not sure what it is yet, I was hoping to find what was broken this year and fix it, then I broke, literally. ...So I dislocated and broke my ankle and snapped a tendon, big deal right? It happens all the time apparently, just never noticed. Now everyone and their dogs has broken an ankle. It happened 2 weeks before the big family get together Keith Young Memorial 5k. ...I ran a timed 5k that morning for practice, did ok, not great, but I knew where I stood and how much work I needed to do in the next 2 weeks in order to compete with everyone. I was registered for another 5k and had plans of at least 3-4 more races for the year, who knows. One of the first things that went through my mind was that I was going to miss these races. Of course a ton of stuff went through my mind after, like "how am I gonna take care of my family, how can I work, great I'm gonna get fat". Stuff like that. ...To my surprise I was pretty calm and upbeat on the way to the hospital and while I was there. Having my brothers there joking around made things bearable. For the first month or so I was pretty much in a state of "whatever, it happened, no sense complaining and feeling sorry for yourself, lets just get through this" kind of attitude. Which was good. I had some set backs with breathing, getting sick, junk like that. ...When the races were going on I thought I was going to get depressed, thinking about people out there having fun and what not. But I didn't. Sure it stunk, but again "no sense beating my self up over it" attitude. ...Things change however. There were occasions and situations that started piling up, started taking their toll on my mental and emotional state. Watching my wife have to do everything. Watching her take care of birthdays, including her own, on her own. Having her bus me around, watching her exhaust herself dealing with the kids and all their stuff going on during the summer. Watching my new backyard sit there, waiting for someone to clear it out,get it ready to finish. All the "here take this to dad, do this for dad, dad needs this" garbage started taking its toll. One of the worst things take to heart is the fact that your kids view you as 'fragile'. My father has broken every bone in his body at least twice and I still think of him as the toughest man I know. Having my boss put his "owner" duties on the back burner so he could do my work started taking its toll. ...When the cast came off and the boot went on a little bit of hope started creeping back in. On the horizon I'll be able to walk again and stuff. Well it didn't happen. Putting pressure on my foot to walk was unbearable, even after 4 weeks of weight bearing I'm only just now able to use one crutch and limp slowly. ...Yeah I've had a couple spills. I've landed on my foot a couple times, maybe hindering the recovery process, but I should be farther along. At my last Dr. appointment he was surprised I was still on my crutches. I have impacted swelling that may take another 3 months to completely go away. I'm doing physical therapy also. I thought I could do it myself, nope. Its been frustrating to say the least. ...I was hoping to be walking unassisted for our anniversary, but I wasn't. We haven't taken the kids anywhere fun or cool in years, we are hoping to take them to Moab this November (when its not hot and cheaper). I keep telling myself, "Oh I'll be able hike all over the rocks and uneven ground 8 miles a day no problem". In the back of my mind I'm a little scared I won't be ready. I'm pretty sure I will be, I mean its 3 months out right? Maybe I won't be teaching the kids how to jump from rock to rock, well at least not by example. ...I've been off crutches now for a couple weeks, still limping, not able to do a whole lot. When working I've had to put the boot back on a couple times just to make it around. Now I just wear the brace, but haven't had to do too much on it yet. ...Anyways I know its a long read already, but getting to the juice of it I think. When accidents or certain things happen, some people ask themselves, "what am I supposed to learn from this experience?" I've thought that too. It may not be correct, it may be more than just one thing, but I have something I need to work on. ...Pride... ...I don't know if everyone gets like this, but I do. Now I'll be the first to tell you my poop stinks. I'm nothing special, I got nothing going on. But I have thought, on more than one occasion that, "this place would fall apart without me". You know that puffed up chest when you do the dishes, the laundry, mow the lawn, pulled weeds, make it to work on time, do a good job, make a customer happy, you know that puffed up chest? Now I've probably had more "you idiot" moments then pride moments, but the idiot moments you learn from. The pride moments you just wanna puff up even more. Lets be honest, having pride feels good. It ok to be proud, especially of something good, but not to the point of boasting. "This place would fall apart if I wasn't around" -thats boastful pride talking, thats not good. ...History has shown whats happens to those prideful people, they fall. Maybe thats why I fell? ...You know what? Life went on without me. House didn't fall apart, probably functioned better without me. Work was just fine without me, probably functioned better. No matter what, I have no reason to boast. I can be proud and greatfull for my family and my employer. You won't find a more generous people. ...It's a humbling thing to know your not needed. Now people will be nice and say they need you, but deep down you know they don't. ...So now what? Well sometimes when your humble,down, feeling sorry for yourself, your easier to teach? Maybe stand up, dust yourself, get outside and get the stink blown off ya, and learn something. Maybe its something as simple as just going about your daily duties like you were before, because even if YOU don't feel like you matter, YOU still do. Every person's choice affects somebody elses. You might not see it, you might not believe in it. I do. ...Maybe you need to start adjusting your life in a way that you do matter. Maybe you need to put yourself in such a position that places will crumble without you. Not that you want them to crumble, but that you don't want to be replaced! ...I'm not sure what it is for me, what I need to do, maybe a bit of both or maybe something else entirely. But I do know that I'm where I am not because of me, but because people are allowing me to be there. A monkey with a rock can take place in a heartbeat. I need to be a better monkey. ...I know my other blog is the 'music' one, but this song came out about the same time as all this other nonsense. It kinda fits.