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 ;)

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