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December 2010
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April 2011

Stepping forwards & Backwards

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(image from www.zazzle.com)

 

So, I thought that I was going to be able to start "walking" the other day. NOPE. Michael, my PT (who is amazing), pulled out a calendar and pointed out that in fact 6 wks was the FOLLOWING day, and there was absolutely no way that weight bearing would commence a day early. I literally collapsed on the PT table (ok, part of the dramatic move was for effect, part was from pure exhaustion of holding myself up all day, but part was from utter desperation and the need to get off the crutches).  He explained that I would need to wait 5 more days.

Now, that being said, I was allowed to get on the bike and start using some resistance.  OK - I will take these little victories as they come, I thought to myself.  So I got to go on the bike. I started riding the bike and turned to Michael and remarked out fast I was going (it really felt fast) and then the bike's power shut off b/c I guess I was not going fast enough. 

I managed to hit about 40 rpm. Let me tell you - I felt freaking AMAZING (I might start training for the Tour de France). 

Minutes 1-3

"Come on Michael. I mean if am feeling really good, I can do this for like  20 min, right?"

(NO LILY, YOU CAN'T) 

Minutes 4-5

"Well can I do 10 minutes a few times a day... Oh wait, the machine shut off"

(LILY, try to keep pedaling at at least 40 rpm!)

Minutes 6-8

"Um, my heart rate is not really doing anything here..."

(YEAH, OK Lily, that is not really the point)

Minutes 9-10

"I think that 10 minutes is enough. I should ice after, right?"

Oh the joy of PT... I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

 


Just Being

I have been told to be still - been told to just be.  Much easier said than done.

I am tired of sitting around... it actually is painful to sit around all day.  Seriously, it hurts to sit.  My physical therapist told me that I need to rest, to take things easy at this point.  It is incredibly challenging to do this, especially when most of me feels perfectly fine.  Yet I find myself sitting in bed, or sitting on the couch, or sitting in our oversized chair day in and day out.  The pain is not just from sitting, but from holding the crutches.  It is awesome - really and truly... (no, not so much...) Even when I want to move, and I go to the gym to move my upper body, I am still sitting so little relief is found.

And then there are the snow storms.  I was thinking about going shopping to pick up some groceries before the next storm, but then realized I could not carry them home to bring them up to my apartment, so that was out.  So instead I went on line to order groceries.

But I now find myself inside unable to go out due to the snow, and I sit at the window like a cat and watch, and listen to the wind blowing at 30+ miles an hour.  It is not easy to be still, not easy to just be.  No, even after a month, it is not getting any easier.  Seriously, how do people sit around all day and do nothing?  I mean it is exhausting!  I am simply exhausted from doing nothing.  I just do not understand.

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Staying Steady - part two

No one really tells you what you can do, but you are told what you cannot do.

You cannot put weight on your right leg for about 8 weeks.

You cannot run.  Ever. Again.

You cannot start any kind of weight bearing physical therapy until week six.

You cannot keep your brace unlocked while you sleep.

You cannot take your brace off unless you are doing physical therapy.

What about what I can do?  Well - do not worry about that now.  That is what I was told.

Well, that is not good enough for me.  I worry - I always worry about things, and when it comes to my health and well-being, I am going to worry.

I worry about making sure that I stretch my hip flexors and IT band.  I worry that I won't get enough exercise, and that all of my due diligence what I have worked on for years will completely dissipate.  I worry that I am going to completely go out of my mind sitting around all day long.  

There are small victories that happen each and every day, and that is what I have learned to hold on to - along with those victories are set backs as well.  An accidental slip meant weight shifted to my right leg.  Almost falling down a flight of stairs meant I placed weight on my right foot to balance.  Slowly, slowly, and things will hopefully fall (no pun intended) into place...

 


Staying Steady - part one

Rain, snow, ice, sleet, puddles, steps, sidewalks, cobblestones.  These are all things that have put an undeniable fear in me.  Welcome to life on crutches.  And it gets better - I am on crutches and not able to put any weight on my right leg for fear of ruining the intricate surgery my doctor recently performed to regrow the cartilage in my knee.

This is not my first adventure on these stilt-like walking apparatuses.  I have been on them several times before for this same knee, but my previous adventures where no where near as daring as this one.  Non-weight bearing for eight weeks is a challenge, and even more so for someone who tends to be very physically active.  I am used to waking up around 4:45am and hitting the gym to teach bootcamp classes and workout with my trainer.  That will not be happening for a while...That being said, I do not see my situation as an excuse to sit on my ass, feel sorry for myself, and let things go.

I have learned that simply getting around is a workout in itself.  Walking (hopping) around brings up my heart rate to almost the same level as power walking on an incline, and holding up my body on crutches throughout the day is a serious upper body exercise.  Hands, forearms, shoulders, and triceps cry out to me at the end of everyday in ways that have never happened before.  They all contract to steady my body as I move forward, sideways, and backwards in a delicate and slow balancing act just so that my right leg will not make any contact with the floor at any point in time.  These muscles contract even more in anticipation of stairs or ice outside, and exhaustion sets in once the danger passes.

Physical therapy, physical activity, and physical exhaustion are regular parts of my daily routine, however perhaps the most important in understanding that part of my leg's healing process is rest. Simple rest.  The pure act of healing is to be underestimate for the weeks to come.