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Monday, October 4, 2010

Learning to Walk Again, and Other Stories

not my knees but they could be

I have been trying to put my finger on what especially disappointed me about my last visit to the physical therapist. Paul answered any questions I had but I did not know what to ask, perhaps. As I thought about it later I realized I wanted more of a "test". I wanted to know more about what I have accomplished, and the tools at Paul's disposal would not really give me that. I have thought about this some more and figure eventually I will get a complete physical, or at any rate a near-complete one, perhaps when I first can start on Medicare, which is next January.  That won't tell me where I've been but it will provide a marker for the future.

In the meantime I have been trying to work in the new Paul exercises. I haven't done all of them yet even and I haven't worked out when I will do them or how often. I am thinking I'll blend them with my morning routine eventually, but I will also fit some in throughout the day.

One of the new exercises is the rising from a chair one, without hands. I have been doing that somewhat randomly, as it occurs to me and when I am in the right frame to do it. I have found that if I have been sitting for a while it is going to be too painful. So when I am near a higher chair or the bed I try it then, a few times up and down.  This is going to be tremendously important as time goes on. As I am better able to rise and sit without hands my life is going to be different, better.

Similarly walking. I have been trying to focus on my steps every time I walk now. At first it was awkward but it is getting easier and it seems to be causing me less pain. I sometimes think of myself and "my new legs", feeling such hope that as I adjust my gait the pain will gradually lessen and again my life will be better.

None of it is instant. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Paul said, "Have you tried X?" and I try it and say, "Wow!! I can walk without pain now!" No instant therapy here. Yet I feel these latest exercises are coming closer to what will really help and I will see a difference, I will be able to tell maybe in a month.

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