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Thursday, June 16, 2011

9-1/2 Weeks

The only similarity between my 9-1/2 Weeks and the movie of the same name is the inclusion of pain. In my case, the pain serves a purpose. And I don't experience a whole ton of it at a time.

Today, for example, in physical therapy, after doing the bike, the total gym, the leg extension and leg curl machines, and the foot-on-ball balance thingie and the step-up and the mini-squats and side-steps, none of which actually caused pain but instead helped strengthen muscles, I got to sit on the table and have the intern do some "mobes" on my knee. "Mobe" is short for "mobilizations" and refers to various moves the therapist makes, the hands-on stuff that is where the rubber meets the road, in my opinion. My leg was straight out in front of me and he pressed down on the thigh side of the knee, gently but surely, until it was way uncomfortable, pushing it straight. I remember from childbirth classes that we say "uncomfortable" when we really mean "painful" - but even though I realize it's a trick I think it works.

After the mobes I got hooked up to the stim machine again, both legs, with a roll under my knees. Every time the stim came on (ten seconds on, ten off) I got to straighten both legs, lifting them up as well as pressing the knee into the roll. While I was doing this I noticed that the left leg was straighter than the right! This is progress!

But perhaps I get a little ahead of my story here. Last night I hardly slept at all and this afternoon, when I tried to nap a little both legs went into uncontrolled "restlessness". Hate it. Couldn't stretch it out, couldn't walk it out. I went to PT this way and by the time I was done the restlessness was gone. I felt such a wonderful lightness and sense of well-being. There are indeed days when I come out feeling ready to take on the world. Tired as I still am.

As for the nights. I am now taking two to three percocets a night, no sleeping drug at all. And I have been doing better. Fewer spasms, fewer restless times. I may be getting over this part of the recovery. I am not going to hold my breath but it's looking hopeful.

What's ahead: my doc wants me to get to 0 and therefore has prescribed more physical therapy, essentially I think I'll be going until I get there. Yay! So happy to find that out.  I will also be getting a thing called a DynaSplint (see illustration at left). This thing gets to stay on my leg for longer and longer periods, until it gets straight (it adjusts to straighter and straighter).  Preferably 6-8 hours - during sleep, in other words.  I think this will really help.

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