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Friday, December 9, 2011

Getting On

I am feeling hopeful again. For the last few nights I have awoken less often and had less difficulty getting out of bed - less pain. I felt I got going more easily this morning. And the therapist continues to be confident that we'll get my legs straight.

I asked him today if we can get Medicare to pay for the extra therapy that is needed to get those straight legs and he said absolutely. My condition warrants it and my goals are reasonable - to have straight legs so I can walk right.

I will be going to Las Vegas for Christmas, spending ten days, so I also asked Chuck, the therapist, if he can let me know what I can do at Las Vegas gyms while there to help stay on track. He will do this. He's very easy in this way, flexible and helpful. He also has 42 years' experience, which pretty well speaks for itself. If the number of clients didn't already, including many with sports injuries. I learn different stories all the time, making my time there seem pretty darned mild in comparison sometimes.

Chuck told me that the stiffest leg he ever dealt with was on a nine-year-old boy. The boy had injured it skiing and it did not need surgery but it would not bend. He evaluated it in conjunction with the boy's doctor and found that he could bent it less than an inch. The boy was going around with crutches and a useless leg. The surgeon decided to do a "manipulation". This means the boy gets put under anesthesia and the surgeon then bends the leg. No cutting, just bending. The surgeon invited Chuck to join him in the operating room and the two of them tried to get the leg bent while the boy was under anesthesia and it still would not budge! So it was not merely a matter of the boy's fear. This is how they approached it: they put him in a rehab center, in bed with a Continual Passive Motion machine bending the leg as best as it could 24/7, for a LONG time. I do not know how long, but until it started to overcome the resistance and show some softening. Once he got to that point, he got to get out of bed and undergo more traditional physical therapy four times a day. And this way they got it to bend again. He is now in high school and remembers those days well, Chuck said. Doing well.

And here I am, going to PT three times a week and getting to the gym for Aqua classes three times a week and I moan about pain and inability to do everything I want. Seriously!

Driving is still painful but a wee bit less so. I figure I'll take the plunge and drive myself to the Santa Maria airport for my trip this time. Extending the effort.

In general I am trying to get up and move around more frequently. I was doing this while seeing a home therapist but somehow lost my habit when I moved to outpatient. Get up, move around, sit down again. Rest, get up and go again. I am using my iPad and my iMac to play favorite music on iTunes a lot more, too. It just cheers me up. Cat Stevens right now. What can I say? Some things don't get old.

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