Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Post-Op Day 26: Physical Therapy Evaluation!

I have been anticipating this day with much positive energy, I must say! I was really looking forward to understanding the journey ahead of me, and learning active ways I can help further my rehabilitation.

But I have to say...I didn't take it as well as I had hoped!

The physical therapist started by taking measurements and having me do different push-pull exercises to assess my range of motion and strength. Then she showed me stretches she would like me to get started with. I was also surprised to learn that I need to massage my incision site-I had never heard of that for some reason! The logic behind this is that an incision like this one will continue to grow deep into the greater tisses underneath such as bones, muscles and tendons. It can sometimes fuse to them so it is important to massage the incision to break up the growth beneath the skin. It also promotes blood flow and nerve function at the site (which I will admit is a weird-sort of numb at this point).

Lastly she evaluated my walking and showed me how to purposefully regain normal stepping motion. Next week I will hop on the stationary bike and do some more work!

So why was I discouraged when I left? Maybe it was more frustration with my own expectations being unmet. Or maybe it was one of those moments where I allowed myself to realize just how frustrated and heartbroken losing my ability to walk/run/hike/bike has been. Maybe it was a little bit of both. I really miss running (and exercise in general!), and I feel like there is a whole part of myself I have lost. My incision is really long and I am honestly bummed about it. I cried on the way home.

My left (injured) calf is 3" smaller in diameter than my right. That really hit me hard. I expected some change, but to me that feels very significant (and in so little time-2 1/2 months?!?). I know my left is not working at all, and my right is compensating, so there will be an imbalance. But there was something crippling about learning that reality. It will get better when I am healthy again, but how much change will occur as I am still in the boot? There is an exercise I will start working on for that.

Secondly, each exercise was so hard. I could not do them-at least not well in any manner which was very frustrating. I guess I was hoping that I would come to therapy and receive good news. "Oh you are doing SO GOOD already!" or "Oh yes, you will be there in no time!" I didn't get any of those statements. Therapy is hard-really hard. It is pushing past tension (and some pain) in order to bring back function. It is necessary if I want to regain ability so I'm going to do my best!

Here is my "stay positive" picture.

No comments:

Post a Comment