Saturday, February 23, 2008

Happy Friday! (yesterday)

Bobby came home with these and my favorite Venti Mocha from Starbucks yesterday. What a way to brighten the perfectly grey and ordinary day I was having. He bounced in grinning "Happy Friday" and presented me with gifts of flowers and a knitting book. The coffee soon followed. I was overwhelmed. My Boo has an uncanny knack for timing. Earlier I had to cancel Physical Therapy due to some patchy ice still on our sidewalk and the cleaning lady that was supposed to start canceled too. My day was left boring and unproductive. Until he bounced in all sunshiny and loving me.

Life is good.

Sometimes I have to remember that here at this blog. All is not doom and gloom for me 'ya know and I need to let you guys knot that in spite of the veeery slow progress on the physical front - I'm still happy and having fun. My life really doesn't revolve just around this cancer thing. I can't balance, stand or walk
right now, but that's about it. (Okay, a bit of an exaggeration) But gimme my scooter and I'm off full of piss and vinegar. When Bobby can get me there - I'm a speed demon. When I can load and unload her myself again, look out. Thursday and Friday were great days of knitting with friends for instance. You can click here to read about it on my knitting blog "tinkknitz" if you like.

Prepare for another Happy Friday announcement though.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Baby Steps

They tell you you'll have fatigue after radiation.

"They" were right.

I don't know how it affects other people, but for me it feels like my body weighs a ton. Lifting my legs to walk feels and looks like Frankenstein. Add the balance of a Weeble (remember them?) and you get the picture. Standing still is the worst for some reason. I tense every muscle just to stay upright. I am encouraged by my most recent brilliant idea though. I changed physical therapists. Prior to surgery I decided to build some strength, went to Physical Therapy and loved my therapist. After surgery I needed Occupational therapy too and my original facility didn't offer it so I had to change. Well, OT was done a long time ago and I just wasn't thrilled with the chick I was working with. I was doing the same stuff week after week - and this when I was walking, climbing stairs and had plenty of energy. I would be sitting there doing nothing and have to call over to where she was chatting ask her "hey - what's next for me lady?".

I went back to the first place.

Huge difference in my progress now. Carmen is professional, pushes me and sticks with me. I actually improve instead of just repeating the same thing over and over. New things are added. I find myself actually wanting to incorporate small exercises and balance practice in my daily routines as she suggests, like a good girl.
Muscle tone and my messed up leg rotation (walking with my right leg pointing to the outside) is being addressed while I'm sitting or lying down. This way I have more energy to work the muscles and don't waste it trying to stand. The standing and walking may not be better, but moving around when sitting, lying down, rolling over in bed (groan!) and my general sense of well being is better. Now I can lift my legs a bit better and my home exercises are making more sense. Imagine that.


And this week I moved my right ankle in 18 circles.
I haven't done that in eons. I cried. Wearing a brace all day basically freezes that ankle in one position. The muscles are contracted. It has bad arthritis. I'm workin' it hard baby. I'll be needing the muscles in that leg and ankle for better mobility in the errrr . . . future perhaps. I went to a demonstration of the NESS L300 Foot Drop System yesterday at Hopkins which was very cool. You may remember it has been suggested for me by a Physical Therapist and Physiatrist there. There were patients trying them out for the first time and were walking without their braces. In a nutshell, when you take a step - the apparatus give a slight electrical charge to the leg muscle and the foot moves properly instead of dragging. There are many baby steps to be taken before that one can be addressed for me, but hey. A girl can dream.

My Godson John is my inspiration when I work out at home. He was a never give up kinda guy and I have a picture of his smilin' face in front of me right now. I conjure it up when I need inspiration to keep going. To pay attention and do it right. To finish those last three repetitions. To exercise the left leg too like I'm supposed to. To stop and rest the muscles like she tells me too even though I feel like I can go on. To breathe.

Yeah. Baby steps, John.