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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You just keep hangin' in there baby seester, we'll hit them boards next year!