Random Ramblings: 3/28/13

No physical therapy this week, so nothing to report there. I didn’t have a ride, so I’ve been trying to do all the PT exercises here. It’s been going fairly okay.

I guess what I want to ramble about is how long I’ve been unwell. I’m almost reaching the year mark. It’s kind of messing with my head. I know it’s been several injuries in one, but still. To lose a year of your life is not something that one wakes up to and thinks, wow, boy am I glad I got to go through that.

It’s weird. Last year, about this time, I was looking froward to going to Greece and Turkey with my best friend. Now, I’m hoping to be able to drive without pain. Just something simple. So I can go see people. It’s not a necessity that I be able to pick up my niece, or go back to work. Right now, all I really want to be able to do is drive. Oh, and sit for an hour. That would be great. Then I could go to dinner with people. How nice would that be?

But I have to stay strong. None of this changes whether or not I have a bad attitude or a good one. I chose to have a good one.

But check in on  me later, because I might be crying then :-)

Physical Therapy 3/19/2013

Physical therapy went well today. We went over some of the same stuff and she did a bunch of manual manipulation today. PT was at 2:45 and now it’s 5:30. The pain hasn’t set in yet, so I’m hopeful. It does seem to take a few more hours before the aching sets in — so we shall see.

Some new exercises that we worked on today was what I can only call an angel against the wall. She says it’s to help my shoulders reset because they are so far leaned forward in an almost hunched position. She says it may seem to feel better for my back, but in fact, it isn’t. I’m pretty hunched over in general.

So not much to report today. But if you are following my physical therapy journal to judge your own recovery just know this. I’m still chugging along.

Physical Therapy: Continued Trial and Error for my Annular Tear

Physical therapy went okay on Monday. The whole time I was there it went really great, up until the end. We did a bunch of new exercises which kind of bugs me a bit. It’s funny, when I was doing physical therapy before when it was just my thoracic back, I kept getting annoyed because we would do the same exercises and I wanted to be doing more. Now, I’m annoyed because we are doing too many.

I’m a nutcase.

I guess I just feel like shouldn’t we wait to accomplish the first exercises before we add on more? How will I know which exercise hurt me if we keep adding and adding and adding? How do we know if the first exercises are wearing me down as I do them more and more and am not able to increase the frequency?

Therefore, I spoke with my counselor about all of this and she brought up a good point. Just because I spoke my mind to KC before doesn’t mean I am done with the dialogue. She encouraged me to keep asking questions, and in fact, these very questions to KC. She said at the very least it would let KC know where I am at and we can continue to work on my physical therapy plan from there. That alone, she said, will make me more comfortable with my plan of care. She said this woman should know what’s going on in my head because she can improve her care for me.

So my next PT appointment with KC is tomorrow March 14th. I will let you know how it goes.

As for my current pain level, it again was pretty high after Monday’s session. I’m not gonna lie, there was some crying. The last exercise that I spoke about above was that she wanted me to lean up against the wall and try and flatten my back against it. I immediately felt it in my back. So for sure that one is not one that I am ready for. Some other exercises that she had me do was sit on the table with my feet firmly planted on the floor and rest my hands on an exercise ball. I then softly pushed the ball forward and then returned it back. I then did this same exercise to the right and to the left.

Another exercise was on the table, flat on my back. She then had me push the right side of my back into the table. I was slowly able to do that. We then tried with the left and even though my brain told my left side to try, nothing happened. I gotta tell you, that was a very weird experience. KC said that sometimes can happen. What I was very impressed about was she did a work-around. She placed her hand under the small of my back and then slightly pushed it into my back. She told me to resist her. That seemed to allow a signal from my brain, and I was able to push her hand down. I was pumped about that. I thought that was really smart on her part.

Alright then. I wish you all the best. Until next time.

Physical Therapy: 3rd time is a charm?

Physical therapy went much better on Thursday March 7th. I worked up the courage to tell the therapist that I felt like the previous session was too intense.  Probably not a surprise to anyone else, but she was very receptive. I was actually super impressed. KC asked during exercises how I was doing. She specifically asked me if I felt pain or a stretch. She didn’t seem put off by my request at all.

I know, to most people this seems like an obvious request with an obvious result, but not for all of us. It was a great learning experience for me to know that I could ask to slow things down without the person being offended or have a snotty attitude in turn. She didn’t act like she thought I was being a baby, or that I wasn’t invested in my recovery. She just took it all in stride and worked around my pace. I was also happy that she still kept pushing me, but just not as far.

So all in all a great visit. It has encouraged me to keep going. I hope this time is the charm and that I meet my own expectations to someday be 100%.

Man, how great would that be!!

Physical Therapy. Second appointment was tough

I saw the physical therapist a second time and it didn’t go as well as I had hoped. Apparently all of my good intentions to speak up for myself didn’t happen. Also, all that time I spent explaining to KC that I needed her help in recognizing when I might be trying to speak up was not heeded.

So what happened was she did a bunch of exercises that I did okay with. Then, midway through the appointment, she started jabbing her hand into my sacrum. Boy did that hurt. I’m not gonna lie to you.

So at first I said “That’s really tender.”

KC “It’s okay.”

Me “Okay, that really hurts.”

KC “It’s okay.”

Me “Are you going to tear something doing that?”

KC “No. There is no way I can tear something doing this.”

See what I mean? It’s not like I didn’t try and speak up for myself. Grrrr.

The next thing that happened was more my fault than hers. She had me try to do a partial bridge. I know, right? I thought that was a bit much too. So she put her hands on my knees in order to provide a bit of resistance. I actually did okay with it in the beginning. But, then, it seemed like she was giving too much resistance and causing too much pulling on my back.

So I said “Okay, that’s good.”

KC “Great.”

Grrr.

That’s not what I meant! I meant no more! But that’s where I thought maybe she should have realized that I was a bit nervous about everything.

So that’s my story. That’s how PT has been going.