Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ho ho Hope!

I took yesterday off from work in order to not feel rushed about my mid-morning Physical Therapy appointment; as well as to panic shop for Christmas gifts still not thought out, much less bought. It turned out to be a really good day (clouded only by occasional guilt waves about calling in sick), and succesful on all fronts. I used my knee as the excuse so it wasn't an outright lie, but I've been working with it in worse shape for over a week. Basically, I needed the day! I'm back today for the last day until January 4th. Woo-hoo!

Physical therapy was as good and positive as I was hoping it would be. My PT's name is Katie, who was just back from having ankle surgery. She came highly recommended by a friend who had treatment at the same rehab place, so I'd requested her. This was my first venture into PT, other than a one time visit several months back about an elbow issue that turned out to be a waste of time.

Katie asked me all about the knee and the surgery, how it was feeling, where it hurt...all the pertinent questions. She then evaluated it completely for status and function, measuring how well I could flex and extend it. It took about 20 minutes for this. She then showed me 3 different exercises (stretches) to begin doing at home, and also told me I can start using a stationary bike beginning with 5 minutes a day and increasing slo-o-o-wly as tolerated, showing me how extended my knee should be at the lowest point of the pedal. It was pretty exciting to hear I can do that. I don't have a bike at home or work, so will unfreeze my gym membership right after Christmas. In the meantime, I go back for another session tomorrow, once the following week, and then twice a week for a couple beyond that, if needed.

The exercises are simple, but not easy. Amazing how diminished and weakened my quads and hamstrings have become over the last few weeks. Katie also watched me walk and saw that I'm walking on the outside of my L foot and landing almost on my L toes to accomodate the discomfort, so she gave me some pointers to think about when I'm walking. I swear - 24 hours later I can already feel a difference. She was very encouraging, saying I was doing well for not quite 3 weeks post op. It feels wonderful to have something to focus and work on physically again and makes me feel excited to eventually return to my regular (though sensibly modified!) workouts. I think I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be substantially impaired from now on - that's what catastrophic thinkers do - so to be reassured that I'm basically "on schedule" feels good.

Before and after PT, I did quite a bit of shopping, so by the end of the day I was dragging my leg around like a heavy, useless sack of potatoes that was severely weighing me down and screwing with my gait. Limp city! Resting, elevating and icing it brought it back "up to code" (my specifications) within 45 minutes, allowing me to cook dinner and then head out to an AA meeting to see some buddies. I got a lot of wrapping done and threw a few more ornaments on the tree. All in all it was a productive day, though I didn't get much blog activity in. Hope to make up for that today, between nursing moments. I've been using the trike all day, more because it's fun than necessary I think. The last day before the break has such a relaxed atmosphere that it's okay to have some lightness and fun.

Number one son Stephen (the oldest) gets in from Chicago this afternoon, and I can't wait to see him. I'd love to stay home this evening, but I'm going to a healing session for my friend Lisa that is being conducted by one of her acupuncturist friends. I've never been to one of these before, so it should be interesting. It will also likely be very emotional, and maybe sad. I'm a little nervous about it but wouldn't miss it for anything. It's funny how not knowing what to do or how to act at something unfamiliar can make me nervous, and even afraid to show up. I know all I have to do is bring the body, and the mind will follow and be just fine. I have plenty of time to see Stephen. Then Jean, my daughter, will be flying in tomorrow and the nest will be brimming with little chickadees again. It will be busy, crazy, fun and also nerve-wracking at times. But I'm looking forward to all of it.

I fully plan to post tomorrow, and maybe even on Christmas, but in case I don't, I wish all of my friends in blogdom a wonderful peaceful holiday. And if you don't celebrate this holiday, I hope all the trappings and activities of the celebrants aren't too annoying! Abundant blessings to all!


  1. I am so glad you are doing good. You sound wonderful to me. With the kids coming and shopping. I do hope the knees gets well soon. I have lost a few pounds . I have not lost anything in so long. I fell great. Have a Happy and Merry Christmas!!!!!

  2. Merry Christmas Leslie! xoxox

  3. Hi Leslie. Quite a big thing to have your first healing session esp at such an emotional time as Christmas. But I know that healing does help - both physically and mentally.

    No need for nerves. All you have to do is relax! There's nothing else for you to do. Just close your eyes and enjoy it. You may not be sensible for an hour or several afterwards though - it can make you a little loose in the head! You will need to be careful with eating for the rest of the day afterwards for that reason.

    If you like, you can ask for help with your eating during the healing - I mean in your head, not out loud. You will understand when you have it.

    Bearfriend xx

  4. Merry Christmas!!! I'm still reading...will post a gain soon I'm sure!!

  5. A good PT makes all the difference in the world. Very glad that you found one that you like. Since your knee is an on going issue - and going to require on going strengthening PT (on your own) I am wondering if you need to start watching Craig's list or other online things in your area to find a good quality stationary bike on sale/used - ???

    have a very wonderful holiday with your family!!!

  6. When my friends husband was killed in Iraq, just walking up to the door to knock gave me rocks in my stomach. I know what you mean about not knowing what to do...sometimes the best thing is to just be there.
    Glad your knee is getting better.
    Have a merry Christmas leslie!

  7. Oh, it's great that you're enjoying physical therapy. Have a Merry Christmas!

  8. Have a wonderful holiday, and it sounds like the PT is off to a good start. Acupuncture should help greatly with that too.
    BODA weight loss

  9. I'm so glad that you connected with a really good PT! What a blessing. I know that you had a wonderful holiday - hope you will post some pictures!

  10. Hope you had a wonderful time! Catch up with you again soon. :o)

    Patsy x

  11. Sounds like you have found a great PT! I know through my son and having a physical therapist all of his life that finding the right one can make all the difference in the world!!
    Hope you had a great Christmas! I'm kinda looking forward to the brand new year in 2010!