Wednesday, May 22, 2013

And All I Got Was This Tee Shirt.

For all intents and purposes, physical therapy is over. My last appointment was last week wherein Carrie beat up my knees. Of all the things she's done, which included make me walk in bondage, hold a ball between my knees (You are free to word associate here. I don't mind. It took us 5 minutes after she told me what I was going to do for us to stop laughing.) and then her working the knots out of my shoulder muscles, this was excruciatingly painful. I actually had her stop at one point because whatever she was doing hurt and sent shooting pain into my shins and my upper thigh. "Hmmmmm," she said. "It really shouldn't hurt that much." Ya think? But, redirected pressure and massage and then she could go back to the original pressure points. Something was awry and she fixed it.

It is now up to me to continue with the "fixing".

The thing is, even with pages and I do mean pages of exercises, nothing replaces or regrows cartilage lost due to injury or age. The best I can hope for is that the RA is sufficiently under control to stop or reduce joint damage and that the exercises I do strengthen the surrounding muscles to ease the pressure on the actual joints. Part of that exercise is to resume walking and, in order to do that, I'm buying actual walking shoes this weekend. The shoes I have don't provide enough support for my toes for steady walking. I can't be a mile from home and hobbling like an unshod mule because my toes have cramped something fierce. Shoes designed for walkers are the way to go, more expensive, to be sure, but they are what I need if I'm going to get back into this.

So, I said goodbye to Carrie's House of Torture. As a parting gift, I received the above tee shirt. I know. I know. I need another tee shirt like I need a Charly Horse at 2:30 a.m. (I've had those. They are such fun.) It's a nice, heavy weight tee and I know the stack I saw in the closet is factored into the cost of my therapy. Still, all my doctors are through this health service so, unless other doctors have these in other colors, one is all I need.

I have mixed feelings. I don't want to rack up more medical bills, but it is absolutely undeniable that physical therapy combined with the other changes to lifestyle and the diligence of my rheumatologist have made my life head and shoulders better than a year ago at this time. I never dreamed, even as far back as May of 2011, that I could feel this good. I need to build up my stamina and continue to strengthen my knees. Walking will do that.

I'm also going to miss Carrie and how she made this fun. As an example of her enthusiasm, when Flat Stanley was here, she jumped into the idea of making Stanley do some physical therapy. He waited patiently for our appointment.

Then she put him on the bike.

Once he was warmed up, she had him balance on an exercise ball while holding a weight.

After this, she had to check his balance. Stanley did so much better than I can ever do on the balance board.

When this was done, we tried to get Stanley to pull weights but he kept getting tangled up in the straps.

I'm told Dillon's classmates thought this whole thing was hilarious. What really got the laughs was when we weighed Stanley.

We really needed a baby scale or just a bathroom digital scale, neither of which they had. So we had to improvise. He stood on the scale part and then we moved the weights all the way to the right.

The kids recognized the scale and knew what moving the weights to the right meant. I guess Dillon got a big laugh out of his class when he read my comment that Carrie thought Stanley needed to lose a little weight.

I'm to check in next week for an update but I can be officially discharged. I'm sad but I'm happy too. Time to get out and explore the world, something back in January I never thought possible.

Beverage:  Irish Breakfast tea


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