Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baby Steps

Today I got to show off my "new" walking abilities to my dad when he picked me up for physical therapy. I can now walk about 5-10 feet, with the help of a walker; it aches a bit, but my stride is getting a bit more natural. He said that it's good to see me back on my feet, even if it's only for a couple of steps at a time.

Meanwhile, I had another intense PT session today. My regular therapist was there and was upset when I told her about Saturday's session; she says that they overworked me and that two hours was too much therapy for now. Still, the (presumably) "lighter" session she had me do today still kicked my butt. She put a 2-pound ankle weight on my foot and had me do various range of motion stretches, which were fairly easy. But then I had to stand and do exercises where I raised my bad leg and held it out to the side for 10 seconds ... and then raised my good leg and did the same. Ouch! Putting all of my weight onto my bad leg for these moves was hard, especially with the weight on my foot, but I'm glad that I'm being challenged. I was seriously huffing and puffing and sweating after these, which is kind of sad, given how simple they would've been without a broken leg (but I guess that's the point). I was up for doing some more exercises, but she called time on our session and warned me not to overdo things. Still, I'm pleased that I'm now able to ambulate a little and am getting back some balance. Though I was gripping the rail while I did these, I felt less of a need to than I did before and even let go for a second to see what it felt like.

I have to say, I really like having a set exercise plan in place, even if the moves are kind of lame (no pun intended) at the moment. It feels good to be moving and sweating and well, doing something. I also like that I'm kind of "forced" to do these exercises because if I don't, well, it'll compromise my recovery. Sticking with a workout program has always been an issue for me, despite exercising sporadically for years, but I don't really have a choice with this one -- which is a good thing.

I suppose I should regard my weight the same way: that I don't have a choice and I *have* to work out if I want to get healthy. It's more difficult though, I think, when the dangers and results aren't as urgent. I know intellectually that if I don't lose the weight I can die, but that's easy to ignore when I'm youngish and relatively healthy. It can also get frustrating when I don't see the results I want as quickly. Whereas with my leg, I'm already seeing drastic results so it's a little more motivating. Right now, however, getting up and moving is only going to help me with both of my problems, so it's win-win!

My goal right now is a small one and it's to be able to walk the length of our hallway to the living room with the walker. This is about 30 feet -- not a terribly long distance on a normal day, but for me, it feels like a couple of miles right now. Once I conquer this, then maybe I will be able to get from room to room without the wheelchair or office chair and then I'll be on my way to being a fully functioning person once more.

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