First, I’d like to say Happy Valentine’s Day to my husband. He has been through all this with me, taking me everywhere, giving me his support, and frankly, I don’t know what I’d do without him. So this is for you honey! 🙂
Honestly? I wasn’t very satisfied how I ended up after my physical therapy. I have so many other issues in my leg to be addressed; and in addition, I felt I wasn’t getting enough help with straightening my leg. So I requested more PT sessions from my doctor and have gone somewhere else to see if they can help me.
Well, let me say that this new place is infinitely better! They don’t shuttle you in and out like cattle, they have assistants, and it’s privately run and not associated with a hospital. Good start, huh. Beginning in January, I had switched insurance companies from an HMO to a PPO which means I don’t have to stay in a certain network. I can go anywhere. It’s a bit more money, but frankly, it’s worth it.
My therapist, Jim, analyzed my situation and realized that I have a lot of work to do. Basically, my right leg is so incredibly weak, including my hips; and even if I just worked on the knee, I would still have a lot of problems. He mentioned that these issues will only get worse with age and not better, so it’s best to tackle it now rather than later. I couldn’t agree more! Frankly, I’ve been waiting for someone to take the bull by the horns like this. I’ve seen so many people and been so many places prior to my knee surgery that it really is laughable…all related to my groin and hip issues… but no one seemed to be able to come up with a plan. Each person would look at me and say, “oh, that’s weird”. I mean c’mon! We have some of the best health care in the world and that’s all you can say?
Anyway, I digress. Regarding my knee, which is why I’m sure you are reading this blog, Jim felt comfortable saying that he thought I could get full extension. But it’s gonna take WORK and it will be painful. Got it. I’m ready.
My first session included me sitting on one of those L-shaped cushioned tables with my legs out in front of me. Jim put a very heavy heated pad on the top of my leg to weight it down and left me there for about ten minutes. Yipes! OMG…that was an OUCH the whole time. He warned me it might be difficult to stay in that position but suggested I try the whole ten minutes. I did it but, oh dear, it was hard. I’ve never had that before or even anything close to it. Then, he gave my knee such a thorough massage. I’ve never had such a complete massage on my knee before by my previous physical therapist. And basically anytime I was seated during ice treatments or stim, he would have a rolled up towel underneath my foot creating extension in the back of my leg. Holy Moly!
The reason I am having more trouble than the next person is (just in case you haven’t been hanging on every word of my blog) for literally years I haven’t been able to straighten that leg out anyway due to my bad knee, so the muscles are all completely shortened which made me compensate in other ways to walk and do daily tasks. And as my mobility decreased, so did my activity, which made me very weak. That is a recipe for disaster.
Unraveling all this is like taking two steps backward to move three steps forward. Back to flaring up, feeling miserable, and just trying to survive a day with two sessions of these exercises. It really is laughable that I can’t do these simplest of exercises without excruciating pain.
But what he says makes so much sense. I think he’s the first person that I’ve seen that has a plan for all the parts and pieces of my leg in order to get me back into a functioning human being.
So that’s where I am now. And just as I typed that sentence, I raised my leg to put the foot on an ottoman with nothing under my knee. I’m supposed to do this as often as possible, preferrably five-ten minutes each hour or two. LOL! I can barely get through two minutes!! But I’m doing this frequently, like every half hour.
This is going to be the second part of my journey. I will put in the work, and I really hope to see some results. I WANT THIS!