On My Own

tip toesSix weeks flew by faster than I imagined.  Six weeks, 12 visits, and I’m done with the formal stuff.  Formal physical therapy has ended, and I’m on my own.

I started out in better shape than anyone expected—at least two weeks ahead of where most people with my injury and surgery would be.  I ended my PT sessions about the same 2 weeks ahead of where most people would be.  In fact, I was doing so well at my next to the last session we pushed things a little far.  I spent the next two days experiencing great pain whenever my foot contacted a hard surface like the floor.

When I started PT six weeks ago, I needed a crutch to get around.  That’s no longer the case.  I limped.  My gait isn’t completely normal, but it’s getting there most days.  I couldn’t stand up in the shower; I’ve only used the shower bench for a seat once in the last few weeks. I can go up steps normally, and often I can go down them fairly normally.  I feel more secure if there’s a railing when I’m descending the staircase.  That sure beats all the crawling up the stairs and bumping down them I did before PT. My feet aren’t glued to the floor—I can stand on tip toes or rock back on my heels.  In fact, I can do it 30 times in a row if you need me to.

I’ve done physical therapy before.  It was helpful, but not extremely so.  Working with Kevin and Elizabeth at Above It All Physical Therapy was a gift to my healing process.  They made what might seem ridiculous fun and healing.  The whole atmosphere is relaxed, friendly, helpful and fun.  If I ever need PT again, I’ll argue if a doctor wants to send me somewhere else.

I’m excited about the progress I’ve made, but I’m also afraid.  I’m afraid I won’t do my exercises.  I’m afraid this is as good as it gets.  I’m nervous that my left calf won’t regain it’s strength and muscle tone.  I wonder if I’ll be able to keep up this summer.  I’m so tired of the one pair of shoes that I’m allowed to wear, but afraid to try different ones.  What if they’re not supportive enough?  What if I hurt myself again?

I don’t want to live in the land of what ifs.  I want to get stronger.  I want to be healthy.  I want to walk as normally as I ever have.  I want to wear different shoes—lots of different shoes.  I want to wear something besides jeans because they’re the only things that go with the shoes I can wear.

Even though I’m on my own, I’m going to do my exercises.  When they’re too easy, I’m going to do some research and see what I can add to them.  I’m going to get stronger.  I’m going to get healthier.  I’m going to wear more than one pair of shoes.  I’m going to keep up this summer.  As much as it depends on me, I’m going for it.

If you happen to see me, ask if I’m sticking to it.  If I’m sheepish about it, ask why I’m not following through with what I know I should do. If I show you how I can stand on my tiptoes on just my left foot, applaud that accomplishment.  (Don’t ask to see that yet—it’s still a lofty goal!)

What about you?  Where do you feel like your on your own?  What can I ask you about?

photo courtesy of Wenzday01

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