29 December 2006

How long IS the rehab?

I'm on the way to the gym. I can now do the leg press and the abductor machines in addition to the bike and the treadmill. But I'm losing patience with this physical therapy stuff.

Yesterday when I went to physical therapy, I gave Kate, the PT, a piece of my mind. I told her I wasn't getting better fast enough, and I wondered if there was anything wrong.

She sat me down and, while stretching my hip flexor, gave me a piece of HER mind. She said I was on the fast track, and that many people at my stage weren't even working on their abductor strength yet; they were still working on ADLs (activities of daily living). She told me that most people were not shown how to get down on the floor or how to pick things up off the floor by putting one leg up behind them, because they weren't agile enough to do it. And she told me it would be about three months before I could even tell how my walk would look. Basically, her message was "don't complain; you are far ahead of everyone else."

While Dr. Whirlow didn't tell me it would be the easiest rehab because of the weakness in all my muscles, she didn't really EMPHASIZE the length of the rehab. She did say it would be work. But somehow I had the idea that after six weeks, something magical would occur and I would BE HEALED.

Actually, this isn't so. I can walk miles with the cane, and I have lost most of my pain, but when I try to walk unaided, I can see how far I am from finished with rehab. This makes me impatient, because I was willing to give it six weeks, but not six months.

So here I go, over to the gym. Today I will not walk in the pool with the underwater MP3 player I got for Christmas, but I will ride the bike with my regular IPOD. I vary these exercises in case one works better than another :-) And I will continue my magical thinking: one of these days, I will be healed.

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