Thursday, January 21, 2010

Physical Therapy Update

My mom asked me yesterday for an update about physical therapy. I figured the rest of you might be interested too (if not - skip it and I won't be upset...)

I would say my results and satisfaction level with the PT are mixed. First of all, the good. I rarely feel pain in my hip anymore. Since identifying the problem as one with the sacroiliatic joint, they were able to tell me which activities to avoid and some exercises to do when it hurt. I follow the guidelines and am pretty much better.

Now onto the negative side. I feel like I was pretty much better by the time I finished my run with prednisone. I am not sure how much of the "better" I am feeling I can attribute solely to the physical therapy, how much is due to just giving it time to work itself out, and how much is due to the prednisone. Additionally, I get frustrated with the people at the office sometimes as well. First of all, the people who generally work with me are techs (not PTs), and some of them are incredibly arrogant and/or just not personable. Yuck. More annoying is the fact that I don't think they actually think I am in good shape, and I feel as though they try to dumb down the exercises for me (them: "No, don't lift your neck, it's easier if you don't", me: "But is this supposed to work my abs?", them "Yes", me: ???). The good news is that I believe they're starting to come around. Two quick stories on that. One of the exercises they had me do was as I was laying flat on my back with my leg lifted but bent so my calf was parallel to the floor. The tech applied pressure to the bottom of my foot and I was supposed to push against him so that my leg stayed still. He had been giving me all kinds of lip (not sure if he meant that as flirting or if he was just generally incredibly obnoxious), so at one point I told him -- honestly -- that if he did not shut up I would roundhouse kick him! I had a window of opportunity, it was not like I just said that out of the blue -- but as I am typing that I realize that might have been a little too much. Anyway I was doing this exercise to apply resistance and I ended up pushing so hard that I moved my 260 lb self and the bed I was sitting on back about 2". He was like "Oh, I guess you are strong." I was thinking "DUH I WAS NOT LYING! PLEASE LISTEN TO ME, YOU JERK!!!" I think they have a hard time believing someone as overweight as I am could be strong. The joke is on them, since I have been working out religiously since April and weight training since last summer. Another story like this is that they were massaging my quads at one point and the therapist was asking "Does that hurt?". I told her it didn't. She worked on the area a little while longer and asked "Are you sure that's not tight?" and I told her it wasn't. She said "Oh, I guess that is a muscle!"

Today they gave me harder exercises. The d-bag who I threatened to kick last time was my tech again today. Apparently I scared him because he would barely talk to me. Anyway, he watched me pretty closely and I think he thought I would not be able to do their exercises. I was able to do them all and I started sweating. You could tell he was impressed. I love love love proving people who think I can't do something wrong!!! Also it was nice to actually feel like I am working out, and to have these exercises help me -- if I'm going to invest 1.5 twice a week into something, I might as well burn some calories!

I asked about the prognosis and how long this would continue, because it is actually pretty time consuming to go to therapy twice a week. The therapist said she would re-evaluate me sometime next week to see how much I have improved. I would love it if she gave me a clean bill of health and told me I did not come back.

I am so glad I feel better and that most things do not hurt to do anymore. I will give the PT at least part of the credit for that. I am so happy I can exercise again; I can't imagine doing this journey without exercise.

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