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Posts Tagged ‘physical therapy’

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The BigFoot story is not over – until it is over of course.

Big Foot has been somewhat reduced to a visibly normal size.  At the same time, it is still bigger than it should be.  Sometimes I can walk fast but still cannot run with abandon.

Today, on the way to PT (Physical Therapy), I was walking with my cane in front of a young couple.  They eventually passed me and the young man said, “You don’t need that cane.”  And I said, “Yes, it is only for balance.”  Wasn’t he the sweetest thing? He actually made my day and I am still grinning and thrilled that someone said I don’t really need that cane.

But this story is about today’s journey through PT (Physical Therapy).

PLAYING WITH ELSA-THE-DOG

“I want to get down on the floor to play with Elsa,” I said to Anne-Marie (my physical therapist) today.  “The problem is, once I get down, I am not sure I can get up.”

Anne-Marie is a very sweet and expert therapist who will work on whatever problem I present. She understood immediately and she promptly demonstrated her technique for gracefully lowering herself to the floor with one bent knee.

I explained my own technique for getting down there.

“It’s like this,” I said. “ At home I collapse face first and chest first onto an easy chair.

Then I push off in a pre-aimed sideways fall to get the rest of the way to the floor.”

“Uh, I don’t like the word collapse,” said Anne-Marie. “Don’t collapse on anything but remember stomach in and accomplish goals with slow determination.”

O.K.  I made it to the floor in front of my therapist and anyone else who was watching of course. I got there by holding a death grip on Anne-Marie’s wall mounted ballet rails and kind of hanging my way down.  There was nothing graceful in this.

NOW HOW TO GET BACK UP!

I explained to Anne-Marie that at home I arise from whatever position I fall in by

  •  hoisting my upper body onto the seat of the easy chair,
  • swinging BigFoot as far forward as it will go and pushing it a little further with my hand,
  • then not so gracefully heaving myself up to a somewhat wobbly standing position.

Do you have a mental image of this action?

IT IS NOT A PRETTY PICTURE!

Again, my lovely therapist urged me to use thoughtful, slow, determined movements to hold onto the chair but to bring that foot around and to lean on my own bent foot to rise with strength and grace.  I will be a picture of graceful moves.  Ha!

I did it there once again using the ballet rails and arm muscles instead of abs!

I think I can do it at home.

It will be a move in the direction of physical fitness.

Not today though.

Maybe tomorrow.

I will try not to collapse onto the chair, but to lower myself, abs in and with goal-oriented determination.  If you are young you have not read this far. Getting up is not a challenge.  If you are old, stick with me.

Lowering my body to the floor and then hoisting myself up from the floor was not the only goal today but it was the major one.  After all, this session was designed specifically for Elsa-the-dog so we can play face to face on her own level.

For more pretty pictures of Dor managing to live happily ever after with BigFoot, stay tuned.

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Russell Terrier

Monday was PT Day.  Those are the initials for Physical Therapy of course.  I am trying hard to join the current initial-speaking generation whilst also re-learning how to walk.

Anyway, believe it or not (and I can’t believe it myself), I saw a wonderful thing when  entering the Physical Therapy center.

I saw a beautiful, sweet little DOG! 

A dog at PT?  Yup!

And although I didn’t have the nerve to take a photo, please

picture this:

  • A lady was lying on her back on the therapist’s table.
  • The therapist was seated at her head and manipulating the lady’s neck.
  • And on the patient’s abdomen was the most adorable little dog I have ever seen.

She (the dog) was stretched out on her Mistress’ stomach and looked up when I walked in (the dog – not the lady). Then she stared at me (the dog) and I stared at her until we both got tired of looking.  Actually I never tired of looking but while awaiting my turn with the therapist I pretended to read a magazine but kept sneaking looks at the amazing little creature.

At the end, they put the little dog down on the floor and she came right over to me for a greeting, an ear rub, and immediate love!

“Do you have another like her you want to get rid of?” I asked the lady.

“Funny you should ask,” was the answer. “Birdie just had puppies.  There are 3 left.  Someone is coming in two weeks to choose one of the 3.  The therapist wants another.  And there will be one left.  All 3 are calm like Birdie.”

Birdie is a Russell Terrier, a derivation of the Jack Russell.  These are  very active hunting dogs but the “Russell” (minus the Jack) is breeder-described as a couch potato!

Now I ask you, “Is this meant to be?”

I will know in about two weeks.

 

 

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New Foot

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Faraway Doctoring

I connected this week with my Long Distance Doctor about the last MRI test for BigFoot.  That makes 5 MRI’s in about 3 years!

I am in rural Virginia and the doc is in Big City Baltimore so it is an adventure story of sorts.  She recommended “Serial MRI’s” for comparison purposes.

Anyway, Dr. C called to review the last MRI which showed positive changes.  And there will be no more MRI’s unless BigFoot decides to act up again.  Hurrah!

Now I keep looking at my beautiful ultra-thin foot.  And guess what?  It matches the other one.

ankles (1)On Foot Preening

Feet are definitely not the most glamorous parts of the human body.  In fact, I think they are generally pretty ugly.  But they do a major job in carrying us around and I do admire a foot that maintains its shape and shows a prominent ankle bone.

Is it no wonder that visible feet beneath ladies’ long skirts in the olden days was considered ultra sexy and risque?

Some folks preen before a mirror.  I suppose they admire their faces.

But a mirror is not necessary for foot preening.   I can simply recline in my recliner to scrutinize lovely skinny toes and the spaces between them, a slim ankle and visible ankle bone, and rare puffiness even after a full day of activity.  I would be an enormous hit in the olden days right?

So yes, at any given moment you may see me in a reclining stupor admiring my own sockless feet.

P.T.

PT is short for Physical Therapy.  Don’t you just hate all this “Initial” talking?

To celebrate SkinnyFoot’s new possibilities I attended a PT session with a therapist here in Virginia (not Baltimore thank goodness) who worked “hands on” for a full hour!

This meant manipulated muscles and things that have never been manipulated before.  !

I told Anne-Marie, the fantastic therapist, “My ultimate goal is to wear matching shoes and be able to traverse (on foot) the local Walmart with no electric cart!”

And she said, “That is absolutely do-able.” 

Really?!  I am so happy and hopeful but realize there is weakness due to nearly three years of immobility.   Good results will take time.

Then Came The-Day-After P.T.

  • UhOh!
  • Stabbing pains in SkinnyFoot.
  • Aching thighs.
  • Back twinges.
  • Fear
  • Worry.
  • And a mad grab for an Ibuprofen.
  • Arrrrgh!

Was this a case of after-therapy muscle aches and pains or something worse?

Should I quit after only one session?

Or should I soldier on?

The Day After the Day After P.T.

Only one stabbing pain all day.

Walmart, here I come!

Wish me luck my blogger friends –  I am off and running – well, not exactly running really.  But I have two appointments for P.T. next week.

Now don’t laugh.  You never know where this will go.

Even elderly ladies like me can bounce back to teenage agility levels.  I don’t expect to run marathons or jitterbug but like I said, “You never know.”

Meanwhile, it’s back to preening and personal foot admiration.

And I trust you will join me and gaze mesmerized at the Before and After foot photos above.

 

 

 

 

 

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Not to dwell on the saga of my ailing foot but it has survived months in an Air Cam Boot, weeks of physical therapy, tests and more tests and about six different diagnoses.

Dwelling may not be such a bad idea at that.

Here is a photo of an obstacle course (duplicated for home use).  The real thing is at my “PT” place.  PT stands for Physical Therapy.  Have you noticed how people talk in initials now?

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Cone Obstacle Course at Dor’s House

Anyway, the orange coned obstacle course is among other torturous devices at my PT place.  It is designed to build strength and agility in a foot that flaps.

My left foot now flaps when I walk. I can hear it.

And to confirm the lopsided flapping gait,

Bill said, “You walk like a duck!”

So much for grace and pride.  Now add a dog leash for optimal humiliation!

Back to Physical Therapy, my well-meaning therapist, Brenda, puts a belt around my waist and the belt is so long it has a tail.  Then she holds the tail in case I am inclined to teeter toward a crash landing.

The challenge is to high step over each cone without falling or knocking anything down.

  • No swinging a foot outward and around instead of over.
  • No leaning on Brenda.
  • No hopping.
  • And if you knock a cone (or Brenda) over, keep going.

As a beginner at this dog/duck walk I managed to knock down quite a few cones.  Then, just as practice made perfect, they put out taller versions!  Staggering over a new set of towering obstacles was like being a beginner again.

And I was just getting good at the taller versions when they announced, “YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!  No more leash.”

ALONE?  Are you kidding?

Nevertheless, grimly poised for action, I aimed to prove versatility, flexibility, agility, strength, balance, and the powers of a gimpy woman to convert liabilities into assets.

AND I COULD NOT MOVE!

Terrified, to take the first step without a security dog/duck leash, I was frozen at the starting gate.

Finally, Brenda took pity and offered psychological support. She followed along as a human safety net.  And I completed the arduous leash-less journey with only two fallen cones!

Next visit I plan to shock everyone with a perfect solo performance (hence the home-based obstacle course for practice)!  But what diabolical activity will they come up with next?

Did I tell you they have me picking up marbles with my toes?

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reflections-of-xmas-2013

Hallelujah!

Our Christmas tree is up, decorated, and the outside wreaths alit for holiday cheer in our Virginia country world.  Twinkling lights, red bows and a second tree on the deck complete the picture.

It’s definitely looking alot like Christmas around here.

And could this little posting mean I am back to blogging?

The wish is always to re-connect but that nagging urge waxes and wans like the moon.

I am still doing physical therapy for the dragging left leg with up and down results and high hopes for a sudden healing.  Exercise sessions that look like child’s play (including walking over a cone obstacle course on a leash) leave a body physically exhausted.

But each day I surf around the blogging world  for 15 minutes to see what all of you are doing and try to comment here and there.

Sitting too long is a no-no, but surfing around forbidden territory feels grand and I relish the stolen moments online.   What fun to be slinking into off-limits cyberspace!

But, today, with fearless abandon I am dropping in for more than a moment to say,  “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good  night!”

 

 

 

 

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