Physical Therapy Begins

Today I had my first visit to physical therapy. It’s the outpatient kind. (I received P. T. in the hospital, but that was mostly walking practice in the hallways and work on my right hand/arm.) I got to meet my physical therapist (he’s a really nice guy!), and I got to see what a real physical therapy gym looks like. (It was big! And it was busy!) My Very Nice Neighbor took me to my appointment. Thank you, Very Nice Neighbor!

When I first arrived, I had to fill out some paperwork describing what was wrong with me, what I struggled with, which bits of me were the painful bits, and what I expected to be able to accomplish. Of course, I put that I expect to be able to fully recover as quickly as possible!  (Nothing wrong with positive thinking, right?)

So then I got to meet my therapist. (I forgot to ask him if he was OK with my putting his real name here.) He’s very smart, he knows what he’s doing, and he likes my sense of humor. (Important!) Also, he promised to try not to make me cry. (VERY important!) You see, like baseball, there’s no crying in physical therapy. OK, that’s a lie. There IS crying in physical therapy. Because some of that stuff hurts. Some of it hurts really bad! But as long as he’s TRYING not to make me cry, then that’s OK.

Today’s exercises were sort of a test to see where I stand physically, to see what I could do, and what I could not do.

The first exercise was sitting and marching my feet up and down for three minutes. Three minutes. That sounds like nothing. Like no time at all. But I thought those three minutes would NEVER end! The next exercise was squeezing a large foam ball between my knees. Another three minutes. Then my therapist wrapped an exercise band around my knees and had me pull my knees apart against the band, hold and release style. Bet you can guess how long I did that.

Then it was time to do some work on my right hand. He put my hand on the bench and held it down, having me lean toward it and then away from it, putting weight on it and then taking weight off. (Yeah, this one hurt.) Then I laid down on the bench, raised my knees up, and then raised my butt up and down, doing bridge exercises. Then I held a one pound weight in my right hand (there was a strap keeping it in place) and raised it up and down like Arnold Schwarzenegger doing bicep curls. Finally, I walked in a line using “The Stepladder” (that’s what I call my walker) and stepped over plastic cones with my right foot. (To myself I pretended I was Godzilla stepping over the measly little humans’ skyscrapers. Any wonder that I’m single?)

I came home completely exhausted, of course, ready for a nap. But I really have to say that today’s physical therapy was a success! I had no idea I could do some of those exercises. And I didn’t know that small plastic cones were so hard to step over! (Be afraid, tiny humans, be very afraid! All your skyscraper are belong to us!) All in all, though, a good time, and I’m looking forward to the next session.

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