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Archive for the ‘physical therapy’ Category

 

The progress I’ve made since my January fall from my front porch, the legs surgery and rapid initial recuperation has been slowed to a crawl since, say, May. I worked myself pretty hard until I could locomote without the four-legged folding walker. Another major milestone in mid-May was finding myself improved enough to pull myself up to the flat top of a floodlight stand overlooking the airport tarmac where the airplanes (Cessnas, Bonanzas, Learjets, etc.) park to refuel or overnight while flight crew and passengers do business and pleasure in the city. The big advantage of climbing up on that raised base is that I can take pictures of arriving and departing airplanes without the fence getting in the way.

Bo737-23

This was the single most important accomplishment  since losing the walker. There should have been more significant accomplishments, but they’ve not happened. Until July 8,  my first day back at my employer after a four-day temporary “parole” away, spent mostly at the airport museum, I had been okay with using the railings on stairways to pull myself up the steps and brace myself to keep from falling forward and tumbling, coming down the steps.  Two events happened over the four-day hiatus from the plantation . . .  okay, from my employer if you insist.

Number 1 was my discovery that I’ve not had a working telephone land line since APRIL. Part of my life as been a daze of depression and simply denying the rest of my responsibilities because  I’ve been so bleeping SAD. I don’t receive many phone calls at home, and I just assumed life was going on as normal.  I’ve not tried to call anyone from my home in several months. When I need to call someone I use my employer’s phone or my cell phone. I rely a lot on e-mail. Even so, I wanted to keep my land line phone number. To do that I had to re-establish my phone line. I did that this afternoon. Paid the past due bill over the phone, and an e-mail from the phone company informed me that I’m re-connected.

Item B was a better understanding of how precarious my balance is. It was always an issue (Lousy sense of balance) in physical therapy (PT) at the hospital, and they urged me to practice; showed me the exercises, which — after they released me from further required visits for an hour PT — I of course did not do.   Starting July 8, a realized I am almost ASKING for another accident to happen if I don’t get serious again. Solution? I am making myself ascend and descend steps without touching the railings. I’m doing it s-l-o-w-l-y  now, but I’m doing it every time without hands on railings. As I get my balance back, the speed will come.

Part of my daze, really since the discharge from the hospital, has been my avoidance of the hospital bills. I am not earning enough to pay much, but I did qualify for Medicare with help from someone at the hospital, and I am s-l-o-w-l-y turning my attention to those bills. This is really going to be hard. But I have made a few steps in the right direction. I spent part of the 4th of July sorting the bills by companies indicated in the upper left corners of unopened envelopes. I’m summoning the strength of mind to open everything, pitch all by the most recent bill from each provider and go from there next week.

There are some more concerns awaiting the attention of a civil, intelligent citizen which I am trying to become. Maybe I’m running out of days and don’t know it. Things need to be set right whether I leave this world next week or 20 years from now. I need to do  this not because I’m running out of time but because it’s the right thing to do.

As the BeeGees used to sing, “The road is long with many a winding turn that leads us to who knows where.” As I once wrote in one of my songs, “I haven’t found the flavor, but I’m getting there.”

Live long . . . . . . . and proper.

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I could not let April end without posting one update, and it’s an update I would not have predicted when I posted the third of three in March. During that month, at my second post-operation visit with my surgeon, I had been given permission to remove the full-extension leg braces. I could keep them, make a sculpture out of them, burn them. They belong to me. This was a burst of sunshine to my outlook.

True, I had to continue with the bulky aluminum walker which was not much of a bother. In two weeks I was spending nearly all of my time carrying it — mostly to impress my physical therapists who wanted me to follow “doctor’s orders,” and a little bit to give an impression that I was experiencing significant discomfort when I was on my feet at my employer. Both efforts were charades, of course. I was still riding the disabled minibus service, Access Springfield, and starting in late March I begam entering and exiting on the steps after the entry door opened. I no longer needed the hydraulic lift that allowed me to stand, stabilized by my walker going up and coming down. On April 13, I took my last Access Springfield ride — home from the airport museum on a Saturday afternoon — and the next day I drove out to the airport in my pickup truck for the first time since January 12. THAT was another milestone in the recovery action! I’ve been driving ever since.

Since I began driving again, I’ve not bothered with the pretense of needing the walker. It’s all been going fine . . . until about April 2 when I began visiting the hospital for hour-long physical therapy workouts twice a week instead of the previous onceas, and things became real serious real fast. Just as I began to see “light at the end of the tunnel” — naiively imagining all the workouts would be over reasonably soon — as I religiously followed the physical therapists’ instructions for a series of excercises at home that took about 30 minutes every morning . . . they made the tunnel longer, adding some standing excercises involving some that involved simple but perilous (to me) squats to strengthen my upper quad area, stretching exercises for the hamstrings and balancing excercises because good balance is mandatory for maximum safety. As a result — and this is what I would not have predicted a month ago — I have begun to lose the sense of pride I had during the early recovery days when I was seeing progress almost every day, gaining confidence.

I’m still a 65-year-old fellow with no love life, fair social life, an employer I allow to drive me absolutely nuts and no real prospects for imporoving either. Also, I cannot BUY help at the airport museum. It’s hard to be creative when my head and heart are mired in disappointment. I’ve not written a new poem since leaving the hospital; haven’t blogged since May 23. The physical therapy and daily regimen at home are creating more physical distress by the hour than in the early days. Why the hell bother with all this theraphy?

At the end of today’s physical therapy session, my sour outlook was obvious. Therapist Alex (a woman) offered to reduce the twice-weekly sessions to one a week again, and I declined. At least I will do the exrcises at the hospital. At home, I’ve become less inclined to do ALL the recommended workouts.

I’m told that on my next visit to my surgeon, he will likely discontinue my sessions at the hospital and advise me to keep excercising and walking a lot. I will miss the visits with Alex and Heather there. I’m missing more than engaging. Missing what is not mine and engaging the surprisingly social life that is . . . all the while wishing I didn’t have so many things on my calendar. They’re on my calendar for a reason: I LIKE to be with people who like me.

So I will continue with this for awhile, try to be more conscientious, and will share a new poem come May.

Live long . . . . . . and proper.

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