Wednesday, December 29, 2021

I've graduated from PT, the good news and the bad

I had started physical therapy for balance and core strength before I was in an auto accident on November 26, and as of yesterday I have "graduated."  I had a few extra sessions to make sure all my injuries hadn't interfered with my balance. So, I was given two check off tests to determine my progress.  The vertigo is completely gone for now. She took care of that the first session with one of those magic head twists.  The balance and fear of falling test I scored much worse than when I started.  Megan, the DPT was baffled.  My explanation is that after learning all the things I was doing wrong and paying closer attention to my balance, I was more aware of how unsteady I am and am actually more afraid of falling than before! She calls it "perception," which I think she means it's all in my head that my balance is poor.  I don't think so. I've seen other old people walk, and I walk like a 92 year old, bumping into things and people and listing sideways.  It was my hope that I could avoid that, so I'll of course continue the exercises.  Megan says I need to develop muscle memory.

One of the more interesting is standing still for 30 seconds with eyes closed and feet together. I think I did get better at that.  

Then that is followed with eyes open looking at a distant object with one foot in front of the other, standing for 30 seconds.  

A seated hip abduction with resistance (a stretchy band) begins with sitting upright in a chair with the band secured around the legs and then moving the legs outward.  That one is very uncomfortable.

An easy one to do that I hope will protect me from another bursitis attack is sidestepping while holding on to the kitchen counter.  Step sideways along the length of the counter (while warming something in the microwave) then sidestep back. Be sure pick-up feet--this isn't a slide.

Difficult to do in the house is walking while turning my head.  Our hallways are very short, but Megan told me to do it even a short distance.

Awkward is learning to get out of a seated position hold a pole or cane against my back--the standing hip hinge with dowel. Then lightly bend my knees while rising.  This is to help with picking things up or loading the dishwasher so you don't hurt your back.

And so forth.  I hope I get better with practice.  

One bright spot of the season is my Christmas present from our daughter and son-in-law.  A new Schwin exercycle. Mark came over on Monday and put it together.  My old exercycle had developed a loud noise--probably and lose gear or bearing. It had about 15,000 miles. This one is silent, has a smaller footprint, and uses electricity not batteries, but like the old one, has some "programs" I'll never use (they also aren't explained in the manual).  Usually, I go to Lifetime Fitness nearby in the morning, but if the weather's bad or I get up later than usual, I can do this at home.

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