Physical Therapy: Surviving Day 1 and a realization

So I survived my first day of physical therapy.  I’m not being melodramatic here, people.  It was an hour and 15 minute game of survival.  Heather, my amazingly-cute-pregnant-and-in-her-first-trimester therapist put me through the paces.  Her delicate condition is the only thing that squashed my urge to hit her several times. 

I started with 8 minutes on the bike, which sent me into a brief panic as soon as I walked up to the machine.  I have a jacked up knee and you want me on a bike?  What the heck?!  But, I trust in all things Heather, so I dutifully hopped on the bike and resisted the urge to start bawling whyareyouputtingmeonabikeI’m hurtandI’lldieandneverjumpagain. Surprisingly, the knee didn’t hurt, but I did experience some really bizarre tendon movement across my knee every 15 seconds or so.  It is, according to Heather, part of my hip displacement causing my kneecap to track across.

Please note, I’m filing my PT under “Getting it done: bikini” because if I dont’ have a kickin’ booty (or sass, as Mr. Hall calls it) by the time PT is done, Heather has not done her job well and I’m a total wuss.  What commenced for the next hour was pure hell in toning and balance.

I moved then to the following activities:

  • one leg squats off of a step (both sides)
  • leg extensions standing with the rubber band around my foot.  Ten slow extensions and ten fast, to the front, back and sides (in and outward) on both sides.  Burn, glutes, burn away…
  • balancing for 10 second intervals on a balance board, one legged
  • worked on my spacial awareness with my feet (the weird term that I can’t pronounce, proximit-something) by standing with one foot on a large plank board and rocked my ankles forward and back, then side to side on both sides
  • one legged squats while similtaneously pointing and extending my other foot to the front, side and back.  Several reps on each side.
  • hip check break to make sure I’m still in alignment.  I think that I’m getting a break because I’m on the table now, but no, Heather decides now is the time to do some bridge butt lifts on the table.  100 of those while she sneaks away to eat her yogurt.  I see you Heather- pleading side glance for mercy.
  • session ends with a Thigh-master move on the table using a rubber band around both knees. 


I leave the session, completely worn out and feeling like I can’t possibly go home and do more exercises on my own.  It’s then that I realize that I have a choice to make, which came to me off of a blog I just read earlier.  The author (recently injured herself) said, “I realize that we have a choice when it comes to accidents, injury or illness. We can get frustrated and quit, we can push through it and make matters worse, or we can settle into our body, give it our full attention and work with it to help it mend. I’m lucky because having been here before and having bullied myself into moving forward instead of listening to what my body was trying to tell me, I knew that wasn’t an option this time around. I call it luck, some might say it’s learning the hard way”.

I’m realizing that today, I need to learn to listen to my body and not punish it into submission.  I need to embrace my PT as if it’s my new exercise routine.  I need to accept the fact that my situation is one of my own creation- years of neglect, putting my own health third to work and graduate studies.  The only way I can right this is to be 100% committed to the program.  I learned that my ankles are way weaker than I thought they were and it terrified me to think that I would have to redo surgery again if I can’t get them straighted out and strong again.

So I may bitch about Heather but she may be the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time.


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