Sunday, February 22, 2015

Physical Therapy

I thought I would bore you with some details about my first physical therapy session.  I've never really been to physical therapy before. Well, I take that back. When I broke my thumb back in 2005, the surgeon sent me to occupational therapy in an attempt to get the thumb to bend again. However, shortly after that, my gall bladder revolted and I found myself back in an operating room. I had only been to one therapy session and then once the gall bladder became a sit-choo-ay-tion, the thumb business just sort of got lost in the shuffle. My thumb, alas, will never bend again. By the way, if you ever happen to break your hand, please go to the doctor immediately. I had somehow convinced myself that it wasn't broken ("I'm sure it's FINE!") and didn't seek medical attention for nearly a week. That's the main reason why it will never bend again. It's fine - just don't ask me to open a jar of marinara for you.

Anyway, my first visit with the physical therapist was held last Monday. She was really thorough, which was a new experience for me. I am used to medical-type people wanting to get rid of me as quickly as possible. Later in the visit, she mentioned that physical therapy bills out at $100 for 15 minutes, so that might explain the lengthy visit. The physical therapist was training a student, so we had an audience for the visit. I didn't mind, although I did find it vaguely alarming when the physical therapist would bend my leg a certain way and then turn to the student and say, "See that? It shouldn't bend like that."

What I learned is that my pelvis tilts the wrong way and that my ligaments don't do a good job of holding my bones together. She said she can't do anything about the ligaments, but she thinks she can help to get the muscles working the way they are supposed to. She also mentioned something called "dry needling," which is apparently similar to acupuncture. So, on my next visit they are going to drive some needles into my muscles in an attempt to disrupt the "bad" signals and patterns. I feel like maybe I should do a shot first.

I was given some exercises to do at home and I have been doing them faithfully. My main goal is just to get the pain to the point where I can sleep. Apparently my natural posture is to shift my pelvis forward (creating a slight arch in my lower back). I've been making a conscious effort to tuck my pelvis under instead. I feel like I'm at a weird point in my life. I'm old enough that I expect my body to start to deteriorate a bit, but I'm young enough that I can't really accept that something will hurt for the rest of my life. In the immortal words of Prince: "Electric word, life. It means forever and that's a mighty long time."

I have my next visit on Wednesday. Don't worry, I probably won't write about it. 

In other news, I picked up a new foster dog yesterday. Sheriff is two years old and, despite the name, isn't what you'd call an authority figure. More like a major goofball. The first few days with a new foster dog are usually pretty challenging, but I'm sure he'll settle in. So far, all the photos I have of him are blurry. Stay tuned.




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