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Monday, October 28, 2013

Motivational Mondays: Thank Heaven for Physical Therapy

Thought for the Day: It is now day 6 since my knee surgery & I went for my second physical therapy appointment. As I said a couple of days ago, my recovery is actually moving along at a pretty normal pace, however, it is a humbling experience. The pain is still an issue which I am managing with pain killers and ice. It is very strange to have to think about walking without a limp or remembering how to climb stairs the way I have for a lifetime. Fear of pain also gets in the way of doing things more naturally.

On Saturday, I went to my 1st physical therapy appointment with Amanda at Wilton Physical Therapy. I was amazed at how much progress I made even though the exercises were fairly simple. Since I have a doctor's appointment later today & Amanda Kaslowitz, DPT, CPT,  could not see me at a time that worked, I met with Tony Grabiec, MSPT, CPT, her associate. I came expecting to do similar exercises; however, I was in for some surprises. Tony pushed me to a much higher level. I could not believe the contortions he put my knee & leg through. Then, he had me do exercises I did not think were possible before I did them. When he had me climb onto a stationary bike, I thought he was crazy! At first, I could barely move the pedals. He raised the seat & encouraged me to pedal backwards or forwards as much as I could. Mind you, there was no tension on the bike, but I was pushing the pedals as far as I could. He encouraged me to pedal one full circle in either direction, but I could not do it yet. Finally, he made my knee into an ice sandwich with some electrical stimulation to help speed the healing process. My leg feels a bit stiff now & a little sore (thank goodness I took pain medication before my appointment), but I already see changes in how much I am able to bend my knee & sit more normally.

I don't want to bore you with the details of my physical therapy. Bear with me, there is a reason I am writing about this. Those of you who follow this blog know I have always been an active person. I chose to have this operation because I was in pain, could barely walk & wanted my active lifestyle back. I want to return to normal as soon as possible. As motivated as I am, I know that without a therapist like Amanda & Tony, I could never have done the kind of exercises I did today. Sometimes, no matter how motivated we are to change, we need people cheering us along the way to recovery. They have dealt with all kinds of injuries & know what to expect. They know how hard to push & when to let the client set the pace. Tony's confidence that I could raise my leg higher or bend my knee further will help me trust in my ability to recover. In psychotherapy, it is similar except that the markers are not physical. It can take longer to see progress.

Whatever challenges you are recovering from, take advantage of the therapists who can help keep you motivated. Has a physical therapist or other therapist helped you do more than you believed possible? I'd love to hear your stories.
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