I got a late start to the day because I was extremely tired. Apologies for the late update.
This session started at noon instead of 10:00 because I was too tired at 10:00. We worked exclusively on log rolling which is how I need to get out of bed because I am not allowed to twist my torso for a few weeks.
Karen showed up at 3 for us to give PT a go and I was still tired from the morning session. So she agreed to come back at 4. Today I:
- Walked about 1450 feet with the rolling walker
- Walked another 1450 feet with the rolling walker after a bit of rest
- Stood up using only my leg muscles
- Walked up and then down 5 steps
- Walked without a walker for 70 feet
Things one would expect to be easy were very difficult. The log rolling in particular was a real challenge. As I tried to roll I felt my glute muscles trying to fire and they were not helpful at all. This continues to be a challenge for me as the temptation id to use my upper body muscles to cheat.
Walking with the walker is probably the easiest exercise for me as you might have guessed from the distance I was able to travel. Even with the walker it is far from perfect but it’s a great way for me to adjust to my new world order. The main challenge here continues to be coordination and learning how to control my the muscles. My legs feel like uncontrollable noodles.
Standing up using only my leg muscles, versus propping my hands on the chair and pushing up, I realized that for the first time ever I felt all of the muscles in my quads, hip, and hamstrings firing. It is a very foreign sensation and I still have to remind myself to “straighten out” at the end of the motion.
Next I tried the steps and oddly enough going up was easier than coming back down. When I was walking down the steps it took every ounce of mental and physical energy I had to not let my leg drop like a rock. Another important difference is that I am almost able to lift my legs straight when go up stairs. In the past the only way I could go up stairs was to swing my legs over and around each step in a circular motion. It’s still not perfect but the difference is already significant.
Finally, we arrived at the main event and I gave walking with no assistance a shot. I was able to walk a reasonable distance but my balance will need work and my strides were about 1/4 the length of my strides with the walker. The major observation here is that I was able to stay completely straight while walking. In the past I always lurched with each step and my upper body would lean back to keep me from falling over — it was refreshing to note that this issue did not present itself today.
Of all the activities I did today walking with no assistance and stairs were the informative. They were a very powerful signal to me of how much work I have ahead of me. Everyone warned me about this before the surgery, and I didn’t doubt it, but when you realize it yourself via direct experience the message is more powerful.
Some of you have contacted me asking for video. I did video today’s activity and compared it to some pre-op videos and will definitely share those. However, I am too tired to set that up tonight!