This past Friday marks 2 weeks since I had the rhizotomy and I have made some significant strides. Saturday, out of nowhere, I stopped using the walker in the house and I have become more comfortable without it over the past 2 days. I will still use the walker when I go out, however, this is great progress.
Over the weekend some friends and family came by for a visit and this was the first time any of them have seen me since the operation. To say that everyone was amazed is an understatement. One of my sisters said the difference was astonishing and a few other people said the change was unbelievable.
Given the speed at which changes seem to be happening so far my physical therapist and I have worked out a schedule to take video every Friday to document my progress. So I have 2 new videos below:
First we have a short video of me walking from a side view:
Note how fluid my gait is and that there has been a dramatic reduction in how much I lean back to balance myself.
The second video is me going up and down some stairs:
The most striking thing here is how much I am able to bend my knees on each step. I did not the flexibility to do that before the operation. I also continue to feel some “new” muscles activate whenever I use stairs. It tends to be at the top of the motion of lifting my leg to go up stairs. I also have more control when going down the stairs. A week ago I had to really focus my mind on not just dropping my leg; that happens more naturally now.
When I compare these 2 videos to the previous videos I took shortly after the surgery the difference is amazing – this is only one week later and with 4 PT sessions.
I am extremely happy with my progress. I was told that I should expect to see major changes during the first 6 months after the rhizotomy and then some more additional gains after that. Thus, I know there are more good developments to come.
A couple of other notes – before I had the rhizotomy my body was extremely stiff when I woke up every morning. All of my muscles felt like they needed to marinate in WD-40 for me to get up and get going. Now, I wake up and can just hop out of bed – no pain, no discomfort! Finally, I tried to ease into doing some light working out by doing push ups on Saturday morning. During the first one I felt some pain around the incision area and that, as they say, was that. I will give it another week or so before I try again.