The traffic was absolutely horrendous this morning, so we got there just in time. Since I played assertive girl and asked for the paperwork early so I would be able to fill it out at home, I didn't have a problem with being too late. I saww the therapist I worked with when I was there in October (or was it November?), but he wasn't working with me. It was nice to say hi, though.
I worked with a very nice lady, who'll be called M in this blog. She asked me some questions and took some notes. She likes the cane because it makes it easier for me when I need to put less weight on my foot. I try not to use it when I don't need it, but at least I have the tool.
M had me do several things so she could get a feel for where I'm at. We did the standard "push against my hand" stuff, which showed that my muscles are somewhat atrophied, but not as bad as they could be. Then she checked my range of motion. It's slightly less than my right foot, but not bad. She looked at my scars, and, as I have noticed, she said that the one over the top of my foot (the joint they fused), is doing nicely, but the one by the outside of my heel is hard/rigid. She explained how scar tissue lays down nnot in straight lines, and how it can actually expand into other tissues if left in tact. She also noted the swelling (which wasn't that bad).
She did some massage to try to break up the scar tissue and to try to move the fluid out of my foot. Then she helped me work with a stretchy band (I've seen these before), to strengthen my ankle. She showed me how to use my toes to scrunch up a towel to strengthen the bottom and arch of my foot. After that, I rode for 10 minutes on a recumbant bike. My right (good) leg was fine, my left leg wasn't so sure about all of the pedaling. I told it to shut up (smile).
I really liked working with M, and it's nice that she gives good feedback. I get creeped out if I can't tell if someone thinks I'm doing well or not.
We got coffee from Brewberry's, which was nice. I got to see one of my friends, which always leads to interesting conversation. Now, I'm tired. I have acupuncture later, then I'll need to do some exercises tonight. I hope I sleep well tonight.
By the time I post this, chances are good that the weather will clear up and the conditions I'm describing will have improved greatly. Today has been gray, dark, rainy and in the sixties for temperatures. We've experienced several storms today. As I type this, our house sounds like it's being driven through a high-power car wash. I'm not close enough to a window to see how dark it is, but what I saw while relieving Julio tells me it's probably dark. Lightning flashes and the thunder rumbles frequently. This is all making me think about my previous reflections on storms and giving me a new perspective.
Storms really freak me out. I don't like the lack of control I have over them. I hate knowing that they can cause hardships, whether that be in damage to propperty or an increase in pain levels. My usual response is to flip out. But, as I've been trying to teach myself this summer, that isn't always the best response to the storm.
The increase in pain levels is going to come, no matter how much I plead for it to be otherwise. The whimpering can be therapeutic, or not. I have discovered that the best way to respond to the storm is to acknowledge that it can increase my pain, then deal with it. I started out the morning with a lot less swelling than I have now, and the temperature difference was small. Now, in the heart of the storm, the difference is bigger and so is the swelling. I knew that this pain increase would come, so I responded in advance. I've been aware of this possibility. Now that it's here, I'm dealing with it by trying to write about it in a more helpful way, propping up my foot and putting ice behind my knee (hey, it works.) I did my physical therapy now, so I can put on my lidoderm patches when I'm ready, and before the pain may increase and make it more difficult to do the exercises. I'm keeping my breathing as even and calm as I can. And most importantly, I am reminding myself that we need the rain and the storm will end so things will get better.
These methods work for the personal storms too. When possible, I anticipate the storms. If I know that something will happen, I try to emotionally prepare for it. I allow myself to react. To be blunt, if it sucks, I acknowledge that. Then, I do what I can, implementing good self care measures, praying, talking about it, writing about it or whatever I need to do. It doesn't change the storm, but it means I get through the storm. And when I react first, then calm down, the storms don't always hurt so much.
Look, the thunder and rain are gone, for now.