Second week of physical therapy complete

Happy Fourth of July!

This week I completed my second week of physical therapy and it went very well. In addition to the new exercises I am doing, I was also cleared to drive! This is very exciting because I no longer am “trapped” at the house when Zac has to work his 24 or 48 hour shifts. Plus, now I no longer require my husband to chauffeur me around to my doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and any other place I need to go.

As previously mentioned in an earlier post, my sets have increased from six sets of 10 repetitions to eight sets of 10 reps. Also, my four pound weight I strap on above my knee for the straight leg raises, straight leg raises on side, inside leg lifts, and my straight leg raises on my stomach has been increased to a five pound weight. I am definitely feeling the extra two sets and the extra pound.

 One of my new exercises is one of my favorites that I recall from previous ALC surgeries. I really look forward to doing this exercise at physical therapy because it is so much fun. On just my right leg, stand and balance on the straight and level side of a foam roller cut in half. My therapist says that this really engages all of the muscles in my leg because I am concentrating on keeping my balance. Once I have my balance, I take a small, weighted ball and throw it at a square trampoline (called a plyoback rebounder) that is about six feel away from me. It is like a game. I always try to beat my high score in the number of times I can consecutively throw the ball and catch it without putting my foot down. I do this exercise two ways. First, I stand on the half foam roller and it is directly underneath my foot so that every part of my shoe is touching the roller. Then, I turn the foam roller so that it is perpendicular to my foot and my toes and heal are not touching the roller. My other new exercises include riding the bike with just my right leg and wall sits. I ride the bike with just my right leg for the last two minutes of my biking session and I do wall sits in intervals of 30 seconds for a total of five minutes. Physical therapy is beginning to be a real workout for me and I love how it seems as though each visit I get to do new things. I feel that I am making great progress, even though it is slower than usual.

 Sometimes I wonder if it is safe for me to be working out my leg this much. I am doing 80 weighted sets of exercises everyday. On Thursday I noticed that my right calf was killing me. It felt like a tight, painful muscle cramp every time I moved my calf muscle. This worried me so I told my therapist and he said to give my calf 72 hours to rest. I know that this is a good thing because from experience I know that you can overwork your muscles, and when you do that it is extremely painful. In high school I thought that by doing 1,000 crunches every night I would have a great stomach. Instead, I just had injured abdominal muscles that hurt like nobody’s business every time I took a breath. But I digress… And, even though I am also supposed to do these exercises everyday, I decided to let yesterday be a rest day. I still worked on range of motion though because that does not involve any weighted exercise. I will continue with all of my exercises today to round out my second full week of physical therapy.

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