Some days I have to think a little bit to settle on a blog topic. Not today! Because today I got on a BIKE!
A recumbent bike, with no resistance, for only 10 minutes. But my legs went ALL THE WAY AROUND, with just a little tightness but no pain. I was so happy I cried! But just a little bit; mostly, I just couldn’t stop smiling. It was like the month of waiting and being patient and stamping down that little fear that I’ll be too skittish to ride well again…was finally over. Things ARE changing; I AM healing; I WILL get feeling good again.
Notice, though, that I didn’t say I wanted to get “back to normal.” So many relationships have been built and improved over the last month – and I have learned so much about myself – that I don’t want my previous status quo back. I want the life that is growing now, that has been impacted and changed by this little event, that will be even healthier than it was before. I do want my bike back, and my body back, and my ability to be productive back, and my independence back. But now I’m so much more aware of the ways that I’m interdependent…that I think I’ll appreciate what I have even more.
For now, though, it just felt so good to move again, to feel the legs go around, to get some very tight hip flexors opened up. Michael clocked my cadence at about 6 rpm, moving up to 9 rpm towards the end of my “ride.” Maybe this week I’ll hit double digits. (For you non-cyclist readers, a normal cadence is between 80 and 100 rpm; I usually average 89-93.)
Geoff, my PT, also worked with me on some extended leg raises and standing hip-strengthening exercises. We decided that I’d do one week at 30% weight bearing and then progress up to 50% next week if possible. He had me work with a scale to figure out what 30% weight bearing feels like and gave me exercises to practice it.
Happily, I seem to be doing ok without pain medication! I kept forgetting to take my Advil and Tylenol, because I just wasn’t in pain, so I figured that maybe I just don’t need it. It’s been over 30 hours now since my last dose of Advil, and I feel good! And really, I like being able to feel pain when it happens. My acetabulum sends me a very clear message when I’m putting too much weight on my leg, and that’s fine by me! It’s a built-in regulation mechanism, and I am absolutely happy to respond.
I talked with the folks at Hammer Nutrition, and I did increase my dose of Tissue Rejuvenator, which is basically a glucosamine-chondroitin supplement that I take regularly to keep my hips & knees comfortable. So maybe that and the other supplements I take are influencing my pain-free-ness – or maybe I’ve just been a good non-weight-bearer and physical therapy doer. But in whatever case, I am so, so, so happy to be making progress! Healing is truly an amazing thing.