Yesterday was my weekly Physical Therapy appointment, which have become highlights of my week. Every week I seem to mark a small milestone – a first bike ride, first steps with crutches, etc – but this week I did not expect that. I knew Geoff’s goal was to jettison one of my crutches at this appointment, but I didn’t think I had progressed far enough. I still had some hip pain – and a lot of knee pain – with two crutches and didn’t think I’d be able to manage with one.
Thankfully, I was wrong! After doing my bike warmup – on an upright bike this time – we worked through my regular series of leg lifts. I was able to add significant weight to my ankles for many of them; I felt stronger than I had most of the week. Then we worked on progressing my weight-bearing. Using a scale, Geoff taught me what bearing 75% of my weight felt like, and then we tried some one-crutch steps. Much to my surprise, it actually felt better than two-crutch steps. Putting a bit more weight on my right leg seemed to allow some more muscles to engage and undo some of the muscle tightness that was at the root of my joint discomfort.
What’s more, walking felt so much more natural! I was able to relax more into a heel-toe walk, which was a huge relief. Even better, I can now CARRY THINGS!!!!! No more artichoke bag strapped to a crutch handle, and no more passing myself bowls along the kitchen counter. I can just pick (small & relatively light) things up, and carry them! This might be the biggest relief of all!
I did some more walking today – several times from my car to the Geneva Bike Center and back while Michael test-rode Cervelos and Treks. (Which made me equally as jealous as I feel every Saturday morning when I know that the GBC Ladies Ride is going out without me!) I was on my feet a bunch, looking around the store and talking to people, and I was definitely ready to be off of them by the end of the day. But the bod did well overall; climbed the stairs once, walked a good bit, and kept pain levels low.
Anyhow, the goal is to ditch the crutches next Friday! This time I’m betting I can.