Saturday, May 25, 2013

On Becoming My Own Physical Therapist

Soon there will come a time when I will be blogging again about walks made memorable by invigorating or challenging weather, gorgeous songbirds, fascinating woodland critters, ocean vistas, and much more. However, since I started playing catch-up on the saga of my knee replacement, it only seems right to mention my major milestone Friday-- my six-weeks' post-op checkup by my orthopedic surgeon. (Gosh, how time flies when you're having fun!)

First, I had an hour's worth of PT before going upstairs to the orthos' spacious offices. I had to wait 90 minutes to get in to see him, but that's a testament to how good this guy is. A lot of folks hereabouts want him as their surgeon and they don't seem to mind the waiting times. When my turn came, I was so pleased to hear him tell me "good job" for my hard work at gaining strength and flexibility in PT that it went out of my head to ask him one of my main questions: Why do I hear a clicking noise in my bionic knee when I am walking? Consulting several reputable online sources, I find that this is a common occurrence, given your knee's brand-new metal and plastic components. Furthermore, it should be no problem unless you have pain with it. (I don't.) The clicking may well go away with time, aided by exercise.

So it was a good report, and after one more week of PT, I will be on my own to carry out a prescribed PT program at home for the next six months. I am told this may be the most critical phase of rehab of all. Some people just get lazy and ignore the program and thereby fritter away most of the potential for enhanced mobility their replacement knee gives them. I intend not to make that mistake. I will embrace the idea of being my own physical therapist: I will do the prescribed exercises; I will do aqua therapy in the community pool; and I will ride the exercise bike. I will even purchase ankle weights to take some of the leg exercises up a notch if that is in order. And of course I will try to walk the paths down which Superdawg leads.

Superdawg Sadie already is stretching out the distance every day. Moreover, she barks at me for us to hurry up and  get out the door, in effect saying that no more will being sprawled in a recliner with ice on my knee serve as an excuse. She's a tough taskmaster, and when the hot South Carolina summer kicks in, we're both going to have to get moving earlier in the day.

© Robert G. Holland

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