Thursday, 24 April 2008

Almost There - but not quite yet

Its Thursday and the physio has just called around. In preparation for her visit I had a go on the elbow crutches for a few minutes before she arrived. I have felt better balanced recently with more control over the otherwise jelly like behaviour of my filleted right leg so thought I would experiment.

When she arrived we reviewed the email advice on the amount of weight bearing that should be aimed for, and what this meant for me. She was not too keen on me using crutches - not because of the weight bearing issue but concern over upper body strength. When I said I had experimented and was no stranger to using crutches - having spent about 4 years of the last 27 getting around on them - she thought it worth seeing for herself.

I manoeuvred out into the corridor and demonstrated my ability to balance for a count of 3 on the 2 crutches with both feet off the ground. I then proceeded up and down the corridor without my right foot touching down at all. The physio agreed that using crutches on the level was no problem at all. We both realised that coping with a step or two would be a different matter.

We discussed what exercises I had been doing and when I was still not able to push my foot forward when on the ground she decided it was time to demonstrate another exercise I could do. This meant both of us getting onto the double bed. This is something I can do with relative ease now and the physio was forced to admit admiration for my bedroom gymnastics!

The new exercise involves lying flat with my right knee bent and pressing down on a pillow folded in half. By pressing the back of my knee into the folded pillow (which acts as a fulcrum) my right heel should lift off the bed. That's the theory - try as I might - even when I felt there was some gap it was probably a couple of millimetres and not that visible. So definitely something to work on.

I asked if we could see what I might be able to do about getting out of the house. I demonstrated with the zimmer frame the limited extent to which I could move between the 2 front doors. We both realised that while I might be able to manage to get out of the 2 doors on crutches and manage the 2 steps down that would be involved I would not necessarily manage the return journey and certainly not at this stage unaided. So we looked at getting out though the conservatory into the back garden. We tried with zimmer frame and with crutches and even with the shower stool to see if it could be used on a small step as a half way house for the return "leg". But neither of us felt confident enough without a 2nd helper on hand.

As a result of these first attempts at fleeing the nest - with all the trepidation of a reluctant fledgling bird - we agreed to try again in a week's time provided the physio was accompanied by a colleague. In the meantime no doubt my confidence and control will improve still more so hopefully I shall manage to cross the final frontier then.

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