Monday, April 9, 2012

Physical Therapy Ch. 5

It's almost Boston Marathon time, and the happy preparation tales have been out there for several weeks. Which makes the post I did last year even more relevant now than it was then. I wish I could say my character had improved some in a year, but I guess it hasn't.

Sometimes the task ahead of you isn't the task you want to work on. But you have to work on it anyway. And that brings me to......

Two steps step back.......

It's now been five weeks since I began physical therapy.

Today, after a two-week hiatus, I had a visit with Sue. It was good timing because yesterday morning (Easter Sunday) I woke up with the worst pain I'd had since beginning the process of trying to make my back better. I don't know what I did to provoke it. I hadn't even been on the recumbent bike in two days due to the holiday craziness at my house (in-laws visiting, volunteering at the church potluck, two five-year-olds with three Easter egg hunts to attend) and the gym having odd hours.

Sue worked her magic with needles, adjustments and some massage-like manipulation, and I feel much better. She also said it wasn't a huge step backwards or anything dire--my sacro-iliac joint had gotten a bit out of alignment again. I don't have to step back my exercises or my time on the bike.

But it's deflating because I had been feeling much better in the days leading up to Sunday, enough that I could honestly have said the pain was the least I could remember having for a long time, enough that simple motions that have hurt for a really long time (like putting my elbows on my knees when sitting down, pushing in the clutch in the car with my left foot and twisting to watch behind me when backing out the car) were starting to...not all. The PT exercises were starting to feel easier. The muscles in my lower abs are starting to feel more like muscles contracting and less like the twitch of a dying mouse (this at least hasn't changed!).

I told Sue all of that. She said I still need to take it easy this week, not add anything new, and let the latest issue unwind itself. The only new instructions are to do some mild stretches when I first wake up (knees to the chest, cat/cow) and, because I'm a stomach sleeper, put a pillow under my belly when I sleep to keep my back from arching. Had I come to her without Sunday's flare-up, she said she might have let me add some consecutive days on the bike and some new PT exercises--but now that won't be happening this week. I also asked her about the Bolder Boulder 10K (on Memorial Day) and, alas, it's not going to happen for me this year either.

She did say that we will probably be talking--soon, she said!--about transitioning me back to running. She mentioned the Alter-G and pool running, both of which would be an amazing treat to me. Pool running is the cheaper option since I belong to the rec center, but I might be willing to pay for (or even use one of my precious insurance-covered PT appointments for) a session or two on the Alter-G. It's just so much more like real running than slogging it back and forth in a pool (where music isn't an option).

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments and stories on my last post. I plan to reply to them all in the next couple of days (along with catching up with your blogs). Happy late Easter, everyone! I ate some sweets and I hope you all did, too.