This week has been a real breakthrough for me in PT. (Knock on wood. Knock on my dresser, my nightstand, my railing, and the tree in my backyard.) I have “graduated” to more advanced exercises, and really started getting down and dirty with my strength training (as indicated by the soreness in my legs and glutes I feel right now!) It's a good soreness :-). For the first time in as long as I can remember, I zoned out during my warm-up on the bike today, and felt like I was getting a workout. I have been increasing the resistance on the bike by a level for the past couple of days, and today, I felt really out of shape during my ride. How awesome is that!! I know it sounds weird to be excited about feeling out of shape, but all I've been able to focus on since my surgeries has been the pain, and if and when to stop because the pain is too much. I'm not out of the woods yet, but I am able to stand for a little bit longer before I start having pain! I can't wait to go back to work! This crazy year-plus of abnormal is slowly coming to a close (again knock on all of the wood I can find.)
I have run into a challenge, though. For the first four weeks post-op, I was instructed not to turn my leg out more than 30 degrees from center. If you're familiar with ballet, you know what that means. If not, it means right foot should stay facing 12 o'clock and move no further than about 1:30. That was hard for me! It did hurt if I accidentally turned it out too far, so at least my body told me to stop if I forgot. The problem? I've been compensating for my injuries in many different ways to make walking, sitting, standing, etc. easier. Think of it as finding a way to still walk or stand by changing position to where it minimizes pain. This starts to happen involuntarily after so long (ie: a year and two months.) LaRissa had me walk on the treadmill and recorded it for me to see. Look at my right leg and foot:
That is me walking as normally and naturally as I could. My right foot is turned out by about 30 degrees. I've noticed this when doing exercises in the mirror, as well. When my right foot is turned out, it feels straight (like it's at 12:00) and when I straighten it out, it's difficult and feels like it's turned in. So my body has neurophysiologically trained itself to walk and stand this way. I am now working really hard on correcting this, because in the long run, it will lead to many other problems such as knee pain, and Lord only knows what else that I just don't need in my life. It's hard!!! Ask LaRissa and Drea how much I try to straighten that foot, and how badly it wants to go back to turned out! Imagine trying to pigeon toe one leg/foot, but that being normal. It feels like that. I know I'll get there, but it is just the most bizarre thing to me, because such an improper stance feels so normal!
Other than that, PT is going well, and I'm trying to take it one day at a time. I am working with my supervisor right now trying to get back to work as soon as I am able. I'll keep y'all posted on that front. It's been a slow process, but having a week like this makes it all the more worth it, and makes me that much more motivated to keep working hard.
I've mentioned “ASTYM” on here and on social media several times, and wanted to show you guys the instruments that are used to “scrape” and mobilize the soft tissue being worked on.
So the bigger end of the thin one and the left side of the larger one are what scrapes on the skin to cause tissue regeneration and reduction/elimination of scar tissue on muscles, tendons and ligaments. ASTYM is painful, but very effective. I've become so accustomed to treatments that I actually kinda like it. I like it because it works, and I want to get better. Anyway, I just wanted to show you what I've been trying to describe in words, and probably been majorly failing at!
Thanks for hanging in there with me you guys! Hopefully soon, I'll be able to start blogging about my training and racing again!! I love you all, and I'll talk to you soon!!
PS: Congratulations to my hometown Louisville Cardinals for starting their reign in the ACC today!!