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Physical therapy continued

16 Oct

I’m still trying to keep up with things around here, as Hub is still dealing with his ankle injury. We’re starting to suspect there is some gout flare up that is aggravating him, because the pharmacy who refills his pills were not getting his refills done. He had to call his doctor’s office and have the nurse call the pharmacy to yell at them. And pow, two days later the refill is ready. He’s been waiting on this refill for 2 weeks, having run out of the pills altogether last week. So maybe being back on the pills will help him.

Anyway, so yesterday after a week off from PT, I went back to start on my knees. And I had my official evaluation for my fantastic knees. I’ve had knee issues for probably eight years or so (as far as I can remember) that cropped up after what I believe was an adverse reaction to some medication. I woke up the second morning after getting the medication and couldn’t stand on my left knee. It was extremely painful to straighten and would take absolutely no weight. I started walking on crutches while I tried to figure out what happened. And I went to an orthopedic surgeon, who took an MRI and found nothing. Shortly after the MRI appointment, my other knee gave out, buckling underneath me. I spent weeks on crutches, unable to bend either knee or put weight on them. I was on crutches 24/7 or moving around in a rolling chair (and going up/down the stairs on my fat ass). I ended up in physical therapy back then, since no one could explain what happened and everyone just wanted me to get better. I was in PT for quite some time, working on both knees, trying to get them back into good physical shape. The muscles working my left knee were so atrophied that I couldn’t straighten it anymore (it seemed permanently bent which was freaky), beyond the inability to stand on it. The right knee was painful and weak, but did have more flexibility than the left.

On and off I’ve had knee issues since. Overuse, underuse, generic pain from injury…but I’ve just dealt with it. I have a TENS unit at home and I use it and heat to try to keep the pain under control. But as I was finishing PT for my shoulder, Hub indicated he felt I should have my therapist look at my knees, as I seemed to be complaining more about them recently. I, of course, gave him a pissy look and pretended to ignore him. But I knew he was right because I was walking differently and taking the stairs differently…more often. I was having more trouble getting up off the couch, and I was taking the steps differently off the deck when I was going out with the dogs. *sigh* So I did schedule myself for an evaluation with my physical therapist, who I repeat that I love very much. She’s not only really good at her job (seen again during my eval yesterday), but she’s a really great person. She’s easy-going and patient, and has a fantastic sense of humor. Same for the tech I’ve been working with, and the woman at the front desk. So although it’s a pain in the ass to schedule my world around PT twice a week, I am doing it.

So I went in for my evaluation yesterday, thinking I’d have her concentrate on my left knee, which is the one with more trouble. Or so I thought. Until said PT indicated she would just go ahead and check both knees since they’ve both given me problems. Turns out my left knee (and surrounding muscles) is weaker, but the right knee has its own issues. Left kneecap? Moves side to side but not up and down. Tsk tsk she said, not good. The right kneecap? Moves too much to the side and is…cockeyed. Even worse than the left she mumbled as she made notes. WTF. So one doesn’t move enough and the other one moves too much. Fucking A. On top of that, I’ve got a hip drop. I dunno what the hell that is, but apparently I do that bilaterally. Yes, ladies and gents, both sides. And I’ve got some sort of weakness in my IT band on the right. Weak calf muscles on the left. Good, even length strides when walking, she told me, but I walk on the outside of my feet. I knew that from the markings in my shoe inserts, clear as day. Not sure what we’re doing for that lovely issue.

Grumble grumble. So not only do I get to endure kneecap manipulation on both knees (which is not entirely comfortable), but I also get to do PT for both legs. Different exercises on both sides. As I said, I like my physical therapist and I know she’s going to get me back to a better place. And I like the tech who monitors my exercises, but she was a little too freaking gleeful at starting a new routine with me. Then again, she’s always freaking gleeful…both a plus and a minus. She’s good with motivation, but sometimes I want to strangle her Homer-and-Bart-Simpson style

On the way out of eval, my physical therapist also decided to tape up my knees with Kenesiology tape. WTF, that doesn’t look right. But anyway, she put black tape around both my knees which is supposed to help support my knees in a better position. I’ve been taped before–different type–and it’s weird. It’s weird to walk and weird to sit and you get to wear it for 2-3 days through everything including sleeping and showering and etc. Unfortunately, before I even made it home one knee had tape peeling off…I gotta tell her about that because man is that annoying. Every time I move or change clothes or get up from a seated position, I gotta smooth down the tape again. Feh.

Tomorrow I’m back for my first day of actual therapy for the knees (versus evaluation). I know from past experience that it’s painful and tiring. I am not sure how much different than with my shoulder, except that afterwards my shoulder didn’t have to hold me up, but my knees do. So I have to walk on the tired and painful joints after therapy.

Oh, and also? Means I gotta keep up with shaving my legs. Feh poo. I hate shaving my legs… At least when I was doing PT on my shoulder, keeping my pits shaved wasn’t a big deal (technically, I epilate, but whatevs…TMI). My legs are more of a pain to keep hair-free because of the size of the surface and the requirement that I bend and twist and reach to get to all areas. Epilating does keep them hair-free (ish) longer than shaving, but still it’s a pain in the butt. Sorry for the oversharing! 😉

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