Round two of PT was in the evening yesterday. I go to therapy fully secure in the knowledge that my therapist is a masochist and his full intention is to cause me as much suffering as possible. Thank goodness he does NOT disappoint or I would have zero chance of walking again. I also have the foresight to make sure someone goes with me for the hour drive each way. Because I know I won't have the stamina to to the actual driving on the return trip home.
All that being said, I would call my therapy session last night a complete success! Our plan yesterday was to start using braces to try and stabilize the left leg. An air splint was used yesterday. A niffy device that went from upper thigh to ankle, zipped, and then had two tubes in which a bicycle like pump was used to inflate it. Of course, he ( my physical therapist) had to find the balance between pumping it up solid enough so I could stand, yet leave some sort of circulation flowing throughout the leg! Once that was done it was time for the gait belt (to ensure I would be spared the indignity of being picked up off the floor) and attempting to get out of the chair with my left leg locked and rigid in front of me. Thankfully, we were successful on the first attempt and I managed to stay upright with the help of the "death grip" my trusty therapist had on the gait belt and my own personal death grips on the walker handles. BUT I WAS UP!!
Then came the really hard part. Walking. Getting the right leg to move is easy. It still does what all those electrical signals my brain tells it to do. My left leg on the other hand is worse than any rebellious teenager. I used my hip to swing the leg out for each step. Every time I put weight on the leg, the muscles spasmed (Thank God it saved the episode of severe muscle spascity for after the walking when I was on the mat. No way could I have stayed upright in that much pain), but the air brace gave the leg the support it needed.
So, there I was. Doing a step with the right leg, swinging the left leg out, shake and tremble, then repeat. (Sounds like a country dance step pattern: Step, swing, shake and tremble). All the while excited I was walking, well kinda walking, and terrified of landing on my butt. I did it though. Had to take a few breaks between yards as it was physically exhausting, but I managed to do pretty well. Of course the last step my left leg refused to move at all. My bodies way of telling me clearly IT was done even if the spirit wanted to keep going.
The next step is to have a specialized brace made which will take a few weeks. Apparently it will span from upper thigh to the bottom of my toes and may or may not have some kind of locking hinge on both sides of the knee. We'll see what magic can be done. Of course everyone is very sure to reinforce what has been said before them: That the wheelchair is now, and forever will be my primary mode of getting around. I'm adjusting to that, slowly. However, that being said, if a brace can be fabricated that will allow me to walk around my kitchen to cook, then I'll take that Blessing and simply learn to deal with the rest.