Sunday, July 01, 2007

Rehab Week 2: Waiting for one patch

OK I made it through another week. Energy levels are up on last week and gym work/exercise is now regular although still not huge by my normal standards. On Friday I had my biggest day, with 6 minutes of pull downs, 9 minutes on the hand cycle ergo (3 x 3min “intervals”), climbing two flights of fire stairs (and down again!) along with the usual one-legged balancing and stretching exercises and a lap or so of the ward on the crutches.

On the weekend the ward gym is closed, so yesterday I made it a rest/recovery day (you know, let’s watch the footy kind a day) and today I simulated the effort by pushing myself in the wheelchair down to the ground floor cafeteria and outdoor eating area and back up to my ward/room again. For experienced chair users that’s barely a warm up but for me that was a big deal. Then I managed a couple of laps of the ward on the crutches.

One funny “exercise” is lying prone on a special bed/table, which has a hole in it so your face can look straight down and not ruin your neck with it jerked sideways (bit like a physio’s massage table, just a lot wider). The idea is that it helps to straighten out your knee and other muscles that have been lying the other way for a couple of months. Mine knee’s got to 13 degrees so far, I need it to get as close to zero as I can as that helps to fit the prosthetic and re-learn to walk.

Remembering I had smashed up my tibial plateau (the big round bit at the top of your shin bone) and fractured the top of my fibia (the smaller shin bone). There are a plate, rod and lots of screws in there, which went in on day 1. After all those weeks of being confined to bed, it’s no wonder the knee joint is a bit restricted in movement.

The leg closure wound that I’m waiting to heal up has progressed OK, although the stubborn patch is still there and will probably take some weeks to finally close up. That’s a bit disappointing as I was really hoping I’d be fitted with a prosthetic before I leave hospital but it looks like I’ll be home before that happens.

Nevermind, life on crutches for a while won’t be so bad. Each day I grow more confident but ever watchful that I remain careful, I don’t want any falls jeapordising my progress. One problem will be the house renovations going on at the moment, there are builders’ tools, materials and furniture everywhere apparently and I wouldn’t be able to go back until that is substantially completed. I’m hoping for some good news on progress this week. Fingers crossed.

Stay safe out there folks.
Catch you next time.


Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Alex! So good to hear you're coming along well.

Thanks for keeping us up with the updates. We want to be there, right along with you all the way.

Tom said...

Hey Alex, sounds like you're making progress!

Finally ran across some pics of one of our local cyclists/triathletes. He recently completed a triathlon in the area and is an inspiration to all of us when we start feeling "beat up" by the training. He does all his training sans prosthetic! And we got some mountains he climbs that are 10, 12, and greater % gradients. He recently finished the Tour de Kunisaki event in 5 hr 10 min (I placed 5th at 4 hr 34 min).