Thursday, January 6, 2011

Nick Goes to Physical Therapy (With His Mommy)

I've been going to physical therapy three times a week for the last couple of weeks. Some days, blissfully, Nick is with his Grandma Toni and I can go by myself. But at least one day each week, and the entire time Grandma Toni is on her cruise, I must bring Nick along. He is quite entertained with all of the "toys" that one can find at a physical therapy gym. There's just so much for him to do!

First of all, he can "decorate" my chart. My PT really appreciates the added decoration, especially when he tore a little hole in the page.

He can also measure things with the tape measure. Then, Nick can press the button to make the tape measure retract.  Oh, and the reflex hammer. What fun!

Nick likes to copy whatever the physical therapist is doing to me. For example, if she's working on my foot, Nick will grab the other one and try to do exactly what she does. He's even measured the range of motion in my ankle joint. 
I'm incapacitated for much of the time I'm at physical therapy, because I have to have heat, stretching, and lots of exercises. Nick gets into all kinds of trouble, despite my best efforts to keep him occupied. However, the staff (and the other patients) there are really understanding and they seem to enjoy his antics. At least he is being entertaining. Some of the time they give us a room with a door that closes, but other times we're in the open gym, and Nick runs around stealing exercise bands, balls, and foam pads from the different stations. He also copies my exercises as I do them.

Oh, and the physical therapy? It really, really hurts, but if it will decrease the chances of surgery, I'm going to keep going and doing my best at all of the exercises. I know that with physical therapy, it often feels worse before it gets better. Apparently, I've made some good progress and I can now bend my foot much farther than before (almost a ten degree improvement). From walking on my toes as a child, I have something called "acquired equinus deformity of the foot (x2)," plus a contracture of my achilles tendon. If physical therapy doesn't work, the podiatrist says I'll most likely need a procedure done called tendon lengthening. I've been working extremely hard at my exercises, and I'm often so sore at night that my whole lower body is in agony and I need either heat or ice. 

The good news is that this physical therapy is a really strong workout. Every single time I go to PT I leave with that "new workout" feeling. You know, when you haven't worked out in ages and you do a long session of weights? That's how I feel. At least I know it's working.  Plus, if Nick keeps getting all this training from the physical therapist, maybe he can learn how to give me foot massages.


  1. Bringing my own toddler to appointments is the stuff nightmares are made of for me. I'm impressed that you manage to make it through with Nick!

  2. Well, Amber, I don't have much of a choice some days. But they do try to give us a room to use rather than going in the open gym. We only go in the big gym for the last ten minutes or so. Having free reign with all of those machines and balls and such is just too much for poor Nick to handle. :)