Thursday, April 26, 2012

Woody's Workout

Good evening, friends! *grin*

For those of you new to my world, I have started a new journey this month in learning how to walk without a limp. This journey, as I'm learning, is one that is going to take TIME. So, I want to share what's up as I go. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy sharing it. Truthfully though, this is my own way of documenting the journey, so selfishly speaking it's more for me than you. *grin*

The past two times I've gone to P.T., I've had a nice gal as my therapist. Cheerleadergal is really nice, and wants me to do well. However, what I learned today is that she is no Woody!

Woody is my official Physical Therapist, but his caseload is so large that sometimes his clients have to receive their therapy from others because of time. I was fine with that. They told me that in the beginning, and it worked for me.

So, the past two times, I've had Cheerleadergal, who challenged me and wore me out. I enjoyed it though. There's something about challenging your body to do things that are difficult. Or that's true for me at least. So, the past two sessions were good. But not as exciting as today.

I was late because of a wreck on 470, so I called to tell them I was on the way. The receptionist told me I would be with Woody today and that she would let him know. I was selfishly glad to hear that, because I knew he would take me somewhere new. As it turned out, I was right!

When I got there, he told me to head on back. I got out the Therabands and started to put them on, but waited for the okay from Woody. He came on back and said, "yes" to the Therabands. Then he said, "Walk." I just looked at him.

I'm not going to lie here, I was scared I would fall.

I've been working on the walk, but not without holding onto something.

I took a step, and my foot turned inward. I looked at Woody.

We talked about it, and after a few steps, I got a little less tense and was able to do it. My toe on my left foot curls when I have to keep balance in a different way, and I told Woody that. He told me that it's time to train my body to do it the RIGHT way now. So, I kept moving.

The toe still curled. I won't lie. I was physically tense. I'm always tense at the end of the day. But, I kept walking. And, sure enough, the more I walked the easier it got.

In the beginning I looked at my feet the whole time because I was worried my toes would turn in.

Woody kept saying, "Toes out."

In my head, I wanted to tell him it's easier said than done, but I didn't because I knew he was right.

Shortly after that, he challenged me to put my head up as I walked and straighten my back.

There is so much that I don't realize I do because it's so natural to me. 38.5 years of walking one way, you just do what you do.

Along the wall in the room/gym is a mirror. He encouraged me to walk and look in the mirror. That proved harder than I thought it would. It showed me how I really walk, and then how I want to walk. It showed me how far I have to go, but also how far I have come in this short amount of time. There's progress, small progress, but there is progress.

We also worked on turning around. I'm so used to turning with my foot going inward. I'm learning how to turn with my foot out. It takes a lot of effort, but I'm getting better at it.

The real challenge came when we worked on balance stuff. More than once I said a silent prayer so I wouldn't fall. *grin*

First he had me do toe taps on the step stool. That was/is difficult for me, but with Woody there to catch me if I would fall, it worked well. We moved from taps to me walking up and down on it. It reminded me of P.T. as a kid. All I did at school was walk steps. *grin* He was there to support me, and I would have fallen a couple times if he hadn't been there. The cool part was in the beginning when he said, "It's okay, I'm not going to let you fall." I knew he wouldn't, so I felt safe in trying what he asked me to do.

After that, he placed blocks in my path and I had to step over them walking forward. That was tough. I could do it, but that whole "toe out" thing required a lot of effort. Then he had me do side-steps over the blocks. That was easier. I have the side-step balance better than the forward balance. I used the mirror A LOT to do this task, and I think he kept me from falling twice, but I did fairly well.

My last task before I left was to walk backwards. That is my LEAST favorite task I do there. Walking forward is TOUGH, backward is re-thinking backward. However, I did it. It took a few times back and forth, but I got the hang of it.

Overall, when all was said and done I was proud of myself. None of what I did was easy for me. I am learning how to train my brain and body all over again. That being said, I was happy and proud! I realize how long I have to go, but I am also realizing how badly I want this to happen.

I don't know what this is all going to look like, as I'm still using the thera-bands, but I do know that today was huge because I didn't use a walker ONCE. NOT ONCE. *grin*

I have been exhausted tonight, but I have also felt better about me, and my walk, than I ever have before.


1 comment:

BuffBoi said...

"Toes out" is awesome.
You're awesome.