Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First Physio

Today was my first physio session at the local hospital. Having been collected by ambulance I met Nick who will be the person who is going to inflict a series of torturous exercises on me in the coming months.

A detailed discussion about the nature of the injuries, the pain I was experiencing and the range of movement that I could manage at present was followed by a review of my situation and my ability to walk on crutches without damaging myself.

Nick stressed that during periods of relative inactivity the muscles can waste very quickly and it is important to keep up even a minor level of exercise to prevent and reverse this. Interestingly, this also applies to exercises which apparantly have no effect. For example, whilst I can push the toes on my left foot down, I cannot pull them up. By exercising as if they were rising, and visualising the process ie imagine the muscles contracting and lifting the toes, this will stimulate the body to continue to detect and respond to the signals, even if the effect is not apparant.

We settled on a programme of 5 exercises to keep my leg muscles active. At present we are looking at a small number of repetitions but the message is to listen to my body and respond accordingly. If an exercise gives excessive pain then reduce it, whilst those which are easier can have the repetitions increased gradually.

Nick did want to introduce a back muscle strengthening exercise, but felt that he needed to consult with the hospital in Sheffield before doing so in case it is at odds with their treatment plan for my back.

I am back in a weeks time to review how things have gone.

Over the last couple of days I have been having a lot of pain and have slept very badly. I think my initial mistake was to try and reduce the dosage on some of the painkillers since things seemed to be settling down. I have now returned to to original dosage which seems to be helping the pain and spasms in my left leg. The real problem is being in bed. I am constrained to lie on my back, but I do need to rest my head on 2-3 pillows to help me breath at night. This configuration seems to be giving me a load of backache. I have now tried supporting the length of my back between my hips and shoulders and this does seem to reduce the pain. Still no sleep though.

It appears that recovery from multiple injuries is one long tale of finding and resolving problems. It is difficult to accept this with good grace, but there doesn't seem to be much of an alternative. My motivation must be my final recovery but the measurement of progress must be based on very small steps if I am not to get dispirited.


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10:37 pm  

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