Thursday, 29 August 2013

The road to recovery

The knee injury is healing slowly.  There's only pain if I try to bend too far, twist or roll over in bed.  Putting a shoe on my right foot is becoming less of a production too.  It will be one week since I fell over and I'm at about 85% capacity.

Every night as I watch the television news I look at the footballers and the injuries they sustain and wonder how on earth they can go back on and play with torn and broken bits.  Firstly I do know that I do not have the same level of fitness as an elite athlete so my recovery will take longer, but even considering that, bodies work in generally the same way.

My issue with walking properly is not really pain, but a lack of ability to fully bend and extend my leg.  As the physio said yesterday, it's like a rusty hinge which has to be worked and worked and worked until the rust is gone and the hinge moves freely.  As a result of my altered gait, I now have a sore lower back and hip on the other side.  It's actually more painful than the knee.

Physiotherapists are miracle workers.  I always approach them with trepidation.  I know that they are probably going to cause me pain but that I will be much improved the next day.  It must be a hard job to do where you know that you will be causing someone pain but that it needs to happen if they are to feel better.

I've recently discovered the television program "Embarrassing Bodies".  After previously writing it off as voyeurism I stumbled upon it a couple of weeks ago and found it to be informative and interesting.  Last night one of the segments featured a baby girl born with talipes (club foot).  The baby was being treated with plasters and boots to straighten the foot.  In between plasters, which were applied weekly, a physiotherapist worked on her tiny foot.  The physiotherapist looked gentle and kind and seemed to be handling the baby's foot carefully.  The baby was screaming and the mother was crying.  The physio continued her work and then reassured the mother that she wasn't hurting the baby and explained exactly what she was doing.  It turned out that the baby was hungry, but it was intense watching this scene and I wondered at the focus and commitment to healing that a physiotherapist needs to have in order to help their patient.

Yesterday's visit was my first encounter with this particular physiotherapist.  From my point of view, the first visit is all about trust and rapport.  Am I confident that they'll work with me?  Do I trust that they won't hurt me?  Are they listening to me?  I'm happy to say that the answer to all of these questions was "yes".

The rusty hinge is squeaking away and the initial treatment made a world of difference.  I'm heading back tomorrow and expect that I'll be nearly right as long as I keep up my exercises and take  my own share of responsibility.   Perhaps this is the key to athletes' recovery - physiotherapists and doctors on tap from the moment of injury.  I hope it's that and not "performance enhancing" drugs.

My performance in the Global Corporate Challenge has taken a severe hit too. My daily average steps has now slipped below 9000 steps per day and I'm annoyed that I can't be active.  It's been interesting to notice the steady increase in daily activity as the days since injury.  I was barely reaching 1000 steps per day over the weekend and yesterday almost made 6000.  Can't wait to crack 10000 again.  No performance enhancing drugs for me!

How are you going?

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