Thursday, October 9, 2008

On the Road Back...Slowly This Time!

Well, I've started my rehab. I was given clearance from my orthopedic doctors to start riding the stationary bike and elliptical as tolerated, starting with no resistance and no elevation. Was also given a consult to start Physical Therapy to help get my knee and ankle more mobile and to strengthen my quads and calves...and freedom from my crutches and leg splint.

A week ago Wed was my first trip to the gym in eight long weeks of little to no activity. My first challenge was actually trying to get to the gym. Since my right leg was the one that was fractured and gas and brake pedal foot...I had been practicing for a couple of days putting weight on my right foot and moving it back and pushing on the gas and brake pedal. A couple of ladies from the gym had already offered to take me to the gym when they went if I couldn't drive so that option was always there. I wanted to go in the morning when there wouldn't be too many people at the gym and my gym mates of course worked during the day so hence my practicing. So with all the practicing completed I hobbled out to the truck and drove to the gym and it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. I was extra careful to allow plenty of time to brake and keeping my distance from other vehicles. It was great to know that I was freed from the bonds of immobility now.

The drive to the gym was no problem and I pulled into the nearest handicapped space by the front doors...I was able to get a temporary handicap that was very helpful. I hobbled through the doors and was greeted by the staff and a couple of folks that I hadn't seen for what seemed ages. After about 15-20 minutes of greetings and talking about my incident, I climbed onto the stationary bike and started my first ride in a long time. I started off slow with no resistance and no elevation but just the rotational movement and flexion on my right knee and ankle was stiff and uncomfortable. Even pedaling mostly with my good left foot and leg and letting the right foot and leg just cycle through the motion was uncomfortable but bearable. After about five minutes I was able to use both legs with equal effort, still with tightness but more bearable. I completed seven miles in 31 minutes on the bike and moved on to the elliptical thinking that since I'm all warmed up, I could put in at least 5-10 minutes. But the movement and pressure from the elliptical was to great on my ankle and shin and I got off after just one minute. But, not bad for the first time in almost two months of nothing.

I got home, showered and notice my ankle and lower leg was painfully swollen but with some ice and elevation while I worked out my rehab training plan, the swelling went down. My plan is to build on the first day with only working out every other day for the first few weeks increasing the time/distance in small increments. So this was last weeks rehab/workout:

Wed: 31 min cycle at 0 level, 0 elevation; 1 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation
Thu: Rest
Fri: 32 min cycle at 0-2 level, 0 elevation; 5 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation
Sat: Rest
Sun: Rest...actually I hobbled around the pool scrubbing the sides and needed it and it was a good work out.
Mon: 31 min cycle at 0-3 level, 0 elevation; 12 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation
Tue: Rest
Wed: 36 min cycle at 0-5 level, 0 elevation; 12 min elliptical at 0 level, 0 elevation

Not a bad weeks worth of workouts, considering. My discomfort levels are more bearable each time out and my hobbling is slowly becoming more like normal walking. Got to remind myself to take it slow and easy, those old bones aren't mended yet.

Yesterday, Wed morning was my first PT appointment where they took baseline measurements on flexion, extension and strength and explained what type of exercises I was to do there and on my own and how to do them. I also saw my ortho doctor and they fitted me with a pair of support socks...looks like knee high stockings but they help my ankle and lower leg swelling...and I got clearance to go back to work starting Monday...well actually Tuesday since Monday is a holiday! Life is looking good again!

Happy training!