Thursday, September 28, 2006

Rehab YAYYY!

Session 1
Ok so we started physical therapy. The first session was pretty much an assessment, plus a demonstration of all the exercises, so I won't go into it.
Session 2
Well, today the gloves came off. I had surgery on both legs, so we have to double the fun. I say hello to Harold, a fellow re-habber who is arriving just now, and begin my session.
  • We start off on the exercise bike. Piece of cake. Well, almost. He sets it for 7 minutes, and off I go. 1 minute, 2 minutes, heyyyy no prob.
  • Now this is a stationary bike, and it's bolted to the floor. But somewhere between minutes 3 and 4, I begin to bike up Mount Everest. I'm actually embarrassed by the amount of sweat my nasty body is producing. Not to mention the heavy breathing. I begin to see the snow cap.
  • Having done the bike-a-thon, we move to the high table with my legs hanging down. Now, the first session, Therapist strapped these cute little ankle weights on, and I did 10 leg lifts with each leg. No sweat!
  • Except today, Therpist walks over with two tanker trucks and wraps them around the old ankles. I do believe the tanks were empty, but...
    And this time, we're going to do 3 sets of 10 with each leg. I think one of the trucks says Exxon on the side. Commence sweating and panting. And I start to have problems counting sets. Lift, hold for 5 seconds, release, lower leg, lose count. I think I did 90 sets, not sure.
  • So we survived that. Now it was onto the table across the room that resembles a platform. I'm instructed to lie down. Therapist goes across room, starts walking back with a big strap. Being the product of a Catholic School education, people coming at me with straps is something I get nervous about. But no beating. I'm to sit with my legs in front of me, wrap the strap under the foot, push the leg straight, holding the strap taut, and lean forward to stretch the hamstrings.
  • Now, mind you I haven't done a lick of exercise since the end of 2005. This much exertion, coupled with the profuse sweating, makes things begin to happen to the body. Or more precisely, the brain.
    Like when I set up with the strap; I could have sworn Therapist said to do 164,000 sets of 10. I have no hope, at this point, of counting anymore. So I figure I go until a blood vessel bursts, or he says to stop.
    And I wasn't sure, but when Harold went into the small little room, the CIA was in there to interrogate him. At least it sounded like that. I begin to pray that I don't have to go into the little room. I'm certain I heard crunching sounds. I hope nothing is eating Harold.
  • Next up, back to the high table. I start panicking, thinking about the tanker trucks coming back. But this is different. This time, he comes over with the cute little ankle weights. I'm relieved, until he produces the yellow ball. Puts yellow ball between my knees. The idea here, is to squeeze ball between knees, and raise legs at the same time. He has no idea whom he is dealing with.
  • So, again, it's 3 sets of 10 for each leg. Squeeze and lift.
    Yeah right.
    First I lift, then I squeeze. Nope, wrong. Then I squeeze. Then I lift. Wrong again. Now I lift, and remember to squeeze, only the yellow ball explodes.
    Not getting this right, am I? And what the hell number am I up to?
    No sign of Harold.
  • So while I'm sitting at this table, struggling, I notice a machine on the cart next to me. It's got wires sticking out the side and there's a whole bunch of buttons on the face. A numeric keypad, and then some settings buttons. One says "voltage", one says "time", one says "US" and one says "Russian". So of course, after I get done mutilating the yellow balls, Therapist says "OK, lie down." And starts to grab the wires. Damn, I knew it. Harold's in there, and I'm gonna get it out here.
  • Therapist attaches the electrodes to my knees with little sticky tabs. Then he wraps these ice packs around my knees. Electricity and water is never good, but I'm more concerned about which button he is gonna press on there. I've seen a lot of James Bond movies, and that button marked "Russian" is scaring the hell out of me. I have visions of my head smoking, and me giving up the State secrets in 20 seconds flat.
    He pushes the sissy "US" button, much to my relief. But then his hand goes for the "voltage" button. Damn, here's where I get it. I think of my 3 children.
    Therapist says, "Ok, I'm going to increase this slowly until..."
    (until WHAT?! Until I SCREAM?)
    " feel the muscles begin to contract."
    I tough it out, and go up about 10 settings. The legs are contracting! OK!
    Heyyyy, this is actually kind of nice. No interrogation, although there was one moment of terror when Therapist walked across the room in a hurried fashion to get away from me. I looked for a fire extinguisher. But, no worries.
    10 minutes later, Therapist comes back, turns off the machine without ever hitting the "Russian" button. I'm home free.
    "All done," he says.
    And all was good. As I check out, make my next appointment, though, Therapist hands me a 3000 pound folder, chock-full of exercises I'm now expected to do at home, between sessions. And then informs me that my sessions are scheduled for 3 times a week.
    Ok, it's all to make me better, right?
    Before I left though, for a moment I thought about rescuing Harold. He's in that room still, but the sounds have stopped.
    I figure, it's better not to push my luck. "Russian" button and all.
    He's on his own.
    And I am WALKING. Walking like Frankenstein, mind you, but WALKING!


    1. Jimmy, I've been seeing you pop up on some of my bloggie friend's comments and I had to see if you were that guy I used to read on AOL when I started on blogger and it was you :) I've been catching up and wanted to thank you for introducing me to Kelly Sweet! Amazing voice! You're still a riot;)

      Good luck with rehab :)

    2. Are you sure your physical therapist isn't the marquis de sade? LMAO

    3. I've been in PT...not always fun. But hey, you're WALKING!!
      (One step at a time)


      PS. Have you checked your mail lately?

    4. Anonymous9:10 PM

      If you survive the therapist I'm sure before long you will be as good as new. I bet it felt good to be using those muscles again.


    5. Jimmy
      Your flair and talent for humor is showing once more. I really got a kick out of this. I had to endure physical therapy a few years ago for a lower back and piched nerve problem. Thank God I didn't see the machine with the "Russian" button or I would have been out of there in seconds flat. Oh, it was there, I'm sure, but they kept it out of eye sight.

      Serously, though, it is great to hear you're on the road to recovery. Hang in there!

    6. Go Jimmy!!! You always know how to tell us about whats going on in the most ... interesting ... way. : ) You will be walking like a pro again soon.

      This entry does help me understand what my uncle went through in June (or July?) when they had to take his leg. You guys are tough!


    7. You need a female therapist, the one you have now is too easy on you!! My co-worker, Jen, thinks you deserve an award for this entry. She is laughing so hard and has tears in her eyes.

      Love you,


    8. Hi Jimmy! Love the blog!! Okay I'm blogger illiterate, being an AOL junkie... so tell me, how do I get updates dude? I made it over here finally and was delighted to hear you survived the physical therapy! The guy coming at me with a strap would make me nervous too... cracking up about the Russian button. You'll be running around in no time at all! : )

    9. WTG Hon you're GOING TO DO IT! You're Walking YAY!!!!! That's terrific :)

      I've HAD PT for many years, approximately 12, years. So I can totally relate to what you said here:

      "First I lift, then I squeeze. Nope, wrong. Then I squeeze. Then I lift. Wrong again. Now I lift, and remember to squeeze, only the yellow ball explodes.
      Not getting this right, am I? And what the hell number am I up to?"

      I've had both heel cords lengthened. Double hip rotations and both hamstrings lengthened and released UGH

      Keep it up! :)


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