Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm running free, yeah!

Spent the night in an L. A. jail, and listened to the sirens wail. They ain't got a thing on me, I'm running wild, I'm running free.--Iron Maiden
This morning, I finished my last of 11 weeks of physical therapy. Even though I have about 6 months left of recovery to get back to me pre-surgical, pre-infection self, it will come under my own supervision, performing what my parting therapist called "advanced" exercises. What this means is that I won't have to take precious time out of my busy schedule, leaving work three times a week, to flex, stretch, bend, extend, push, pull, distend, protract, recline, incline, strain, spin, hop, balance, tighten, unfold, roll, compress, and get electrocuted.

It's going to be so, so very nice not to have one less thing to worry about. For a guy who still can't remember what day his son has piano, I think he's there right now--that would explain the quiet, stillness in the house, or the day his daughter has gymnastics--I hope it's not right now, 'cause she's currently diving into a bowl of macaroni, it is like a giant albatros lifted off my brain. No longer do I have to remember if this week is Monday/Tue/Fri or Tue/Thur/Fri. I'm free from the menally taxing activity of recalling if I was to be there at 8:00am or at 4:00pm. No longer do I have the arduous task of trying to remember to look for my day planner so that I can check its contents, in which every date and time is precisely written.

No longer do I have to stretch the truth about how I pulled my hamstring. No more must I exercise my poetic liscense of interpretting running on the hard pavement too prematurely to gently stroking the foot pedals on my low-impact, but incredibly boring, elliptical machine. The days are over whereby I exaggerate the number of leg lifts I've been doing at home (twice as many each time, previously zero) and how often I've been icing it (daily, if you count going outside in the cold weather wearing shorts.) No longer do I need to communicate in euphamisms, in the hyperbolic language of "compliant" patient.

No, now I can be honest with myself, and admit, guilt-free, that although I didn't always follow the written script, I did substitute activities requiring as much, if not more, effort. As someone who pushes himself to his limits, often to the admonishon of my wife, therapist, or surgeon, I know my own body and its limitations. Rest assured that I will continue to push myself to the the extreme, promulgating the acceleration of my recovery, backing off only when the pain becomes intolerable, or my wife tells me to.

And so for the next 6 months, or hopefully just the next 3, I'll be doing the "advanced" home exercises written in my discharge papers today, which means I'll be stooping on my bad leg only to pick up pretend (or real) items off the floor in between my 45 minutes on the elliptical and the 30 minutes of pounding the pavement around my block. If you happen to see me on the road, with that noticeable Terry Fox-like limp, know that the smile on my face is a wincing grimace, but a smile nonetheless.


Anonymous said...

Remember that a card-carrying member of the medical community is watching your every step. Don't overdo it.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that. Just take it easy, you don't want to start this all over again.

Anonymous said...

You are sooooo BAD!!! Be careful!! I saw your buddy running the other day. I didn't stop, but I was impressed.