Friday, June 15, 2012

The "Short Leg" Saga Continues

At my regular Wednesday morning physical therapy appointment with Chris, Jason, my prosthetist also joined us. Chris, my physical therapist, had just returned from a conference in Tampa with Kevin Carroll, the man who developed the "Short Leg Graduated Protocol" program I am currently undertaking.

Chris had texted me after returning from the conference saying in her text, "we gotta push things." I knew right then and there that things would become more intense.

As I have mentioned before, I have problems with endurance and after having had a doctor's appointment with my vascular surgeon, Dr Chad Jacob's Physician Assistant, Melissa, it was determined that in all likelihood the endurance issues were not vascularly related, and  that was a relief.

That leaves one of two possible issues, one: I need to strengthen my hip flexor muscles and/or two:  adjustments need to be made to my "short legs."

Even though I exercise daily, including exercises specifically for developing and strengthening my hip flexor muscles, more needs to be done. What strikes me as odd is that I see videos of people who walk much better than I despite the fact they are ostensibly in worse shape physically, some being older than I and most being overweight.

Jason, always cutting edge and direct in his approach, demonstrated some exhausting excercises that should help me develop my hip flexor muscles. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get to be where I want to be?

Chris said that she had spoken to Kevin Carroll specifically about my case. Kevin said to her that every time I sit back down in my wheelchair, I am undoing all that I have accomplished up to that point. I'm not sure I agree with that statement, I may be prolonging the accomplishment set before me, but I don't feel I am "undoing" it.

The point is they want me to try to not use my wheelchair at all, to spend the entire day walking with the short legs, taking rest periods in regular chairs or the sofa as needed.

Consequently, I find myself in a can't win situation, my endurance level is such that I find it difficult, if not impossible, to spend the entire day walking on these short legs and by not doing just that, I am allegedly "undoing" all that I have tried to accomplish up to that point.

It's like which came first the chicken or the egg, which came first, the endurance to walk on the short legs through exercise, or walking to increase the endurance?

Chris, through no fault of her own, added more fuel to the fire by saying I need to step outside more. I thought she meant, be outdoors, which delighted me as long as it was  in a controlled enviroment. However, what she meant, or what Kevin Carroll meant was, to step outside into the world and use the short legs in public places.

As we know I have made significant progress regarding allowing myself to be seen by people other than those in my inner circle, which is not to say that I have the wherewithal to go to a restaurant, a store, or even walk down the sidewalk wearing the short legs. Would you be able to do that?

As time goes on I wonder if I have what it takes to accomplish what is set before me? Is there any truth to the fact that if I wanted it badly enough I would do what it takes?

You can well imagine how I am feeling right now, a little beaten down by it all.

I hope and pray I find renewed ambition and vigor that will carry through my journey. Sigh.......

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