When M(37) first pointed out my gait’s lack of hip rotation we had a trust-building moment before she started actively intervening. This was presumably so I’d know she wouldn’t let me fall even though she was “pushing me around” while I was in motion. I tried to convince her my rigidity was actually good. “M,” I said in a straining-muscle voice, “It’s bc I’m using my core.”
She didn’t buy it. So she wheeled up on a stool behind me while we stood in front of a mirror at the hemi bars.
Sit on my knee, she instructed.
Ummmm…… I didn’t want to crush her. She commanded me to sit again then said, The point of this exercise is for you to trust me.
I hopped off my perch quick as a wink – mobility issues, what?
I trust you, I trust you!! I assured her.
Heh heh. That’s what Therapy is like. My whole life is like that now, really. It takes an enormous emotional capital infusion for me to trust anyone else. Frankly, I prefer the parallel bars. But the bars are generally screwed to the floor while you have greater freedom of movement when working outside them. Plus I’m just getting to the point where parallel bars are becoming a fixture of an earlier stage of recovery.
There was a time when even using bars or a walker was too much for me to manage – full body support was the MO in the very early/acute stage of recovery. I had less of a problem then bc I wasn’t aware enough to think of the possibility of falling – I just did as I was told – I didn’t really care. When I learned to walk I understood more and I was absolutely terrified. Hence the ring. But after a few months’ experience I knew A (6) could be trusted.
I asked what the consequences were if I did fall. There’s a lot of paperwork, he said in classic A style. Another therapist was more direct. I didn’t even ask. The statement at the beginning of the session was, I get in trouble if you fall. Don’t do it. 🙂
The trust-expectation timeline has accelerated as I’m almost at the 3-year mark but I wish to still progress physically. It has become apparent that if I want to do XYZ I will require assistance and I’m signing up to trust people to help me.
You have to trust me! Trainer D said to me in a mock scolding voice on my first day when he was testing my limbs’ range of motion etc. and I automatically put up a fight when he was trying to move my leg around. This is a standard strength-testing procedure whenever I’m evaluated by a PT or a doctor – you stick an arm or a leg out – they push it and you’re supposed to resist moving with everything you’ve got.
Oh, okay…I thought…I didn’t realize what was happening. My bad. We have now progressed to exercises that require me to be confident enough that I will be able to support my own weight/keep my balance and also to trust that Trainer D will help me out if I can’t. (I was right when I hypothesized that although he has a higher threshold for intervention he will in fact step in when occasion requires.) I’ve started doing the same thing I used to do to A(6) when I’d to look into any reflective surface to verify his location.
Within ten minutes of going to my new gym – a private PT practice I’ll refer to as the Running Gym – my trusting skills were put to the test as R put a bunch of very low “hurdles” on the ground and I was supposed to step over them. I’m a little nervous, I confided, having cast my eyes about the room without seeing any sign of a gait belt.
I’m that concerned I’ve started carrying one in my purse lately and I wanted to use it, but something told me I’d better just hop to it. So I gingerly took hold of the offered hand (my, what a long way we’ve come since I began my Outpatient career and refused to hold A(6)’s hand!) and plowed ahead. I fell out halfway through the course and R didn’t make me finish. This week, however, he brought the hurdles out again and informed me I was going to go back and forth five times. You remember how this went down last time, right? I was indicating I was still nervous. But I did better this time. All 5 times, in fact. I used my core. And when he told me to step slower with greater control, I used it more. :). See? I told you the core thing works.
It always comes back to the core, doesn’t it? As Ed’s 83rd Birthday approaches (April 7, the 3rd anniversary of my injury) this is where the rubber meets the road. I was stressed when my 1st anniversary passed, but back then I was disturbed mostly by the knowledge that this truly happened. Now I’m grappling with the long-term implications of This Disabled Life. The jumpiness has worsened lately, and it’s been building for the past 7 months since I got home from Tim & Ai Ai’s house. I’ve even caught myself wriggling around in my chair if startled like when I used to rock vigorously before I could walk. To some extent my tendency to panic goes hand in hand with the type and scope of my injury. I went to work one day and I never came home. That is the “gentle” summary of what happened. Family, friends, and highly trained professionals have all assured me that I’m safe, but I’m always skeptical. It’s like how I didn’t believe them when they told me my brain bled. I was like, I’m gonna need to see the documentation on that.
Thinking of going to Oregon is exacerbating it. Mommy put me on notice that she’s sending me to Boo Boo’s before this gets any worse. Meanwhile I’m going to solidify my core stance and remember that I’m safe. I’d also appreciate your prayers – I’m going to need back up on this one.