Powershopper 5

So after visiting my family GP I went with one of my sisters to Westfield Marion to go grocery shopping.

You can borrow free of charge for 3 hours mobility scooters they are known as “powershopper” today I had number 5.

It’s awesome being so mobile and to do things for myself. My sister still had to play catch up as I managed to pick most things off the shelves and displays.

It’s one of those smart things to do, as trying to go shopping on crutches would have aggravated the hell out of my foot.

I had hoped to catch a movie but right now I couldn’t sit comfortably for that long.

Another positive day 🙂

Return to PT

Despite having fractured sleep and waking up tired today was the day I got a not so little part of my life back.

Today I stepped, well hopped into Life Personal Trainers at Kent Town.

Two weeks today the day I had surgery on my ankle.

I got up fired up some awesome music to get me in the right head-space, donned my gym gear and I was driven to the studio.

I’ve touched base with my trainer frequently since surgery, he’s been a great support and checked in on me a few times.

My determination is now stronger than ever.

I just got a message from one of the directors of the company saying he was seriously impressed that despite significant injury I still went into to do an upperbody work out.

I’m not physically able nor medically cleared to do any sort of weight bearing exercise.

Sean my PT has been amazing at how he has adopted my work outs to suit.

Today I had a lot of special requests, the main one related to the fact that I was unable to wear normal shoes, which would normally prevent me from going to any sort of commercial gym.

Today I trained with Sean with only us there, it meant a safe quiet environment where we were free to discuss openly what I had and am going through without distraction.

I messages Sean this morning saying I was having problems with my right shoulder (I’ve sprained it slightly) I said unless he thought I was unfit to train I badly needed to come in and train.

While I’m still physically recuperating  my mind is still wanting to race ahead. Being able to return to a fairly light work out wasn’t what I thought I needed but it turned out perfectly.

I wanted to smash the daylights out of a couple of boxing focus pads, but that wouldn’t have been good.

These past few weeks especially has showed me that despite learning a hell of a lot about my body once you engage the right medical team (team pilko) like i have ,bloody listen to what your told and do it!

I fessed up to my Physio today and sad while I had valued her opinion it wasn’t until last week that I really took onboard everything she was saying.

It’s this trust that I have placed in my medical team which is really paying off, we’re all doing our job and the results are just amazing.

I still have a job ahead of me, but again this dedicated team of professionals I’m working with are just amazing.

While some of them I’ve only met through this injury, I’m all the better for knowing and working with them.

It’s the combined strength and wealth of knowledge, handwork and dedication of us all. That is step-by-step literally changing my life.

I can see why others are inspired by me and even as tough as has this has and continues to be the feeling of hope and optimism the reward and satisfaction is just amazing.

Day in review

This is my first post from my mobile in a while so it should be short and sweet 😉

Good day today had some counseling this morning. I’m going OK I just need that bit of extra help. That said I’m almost talked out as I’ve had so many consults of late it’s tiring.

I’m having real issues with sleep and it’s causing havoc with my sleep apnea. I’m really lucky I sweet talked my way into getting into seeing my specialist next Monday. My apnea is so bad one night off CPAP is like a week of bad sleep for someone else, it really is that bad. I got a new mask last week and it’s helping my compliance as the biggest problem was falling asleep without the mask on.

I then had an hour long massage, the third in eight days. My body really is taking a battering right now and massage is just one way I’m dealing with that.

Last appointment today was with an exercise Physiologist who last saw me in October 2011 when I was 26kg heavier and 23cm wider in the waist.

Although concerned about my injury he was pleased at my progress and determination.

Tomorrow is two weeks to the day of surgery. Most of my medical team are impressed with my resolve and commitment.

My main PT was surprised that I was even talking about return to training, little alone booking in.

I know together we can achieve my goals and getting my brain on board is part of that.

Something which is helped is that I’ve stepped down the main level of pain killer I’m using.

I’m not going to post what I’m using as this is a public forum. I will say however I’ve been running maximum doses of some of “the good stuff”.

There are times I switch back up as needed. Every single tablet I swallow is logged, time and dosage wise so my treating medical team and I can review. The level of detail this makes available greatly helps in my overall case management. I’ll post later what technology I’m using to manage my treatment.

So now I have been given a home exercise program both for free weights (dumbbells) and floor based exercises.

I still need to procure a suitable bench and weights which I will do later in the week.

Tomorrow I return to modified personal training. The first time in two weeks and first ever post op.

I’m only cleared for upper-body, non weight bearing. I’ve had my inner liner gloves repaired and I’m ready to make myself sore again for the right reasons.

Part of this is I want to punch the crap out of the pads.

I have a lot if pent up frustration that needs an outlet and my physio suggested this outlet needs to be focused, so boxing it is!

My mother will be driving me tomorrow and I’ve warned her to watch out as I’ll be in fine voice 😉 She not a fan of boxing and I suspect if she does witness what I do, she may not like it! That’s fine it’s not about her in this instance!

My return to exercise is being carefully monitored to ensure injury is prevented.

PT has a clearance letter from Physio and copy of surgical report.

Challenge tomorrow while training is as much mental as it is physical.

I’m really looking forward to it

Turning it around – Eye on the prize

So late last week, after having a crap nights sleep and getting frustrated at the pain caused by a simple visit to the GP I bottomed out.

My ability to cope was impaired and life through Pilko’s eyes seemed bleak.

In the afternoon I had a great consult with my Physio who kept me focused on my rehab and my end goal.

She was pleased that my range of movement (ROM) is the best it’s been in months. I still have pain issues, but they’ve changed and am improving too.

I met with my Physio again yesterday and another good consult. I asked her for a bruit honest opinion which she freely gave.

Again it would seem that I’m overestimating where I’m at, but as long as I keep my eye focused on the prize (end game) and continue what I’m doing I’ll be fine.

I backed up this positive influence by heading into Next Gen to the Cafe. Sounds weird going to a gym when you literally can do nothing.

There is a PT there who in the past year has recovered from ACL surgery. She was suggested to me via another staff member and we work incredibly well together.

We’ve only trained once together and she managed to push me harder than ever before. I think there has to be an element of male pride in this. This is the first female trainer I’ve worked with one-one-one for sometime and I think it brings out my competitive edge. Something which people will  rarely see.

The past year pre injury has been a real eye opener into my persona and certainly post injury and now rehab has changed my outlook again.

While this trainer hasn’t done an ankle she can relate on so many other ways it’s incredible. She’s a rather unassuming person, possibly a little quite for my liking, but the dedication and commitment, plus shear generosity is almost unmatched.

A late addition to Team Pilko a very needed and welcomed addition.

I’m really growing as an person in so many ways through this and Team Pilko is along for the ride.

It’s going to be interesting where it all goes, the dedication formed is remarkable.

While ankle surgery may seem minor when you piece it together with what I started in October 2011 it’s life changing.

To those in Team Pilko who do read this, thank you sincerely, after family and close friends you really are a valued part of my life.

I look forward to sharing my innovations and discoveries with you.

New Crutches!

So it came up time to renew the hire of my crutches which I’ve had for 3 months.

I should have asked a while ago how much to buy, turns out I’ve paid enough to have bought them twice, bugger!

I initially wanted to buy the crutches I was using as I have a history with them. Hire place wouldn’t let me do that. I was annoyed to start with, but in the end they did me a favor.

Turns out I wore out the grip at the bottom of the crutch and the new crutches have better softer handles and the arm brace actually provides support.

Really could have used this for the past week while I’ve been NWB, for most of the time I’m now PWB with a tenancy of moving to FWB.

With rebate from private health they are going to cost me about $12.

I couldn’t find a decent instructional video on youtube that deals with elbow crutches, so I’m going to collaborate with a friend of mine and make a video.

It’s all about having the right tools and equipment for the job.

Continual gradual improvement

Today I had my now regular Saturday morning Physio appointment. This came on the back of a 45 minutes appointment yesterday.

I’m ramping up my contact time so my progress can be more closely monitored.

Today was the first time we’ve had time to do a complete review of all my exercises, which was at it turns out very helpful for both the Physio and myself.

My discharge orders from hospital have been closely followed and because my physio was not part of that original process it was important for her to become aware of them. (we’d discussed them briefly last week, but hadn’t gone through them step by step)

Today was a great consult, with assessment review and goal setting for the week. I now have a current history letter which will be important as I return to exercise.

I am now cleared for a return to non weight bearing exercise which I will do under supervision with my personal trainer.

I’m in the process of re-engaging an exercise physiologist to review my home and gym exercises. This consult will be the last consult of a previous Medicare Enhanced Care Plan.

This week I’m also going to further investigate creating a small gym at home. For starters it will just be a flat weights bench and a few dumbbells.

I don’t see the point in adding too much more as I already have quite a bit of fitness gear. Plus I do have access to gym facilities at work and a commercial gym as well.

My physio is really happy with my progress, I’m very dedicated to what I’m doing and while I maybe slightly annoyed at my progress it really is now tangible.

My range of movement (ROM) is the best its been in months. I still have a lot of work to do, but Team Pilko is working harder then ever to get me literally back on my feet.

I can’t begin to explain how awesome it is to work with this group of dedicated professionals.

One work mate jokes about “it’s all about me” well for the moment it is all about me, it must, should and needs to be.

In the past 48 hours I like to think that I’ve turned a huge stone and that its onwards and upwards from here. In the summarized words of my physio today “if you keep going like your doing you’ll be fine”

As hard as it has been, it’s as simple at that.


Mixed bag of a day

So today has been a real mixed bag.

Started after having virtually no sleep, headed and saw my GP it’s kinda funny his first name is Ian too.

The GP works out of one of the Primary health care clinics which are a big one stop shop medical practice.

I’m very lucky when it comes to this GP as he will always allow me to skip the queue. Today I only had to wait about 10 minutes before I consulted with him and we spoke for about 20 minutes.

This particular GP is a new addition to “Team Pilko” has a slightly different perspective on things which is useful. Thankfully he was brought in well before surgery so he’s been one of my stable places of advise.

I’m fighting a bit of a sea saw at the moment and my emotions are still running a bit high, my plan is to take one more week off work and then pending clearance from my Surgeon and Physio I should be set.

It seems a bit daunting right now but it’s just over a week since I’ve had surgery and I’m miles improved to where I’ve come from.

As much as there are still struggles and obstacles in the way I have a clear goal ahead and for the first time in months I know it’s achievable.

By the end of tomorrow I will have had almost 3 hours of consult with my Physio and with the addition of home exercises I’m really coming along well. I have 2 hours booked next week with the hope of adding a third.

Physio is really happy with my progress, it’s continual gradual improvement. When people say “take the advise of your medical team it’s for your benefit” they aren’t wrong!

I cherish my professional associations and my physio is right up there. We have a lot of contact time and that makes for some great focused rehab.

After I got home from the GP visit this morning I crashed, while I largely remain positive there is still a battle going on. I had about 5 hours of downtime until I had to head to the Physio.

This morning at home was a little hectic, I had one expected courier delivery and do deliveries from Australia post.

Part of my planning is making sure that my return to work is timed to ensure it is successful. Work have been very understanding but I need to ensure when I return I’m fit for work. Part of that is being able to be at my desk at work and well work!

One of the deliveries today was for a foot rest. In the past I tried to use an Ikea footstall and that just wasn’t working (it’s miles too high)

The new footrest is a great little unit that can be adjusted while I’m seated. The plan for me is to increase my time in front of the computer next week so I can return to work and be comfortable and safe.

Headed to the Physio this afternoon it was going to be a bit different this time around as my Mum was able to drop me off but was unable to pick me up. Managed to organise a taxi and got home safely.

Jumping back for a moment to the Physio consult it was a great review, we’ve spent a lot of time on other priories and today we finally manged to do a review of my home based exercises. It’s really important to get this right. It proved very helpful as there were some corrections to my technique that were needed.

My GP is calling this major surgery (it’s major to the ankle joint) and to give myself the best chance of recovery I’m doing all I can to aid it. For me this means  frequent supervision where possible. If I was an inpatient I’d have daily visits from the Physio, while I can’t afford to do that right now, I can have three visits a week.

It’s great to have that level of contact.

Next week I will have one 1/2 PT session and I’ve lined up some counseling. I have some very clear goals which I need to achieve and I just need a little help with some strategies to help me over the line.

I watched the movie “Crackerjack” today it was such a hoot. I’m going to make an effort to watch at least one move a day, it’s proven to be a good little escape from reality.


HES – Healthcare Equipment Specalists

I just wanted to write about how wonderful Allan Hicks has been from HES.

Currently I have three pieces of equipment on hire from them and they have made a world of difference to me.

Without a fuss and within two hours of my call on two separation occasions I’ve had Allan deliver and setup equipment for me.

I get the impression that Alan’s business is a lot smaller than the one I’m using for my crutches but his attention to detail, care and efficiency is impressive.

If you need Healthcare Equipment hire or sales, use Allan he’s a top friendly bloke.


Disablity awareness

The past few months has shaken me to my core. Not being able to walk and get around and have to ask other people to do things for me (just really basic things) doesn’t come naturally to me. People are usually fairly obliging but it does get frustrating when you can’t do simple things yourself.

I accept I’m a big lad and have been ever since I stopped ridding my bike when I was a teenager.

Yet not being able to climb stairs and unable to walk for more than a few minutes is quite a challenge in this modern world.

Using crutches and not having a stable foot means you constantly have to be hyper aware of your surroundings. At the moment I’m one big slip and trip hazard.

I continually have to risk access my surroundings to ensure I’m safe. Today I was in Kmart and missed seeing a small piece of loose cardboard on the floor, my crutch compressed it hard on the floor and the crutchslipped. As I was NWB at the time I had a minor slip.  You can get away with doing that now it’s called a warning sign, you really have to watch of for those. I’ve come close to stacking it a few too many times. But as long as I only come close I’m happy.

It’s the risk you take, stay at home = cabin fever, get out a bit =  chance falling on your arse and feel stupid.

These past few months has brought me closer to my father who has lived with disability since his mid teens. Rather than just walking you are continually conscious of your environment.

Because my father and I have traveled a lot in the past couple of years, I’ve done my best to work out what his needs are. I’ve done a fairly good job I think as the feedback I have has been positive, however now through my own personal experience it gives me a great understanding of what he deals with on a daily bases. While it frustrates me I take strength in for me it’s only short term.

Things like the slopes from footpaths to doorways, Cafe de Vill’s main entrance is a too high gradient for me to manage easily, the proximity to the door is also a problem, as in your not standing even when you try and open the door. On crutches even PWB it’s very hard to not “crash” through the door as your trying to balance yourself and hold open a door at the same time. I know I’m a bloke and multitasking isn’t natural, but if your not balanced and you try and do something extra it’s when you fall.

The weight of doors and the strength behind door closure devices. There is nothing wrong with a heavy door, I can get it open, I normally have to hip and shoulder it to get it open and your generally can’t keep a heavy door open with a single crutch, especially if some fool hast put a strong door closure on it which is need, you do and I’m gone! Light weight doors even with closures on them are great, I can use one of the crutches to hold the door open, so I can pass through without needing help to keep the door open it amazes people how I’ve figured that one out!

One big one I had at work was access controlled doors, if the card reader was too far away from card which was on a retractable lanyard, the door strike would re arm before I could hold the door open.

Door handles! Those little buggers, trying to support (steady) yourself and get the door open partially if it’s a knob is a real bugger!

Flow of people in and around buildings / footpaths, nothing like getting caught in the way!

Yesterday I was using a scooter in a shopping centre and getting the speed right so you didn’t scare the living hell out of people was important, plus physically getting in and around aisles and displays was hard. I’ve not seen too many scooters reverse in a supermarket, as regular users know how to get around and not get stuck and have to go backwards! I’m still a beginner so I suck at it!

So yeah, put up with that for a few months and you’ll soon work out why I’m so rattled! Not to mention doing all of the above in chronic and unstable pain!

I wanted to blog on this as it’s going to prove useful in the future.