So this past Monday saw me make my long awaiting return to work.
I was quite nervous about retuning as due to the way my injury was managed I was in and out of work a lot and quite unreliable.
I was keen to make sure this didn’t happen post surgery. My return to work was delayed until the holidays so the place was quieter than normal
So it would make my return that bit easier and I belive that was a great stroke of genius.
I was so keen to return to work I woke around 4:30am so by the time work ended around 4pm I was so tired. Ankle is still thoobing a bit, but that’s largly due to it doesn’t cope getting cold and with me sitting for long periods.
The key will really be a good mix of staying off the ankle but also moving it too.
Sort of felt like I started a new job, although I knew everyone.
That feeling changed as the week went on and I felt more comfortable at work.
Managed to fit in two Pilates mat classes this week which was great.
Still hurting from the PT session with Emma on the weekend I opted to do a Pilates class on the Tuesday rather than PT session.
I’ve just done a 1hr PT session with Emma today and I’ll be interested to see how I pull up.
I have a massage booked with Amy on Monday and I’m hoping she can get stuck in and release some of my soon to be sore muscles
So I can train with Sean on Tuesday.
Work have been very understanding and how allowed me to continue two pool session a week on the understanding that the time taken off is made up which is of course perfectly fair.
That agreement finishes next week as my third week is to be a “as normal” approach. I’ve chosen to do 8am starts, even though with the school holidays I could start at 8:30am. With an 8am start the roads are easier to get around and I’m building up routine.
The 6 weeks post-surgery haven’t been easy, so I gave myself a free pass to do virtually whatever I needed, when I needed.
The problem with that is there was little routine.
So my plain with the routine building has gone well so far, while I’m still having some issue with sleep it normally only lasts a night which is great.
So still early days with the return to work, but it’s on track and this week would be the first full week at work since before Easter which is a major achievement in itself.
Finished the week off with 1hr PT with Emma which was great. Emma tells me that the results of the sessions are always and only me. It’s the adage of you get what you give.
Working with the right people helps.
Tomorrow I have a afternoon tea to celebrate my mum’s birthday and then it’s time to sign up to SA Aquatic and take my dad in for our pool session.
Oh yeah and time to get a haircut, badly need one.
My Physio loves the place and I toured yesterday and it looks to be a good fit. Their program pool is a better depth of 1.4M up from 1.2M and it’s also a lot warmer at around 32 degrees C.
Going to head in for a casual visit tomorrow and drag my Dad along, if the visit works well, I’ll sign up and make regular visits.
It won’t be a total replacement for Next Gen I’ll run dual memberships.
Back at work on Monday and I’m going to negotiate clearance to use the gym there.
A small selection of equipment there but I’m mainly interested in dumbbells, I’m not ready to invest at home as yet.
It’s been a really interesting 24 hours, yesterday I smashed my pool session a little too well. The supervising Physio is having to develop my program as the current work out is now far too simple. This is a massive gain for me, when I first started the program it was hard going and would take me the full half hour to do.
Now it’s so easy I knock it over in about 15 minutes. We’ve added to it a bit and increased the reps but, I met with my Physio today and we have a revised program for me to work with.
Only downside of the Sa Aqua and Sports Centre is no pool equipment for use. So I’ve had to buy some noodles and a kick board.
The kick-board is terrible, not only does it show Clark Rubbers mascot is of questionable quality.
I expect for home pool usage it’s fine, but in a commercial/rehab environment I have my doubts. I’ll see how saaquatic goes before I go spending even more money.
The noodles I’ve bought are the same as I use at the CHG pool, they are Australian Made by Clark Rubber. I stood my ground with the sales staff as the Australian noddles are about $8.75 whereas the “cheap china ones” are about $4.75 the shelf price indicated $4.75. Obviously pool noodles are normally a summer purchase, so in winter stocks are down.
I won out so I’ve got my 3 noodles and kickboard.
During the week, news broke of the death of a long term family friend.
While the passing is sad for the family it’s a blessing as injury and in more recent years dementia robbed this person of life in recent years. Sadly the situation is compounded as the spouse of the deceased has recently been diagnosed with cancer and is about to start aggressive treatment.
I wasn’t able to attend the funeral, but was pleased to be able to attend the wake.
Was really great to reconnect with that group of long term friends, many on which I’ve not seen for years. Was also interesting seeing many of the personalities come out, time doesn’t change some things!
Solid Physio consults yesterday and today, not quite tears from her but I really had an impact on my Physio. It’s fair to say both yesterday and today she was totally surprised in my progress. We’re now at point where I’m the best I have been in months and I can’t begin to explain how the feels.
I feel like I waking from a nightmare but at the same time trying to pinch myself to see if what I’m experiencing is real.
This whole injury has caused a mild depression and I’m still recovering from that. So far I’ve had a run of great solid days, while I know this won’t last forever it’s helping boost my self confidence which is critical right now.
This afternoon was a very special but slightly private time for me, but one that I will share.
Quite a few months ago I met someone who even in a group exercise class environment had a major impact on me, the sort of person that stands out in the crowd and you think to yourself “I want to know more about this person”
This person is Emma, she was until recently working at Next Gen. Emma is one of those infections people that raises your spirits and nothing generally is too much trouble.
She’s a Gym Manager, Personal Trainer and Aqua Instructor.
Since she left Next Gen I’ve kept in loose touch with her. She a hard one to pin down, having started a new job which involved opening a new gym she was and is quite the busy woman.
I’ve wanted a individual PT session with Emma for a couple of months and particularly in the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to organize it. With the return to work on Monday my focus is going to change more to a work/rehab focus rather than a pure rehab focus, that time is upon us.
So a nice way to finish that off was with a hard boxing session with Emma. Emma is significantly shorter than me, in great shape and is a fantastic motivator.
I text Emma a couple of months ago and said something along the lines of “I miss you kicking my arse, that’s healthy right?” I won’t post the heartfelt lol response I got back.
So today I booked Emma in, the obligatory question “how long” normally I’d go an hour but right now my endurance and bank balance says 1/2 hour.
To give Emma an idea what I was after I said ” I want to push myself, but I think once we reach the half hour point you would have worn out your welcome ;)”
Now Emma is the third PT I have worked with in the past 3 months. In true form I pool different benefits from each trainer.
Emma knows me before injury and worked with me at the start of the injury process until I had boxing classes removed from my exercise clearance.
There is something about this woman, she “gets me” and knows how to motivate me by pushing my buttons but in a constructive way.
Today I trained the hardest probably ever, the feeling of wanting to puke was ever present and by the end of the last boxing interval I was almost breathless as I put everything I had in reserve and more into her pads.
I still don’t know where most of what I found during that workout came from, all I know that tomorrow I’m going to be paying for it. That doesn’t worry me as it’s good pain and while at the time it was a hell of a battle Emma worked with me to show me that I was capable of even more than I realized.
I created a playlist for the work out and it became obviously I forgot to include the track by Kelis “I hate you so much right now” while not true post session, it seemed fitting.
When I commit to a PT session I give it my all, Emma pushed and pushed, but also knew when I had to back off. This is why I won’t push this hard without supervision as I need to be careful.
It’s been an amazing week and tomorrow I need to sort out laundry and get to the pool.
Not sure what’s going on, well I do, it’s a matter of containing it.
It’s almost 2am and I’ve had the most amazing day. Smashed my pool session to pieces, caught up with my Chiro who I’ve not seen for 3 months.
Checked in with my GP and that is all tracking really well. My reliance on pain meds is reducing and the wounds are all nicely closed. Tomorrow is going to be the first day I venture out without any bandaing or dressings on. I will however continue to use my ankle brace for the comming months.
On the way back from the GP I discovered Burger Thery in Light Sq, given they are all the rage on Facebook and Twitter I thought I should endulge.
I’m headed for the dentist and a PT session tomorrow, so either way I’ll pay for it.
Actually had a great experince at my chemist, staff noticing that I’m walking a lot better and it was nice to drop in and not have to pick up any medication for myself.
Spent the afternoon resting at home and that is probally why I’m wide awake (daytime sleeping can be a problem)
I can see it in myself the improvment literally, mind body and soul.
I decided to try the wobble board tonight and I managed about a minute before I had to get off.
Last time my Physio even suggested I try the wobble board I scoffed at it.
Now I know that I can push myself to weight bearing all that bit more.
But with all things Rehab will need my Physio’s guideance.
I look forward to walking into her studio on Friday for the first time in months without crutches and embrace the next step of my rehab journey.
So around late February my Physio says to me we’re at the point where I need crutches.
I wasn’t going too well getting around, and the way I was limping was causing other problems to my body.
Well we’re now at the point where I’m pushing hard to get rid of crutches and again the issue of tertiary load has reared its ugly and unwelcome head.
This is going to be one of those rare posts where I do express my concern about the path forward.
I’m scared of falling; I’ve come close a few times but have managed to avoid it. One of the most difficult situations I have found myself is when I get “stuck” and unable to move. I had a situation a few months ago at work when I got up without crutches and I froze and had to get someone to pass me my crutches.
I guess part of my apprehension now is I can accept being on crutches but a walking stick to me isn’t a step forward. I’ve fought long and hard to get better and to be told now that I can’t drop to one crutch or get off them entirely but I have to move to walking stick/s is going to be a big sales pitch to myself.
I’m angry at myself for ignoring the warning signs of pain my body was giving me and I’m sadden that I’ve been off work so long.
So I’m due to be at work in a week and I have to improve even more from where I am now. So unless I want to be stuck on crutches I have to move forward and if it’s to again swallow a bit of pride then I will and must take this course of action.
I keep writing about the frustration of the slowness of rehab, one of the things I have held back writing about is the anger in my ability to do the most simple things.
On Friday I started working with my Physio to get me off crutches. To begin with you have to have a gait analysis done. This is done to determine not only how I walk but how I load various parts of my body up but also access just how well I’m able to weight bare on the injured limb.
Well on the Friday I sucked at it. I did it on a wooden floor in socks and I felt so outside my comfort zone I didn’t cope.
I came away from the session annoyed and upset.
I returned the next morning and asked if I could repeat the process but bare foot. Hygiene normally dictates that socks are preferable but in my case we went bare foot. This worked much better.
I still needed spotting but I was able to mobilise much better and with the crutches I was able to change my partial weight bearing technique from “Step To” to “Step Through” in itself a major achievement.
So I’m now resigned to the fact that I’m going to have to obtain a couple of walking sticks. I’ve been lent a couple but none are a matching pair.
I’m going to have to see if I can borrow or worse case hire a set. I’m a fighter and if I have to walk with sticks so be it.
I’m sick of people having to make allowances for me; I just want my life, health and fitness back. So time to swallow a little more pride, do as I’m told and eventually reap the rewards!
In this modern busy world we often think that people don’t give a stuff about anyone any more. The media is always telling stories of neglect and how people aren’t being looked after.
As I continue my journey through rehabilitation from injury what has surprised me is the kindness shown to me often by complete strangers.
I’ve previously written about trying to put yourself in a situation where you simply can’t walk, or at least very far.
Also look at the situation of getting through doorways is a problem. I’ve had elderly pensioners old doors open for me. I’ve had young woman do the same. I appreciate the help and gracefully acknowledge it. Tonight the household wanted Indian Takeaway and due to the weather I wanted to spice things up a bit. Now there is only one restaurant that I know of that delivers and their quality is rather poor. My preferred restaurant does take-away but parking can be an issue and their front step is quite high. They know be by name at the restaurant and accommodate me well. Tonight the manager offered me a drink, initially asking if I drank beer, he then offered an alternative. I ended up having to politely say “thank you for the offer, but I have no way of carrying it” One of the waitresses said something along the lines of “I could take it out to your car for you” this floored me, totally out of nowhere. It might seem a little silly, but when you have to where and when you go to a certain place and limit what you buy because of your ability to carry things, to have someone offer this is just amazing.
The motivation behind this post is from a couple of experiences throughout the week that have been of significance to me.
Last week it was time to sort out an ankle brace and my Physio Liz had quite a job to carry three braces into the treatment room with my file and open the door.
I’ve doubted my Physio on many occasions as I have been frustrated by my progress. For me the ankle brace is a significant move forward. It means a return to health and fitness and mobility. I’ll never forget the look of excitement and the enthusiasm Liz has as she brought the braces into the treatment room. It was symbolic of her care and commitment into treating me. I was really excited to start the ankle brace fitting process, yet Liz seemed somewhat even more excited than I was. I didn’t think that was possible!
There were two styles we were trying and the cheaper one didn’t seem to fit very well. Despite trying two sizes Liz decided we needed a third size which would have to be ordered in from the supplier. It was midafternoon the Friday of a long weekend; I didn’t think there would be anyway the third sized brace could be delivered in time for my Saturday morning appointment.
To my absolute surprise it was, Liz herself had driven to the supplier to pick up the brace for me. I think she had just a little insight into how much it meant to me. I’ve written previously about the brace, so won’t go into detail. Just enough to say that is really is amazing and doing its job well.
The next person I wanted to write about is my primary personal trainer. People seem to like having a PT to hold them accountable. I don’t think that is a problem or requirement for me as I have a strong commitment to what I’m doing. More of a priority for me is a tailored and varied work out. Sean has done a stellar job in working with my schedule to make time but also put a lot of thought into modifying my program so that I’m able to complete as much as I can. Until you stuff up a major weight bearing part of your body, you don’t realize just how much you can’t do. Sean has made it so that apart from moving around from machines, I’m seated for the entire work out.
I can’t stand and use the cross trainer, but what I can use, seated on a bench in the grinder. I love to hate this machine. It’s great to get the upper body working and the heath rate up. It’s a bit like boxing seated on a bench it reminds you of what is possible.
The other person is Georgia, who is my second PT. I’ve only trained with her once, but she has recently had surgery on an ACL and has some idea of what I’m going through. She’s been a great support both in person but also via SMS. The one training session I did nearly killed me. I was out to impressed, but also prove myself to myself. I spoke with Georgia about a week after the session and she said that she knew she pushed me hard but it was to remind myself what I could do. I had forgotten that and it was great to be reminded. One thing I found interesting is she takes much more detailed/ technical approach to training. I’m constantly being reminded about how I need to improve my technique. Which initially I found annoying but I understand why she did it. It’s particularly important for me at this moment as I recover from a couple of injuries if I do the exercise correctly it can work a different muscle group than if I were to do it incorrectly.
The last person I really should credit is Jodie my Podiatrist. I turned to her when I couldn’t get a clear answer out of my original surgeon and in near despair I sought her advice. I should really right more about Jodie, but right now it’s the early hours of the morning and this blog post is nearly 1000 words and I really should get some sleep.
I’ll end here, but in summary it never does cease to amaze me the impact people can have in a positive way. It’s really nice to see that in many cases basic human kindness and from my health care team a real care, compassion and dedication.
Despite what I’ve been through and continue to endure, I consider myself to be very lucky and fortunate.
So today I’m feeling a little “good pain” something I actually miss.
Pulled up a little sore this morning from the pool session but nothing bad.
This morning I had a half hour PT session, still being on crutches I’m NWB at the studio so it’s a 100% seated workout apart from hobbling between machines/benches.
That said, we upped the weights and reps a bit and some interval training on the grinder to get my heart pumping. While I’d like to think I’ve been capable of this before, this week was the right time to push me that bit harder. It’s what I loved about supervised training, the person gets to know you and your limits. That’s especially important right now as my limits change so regularly.
My shoulder is still a concern, but it’s finally coming good. Finally got to glove up today and land some punches into the pads. Again still fairly light and low in reps, but to get the pulse rate up and the adrenaline pumping, wow! It really reminds me what I’ve been missing and I know I’ve turned a real corner now as despite still having to make adjustments, I can feel that I’m confident, safe and ready in myself to push myself. That’s kinda handy as the City to Bay isn’t all that far away.
My PT was so pleased I came up with this idea, it’s going to be interesting to see my reaction when I do cross that finish line. It really is going to be the coming together of a lot of hard work, not only by myself but Team Pilko.
Something else that is really encouraging is my PT has indicated that despite running the 12KM leg, he’s going to try and come back and be with me at least part of the way as I complete the 6km walk.
I was only saying to a friend via chat last night, despite the challenging times I have been going through. I really am working with the most amazing people.
This blog is about my journey back to health, but in part it is a testament the hard working, dedicated health care professionals I’m proud to call Team Pilko.