This week my family has proved the adage that timing is everything.
The day after my final physical therapy appointment the tables turned. Fewer than 24 hours after my final appointment I became the “healthy” one and my husband became the one with a mobility challenge.
I sustained a separated pelvis during childbirth in January 2012. On August 24 – four months ago – I had a pelvic reconstruction surgery. After surgery I spent nine weeks in a wheelchair with absolutely no weight-bearing allowed on my legs. Then, came 17 physical therapy appointments that helped me rebuild the strength, stability, stamina and stride that I had lost over all of those months.
My last physical therapy appointment. My last appointment for anything related to my injury. That means according to modern medicine I am completely treated. What a crazy thing!
I will continue to make progress beyond this but from here on out it is up to me to do the work. There won’t be someone to remind me twice a week to reflect on what I’m doing now that I didn’t a few short weeks ago. Or challenging me with new, harder exercises.
I’ll miss going to those appointments. I got to know the women of Rebound South during those eight weeks and I saw them as allies in my recovery and in motherhood. I know they’ll be there if I need them, but I’ll miss celebrating those small victories with with them in the future.
The day of that final appointment the weather was a mess. Our town had gotten its first snowfall. The roads were yucky and the atmospheric pressure had completely changed really quickly. I was achy and kinda freaked out. I hadn’t done anything to make myself hurt this much. And it didn’t feel like the pain of over-doing it.
I told Amy that I woke up feeling like “i have the flu in my pelvis.” You know that really uncomfortable, all-over ache that comes with a really, full-on case of the flu? I had that feeling all concentrated in my pelvis. It wasn’t the same burning, stinging feeling I had before surgery at all. It was an ache like the one that I used to get in my knees when I’d go out dancing with friends and then wake up too early the next morning.
Amy did her thing. She explained in her super-calm, reassuring way that I’m going to be a human barometer now. “You’ll know something’s coming way before the weatherman,” she said. I’d heard that before but I think I figured it was a wives tale. She said she thought the same until she started working with clients and noticed it really happening to people.
She said I will feel in more this winter than I will next winter but it will always be there some. The change in pressure causes inflammation, so that feeling is similar to arthritis. Heat can help it. And, she reminded me, it was good that I was still in therapy the first time it happened so that I could know that it was totally normal.
Before I left I asked a few questions. What should I do to get ready for our first real hike? What makes sense as far as distance early on? When can I wear pretty shoes (heals)? What should I watch for when I start that yoga class? She had answers for all of them. I knew she would. I left feeling overwhelmed with the liberation of leaving it all behind us. It was an incredible thing.
Less than 24 hours later my husband was in a walking boot and crutches.
I’ve gone from not being able to carry my son to the only parent who can carry him. From not being able to bend over long enough to buckle him into his car seat to being the only parent who can stand there at all.
My husband put up with the pain in his foot until I was well enough to handle whatever came our way. Now, we will both be mended and ready for spring. I lot of my confidence about that is thanks to my kick-ass physical therapist. THANK YOU, AMY!