Off to Gleason’s Gym …
I’m off to Gleason’s Gym today for the first time in a while. PT has been helpful in bringing back a good portion of my range of motion and strength, but I’m about to put all of it to the test when I work the speed bag for the first time. Since I’m still only at about 165 degrees (should be well past 180), it’ll be an interesting challenge to say the least.
More than anything, I’m looking forward to seeing my trainer, Lennox Blackmore, who is himself coming back from knee replacement surgery! Talk about the “blind leading the blind,” but given my state of things slugging s-l-o-w-l-y will be just about my speed.
Coming back from any injury is never easy. If I can use mine as a case in point, I will note first off that as savvy as I thought I was about what the surgery and recovery entailed, I truly underestimated how much it would affect my life and how long the process would take.
Setbacks also happen–thankfully not in all cases, but in when they do, as in mine when my shoulder “froze” it may mean adding months to the recovery process.
Losing the use of one’s dominant arm or other part of the body that is intrinsic to normal functioning for several weeks also takes its toll physically as well as psychologically. If one has been very active, the sight of one’s clipped wing or damaged leg is no fun and no matter how many pep talks one gives oneself, there are those moments.
Mine came when my physical therapist demonstrated an exercise on my body that I literally could not do without his help. It was about 12 weeks into the process and there was something so visceral about not being able to do a movement that had seemed so simple that it released the flood gates of pent-up feelings about the experience.
It was certainly a “first you cry” moment, but in the parlance of my grandmother when it’s all over you wash your face and “do.”
Those cathartic moments are likely a component of any recovery process and if they happen, there’s nothing wrong with giving into it until one can shake it off to go back at it the next time. In my case, I was able to do the movement on my own at the next appointment – and I will say it remains my proudest moment in PT.
The fact is as great as orthopedic medicine has become the aftermath to surgery entails a bit of a slog to get back to full physical health.
As experiences go, however, it is certainly far from the worst that life has to “offer,” and each bit of progress brings one that much closer to the goal of regained strength and mobility–all it takes is perseverance, consistency and patience!