Saturday, October 27, 2012
Just checking in to say hi and let you all know that I started physical therapy this week (Thursday). It's for my knees and shoulders so maybe I can get better range of motion and actually do some more exercise than I've been able to do so far. The therapist mostly did evaluation of what I can do, but she said I was doing the right kinds of exercises and to bump those up from 3 reps to 4 and she added a few new ones to strengthen my knees and quads. I wasn't in any pain at all during my appointment, but later that evening I hurt so bad I couldn't do any of the exercises--just took a hydrocodone and went to bed. Yesterday still sore, but avoided the chemicals. Just couldn't do most of the exercises. Today I did the workout and had the shakes by the time I did the last rep. I have another appointment Monday (I'll go twice a week for an hour each time--eventually I'll get some water exercise too). She gave me 3 new exercises for my knees, but I can only remember 2 of them.
My memory just isn't much good sometimes. I used to joke after my mom had her stroke and say "my mom had a stroke and it affected my memory." But it's the truth! After her stroke, I was her sole caregiver nearly full time and was stressed much of the time, worrying that she'd be ok. It did take a toll on my own memory and, of course, Mom's memory was severely affected too. We used to laugh about it together--that we were both having lots of 'senior moments.' I can still laugh at it some, but I do work to improve my memory and work to hold off any further memory loss. I am committed to working through the exercises I'm given though--I need to regain my ability to move.
I also tried driving earlier this week--drove into town for a hair appointment and took a scenic drive afterwards for about an hour before heading back home. My shoulder didn't hurt at all, so that obstacle apparently is healed. However, with my knee problems, I had a very hard time getting in and out of the car--getting in was easier than getting out. My car is a Buick Century and the seat is quite low. There's also quite a high threshold to get my feet up over when getting out, so my car is just too low. But at least I am able to drive again. I also have trouble getting into my husband's car (an Explorer), because it's so high; even stepping up on the running board is too hard on my knees. So to start with, we're going to be selling my car and then looking to trade his in on one vehicle we can both drive. A mini-van would be perfect, or possibly one of the new crossover vehicles. We'll see. We're both retired so money is a factor too as we live on fixed income. But driving myself into town felt WONDERFUL! It's so good to regain even some of my independence.
Another high point this week was Thursday night. Our club had the big annual "welcome back" dinner to welcome all the snowbirds who are returning to the desert for the warm winter. Soooooo many came up to hug me and tell me how great I looked!! I was starting to hurt from therapy in the afternoon, but felt so high on compliments that I was able to ignore it. In fact, two friends have also joined SP after hearing about my success here, and a couple of others have started their own weight-loss programs because I inspired them. Let me tell you THAT was a wonderful feeling!!
This weekend we're finally having our yard landscaped, after living here a year and renovating nearly the entire house inside and out. They came today to put in the drip irrigation system and will come back Monday (while I'm at therapy in town) to put in the plants. I'm such a control freak, I want to be here to be sure they put in the right plants in the right places, but I guess I have to let it go until we return from the appointment and hope it all comes together OK. It will be nice to have some color and pretty plants to soften the desert look here--no lawn, just lots of shrubs and flowers. It IS the desert, after all, and water is getting more scarce all the time, so we chose mostly low-water plants. The only exception is hibiscus--I just love those and they're putting 4 of them in along our front patio. We honeymooned in Hawaii and I fell in love with hibiscus over there. Red ones are my favorite so that's what we're putting in, and I'm told they love our hot weather here too.
I'm still trying to get a recent photo on here to show my progress to all of you. Maybe this week I'll get that done. I've gotten very good at avoiding cameras for years, so I'll wait until my hair looks good, but it's moving to the top of my 'to do' list.