Friday, September 06, 2013
I know first hand how important strength training is to a person's body, and here's my story.
In December of 2011, I slipped in my bathroom, and hurt my left ankle. I just thought that if I stayed off of it, the mending process would start, and I would be right as rain, soon. Well, for 3 weeks I hobbled on that left foot, and when I finally went to the doctor, the VA sent me to a specialist, who put me in a boot for 9 months. Yes, you read it correctly 9 months!!! No exercising at all, as I was told it was a non-weight bearing injury. The last 3 months of me being in the boot; the boot and I started physical therapy on an out patient basis, at the Dublin VA, which is about and hour and 20 min. from where I live. I went 3 days a week to physical therapy, and I kept doing everything that they told me to do, but it just didn't seem to be helping.
Now, I'm going to fast forward to 07 Sep 2012. That's the day and the VA released me from physical therapy and said that I was good to go. They told me that I could run, jump, do cartwheels, and even go back to Curves. On the drive home, I was talking to God, and I was really excited about the fact that we, God and I, were going back to Curves. I was just praising and singing to God, all the way into town. Now here's the kicker. That's the day that I was in the car accident, 2 miles from my home. There was no Curves, there was no anything, except an ambulance ride to the hospital about 35 minutes from my home, and 6 months in the hospital.
I was bed ridden for the first month an a half. Then I went to a rehab hospital and they started teaching me how to get into a wheelchair and go from the wheelchair to other surfaces. That's when I first noticed the importance of strength training. Whenever I would go to get back into my bed, it was up hill. My arms wouldn't hold my 388 lbs. to get me up that board and into the bed. They had to get Big Bertha, that's what I called the machine, that picks you up in a sling and puts you on the bed, to get me up out of the wheelchair and into the bed. How mortifying was that!!! Physical therapy set out right away working my upper body, in order to help me get around from the wheelchair to anything else, and slowly but surely, IT WORKED. I was able to pick up this massive body and propel myself up the board and into the bed.
Fast forward again, about another 2 months. That's when the surgeon told physical therapy to start getting me up, so I could learn how to walk, again. When the therapist asked me to stand up, using my good leg, I wasn't able to do it. Try as I might I just didn't cut the mustard. The therapist asked me if I had physical therapy on that leg for my other injury and I told her yes. She asked me to explain what they did with me, and when I told her, she asked certain questions, which I had to answer no to. The final verdict was the VA didn't strengthen my upper leg, they just worked on my ankle and foot, and my muscles had atrophied.
Here I was starting again at square one, just to strengthen my leg muscles, so I could try and stand up. I still wasn't able to put any weight on my right leg, and it had all kinds of pins and rods going in and out of my leg and foot, with a 25 lb. halo surrounding it, to make sure that I didn't injure it, nor anybody step on it.
Well, it took another month of strength training, but I did stand up for the first time, and I was ecstatic!!! I remember asking the therapist if I could stay up as long as I could and of course she said yes. About that time I looked down and my leg was shaking something fierce along with my arms. I told her that I needed to sit down. I had amazed myself, just by getting up on that left leg, and when I asked how long I had stood up, the therapist said, "36 seconds." I shot my hand up to God and screamed, "HALLELUJAH!!!" "That's the longest I've stood in 4 months!!!" I was very pleased with what God and I were doing together.
Yes, it was a long hard road to travel, and I'm still going down the road, but I'm in much better shape than I was before. I do have my ailments and times, when I'm still not able to stand up and have to revert back to my walker, but God is so good and He's blessed me immensely and He isn't finished with me yet!!!
Thanks God, for getting me through all of the times when I knew I couldn't do it without YOU!!!
- Nancy Jean -