I have been walking around the house more and doing much better! Today I went to the warm pool over by the zoo where my new PT has a group session. Adventure out on the 23 bus. The pool staff I got to on the phone (2 different people) could not tell me anything about how to get there by bus, where the bus stops were, whether there were sidewalks or what.... Totally new concept I guess. It is partly a rehab pool and partly a place where people take their infants and toddlers for swim lessons. The bus ride was pleasant - not crowded and one of the old-style lower buses with the fold out ramp. The rehab/rec center is sort of a whole complex, like the nicest possible community rec center. there are gardens and gyms and other things like art rooms and i think maybe some domestic animals. So it is a place where if you live in a group home I think you get taken there by bus.
The pool was super super nice. it even has a window that looks out over the lake merced area. it was Actually Warm, over 90 degrees, and the entire room and locker rooms were also not uncomfortably cold for me. I have never experienced that outside of a spa. The PT was nice. The group was him, two of his surfer friends with injuries (one who is recovering from a high spine injury), an older guy with sciatica, and an older lady who has been going there for years and mostly hung onto the edge. I was so excited and happy to be able to move around well in the water and stay in for long enough for it to be worth the entire trip. (Unlike ymca where it is so cold i can't stay in very long) That said I would still love it to be EVEN WARMER. When i got out I started shivering and my teeth chattering though I wasn't uncomfortable in the pool. Maybe as I get more in shape I'll be less cold sensitive.
I did lots of work on gait and walking around, sideways, backwards, doing squats, and some sort of arm lift with a kickboard that strengthens your core muscles. I had great trouble keeping my back in the right posture but finally could feel how it should be. I have forgotten how to walk right and be correctly upright. My pelvis just doesn't want to do it. Weird. I found this unexpectedly upsetting. It felt amazing to be exercising though.
As I was leaving the locker room filled up with old ladies with obvious bad hips or knees and they were very nice and cheery. i could maybe eventually go to their class. I started crying though a few times over today. I had complicated feelings as it pointed up to me that my situation kind of sucks. There were like 30 women older than me hobbling around with canes but they all walked into that complex somehow from a car or bus, went up a hill or a ramp and (harde than it sounds) got undressed and were prepared to do it all again in reverse. I could imagine 3 years ago before my ankles blew out that I could have daringly parked close and walked in, maybe. Now I can't imagine that and wouldn't be able to do it in the manual chair either. I guess the old ladies in my comparable situation might not have had the resources to get to the pool at all. But, the ones who were there, I can't keep up with them. I know it isn't about compareing yourself to anyone, but because I stick to the same routines.... sometimes some of these things aren't obvious to me.
i woudl like to go to this pool as often as possible !!!!!!
I am dreaming of being able to take a month or even 2 off work (i woudl totally do it unpaid leave) and swim every single day. But, what if I did this, and then fucked myself up worse, or, without it being my fault had some sort of flareup and then was off work and still unable to rehab properly? I think I could do it though. Even if I messed it up I would still be stronger and maybe my bad leg would not go off the rails so often. i thought of all the times i have been on medical leave or been super messed up and not been working. always, as soon as possible I was working again (or, in school and working part time) I think there were a couple of months in 2002 or so when i didn't ahve work, still had childcare full time, and drove around and wrote a lot of poetry. Other than that I have never been able to make the space to do lots of PT.
i am still super healthy1 which is so lucky. like my cholesterol and blood sugar and blood pressure and organs and everything work fine. well except my stomach. other organs fine. i should swim all the fucking time!!!
it was glorious to walk around and feel my legs do al the things. i am sore now but didn't damage anything. it is like actual muscles being used sore. tomorrow wil be v. stiff. nothing is spasming, popping, or grinding, or feeling "stuck" (I'm looking at you, right big toe) . other than my bad leg nerve thing, which isn't any worse than it was yesterday or this morning. buzz buzz.
my book The Pain Survival Guide: How to Reclaim Your Life, which I am halfway through and like very much, has a chapter where it reminds us that our pain is not interesting to anyone but ourselves and we should not talk about it all the time and not complain. Other than this chapter the book is brilliant. on the other other hand, other than here or to Danny I don't go around describing my pain. I don't think. i have tons of other kinds of conversations and listen to people a lot. danny says he does not mind and we can commiserate on our ailments and i certainly talk with him about other things too. so, good. and, take that, pain survival guide.
I felt very grimly determined but also this time, more hopeful than usual that I can make the effort and stick with it, at least once or twice a week. maybe then take a month off in the early spring and try to strengthen up? is this an unthinkable plan? i will ask my doctor what he thinks in a few weeks. i know i can't take medical leave to do this because obviously, I Can Work. i thnk that i will work much longer in my life in general if I take time out and successfully strengthen up.