Thursday, July 31, 2008


Getting ready to walk again

Thanks to Matt D for the kick in the pants to do a new update! By the way, he's one of the people who literally pulled me out of the fire. It's great to know that he's still keeping an eye on me!

The past few weeks have been both boring and hectic, which is why I haven't done an update. Plus I also wanted to be sure everyone got a chance to look at the shots of the deck!

Most of my time has been spent stretching and going to various medical appointments. While the long wait at the Doctors office can be difficult, nothing (at least from my perspective at this point in time. :) ) compares to trying to stretch out tendons and muscles that have contracted over the past two and 3/4's years! I hadn't realized how uncomfortable it would be!

I start my day laying on my back with 5 pound weights on top of my legs. After about 15 minutes this gets pretty uncomfortable; at the 30 minute mark it's down right unbearable! It's been several weeks and my left leg almost lays flat with the weights on it. Of course, once I sit up the tendons and muscles seem to go back to their starting point.

I then spend another 30 minutes or so laying on my stomach with the weights strapped to the back of my legs. I try to lift my legs back, one at a time, doing multiple repetitions over the course of the half hour period. Once that's done I then roll up a towel and place it underneath my legs while I continue to lay on my stomach. I stay in that position for another 30 minutes, allowing gravity to pull my pelvis down to the table and increase the stretch. At this point my tendons and muscles, especially the ones where my legs meet my hips, are pretty angry at me. So, I then spend another 20 minutes or so laying on either a hot pad or an ice pack depending on which I think will make me feel better. I repeat this process at least twice a day. If I don't have anything going on I try to get in more stretching time and mix up the different stretches with breaks in between.

Sometimes the ice feels better, and sometimes the heat does the trick. It seems to depend on how much abuse I've given my body. The ice certainly helps the most at the end of the day, while I feel like the heat loosens me up. I haven't really felt much improvement while stretching, but my PT (Renee) has been able to measure definite change to the good! Dr. Ertl has written a prescription for a fitting so, hopefully, that will happen in the next week.

Once the fitting has been done a "check" socket will be made to test the fit. This process takes about a week. If the fit is good then the new permanent socket will be made, which also takes about a week. If the fit is bad then more measurements and adjustments are made and a new "check" socket will need to be ordered. During that time I'll continue to torture myself at home.

The bottom line is that things are moving in the right direction and I should be up and walking again by the end of August! I've got to admit I'm a little nervous about how much endurance I've lost. I'm afraid it will feel like starting all over.

Jeremy- When I think I'm having a rough day, I think about the daily struggles you are dealing with, fighting through, and overcoming, I think about what a wuss I am, and how I really hope, that if it came down to it, I would have a small portion of Jeremy W's strength- You lift me up! Matt D.
What do you occupy yourself with while you are 'letting gravity work'?
And as Matt D. said, why am I grumping over the increasing number of things I have to stretch or work before getting up in the morning. You are putting in more work every day than I do in my twice a week workouts.
It was great to see everyone at the reunion last week. I do hope you noticed that we posted a picture of you from a family gathering in '85 (and we didn't even have one of Sarah that time ; )
I'm sure all your hard work will pay off and it's really going to help you get back into the swing of walking again. I'm excited to see how the surgery helps with that, too.

We had fun at the sprinkler park with Sarah and Maddie last Saturday. I think I got some cute pictures of the kids running around. I loved seeing Maddie running around in her goggles :-D I'll post some on the family website as soon as I get them developed. (yes, I still have one of those old-fashioned cameras)

Hope you've had a chance to enjoy your hammock these last two "cool" days. So when's the next cousin get-together? Just let us know. :-)


Just wanted to say hey :) Haven't talked to you in awhile!
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