It's a gorgeous sunny Sunday afternoon. But, it's really too warm for me to want to be outside. I prefer sitting in the living room, curtains closed against the heat, fan blowing mostly cool air. After church, Kailyn and I went to Costco, and a garage sale, then home to do . . . not much! I read for awhile, thought about maybe getting something accomplished, then decided I'd rather not be too productive. Tomorrow will be time enough for that, as I'm heading into my classroom to get it ready for Open House this Thursday. Makes me tired just to think about it! Fortunately, Kailyn and my sister are going to be my "movers and arrangers" and hopefully, I'll stay in director mode and not mess up the progress I've been making in my recovery the past few days. (More on that later!)
When I wake up on Monday, in my mind I'm thinking it will be sort of a practice run for when it's really back to school. I'll do my "laying down" exercises (I guess they will be with me for a couple years, or so I've been told!) then make a decision. I'll either read the paper while I have a cup of tea, or start the rest of my exercise routine which begins with hopping (not exactly a "hop") on my bike and pedaling for 20 minutes. Then I have a whole new set of muscle strengthening exercises (which are mostly not very fun, as my muscles aren't working very well!) which take about 20 minutes. I am now expected to stand on one leg, with knee slightly bent (which my new knee hates, by the way) for 30 seconds. It's impossible without holding onto the counter, and dropping my good foot on occasion, just to keep myself from crashing to the floor! That "slight" bend is a killer! I can manage it with my knee locked, but the PT doesn't think that's going to be helpful (and even I know she's right!) I'm also supposed to do more mini squats, then practice sitting and getting up with no hands. Sheesh, I'm finding this a serious challenge! Oh, and modified "bridges" while on the floor! I was amazed but I can actually get down on the floor, and up again, not very gracefully, but able. The good news is that these and other new exercises are actually working to strengthen my muscles, and I've been walking practically like a normal (slow) person without my cane for most of the past two days. (picture a really old lady . . . )
Anyway, all this exercise stuff is adding an hour to a morning routine that wasn't there last June. I'm kind of freaked out about getting myself to work on time. Especially since it still takes me about twice as long to do pretty much anything! (remember, really old lady style)
While I am definitely a "morning person" I am not a fast morning person. I honestly don't know what I do with my time, as my working day habit is to get up at 5:15, and I am usually rushing out the door at 8:00. I putter and putz around, leisurely read the paper, eat breakfast and pack my lunch, start laundry and generally just fuss around the house. That was before I had surgery and now have this new and revised exercise program to cram into my morning routine. Several months ago, I went to an aqua aerobics class at 6 am three days per week, and, while I'd like to get back into that, I feel responsible to also do the required physical therapy activities. The pool isn't going to give me the same sort of exercise/stretch/strengthening as my PT has assigned. Oh, what to do, what to DO?
I was complaining to my husband on the way to church, as I held an ice pack on my knee (because I ran out of time to ice before church) about having enough time to get ready when school begins. He said, "Is there any rule that you have to exercise before work?"
I thought a minute, then said, "No, but after I exercise I have better movement, so I think it helps me to exercise in the morning, and again do at least some of them in the afternoon or evening."
So, my pragmatic husband said, "Well, exercise in the morning then." Case closed, conversation over; we were in the church parking lot anyway.
It is my standard MO to fret and stew mightily about that which I am concerned over. Which, is why I'm writing about this fear right now, as it's much more satisfying than discussing it with David! He's a good husband, but a man of few words, and virtually no worries. (Sometimes, I just hate that about him!)
Maybe I just always have to have something to worry about. (Someone in this family has to do it!) Last week I was freaked out about the infection on my scar (which did turn out to be just fine, although I still can't go back to the pool until it's completely healed), but for some reason, after my massage on Wednesday and then physical therapy session, I could hardly walk. It hurt worse than it had hurt in the first few weeks. When I went to the doctor on Thursday, they were worried, so I had another x-ray and had to wait around to be worked in for an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot. Two and a half hours later, thankfully, everything looked fine, but that didn't make walking any easier. I was really struggling and doing a bit of unladylike cursing and banging my cane against inanimate objects in futile frustration. Friday afternoon at physical therapy I kept crumpling whenever I used my surgery leg for steps or standing.
Imagine my surprise when I found myself walking decently Saturday afternoon! I am convinced it was the new and improved exercises I'm being forced to do, and even though they're still difficult, they seem to be working on those wimpy muscles! Ya-hoo! Today I've not had near the pain, and only crumpled on my way out the door to church. (another cane bang!) David told me he noticed my foot was a little crooked when I stepped down, so maybe that's part of the problem. Since then, I'm making more of an effort to walk and step up and down with my foot straight. Duh! You'd think I'd have noticed that before!! (Well, Mindy did notice at PT, but the problem is I don't notice!)
So, I'm a little less stressed at the moment, thinking about going back to work. I think I need to relax my grip on wanting to get back to the pool until I'm walking consistently well without my cane. That means I need to make the time for the exercise program in the morning before work, and just know that it's what I have to do to experience success on this recovery journey. And, I maybe need to quit whining, and worrying, about the whole time situation. It will be what it will be. I will survive. If I don't get it all done before work, it will all still be there, waiting for me, when I get home. Maybe, I need a new mantra . . . Fret Not