It's a phrase that gets said a lot around here, even though our context has nothing to do with the movie by that name or the sport/story behind it. It's just a catchy little shorthand that's far more entertaining than saying bend that right knee over and over. Time for a little update on my favorite PT patient.
He's doing great.
He kicked the walker to the curb about ten days ago and the cane which replaced it only lasted two or three days. It's just him and his new knees now, both getting stronger every day. Too bad I didn't get a photo of him with his sporty copper-colored cane.
He's still doing outpatient therapy although starting this week it will be twice a week instead of three times. He starts each session now with 15 minutes on the stationary bike. It was really hard to force the pedals all the way around the first time (last Monday), even with the seat pushed way back, but he's gained enough additional flexion that it's easier now. Well, it would be if he could keep the seat in that far-back position but, of course, he has to keep moving it up as part of the effort to get the knees to bend more. The girl who teaches my strength class is always telling us It doesn't get easier; you just get stronger. I think that saying or some variation of it applies in Wayne's case too.
And after the bike and thirty minutes of torture exercise therapy, they work with him on the practical side of rehabilitation. Like walking with a normal gait. For two years or more he's walked stiff-legged, swinging his right leg around with each step because it hurt to put weight on it bent. Now he's having to break that habit and that's just what it is...a habit. The therapist walks behind him, reminding him with each step to bend that right knee. Hence, the catch-phrase at the start. He's getting better at it but it isn't totally automatic yet.
They do stairs too. More re-learning...and trusting that the knees won't hurt with each step. There are only two floors in the rehabilitation institute but they go up and down that flight of stairs multiple times each session. It was five times on Friday. Some of the guys in our gang of friends joked the other night that they couldn't do five flights of stairs and they don't have knee problems.
One of the things we're working on at home is building up his endurance when it comes to walking. Obviously, we started with short distances...a lap around the driveway or up to the corner (the width of our yard plus two more). Today was the longest walk yet; he covered 1.25 miles.
He's still doing his five sets of home exercises every day and spending time on the tailgate of the pickup with weights on his ankles, swinging his legs. When he attended the pre-admission class, the person who covered physical therapy told him he wouldn't be retired after the surgery. He'd have a job and that was to exercise because surgery alone wasn't going to give him back his mobility. And while he joked the other day that at least with a job he had the weekends off, he's taken this job very seriously. And all his hard work is paying off.
I don't see any soccer balls in his future but he's getting that "bend it" thing down better every day.