Thursday, May 20, 2021

physical therapy

I just did my physical-therapy session. It was hard, as well as a learning experience. I was acquainted with many different exercises, and I received a lot of practical advice. So let's run through what I learned. 

I went through two sessions, the first more demanding than the second. In the first session, I was seated at a table and given a bar to hold horizontally in both hands. I then had to do something like a pushup motion, but forward in front of me instead of facing downward and pushing against the earth. This was hell on my shoulders, and though the therapist asked me to do thirty sets of ten "pushups," I managed only fifteen.  (In my defense, the bar was heavy!) Next, I had to do eighty sets of ten-second squeeze-and-holds with a spring-loaded grip-strength device in each hand. I had to do this within five minutes, but I didn't manage more than 60 sets. All of this was hell, though I admit it beat lying in bed.

The second session took place in a gym-like room. My therapist for this session was a friendly twenty-something guy who proved quite helpful. We did some exercises involving sitting down and standing up; we did some stair work with a step stool, and we finished with a 26-minute session on an elliptical. I've always liked ellipticals and rowing machines; I think they're far more entertaining than your typical treadmill. Overall, this was a much more pleasant session. 

So I now have a small repertoire of exercises I can perform at home or in a nearby park where we have gym equipment. The bar exercise can be converted to pushups; the grip-strength exercise can be converted to any number of other grip-strength exercises. Stair work is just stair work, so I'll already be doing that daily. The stand-up/sit-down exercise is something I can do at home, and it's probably the only exercise for which I can't think of an analogue. As for the elliptical, well, we have a bad elliptical in our park, but it'll do. A good elliptical usually has a fly wheel; the one in our park doesn't. But the park elliptical will allow me to perform the necessary motions, and that's what counts. 

Overall, I'm glad I went through this physical-therapy session. I now have exercises that I can do over the next few months in the hope that this will help my brain heal and allow me to regain some function. In the meantime, I'm focused on getting the hell out of here. Tomorrow is my final day. 


Daniel said...

Sounds like a full-time regimen. Had no idea the exercises were quite so demanding! Fingers crossed for a complete recovery.

Kevin Kim said...

I had no idea, either. But I think the experience was worth it.

John Mac said...

It's good to have a roadmap of helpful exercises to go with your diet plan. I know you are looking forward to regaining your freedom. Hope the hospital exit goes smoothly. Mine took hours and hours because of some glitch with my insurance. Good luck!

I don't think you've ever detailed the level of your loss of function physically. Is it a feeling of weakness or an actual limp?

Kevin Kim said...


The stroke was so minor that I might be able to get away with seeming stroke-free even among people who know me.

I walk slowly, but I'm curious to find out whether I can go faster with a cane. No limp, per se, but I do go kinda slow. That would be the big giveaway that something's wrong.

Daniel said...

No visible impairment is definitely a good sign. Any word on what is causing the leg issues or specific leg rehab exercises?