Graduation to further recovery

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on August 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

It has been nearly six months since I fell and fractured my patella.  I had no idea when I injured myself of what a long road of recovery would be required, and of how many challenges I would face.  Six months of being less than fully mobile is a very long time for anyone, but a dramatically long time for a person (me, for instance) who is typically active in a vigorous, daily fashion.  My emotional survival has often come under question, and my physical recovery has been challenging far beyond any expectation.

My surgeon “graduated” me from his care this week.  Until our final meeting, he had never seen me move. He had seen me in a wheelchair, on the operating table, and on an examination table.  Given his limited observation of me, I dismissed his dire predictions that I would never walk without a limp nor ever run again.

On our last visit, my surgeon (who, by the way, did repair my patella with great skill) asked me to stand and “walk” in a very small space.  I literally walked in a very small circle.  He pronounced that to be “good”.  He did not ask if I can walk down stairs, run, do Gyrotonics, teach a full schedule or ride a horse.

My point is that the surgeon doesn’t see the patient in a full-time function fashion.  The full function recovery is up to the patient.

What has worked well, thus far, in my recovery is ignoring dire predictions, diving into as much activity as I can manage, with Alexander principles applied, finding PT’s who think beyond mechanics, and trusting that the resources available from my extensive professional contacts will yield far more than the standard recovery protocol.

Alexander lessons, osteopathic treatments, acupuncture and Gyrotonic exercise, in addition to intelligent Physical Therapy, have assisted me.  I have no idea where I am on the spectrum of standard recovery from a patella fracture.  I am walking an average of 3 miles every day, teaching a full schedule of Alexander lessons, and vigorously exploring Gyrotonic routines.  I cannot yet run, walk down stairs in a normal way, sleep comfortably or claim that I am pain-free.  Pain continues in a random and frequent fashion.  I still don’t recognize myself in my current level of challenged mobility.

Still, I am recovering, not stuck, and will continue to improve with intelligent PT, Gyrtotonic exercise, acupuncture, osteopathy and, most enduringly, Alexander principles, until I am functional and mobile to the degree that I consider full and acceptable.

I am much better than I have been and hope to be better than I am, with the expert support of all the good people who guide me, and with continuing thoughts of dynamic non-interference, and of up, forward and wide!

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