Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dan climbs new rehab heights: Stairs

At least my therapy staircases are quite straightforward.
Today marked at new height in my rehab here at Plainfield's Aristacare Norwood Terrace.

Now that the amputation stump has healed and is shrinking nicely and the blood sugar is under control, attention focuses more on my PT (physical therapy) and OT (occupational therapy).

OT tends to focus on my balance issues and practicing on these and combinationa of manual dexterity useful in daily life -- such mundane things as handling kitchen items and navigating the bathroom. Among the challenges are catching and tossing back a medium-size beach ball while standing on one foot. Quite interesting if you've never tried it.

The PT exercises are focused on building up muscle strength and endurance in my wrists, arms, shoulders and both legs (I work the stump as hard as the good leg). I won't be a Mr. Universe, but I am getting some real muscles, what with the addition of weights and other measures to increase the resistance for muscles.

PT also takes care of my daily walking -- or hopping -- with a walker. Time is spent learning not to hop and land hard on the good foot, but rather to glide to a soft landing. I'm now up to about 200 feet and feel good about that.

Today, we began what might be the final level -- climbing stairs with one crutch and a railing.

While I have previously undertaken the small staircase in the therapy gym (five or six steps), I had specifically asked my therapist Brian if we could do real stairs.

'How many floors would you like?' was his reply.

We used the fire stairs at the back of the building which provide three floor of unobstructed staircase.

I was able to do a single floor today, with a couple of wobbles. But just doing it at all means the rest is practice, practice, practice.

And that one gets good at around here.

No matter how good I get, though,
I doubt I'll ever be as graceful as Loretta Taylor
was on each week's TV show.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Dottie Gutenkauf said...

Dan, don't try to get out and get home too fast--it could be dangerous. Stay there in therapy until THEY (not you) and your doctor say you're ready to go home. Then get your doctor to give you a script for followup outpatient therapy 2-3 times a week--there's a very good Kessler branch in South Plainfield on Oak Tree Road in the same complex as other medical offices and the Bank of America. It will really help--the therapists are terrific.

And take care of YOU. Slow & easy does it.

Jackie said...

Dan - After visiting, I so admire the way you're taking the challenges ahead of you. Your spirit and attitude speak volumes. You know you have my best wishes for continued progress in PT and good health ahead!

Tina Renna said...

I own a dress similar to that one, if you'd like I can walk the stairs along with you to offer some some commic relief. You sound amazingly strong. All the best.

Bob said...

Good luck, Dan. I'm glad you're a fighter, as if your blogs didn't show it.

Anonymous said...

Loretta Young has nothing on you. You've come a mighty long way, since mid February...

Anonymous said...

"Relativity"--love Escher! Good for you, Dan!


Nellie said...

Wonderful Dan! You are in my prayers daily. Nellie

Dan said...

Tina, wouldn't that be a great snapshot for Charlotte's photo album?!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan, great to hear from you. And not for nothing, you'd look much better in the dress than Loretta.

Anonymous said...

Dan,I only had knee replacement surgery and my rehab was easy compared to what you are doing.Another good place for rehab is JFK for they are "tough" there and that is what most of us need. My prayers are with you!
Margaret Lewis

Anonymous said...

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that you're fighting to get back to "normal"...whatever that was or is :)Stay strong, take it easy and hope to see you out and about soon. Jo-Ann & Ken B

Anonymous said...

Dan, so glad to hear your recovery is going well. As a diabetic myself I know of the difficulties we face. Take it one day at a time and take care of yourself, follow your doctors directions and all will be fine. Much Love, Health and Healing. Be well my friend, continually in my prayers.


olddoc said...

Shades of Escher. One of my favorites also Belvidere, and Waterfall. May all your steps be upright.