My leg's condition hasn't changed in the past couple of days -- the left knee and foot still hurts, but I'm hobbling around with a cane, slowly and painfully. Like House, M.D., but without as much attitude.

I've been getting the laundry done at a glacial pace over the past few days. Going up and down the stairs is still a dicey affair for me -- I swear I need to move to a ground floor apartment -- and every load of laundry requires me to walk up and down the stairs, usually laden with a laundry basket. Not fun. So I've been doing the laundry piecemeal over the course of several days, and it's very slowly getting done.

This morning I went down to do a load, and after I walked back up with a basket of clean clothes, I was so exhausted and in so much pain that I knew there was no way I was going to make it to physical therapy this morning... so I called and cancelled. My next appointment is Tuesday.

I've been doing the exercises at home that they have given me, so I'm not shirking, I just don't have the energy and drive this morning, and the pain is too great. That's one of the biggest problems with my physical condition right now -- leaving the apartment has become so much of an ordeal that I can't always do it when I need to.
Didn't get laundry done last night, but that's OK, I'm doing it today.

Left the apartment today for the first time in almost a week. I'm ambulatory again, albeit slowly, painfully, and with a cane. Took the first load of laundry downstairs, and then took the bus to my property managers' and paid the remainder on my rent. As of this moment, I'm square! No money owing, no excess paid (I accidentally paid ahead last month), and no outstanding late fees. Wheeee!

Went to Rite Aid to pick up a cheap door mat for my porch, and then went to Physical Therapy. Unfortunately, no hunky Viking med student this time. :( As I rode the exercise bike, I told my PT about the problems, and she told me to put off the squat exercises for now, and showed me some exercises I could do in bed that don't twist my knees. (I'll post the illustrations later.)

Then I had lunch, the first solid food I've had today. A new diner has opened up in Sehome Village, so I thought I'd try it. Had 2 big pancakes with butter and syrup, corned beef hash, some fried potatoes, a fountain Pepsi, and lots of water. Portions were bigger than expected, so I boxed leftovers to take home for dinner tonight. The food was good, but I don't recommend going in during the lunch hour right now -- waaaay too crowded, and the staff seems a little overwhelmed. Food was fine, but I didn't "get" the "hot sauce" which seemed not unlike homemade pureed jalapenos... meh...

Went to Haggens, got some cherry juice, milk, butter, etc., then took the bus home. Went to the laundry room to do the next load, and then struggled up the stairs.

Ordered a new pair of Propet walking shoes from kingsizedirect.com. I desperately need a new pair, since my pronation has worn down the heels to the point when it's exacerbating my walking problems.

Prices have also gone up for size 16 wides -- cost me $80 (incl. shipping). That's disappointing, but I couldn't not get them.

Next crisis: Keep the power from being turned off, and then try to figure a way to pay my DNS registration for kevyn.com. It expired yesterday!
kevyn: (depressed)
( Feb. 25th, 2009 08:08 am)
Yesterday's physical therapy really upped the soreness level of my feet, ankles and knees. I'm having more trouble than usual standing and walking. I'm sure this is normal from after a physical therapy session, starting to move parts that have gotten a little rusty. But this is made worse by the fact that I have NO OTC painkillers left. No Alleve, no aspirin, no Tylenol, nothing.

I don't get my monthly benefits until the 1st, and am broke until then. I really, REALLY desperately need some muscular-skeletal painkillers.

Please, can anyone help me?
kevyn: (Default)
( Feb. 25th, 2009 07:36 am)
Yesterday, I went to my first state-mandated physical therapy session.

Since I am having difficulty standing and walking -- the pain in my knees and feet is fairly intense, about a 4-5 on a 10-point pain scale, and rising to 8 (or higher!) when the gout kicks in -- and this is preventing me from working, the state has mandated that in order for me to continue to receive benefits, I must go to physical therapy.

So, I'll be going to physical therapy twice a week for the next few weeks. Fortunately, Bellingham Physical Therapy is near my home, in the same strip mall -- Sehome Village -- as my grocery store, Haggen. That's convenient!

Being forced into PT is a good thing. It gets me out of the house, it forces me to get some exercise, and, of course, the exercises are supposed to help me stand and walk freely again.

I am sure these people at the physical therapy place don't quite know what to make of me. The Physical Therapists (PT) are people who are all about movement and physical fitness, and here I am, the complete opposite: laziest, most sedentary slob they have probably ever encountered. Most of their clients are people who were injured on the job, or have suffered sports injuries.

Me, I'm just a a giant fat guy whose knees and feet are giving out, because of his sheer size and sedentary lifestyle.

Still, I have to admit I enjoyed the session. Bellingham Physical Therapy is a teaching institution, where student doctors come to get hands-on training for PTs. My PT was a handsome and buff young guy (mid 20s?) from the University of Idaho named Jon. Originally from North Dakota, Jon has to be a Swede -- very pale, blue eyes, blond hair and eyebrows, just a few shades redder than Albino, fine pale hair on his well-muscled arms, nice big package. What can I say, he made for nice eye candy. Not my usual type, but very pretty to look at. Oh, please grow a beard and take me, you handsome Viking.

While he examined my knees, legs and feet, determining which bones and joints were causing trouble, a senior staff member sat in and watched him work, occasionally asking questions of me. I got the feeling she was kind of disgusted by me, having let my body go to waste like this. He did a much better job of hiding his judgements than she did. Whatever.

After the examination, they determined what the course of treatment would be. The goal is to get me ambulatory again, though exercises and weight loss. The gout will have to be taken care of by my MD, and I need new shoes and orthodics, but they can help with the arthritis in the knees, the knock-knees, and the ankle weakness. Since walking is my preferred form of exercise, they are striving to get me walking actively again.

After showing me some exercises they want me to do every day -- and I will! -- they said they were starting me off slow and would work me up into a more rigorous regimen over time. They've scheduled me to come in twice a week over the next few weeks, and since my medical coupon covers it, it's nice -- kind of like going to a gym, except that I don't have to pay for it, it's not super overwhelming the way a gym is, and I have hand-on personalized attention every time I go. Which, for me, may be exactly what I need to start getting exercise.

After the session, they put me on the stationary bike for 15 minutes, and told me they wanted me to do this for 15 minutes each time I come in. Okey by me, it felt a lot less stressful than a gym. Then they gave me the standard lecture about the dangers of smoking, and sent me home.

We'll see what happens over time with this!
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