Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Physical Therapy: Who Needs It?

Yesterday afternoon the physical therapist that the hospital sent to me finally showed up. She asked at one point when I'd gotten out of the hospital and I said "July 25th" and she said "Oh!" as in "Oops, I'm a bit late getting here." She took my vitals (BP 100/60, pulse 84, oxygen 98), talked to me for a bit, commented on how good it was that I have a walker (sitting right now in a corner of the dining room because in the living room it got in the way of seeing people sitting on the other side of it—not so good for conversation), and asked for a tour of the house. I showed her around so that she could see if there were any dangers to my health, and also so that she could see that I could walk around. I told her I'd done the laundry a couple days before, my one concession to my current state being a folding chair that I sat on to sort and fold. I showed her the bench in the tub, which is, in fact, convenient because I don't get worn out at all sitting and can take a much longer shower which feels so good, still, after 3 weeks without one. She asked a bunch of standard questions: Appetite? Good. Edema? No. Fallen? No. Go outside? Yes. Pain? No.—then asked if occupational therapy had come yet.

"No," I said, "and actually, they called this morning to set up an appointment and I called them back and told them not to bother—that I was really doing just fine."

The PT said "yes, I was going to suggest that you didn't need to see anyone. I'll let them know back at the office too."

Finally, she asked me to stand up off the couch without using my arms—I'd explained that the only surprising weakness I'd felt was trying to get off the boat on Monday evening and finding I could barely step up the two feet from the deck to the side—but I was fine getting off the couch and she recommended I just do our stairs a couple times per day. "You are doing better than 99% of the people I see," she said, and took her leave.

Of course, today my first return chemo finally caught up with me and I spent most of the day lounging in bed reading David Sedaris, but I'm all set to start doing stairs tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

99% my ass! She was just afraid to say it like it really is: "Calin, you're doing better than any other patient I've seen at this stage in a decade. Keep up the good work and quick healing!"
--Cousin S.