October 02, 2008

physical therapy: progress report

so i've been going to physical therapy for the ol' ankle for about a month now, and it's been going really well. i do feel like a bit of a poseur when i'm there, because i'm technically fine - i'm not in pain; i haven't sprained it RECENTLY so it's not stiff or swollen right now; i have nearly full range of motion, even in the bad ankle - and a lot of other people there are in actual pain, or can't move their shoulder or whatever. and then i show up, waltz in, and do my little exercises for 45 minutes, and skip out. i mean, it is still legit: i had virtual no lateral muscles left in my ankle (which is apparently why it kept collapsing. who knew!) and without the therapy, i'd continue to sprain it over and over. still. mine is basically preventative PT, and most other people there are there to fix injuries.

anyway. my therapy is focused on building strength in my ankle (and calves and quads to help protect my ankle from taking the fall, so to speak) and improving my balance and proprioception (n, Physiology: awareness of the position of one's body). the exercises have all been fairly tame so far - i stand on a wobble board for 3 minutes, for example, or stand for 30 seconds at a time on my bad ankle, on top of a halved exercise ball (harder than you'd think, fyi!) - in other words, difficult-ish, but nothing over the top.

well. i apparently graduated to the next level of ankle therapy this week. they took all my normal exercises and made them crazy.

one of my staples is looping a theraband around my good ankle & a fixed pole, then standing on my bad ankle and doing little kicks with the theraband-ed ankle to increase resistance (which forces the bad ankle to continuously adjust and correct - proprioception!). except this week, i had to do that while standing on my bad ankle on a block of squishy foam. HARD.

it doesn't look like it should be hard, which is why it's even more embarassing that i was weaving all over the place like a topheavy drunkard.

or the wobble board one? this week i had to balance on the wobble board, while throwing one of those huge exercise balls at an angled trampoline. which, of course, means i had to catch a huge exercise ball bounced back at me, while on a wobble board. wtf.

or previously, i'd done squats using one of those same balls wedged in between my back and the wall. i love doing squats like that. it's WAY EASIER than normal squats. know what's not easier? doing squats while balancing on a halved exercise ball.

MUCH FLAILING. and i fell off like 4 times, too. i think there was some snickering.

i didn't know there were going to be level changes at ALL, and now i'm worried what the next level is going to be. balancing on one leg on foam while someone lets a hive of bees out around my head? squats on an exercise ball while a 40lb monkey scampers all over my body? IT COULD HAPPEN.


  1. Ha
    I'm sorry


  2. You have some serious skills.

    Man, all this talk of exercise has made me tired.

  3. I'm guessing we could all use some ankle physical therapy.

    Good luck!

  4. I don't know if I'll be able to type, I'm laughing so much. I totally love your pictures!

  5. I thought this was suppose to be physical therapy not gymnastics class.

    And your pictures? Awesome!

  6. Oh my god, your illustrations are so fantastic!

    I don't think I could do ANY of those exercises with a normal ankle.

  7. Some of these therapies sound like activities in which you could sprain something! Ironic?

  8. nice illustrations! i love the bosu ball.


    Ha! Ha ha!

  10. bwahahahahaah! I loved the illustrations!

  11. Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.

  12. Um, yeah, that shit looks pretty hard to me.

  13. I hope you were laughing while you were flailing (or at least falling!) because you sure cracked the rest of us up. ;)

    I wish my foot pain would go away, but it's back to some of its worse stages, which is NOT helping me in my 5K project with the other Derfwads. *sigh* Nor does it allow me to join in any "save the ta-tas" events, like the big one on the 18th in DC that I keep seeing advertised. (I live about an hour north of you.)

  14. I year and a half ago, I did therapy for my knee and it was very similar. I'd breeze in, do my stuff and go. I had those band exercises too.

  15. Your drawings are most excellent. I think you have a second career ahead of you in case your office job falls to the wayside. What? I'm just saying.

  16. I LOVE the illustrations, especially teh flailing.

  17. I can't' wait to see the illustration of the monkey! :P

    Maybe some of the other people are in there for preventative or reoccurring problems too. Are they doing similar exercises?

  18. Hi Alice sweetie,

    I hate to be so bold & blunt, but I good thing for ankles and knee's in simply to lose weight.

  19. GW Mush,

    a) just curious, is it uncomfortable with your head wedged so firmly up your ass?

    b) please stop coming here.

    Rainbows and hearts,

  20. So it's like... a Wii Fit, but harder. And more of a pain. And probably more expensive. Except I assume insurance pays.

  21. Ahh, ankle physical therapy! I remember it....um, not fondly. Although at the end of mine, they put this electric stimulus thing and ice on my ankle, which sounds awful, but felt like heaven!

  22. Late in coming to the party, but here I go:

    I think that physical therapists have some kind of uber mean streak where they sit around in their PT meetings dreaming up new ways to torture their patients (and give themselves something to laugh about). Maybe they have prizes. Or play Bingo: whoever can get their patient to balance a plate on their head, WINS! They make you do some seriously weird stuff.

    Go TEAM ANKLE!!!