You have probably figured by now that I love sports. Yeah, I absolutely love waking up early to go jogging. I also love basketball. I play as often as practical. I am no Kobe Bryant or ‘Mr. Kardashian’ (well, when he is not sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong, figuratively, of course),I dabble. It keeps the adrenaline and endorphins up. Maybe it has a little something to do with all the testosterone I get to float around in when I’m on court with the guys. wink*
Then the diagnosis came, avascular necrosis of head of femur! Oh, and it is bilateral.Damn! Now, I am under strict medical advice to CEASE AND DESIST from these activities. You probably know the details from my earlier posts, constantly adapting part 1 and 2. Basketball is certainly off my ‘to-do’ list. Jogging had to go as well, Lord knows the kind of damage I could be doing to my ‘avascularly necrosing’ femoral heads with my thrice weekly jogging routine. With increased demand for blood by muscles during exercise, jogging really was not a good idea. Basically, the bone is dying because it is not having enough blood and I want to exercise? No way! The doctors are just not having any of that! So these days it is just digiti minimi and her siblings who get to workout, with my constant typing.
Thus, my journey with the physiotherapists began. Yup, remember, Aggressive physiotherapy? I asked about alternative physical activities, immediately the ‘cease and desist’ order was written in my folder. The doctor suggested swimming. Apparently it helps a lot. The whole ‘upthrust thing’. You get a good workout without putting so much weight on your hip joint. There is just this little issue. I have a fear of swimming. This is no phobia. It is a very rational fear of precipitating a vaso-occlusive crisis from the contact with cold water. I am currently on a search for a heated pool in Accra, do let me know if there are any. I already got my swimsuit. (Y’all probably gonna get a pic of me in it when I find that heated pool)
Now physiotherapy has been fabulous, mostly. Its been a love-hate relationship. Some days, I love, most days, I absolutely love to hate it. I already shared some of the low points with you. Before I started physio, I actually thought it will be just supervised workout sessions. Oh, I had it so wrong. There were a few exercises to help improve circulation, but none of the hard core stuff I was expecting. I wanted more. Bring on the real exercises people!
For the longest time, ( it really felt like an eternity) they had me on the fancy machines. I love them, they are great. I have not had any major pain since I started. I get the electromagnetic waves that stimulate muscle contraction and relaxation, helps with blood circulation and apparently, a lot more. Then I do the infrared physiotherapy treatment and I am good to go.
A few weeks ago, two thing happened. 1. I got a new physiotherapist. 2. Physio got physical. Yeah. Just when I thought I was done, Miss new physiotherapist wanted me to do some exercises. I almost broke into my happy dance, but you know we got to keep our act together all the time (Miss Medical student/ the ground under my feet should be worshiped, blah blah blah. ) This new physiotherapist just shot to the top of my favorite people’s list!
It was squats, and another exercise which had me bearing full weight on one limb while I abducted the other, then the stationary bike. Now, technical difficulty. I was coming for my fancy machine physio, and as usual, I was all dressed up. Oh, I really took my time with that. Make up and clothes on point, I was looking good and feeling it. Now you want me to do what? Squats? Thing is, I was in a skirt. A very nice, one at that, some may say tight. Anyways, “ y’all know I ain’t ever gonna pass up on a workout.” I pulled my skirt up and got to it. Mmhmmm!
Oh, those squats. They felt good. I could hear my gluteal muscles saying thank you. (Lmao. This is just weird. Pun definitely intended, please say you get it.) So on behalf of my gluts, thank you Miss Physiotherapist. Of course she is not trying to give me a better looking derriere, but I guess this is what the economists call opportunity cost, or not. Anyways, with the exercise that had me bearing full weight one limb at a time, we discovered that, whereas it was painless on the left, it was absolutely unbearable on the right. Her conclusion, when walking, my left leg is compensating for the inactivity of the right. If we don’t get me to exercising ( using those muscles) they will atrophy. Nice catch Miss Physiotherapist. Really, tell me she does not deserve to be one of my favorite people.
Now the weird thing is, I actually gave my MRI to a sports and exercise medicine physician to review. I just wanted to know if there was a level of physical activity I could get back to. Simply, I wanted to go jogging and ran around on the court with the guys! So he checked it out and he agreed with the orthopedic surgeon in most parts. For, physical activity, he said I could sign up for a gym, that had skilled personnel to cater for my specific medical condition. He actually mentioned the stationary bike and treadmill (set to walk, I have been cleared to walk by the orthopedic surgeons, no conflict there). No kidding, this discussion was on the day before I went for physio and had the therapist start me on actual physical physiotherapy. I did not say anything to her, she just asked me to go do the exercises!
Why is this big deal? Well, I was just considering signing up for a gym on my allowance. Yes. Out of my own pocket. There was no way in hell my parents were going to fund this. This gym with the well trained personnel and equipment to die for is a long way from school. I would have had to fund transportation too and also there is that little thing of finding time within the hectic fifth year schedule to go through traffic just for a workout , then come back to school. Yeah, it was looking very unlikely. Then out of nowhere this Godsend asks me to go workout?
The physiotherapy department is within the hospital, on campus, I don’t have to leave school. The cost? Well, it forms part of my physiotherapy treatment, thus is covered by my health insurance. I pretty much get to workout for free. Technical difficulty tho, since I sneak physio into any free time I get during the school day, and my days have me all dressed and glammed up, I guess it is bring your gym clothes to school for me now. (errmm NO! I actually like playing dress up)
Pretty much, all things working out for my good. Init? It is a mindset thing. This glass is half full. I’ve missed a couple of physio appointments over the past weeks because of my busy schedule. The therapists won’t be amused. If you don’t hear from me, it will be safe to assume they had my head, literally. Will let you know how it goes. For reals tho, I’m gonna get my own physio equipment as soon as I can, that way I can get all my sessions done at my own convenience.