Thanks, Cleo and Krista, for the encouragement about PT. You were exactly right, today was just the evaluation, as you said.
First off today, I received an email with an invitation to participate in something BIG that made me feel YIPPEE ...I was feeling just your basic joy.
On the way to PT, we stopped at the post office and a feller standing inside asked me about my neck since I was wearing my Aspen collar. He had also broken his neck and had had a regular type fusion and wanted to tell me about it. And of course, I told him my story.
I got the hospital where PT takes place, and explained my injury to a gal in a wheelchair who was there because she'd pulled a hamstring trying to get off a nervous horse real quick.
Next, I retold my entire injury and medical journey to the wonderful therapist, a man about my age and very wise, I could tell. He kept saying, "YOU are going to be a challenge!"
He had me walk for him a bit and stand on one leg, then the other, with eyes shut. He said my balance isn't that bad. Then, he had me sit up on the examining table with my legs dangling and he put his hand first on the inside of one foot, asking me to hold, with the strength in my lower leg, against his pushing hand. The therapist repeated it with the other foot, very gently, then observed that I have weakness in the legs, which I could tell, as well. But that pushing against his hand caused soreness in my surgery area, the lumbar.
Well, he set me up for twice a week, just a half hour at a time, taking it really slow and me dictating how much we do or don't do. I walked gingerly on the snowy sidewalk to join Pete in the truck, and he shared some mail with me that was good news and made me gleefully shout, "Hallelujah!"
Do you remember, gentle reader, when I told you about the difficulty I have if I bring up any energy, excitement or what I also call my "lifeforce?" How it causes all kinds of neurological pains and stuff?
I could not get home soon enough, and I grabbed two ice paks from the freezer on my way to the guest room. With the toe of my left foot, I turned on the small stove-space heater (whose buttons are down near the floor) and then crawled into bed with strategically-placed ice paks.
I couldn't take my pain meds, it was too soon for that. But the ice helped a lot. I fell asleep right there for about 90 minutes and got up and sat in the living room, where I started having horrid lancinating pains in my right forearm. My husband and I talked it over and chalked it all up to being excited and happy, plus retelling the injury/horse wreck story three times, in addition to the lower leg pressure test at physical therapy.
I'm all better now and vowing to write down a list of reasons to have the fusion surgery, adding how tragic it is that I have to pay for any joy-filled enthusiasm!