Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Freedom Milestone

I've been slave to the calendar. Those squares with lots of room to write down reminders have been filled with the tyranny of medical appointments. Mostly PT.

Those 8 AM ones cause sleep deprivation. (OK, it's the pain continually waking me, the dog thinking it's play time all night long and determined that bouncing on me will convince me too, that are the primary cause, but I otherwise make it up with a nice post-breakfast nap. Maybe two.) Can't sleep during PT. The 2:30 PM ones cause overheating while the world and the car bake in the sun, especially while I'm banned from getting really wet. The 11 AM ones promote poor eating because it's too easy to hit a fast food joint on the way home because, hey, it's lunchtime.

Yesterday was my last formal PT appointment. Like the first, it's mostly an evaluation of where I am, measured against my "should" status. I went in to that one determined that if they wanted to add more appointments onto my schedule, they damn sure better be persuasive.

I've met my goals, at least the ones that I believe can be met. I've given up on any kind of PT being able to relieve that nerve pinch every time I bend, straighten, or sit. For that matter, they don't do surgery for that either, with the reasoning that any further intrusions will only create more problems. Time, that's what they say. Maybe in the next year or so, when the swelling should finally be gone, whatever is pushing on that nerve will have shrunk out of its way. At any rate, no reason to continue PT.

Despite that nerve, I can straighten that knee to fully straight, or zero degrees in their jargon. I don't do wonderfully in pulling the leg back into a tight bend on my own. Those muscles have done a bang up job of keeping that knee locked straight so I could walk for ten years or so, so I have to work on them. But with a little warm up and the assistance of either my elastic strap or my therapist's hand, it can be bent to 120 degrees. Satisfactory, in other words. For now.

Personally, I find the way they measure the angles to be weird: diametrically opposite the way it works in math. Their zero is a straight line, better known as 180 degrees. And 120  degrees is an acute angle, thirty degrees sharper than a right angle, or better known as 60 degrees. Ultimately it doesn't matter what they call it, as long as they agree with me that my reachable goals have been met.

And they did.

So the calendar is empty now, right?

Wrong. The surgeon has one final evaluation, and the cardiologist needs his 6-month visit. But those aren't until next week.

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