Have been doing my physical therapy each morning like a good little patient. Making sure I spend time walking throughout the day, do some gentle yoga a few times a week on my non PT days. The more I move, the better I feel. Standing around, sitting around only makes me stiff and uncomfortable.
My PT Danielle has still been out sick after her trip, so I have been bounced around to whomever is available in the meantime. I’ve seen some assistants, some PTs, and then last week none of the openings would work with my schedule, so I did my exercises on my own, and scheduled a deep tissue massage.
Now this is no foo-foo spa type massage, although I enjoy those too – but a deep tissue massage to really get the muscles, and more importantly the nerves to release. I was a mess, holding lots of tension deep in my muscles from months and months of pre-op sciatica spasms, and then the whole post-surgical lock down of all the muscles trying to protect my back. Chronic pain will do that, you just tighten everything up without thinking….but at some point it needs to release. Jerry spent a good hour and some change starting with my feet and working up to my shoulders and upper back. I had knots deep in my calves, thighs, hips, butt, and beneath my shoulder blades. He was able to get most of them worked out, but it left me with some pretty tender spots for a few days as they healed. I’m feeling better now, but anxious to get back to m PT appointments with Danielle. Hopefully no more last minute cancellations for her.
I’m anxious to work more on flexibility and strength building – I know I need the core strengthening and stability, but I’d like to work on rebuilding strength and flexibility, and find some things I can integrate into my preferred yoga and walking and spin bike work – rather than just the clinical do this many reps of this particular exercise. I know I need both, but I’d sure like to feel like I’m adapting to real life again.
I’ve also been preparing to get back to soap making. I need to order a few oils and supplies, which I will do this week, and then hopefully next week I can make a batch or two of soap. I made the decision not to do any craft shows this fall, which feels a little strange honestly, but I knew I needed time to heal completely. My intent was that I could then take the time this fall and winter to stock back up on soap, and be ready for spring without all the normal chaos of trying to squeeze it in. I have a couple orders for Courageous MRKH soaps that I need to fill, an order of foot cream I need to make, and then just start working on restocking and getting caught up on production for spring.
I feel like I’m making good progress, able to think less about the specifics of recovery – and more about what my future looks like with a fused spine. How to regain my strength and flexibility, and get back to “normal” life again. I’m a week shy of 3 months post op, so about 12 weeks post op now. You know you are far enough down the road to recovery when you think of how many months instead of weeks! I’m feeling good. Still have some tired and sore days, still have some days where the nerves are pissed off and I’m uncomfortable. But they just serve to remind me to be kind to myself, use my ice, rest when I need to, stretch when I need to, and MOVE when I need to – and to rest.