Saturday, June 22, 2013

Home Physical Therapy and Nurse #NSFT

After each surgery I inevitably grow concerned that all the couch potatoing and sleeping will add up to some additional L-B's.  After losing a couple last Friday with the amputation  and spending the last six months losing weight and changing my diet  the last thing I want to do is pack on some additional weight.

Especially now that I'm down one less leg.

I started below-knee amputation exercises on my own, but they focus on strengthening my right leg.  Nothing that got the ol' heart rate up. 

Enter Olu, my home physical therapist.  After our first session, it's apparent that I'll be sweating my weight-gaining fears away.

One of the many exercises we did involved balancing myself on a large inflated ball while playing catch with Olu.  He'd throw a ball to me above my head, to the right or left of me, or low in front of me.  I'd have to catch the ball while maintaining my balance.  This did a great job of working my core.

I can already see the comments from friends about how awful and uncoordinated I am at these types of activities.  No drops.  Might have to start calling me "Hands," because of how consistent I am out there.

Olu also scared me (in a good way).  We went around the corner and tackled the stairs.  Going up was a cakewalk.  But going downstairs with only one leg on crutches  I haven't been that frightened since going seven days without filing any paperwork, if you know what I mean.

I mean pooping.

Let's talk about one-legged wall squats.  It makes perfect sense that my right leg needs to be strong.  But this was one of the hardest exercises I've ever done.  Try it at home without falling.  Two sets of fifteen.  Tough!

As hard as this physical therapy session was, it was much needed.  I'm no longer worried I'll put on a permanent fat suit while sitting at home with one leg.  Olu gave me homework, too.  So I'll start hitting the gym between our visits.  

Exercising and physical therapy will be my sole focus while I heal and wait for my prosthesis.  A lot of amputees go crazy waiting for their first leg.  I think this is going to help divert my attention and better prepare me for my first leg on August 1st.

Earlier yesterday we were also visited by our home nurse, Che-chi.  She's from Nigeria and had an awesome personality.  We've had a great run of high-quality nurses!

The leg looked great.  The yellow coloring is left over from the betadine used during the operation to keep the skin sterilized.

The leg looked great.  We've been very impressed with Dr. Attinger's work.  Not only does it look good, but it feels great, too.  I've still not had much pain  including nerve or phantom limb pain.  I am so thankful for that.  It was the biggest unknown going into the amputation last week.

This remains my favorite angle for a picture of my stump.  It's what I see when we remove the dressings.  It no longer feels abnormal or surreal to me.  This is now what I look like.

Here's a picture of the bottom medial side of the residual limb.  The incision site is doing great and healing nicely.  There was a little bit of swelling at the bottom of the stump, but nothing too severe or noticeable.

Here's a shot of the lateral side.  There wasn't as much lighting so we had to use the crappy flash on my phone.

Here's a close-up of the incision site with my good camera.  I'm starting to get a little excited that we might get the sutures removed earlier than scheduled, which means I might get to walk sooner than expected.  But let's just keep quiet about that for now and hope the recovery continues to go as well as it has.

Finally, I did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit last night.  I was pleasantly surprised with how insightful and thoughtful the questions were.  It was a great experience and I got to talk with some people going through similar situations.

Again, I can't thank you all enough for the awesome support.  Of all of my surgeries, this has been the easiest recovery so far!

Of course, I've got more posts planned.  Keep following me on Twitter to get some teasers on what's coming up next.


  1. So much good news! Glad your recovery is going well and that you won't be donning the fat suit! If only you could train Spunky to throw so you could play catch with her and work your core simultaneously. That would be awesome. We love the updates and the totally cool close-up photos.

  2. Great news! We are so happy that this recovery is the best by far. We continue to pray that everything keeps going smoothly. :-)

  3. Physical therapy plays very essential part after a surgery because stretching is very necessary after any type of surgery. They are doing good job.
    physiotherapist bergen county , physical therapy bergen county

  4. I'd have to catch the ball while maintaining my balance. This did a great job of working my core.bendchiropractic