Unlike many of my amputee friends, I have never attended formal physical therapy. Don't get me wrong, PT was recommended after my amputation, and I was willing to participate. Unfortunately, my insurance adjustor deemed the sessions unnecessary and denied the request. At the time, I was overwhelmed with emotions, and I just did not have the energy to fight.
If I had the opportunity to go back in time, I would have
fought my adjustor on several issues including PT. Of course, going
back in time is not a possibility, and I need to keep looking forward.
I've been living as an amputee for nearly a decade, yet now I am
seriously contemplating pursuing physical therapy.
I woke up
Monday morning with my lower back in a spasm so severe that I was unable
to move. It took me 10 minutes to sit on the edge of the bed only to
realize that I had no easy method of putting on my leg. Unable to bend,
donning my liner was a feat in acrobatics and contortion that was worthy
of a medal. It took me 15 minutes of slow and deliberate movements, but
I was finally able to slip on my prosthesis for the day.
popped a few Aleve and sat on an ice pack while sipping my coffee, the
spasms began to release. I felt twinges throughout the day, but the pain
did not keep me from going fishing with Robby and working in our
garden. Although the pain subsided, I only have to look to my mother to
realize that I won't always be so lucky.
My Mom has severe lower
back issues. I've seen her laid up for days at a time, suffering with
relentless and debilitating pain. I worry that I inherited her weak
back. The difficulties I encountered when trying to put on my leg while
my back tweaked has forced my hand. I need to become proactive about
strengthening my back before it becomes too late!
Although I have
a good gait pattern, I realize that the fact that I utilize a
prosthesis alters the way that my body works while ambulating. My back,
hips and shoulders all move and bear weight differently than my
bi-legged counterparts. Not only do I need to make sure that my back is
as strong as possible, but also I need to make sure that I am not prone
to stress injuries.
I'm hoping to learn exercises to thwart
future back issues. I know that I can't fight genetics, but I can be as
proactive as possible. As I am approaching 40, I am realizing that I
need to take preventative health measures seriously. After all, I admire
my Mom greatly, but this is one attribute I hope to avoid as much as