Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Long Road to Recovery

Holy crap! This is the EXACT outfit Phil would
wear at my PT sessions...
3 months, 13 days and 16 hours.  That's how long it's been since my fateful slip on the ice while looking for a Christmas tree.  Until last Thursday, I was still in physical therapy, finally finishing up to the point where the Executioner, ahem, I mean Phil said there was no more that PT would or could do for me.  Now to be fair to me, I didn't start going to physical therapy immediately after my accident.  It was almost 6 weeks after the accident before I had my first consultation with Phil, but still, I was going for almost 2 months, or 13 sessions.

The day after my accident, a friend recommended I go see Dr. Lawlor at the Rehab Doctors, so I called to make an appointment.  I wasn't able to get in for 5 weeks, but I kept the appointment just in case.  I was glad I did, as while I was healing well at that point, I still wasn't where I wanted or needed to be.  So, after the assessment by Dr. Lawlor, where he cranked and yanked around on my knee and he asked me questions regarding my hobbies and activities, he sent me to see Phil Busching at ProMotion Physical Therapy.

Phil (and his wife) have been as close to mountain biking celebrities in the Black Hills as anything we've ever had.  They're both great cyclists and ambassadors for our sport, though they are probably the opposite of being a Not-so-Serious Cyclist.  So, when I was told I was going to see Phil, I was excited and nervous at the same time.  Excited to get going on working on my leg's rehab and nervous 'cause I was going to get my ass kicked.

And holy crap was I right.  Without getting into detail of the minutia of our first visit, I'll just say I pretty much had my ass kicked every week (sometimes twice per week) by Phil.  While the others in the PT room, which was more like a torture chamber for me. were working on light stretching or possibly some strength work in a light, controlled fashion, I was usually a sweating, heaving mass gasping for air.  It was more akin to a cross-fit class than what I imagined PT to be like.

I accused Phil of just making stuff up with the other therapists to see if they could get me to do it.  I'll give you a couple great examples.  The first one was sitting on a rolling stool where I had to use my legs out in front of me to pull myself around the room, holding on like I was on a bucking bronc, having to weave around people that were stretching and conditioning while lightly chatting with their therapists as I left a trail of sweat in my wake.  The other one was having to balance on one leg on a high-density foam pad and touch a couple of points either out in front of me or one in front and one behind me with my other foot.  I was tipping and falling all over the place and generally looking like a buffalo trying to balance on a small rock.  And until the end of my visits it remained that way until I saw something beautiful to me.  ProMotion is also the official PT of the Rapid City Rush hockey team and there was a Rush member in there balancing on the pad touching the points with his other foot.  And guess what?  He was falling all over the place!  YAY!  No, not yay because he was falling, but because he's a paid athlete and was having the same difficulty I was.  Maybe they secretly record us doing these things to get on America's Funniest Videos or at least YouTube.

Needless to say, I'm SUPER excited that I'm done with PT, although I'll secretly miss my Thursday torture sessions.  I am thankful that I had someone like Phil be my physical therapist (this is starting to sound a bit like a bromance).  He understood what was needed to get back on the bike and it has worked.  I just hope I NEVER have to see him again, and as fast as he is on a bike (and as slow as I am) I probably have nothing to worry about.

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