29 December 2010

How to Prepare for Physical Therapy

My first time at Physical Therapy was not a pleasant experience.  I went in expecting something on the order of a massage but instead felt like I'd been tossed overboard somewhere near Iceland.  Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but it sure didn't feel therapeutic.  The last 15 minutes, I was hooked up to an electric shock contraption that looked like it was from the 1960s.  The PT had to sprinkle water on the attachments to make it work.  If I could have run, I would have been soooo outta' there!  To make matters worse, he covered it with the coldest ice packs south of Santa's workshop.  After my first experience, I learned to better prepare myself for the next time:

1.  Wear long pants, but be sure they stretch over the knee.  I wore capris for the first visit, which worked out just fine, but jammy pants or yoga pants were more comfortable.
2.  Eat breakfast.  I got a little nauseated the second go round, and it felt like a low blood sugar thing that could have been resolved with a piece of candy, instead the PT decided to fix it via a strange head-lock maneuver that is "popular in New Zealand."  Weird.  
3.  Hide some form of entertainment in your pocket.  I watched the clock for fifteen agonizing minutes of pure frostbite-worthy "therapy."  After that, I learned to keep my iPhone in the pocket of a fleece vest so I'd have a distraction from the pain... and it was fun to take pictures of the ancient equipment to post to Facebook.

My only other advice for post-op recovery first timers ~ Pain pills.  Double if necessary.  I tried to only take them "as needed," but taking them more often helped keep me exercising and decreased my recovery time.  .. and talk about some good sleep!  It's Plain & Simple As that.

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