The Katmah Experience

living and learning one day at a time.

Learning to walk again.. slowly but surely.

Today is the first day I’ve been able to walk almost… mostly… normal. Me being me I’ve been pushing it a bit. And regretting that. However, I have next to no limp today and that has lasted longer then it has previously (Friday was max 5 minutes before I couldn’t move again, today is close to 2hrs of limp free ambulation!).

I’ve been able to start doing some isometric work with the injured side, to try and maintain the muscles I haven’t used at all in the past week or so. Awesome how fast strength disappears, isn’t it!  My strength in my ankle went from a 2/5 earlier in week to a 3-4/5 by Friday. The rest of my leg is a slightly different story. I can’t really maintain any position against gravity from my knee up right now. I tried this morning to hold my leg up (while laying in bed) and resist gravity’s pull, that idea lasted for about 5s until I watched my leg slowly but surely lose the battle and sink back to the bed. Meh, gives me something to strive for I guess.
It’s slightly weird to have gone from leading such an active life, and getting excited about things like running hill intervals, or getting a pb on my Oly lifts in between work and classes to getting excited about being able to straighten my leg while standing on it, or move my ankle pain free. This has definitely been a lesson in patience, and seeing how much most people take for granted those basic human abilities (like being able to walk, run, drive, move…). I had a similar experience when recovering from my concussion, although that was more just plain frustrating to go through as it wasn’t an obvious injury to anybody else. This, at least, people can see the disability. And I’m very thankful it is a temporary disability and that I’m surrounded by many people who are more then willing to help me with things in the meantime.
Other then leading an extraordinary gimp life, school has been going well the past few weeks. I’m starting to fall back into the routine of studying and immersing myself in my course load. While the first few weeks were full of anxiety about falling behind, I’ve found my tempo again and my classes are all covering very inter-relatable material which makes studying much more time-efficient in many ways. Right now, I think my favourite course is rehab- mainly because it involves many ideas that I’ve always been keen about in this profession. Specifically, a key focus of the course is being creative and designing rehab programs suited to a specific client’s goals and sport. It’s a course where there are many right answers to one question, and is very much about being creative with programming.
A close second favourite is Ergonomics/Applied Biomechanics. The course content is pretty heavy, but the ideas the course has inspired is what I love. The prof has also taken an interest in some of my ideas relating to my Equestrian Training programs, and suggested we pursue some research ideas I’ve had. These ideas all focus around the forces a rider’s body experiences while in the saddle (most of the current research is focused on the force a horse’s body goes through). I love that I have people within the Faculty that I can bounce ideas for my class off of and get great feedback.
Speaking of my class, it is also going really well. Tonight we did a HIIT style work out, one that I didn’t have to demo anything for. 20 minute sets of 15 squats, 10 TRX body rows, 5 TRX push-ups, and 5 burpees. It’s great to see the participants improving already even after just 3 weeks, and get good feedback on the home program I designed. They are always full of great questions to ask me, and thankfully my education has backed me up with some good answers to give.
 I’m very excited for when I am back in action so I can start teaching some of the more specific exercises I have come up with. One specifically targeting stability for the rider when taking off/landing from jumps. I know I’ve had issues in the past (and still do) of getting ahead of the horse, or falling forward upon landing. The stability needed in the rider’s body to resist the pull of gravity is something often talked about, but not often addressed in training. I’ve come up with a couple exercises (integrating plyometrics and stability) to combat this habit many riders face, and am really excited to see how they work out when put to action!

During my clinic shift a couple weeks ago with Claude, I got the opportunity to do a assessment on a client coming in with knee pain. This is the second full assessment I’ve done this year, and I already had a pre-existing phobia of knees.. plus this is the first assessment I’ve done where Claude chose to pull up a chair and ask me all the questions (examples: “what muscle is that you’re palpating? Why did you do that test? Etc.).
Fantastically nerve wracking.
Anyway. I stumbled my way through my history, and ROM testing. Client was having pain around the patella, and described it as sometimes feeling stuck or blocked if she sat for too long. This all started a few weeks after she had been in a car accident. There was noticeable bruising around the knee, and minimal swelling. During the postural assessment I ran a full squat test (after standing there for a few moments being confused as to what to do next) and noticed that her entire upper body fell forward going into the squat and her heels wanted to lift off. Cue Claude asking “Ooooo so what could be causing this?” and me feeling stupid for the next few minutes. Right, tight hip flexors and calves. Here is where I really started to lose my mind. For special tests I decided to run a Clark’s and a Apley’s, after ligament testing of course. Claude had stepped out for a minute at this point, and I completed the tests once only to realise that I had done them on the wrong side (I had flipped the client over for Apley’s and gone brain dead apparently), #awkward. However, when Claude came back he didn’t realise either- or possibly he was just playing dumb to give me a chance to save myself….Clark’s was okay, as was Apley’s. Sweet.
From here I went into palpation, with a complementary anatomy quiz from the peanut gallery (thankful I aced this). Tender through the calves (achilles on the injured side was a little puffy- something I probably should have noticed during postural observation, quad and IT also were tight. A case of tight muscles pulling the patella out of whack, me thinks. Claude agreed (yayayay) and I got to do the rest of the treatment (quick massage for IT/quads and teaching stretches for the lower body) before she had to run to a vball practice. This was the same client who had come to us for a concussion initially- an assessment I also did- happy to report that she has been symptom free from that over the following weeks and has been able to progress back into her sport. Kinda cool to be able to follow a clients progress over the weeks consistently!
Anywho. Another week starts tomorrow, I am hoping to be back at MORfit working the desk for sure as the resident gimp this week, as well as the Older Adults class and lab demo-ing for P&C. And of course spending many a hour with my favourite AT working out the kinks and bruises in my leg. Ciao!



4 responses to “Learning to walk again.. slowly but surely.”

  1. Thinking about you. Glad to hear you are slowly recovering. 🙂

  2. Wishing you speedy recovery!
    As awful as it sounds I think it’s good for the rehab professional or even an instructor/trainer to experience some of the hardship clients go through. I had my right leg in plaster 8 times hip to ankle due to knee injury that was continuously misdiagnosed. I had to re-learn to bend my knee and feel your pain when you say your joints/leg doesn’t want to do as told…In hindsight it gave me a lot of understanding of clients with knee issues and joint stiffness.
    All crossed for good rehab for you 🙂

    1. I completely agree! All the injuries I’ve had have made me a much better service to my clients in the long run. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway, it definitely almost makes the rehab process easier! Thanks for the well wishes!

  3. I know how you feel about having to take it easy… I’ve had probably about 6 months in total of no driving, physical activity or really much independence! You certainly do learn to appreciate the little things in life…Good that you’re getting better!

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