Now that I have been in PT for a while and we have taken care of getting me stronger in general, we are focusing our energy on improving how I do basic everyday movements- like walking up and down hills and stepping up and down curbs. They have this nifty wooden contraption that is part platform part ramp. My first exercise was to walk up the ramp, turn around on the platform and then walk down. It went better than I thought it would so I was pretty pleased. Then I had to step up on the “curb.” It was a big’un! I started out strong, but lost my balance half way up and started flailing my arms… and hitting my physical therapist in the process! Sorry Sierra! The rest of the exercise she chose to keep her hands very close to my shoulders and hips and adjust me when needed. Things wrapped up well and neither of us got hurt.
Today I had to do it again, but 2x as many reps. Thankfully we used a slightly shorter curb to step up and down. Not flailing and not hitting I was certainly tired at the end of my ramp and curb work, but was still able to wrap things up with 10 minutes on the treadmill getting up to 1.4 MPH. Woohoo!
I was able to put the work into action right away when I went to the post office. Normally when I have to step up a curb in a parking lot I put a hand on a parked car. Tonight I decided to put my new skills into action – also the car I would have put my hand on had someone in the passenger seat. I squared my feet to the curb, lifted my cane, right foot up, then left foot up, and with totally solid footing I walked into the post office. The coolest part about being stable the whole time I did this was that a person walked in front of me when I was stepping up (it was a double sidewalk so it’s not like this person was going to run me over). Normally having someone walk near me when doing something that requires balance throws me off my game, but not in this case. They walked on and so did I. Leaving the post office and stepping down the curb was just as successful. I was in full control the entire time- it felt wonderful!
Next step- going up and down (plural) steps!