Thursday, January 31, 2013

#11 The Healing Process

So after a month at home with my mom and stepdad, ( I hate to call him that, because he was more of a father to me during that one month than I have ever known, and I now call him Poppy) I returned to Birmingham to live with my roommates. I came a very very long way in a short amount of time, my doctors even raved about my healing. If only everyone had a mommy like mine. Mom did everything for me, it was like I was a small child again, except a lot more vocal! This process was so agonizing. And I am not a fan of pills, so this process for me was more excruciating than it would be for someone who took their pain medicine.

**Fun fact -> Some studies show that pain medicine can slow the healing process.**

I was so excited to move back in to my apartment and be reunited with Brandon and friends, little did I realize on move-back-in day how attached to my momma I had gotten over the past month. I was absolutely terrified. I balled like a baby when she had to go. And independence was a lot harder this time than I remembered it being the last time I moved to Birmingham, five years earlier.

I adjusted. I called mom a lot and spent a lot of time frustrated at myself because I still had a hard time doing things on my own. I couldn't open doors, most less jars or even ziplock bags. I was dreadfully frightened of the kitchen and had small panic attacks every time I heard the slightest sound. So, I started therapy. My doctors told me that I may not need therapy, it was a personal decision. I would have NEVER rehabilitated properly had I not. Heck, I had to have a second surgery and I was taking therapy. Who knows what would have happened had I not been treated properly and neglected therapy! Choosing to take physical therapy and give it my all 3 times per week and do my exercises and rehab outside of therapy, was the smartest thing this gal has ever done!

UAB did not have a physical therapy place that I could treat in so my doctor told me that I could go anywhere. When I asked for further clarification because I had no idea where physical therapy clinics were or if it mattered which one I went to, Dr. Thomas responded, "they'll all be about the same, just pick a place that is convenient to you."

Now, if any of you know me personally, you know that I have been known to have some pretty bad luck. That being said, this freedom of choice that would directly affect my healing process terrified me. I prayed and prayed and prayed that I would find a good therapist and as I went to the gym one day soon after, I spotted right beside my gym, Brookwood Outpatient Therapy. I walked inside and had no idea what I was doing, but without a prescription (because my doctor did not give me one) I stumbled upon two caring wonderful god-sends Mrs. Vivian Williams and Mrs. Cathy Humphries.  With these two wonderful women I began therapy.

Therapy was hard. I am still in therapy. Like I said before, I can not imagine where I would be without it. Therapy helped me mentally, emotionally and physically. And, yes, therapy was expensive. But it is one thing I could not do without. I did exercises as simple as jumping on a trampoline to work on my stamina and my skin graft area behind my knee, and massages that would make me cry. I still do all of my exercises and stretches, 1 yr and 10 months later.

My scar tissue constantly gets tight. (My therapist has warned me that this may be my norm from here on out.) Since the injury I have developed other complications like arthritis, bursitis and thoracic outlet syndrome due to the trauma that my body has experienced.

If you are going through this know that you will need a strong support system, mine was my mom and my, now, husband (the Brandon dude I keep referring too). It is not easy and can be discouraging because progress is very slow, like "turtle" slow! But keep your head high, your hands lifted, claim your healing in Jesus' name, ask for prayer, and do your exercises.

I will post my exercises throughout this process soon! Things I was doing at this point were squeezing putty, doing knob drills (twisting and opening bottles and jars), using the elliptical and doing a lot of stretching and getting massaged. Buy yourself a light, hand-held massager with a rotating head in case whoever you have rubbing on you gets burned out, because it will happen! After 2 years my husband is REAL tired of rubbing my arms. On his behalf, he rarely wines when I ask and I ask almost everyday! :)

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