AN UPDATE TO POSTPONING ITALY FOR 2016
In April I started to think I’d made a mistake in cancelling my trip to Italy. I was still well ahead of schedule in therapy, the doctor and therapist were amazed at how well I was doing and how quickly. So well, that my therapist and I did quite a bit of work on balance along with strengthening my left leg. He worked on things that he really didn’t have to but was willing to do, for which I am grateful.
I have quite a bit of trouble with balance due to the MS and have fallen quite often in the past few years. We discovered that both legs, but especially the left, was very weak. I had not been able to lift my left leg more than a few inches off the ground for several years. This was due in part to the Quadriceps being very weak and a form of spasticity that is common with MS.
Spasticity is one of the more common symptoms of MS. Spasticity is a muscle control disorder that is characterized by tight or stiff muscles and an inability to control those muscles. … is caused by an imbalance of signals from the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to the muscles.
I went to Rehab for 5 months, twice a week. Towards the end I was able to go to the gym on days I didn’t have PT. When I graduated from Physical Therapy I was SO excited. I could not only lift my left leg almost a foot off the ground , but I could hold it there for few seconds!!! This was huge for me. I could also lift it while I was sitting down, something I couldn’t do at all before. I was able to go up stairs normally, instead of leaning forward holding on to the stairs, or going one stair at a time. My balance improved tremendously. I was walking much better than I had in many years. I still lost my balance occasionally, but because of the increase in muscle, I was much better at righting myself and not falling. Yippee!!!!
I was so lucky that I had a therapist that ‘got’ the MS and understood the problems it caused and was willing to work on things with me, and teach me the right, wrong and and different ways of doing things. Yup, I was very, very happy when I graduated from rehab. Things were looking very positive.
I was excited to test everything out on a vacation. Despite having to cancel Italy, I wasn’t going to stay home and not take any vacation this year! I scheduled a trip to Boston, MA and New Haven, CT for the first week of July. (Oh, and I walked 65 miles in 4-1/2 days in Boston, and 31 miles while in Connecticut! I was happy with this) Before I left, surgery was scheduled for the right knee to be done 2 days after my return, mid-July.
Right now, I am 5 weeks post op on my right knee. It isn’t going as well as I had hoped it would. I am told I need to learn moderation in my therapy, what’s that? and to be patient – something anyone that knows me knows I am NOT!
The knee certainly isn’t completely healed yet, and that darn quad muscle needs a lot of work. I have to be very careful how I step on it as it will give out on me.
There is no way that I could have gone to Italy in a week. My decision to postpone was the right one.
When will I go back to Italy you ask? My goal is the Fall of 2017.