Today was Hydrotherapy day, the highlight of my week. Don’t get me wrong, it is hard work, but I feel like I am progressing week by week and too see that is a great motivator; plus I love being in the water. I’ve been getting in the pool via the hoist chair, but today Jo (the Physio) said I was looking good and suggested we gave the steps a go. These are very gradual steps down into the pool that span its entire width and there are bars either side to weight bear for hopalongs like me.
It actually took me almost no time at all to get in the pool this way; my balance was good and I felt nice and grounded on my feet, taking some pretty normal steps. Okay, so I was bearing most of my weight through the bars, but it’s still the closest I’ve been to actually walking without the crutches and I think I surprised myself as well as Jo!
The rest of the session was split between 1) my regular resistance exercises – marching, sideways leg stretches and backwards leg stretches as well as a new one involving ‘bum kicks’, with floats attached to provide the resistance. This is harder than it sounds and I did almost ended up being ducked under the water a few times. 2) Walking in the pool with a float for support. I managed a whole width this way AND THEN managed almost another width with no support at all. Yes I looked like a tightrope walker and kept sticking my backside out for some reason (I hope that habit does not transfer to out of the pool walking too) but still, I walked unassisted for the first time in four and a half months 😀
After all that hard work I was hoisted out the pool – maybe next week I’ll try the steps out too, but we felt I’d made enough progress for one day without wearing myself out too much. It’s surprising just how tiring it is. I’m seeing Jo on Wednesday, for a session out of the pool, and we might even be able to get me down to using just the one crutch then. Both physios at the session say they have seen a vast improvement in my condition since I started, which makes me feel really positive about the new medication. Sometimes I feel like it’s all dragging on too long and I’m not really getting anywhere, so when someone points out the changes they’ve seen in you, it puts things into perspective.
We all agreed it deserved a celebration, so I treated myself to an ice cream when the ice cream van came round.
Can’t wait for Wednesday now! 😀