I think it was the leg press that did me in today in physical therapy. I used to be able to do 120-150 lbs on this, at least with both legs, but it’s going to take quite a while to work back up to that — today I was doing “two cords” on the PT leg press (about 60 lbs) with one leg at a time for three sets of 15 each. It was the only exercise that felt like normal exercise and was restful for me to do, though by the end it was really sore. Those leg extensions with 5-lb weights strapped on (3 sets of 20, holding for 5 seconds, both legs) also are making themselves felt in my quads, which do need strengthening.
One of the hardest things they do to me in PT is when the calf is supported on this U-shaped block thing and the therapist pushes down on the thigh just above the knee, forcing the leg to stretch straighter. The leg is suspended in the air and I feel the stretch behind my knee the second she starts working on it. I will not be upset when this is over.
The worst part of PT is having to do the blue-foam-pad thing. There is a fancy name for it but basically I’m standing on this blue foam block that’s about 2″ high, holding on to a bar with my hands and watching myself look stupid in the mirror. The bad leg is standing on the pad and the good leg is off the ground. The goal is to bend the bad knee so the good foot is touching the floor. It sounds good in theory but in practice I just despise it because my knee does NOT cooperate — I can feel the bone on bone crunching and it’s like cogs on a wheel slipping as the knee moves position. Getting the ice wrap thing after is a relief.
I only have one more authorized PT session now and I think I’m about as better as they can make me. I can’t walk as far as I could before and although I can go up stairs, I still can’t go DOWN stairs like a normal person. The knee is just going to take more time to come back more than it is now, if it does. I haven’t technically been cleared to go back to the gym yet but with only one more PT session left, they have to let me go soon. That will help me get the endurance back for walking and let me MOVE again on a more regular basis.
Plus it will save me $15 per visit which will be handy with Christmas coming up.