Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Update 9-16-09

I meant to post this last night but I got too tired and fell asleep. Things have been progressing nicely with my physical therapy and Friday I was given the OK to drive again. The car needed a little work and I took care of that Saturday with a friend at a Self-serve shop here on post. Since then I've been driving myself to wherever I need to be.

Friday's physical therapy appointment not only allowed me to drive but it marked the 4 week mark since the surgery and meant that the physical therapy can be taken to the next stage. It's basically more muscle strengthening, which is what I've been working on this whole time, but now we're using weights and a bike to regain the rest of my range of motion. Yesterday was my first visit with the new regiment and I felt it right away. It never really hurts but the joint feels very stiff from not being used much, so working the range of motion often feels like a good workout by itself. If that wasn't enough we're still working on rebuilding my quadricep in my right leg. Part of the rebuilding has involved using electrical stimulation to force the muscle to contract. The muscle is still so weak that the machine can barely force it to contract. I can do it on my own, but not to the same amount I can do the left one. So basically, Tuesday's session left me quite sore.

During my pre-surgical consult a female captain, who was my surgeon's assistant, asked me to research a condition she felt I might have. I'd been asked a similar question while in Iraq and I didn't have it. Basically my joints are so loose, even though there isn't anything wrong, that it makes them wonder. The condition I was asked to research this last time was Ehler-Danlos Syndrome, it's a syndrome that effects the bodies collagen, which controls how the connective tissue in the body develops. It's not life threatening, in most cases, and there is no treatment, but as I began to read through the list of symptoms I found that many of them fit. Things like my flexibility, the way I scar, and a good many other things fit. The type I have is non-life threatening, if I indeed have it, but it means that I need to be more careful to situations that will lead to injuries like my right knee.

Yesterday was also my first day back to work and I'm getting used to waking up at 0400 again. I didn't do anything yesterday because the whole day was consumed by doctors appointments, but it felt good to get back into what I've gotten used to as a normal routine. I'm on restrictive duty, or as we call it, a profile. The profile determines what I'm allowed to do and for how long, things like running, walking, lifting, etc. When they are ALL checked NO we refer to it as a "dead man's profile". Along with the "dead man's" I've been given a soft shoe profile which means I wear tennis shoes instead of boots with my uniform. Additionally I'm not allowed to stand for periods of time longer than 10 minutes, I have to continue wearing my brace, and I have to walk with the crutches for at least another two weeks. Every two weeks my progress is re-evaluated and I imagine my profile will be updated along the way to reflect my progression. Right now this one has been written to cover the next 30 days to be safe.

So basically things are moving along just as they are supposed to. I'm one month into a six month recovery and it's going well. There is still no way to know if I'll ever run again but we're all OK with that as long as I can return to full duty.

As for right now, I think I'm going to take a nap. I still have to go in for PT in the mornings to show my face for accountability but I'm released to go home after the first formation. That leaves me with about two hours to kill before I need to return for work call. I'm interested to see what they find for me to do, if anything, and I'll try to keep this updated more frequently so everyone can follow along with my progress.

Until next time;
God Bless and take care,

SPC. Pahman, Jesse C.
United States Army
Ft. Bliss, TX