At regular intervals during the course of therapy, my PT’s do progress reports to track what’s been done and what’s improved as a result. Yesterday was probably the most in-depth I’d ever talked with a PT about one of these reports, and it made me really think about where I am now, more five weeks after finishing the Euflexxa injections and starting therapy.
It’s tough for me to qualify whether I’m better now than then. The pain is becoming more intense when I do certain exercises; I’m still struggling with the pain in the same ROM (range of motion). I’m having to ice and elevate the knee more. I’ve only been out on my bike once in the last two weeks–a drastic decrease because I can’t bike and do my exercises because the pain would get out of control.
On the other hand, I haven’t taken any narcotics since the day before the first Euflexxa injection, so that means no pain medicine at all for just over two months. That’s an improvement that my stomach appreciates. This doesn’t mean I’m not in pain. I’m fighting the pain every day and trying to work through it with ice, elevation, rest and mental toughness. Some days are better than others. Some days, there’s nothing I’d rather do than take some of the narcotics clogging my medicine cabinet, but I’ve managed to stay away completely at this point.
I’m stronger. I’ve been able to increase the strength somewhat in my VMO, and I’ve been working on different ways to keep my kneecap in the correct position when tracking along the trochlear groove. Yesterday, my PT had me do a step-up, and she indicated that the position wasn’t bad–certainly better than when I started and my leg was wobbling every which way during a step up. While I’m thrilled that there’s been some kind of improvement with a step-up, I don’t feel an improvement in the pain (in fact, it’s getting worse).
See why I’m confused? Some things are better and some things are worse. So how do you really track progress?
My PT did take a minute to acknowledge how it kind of sucks to be where I am right now after all I’ve been through, all the interventions, the last three years. I think she may have been the first of the healthcare professionals to really acknowledge that, and it made me feel better.
I’m not unhappy with where I am now in PT. I get that I’m making some improvements without increasing the pain so much that I can’t control it with ice, elevation and will. We’re going to work at it for a few more weeks and see how much strength I can build.
One thing that’s unquestionably been a big help this time is in the innocuous looking black box below. I’ll tell you more about it in a future post.