Today was my first session in the Advanced class. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, all I was told was that they do more activities. There was only one other person in with me today but apparently there are normally about 4 or 5. Because you tend to be more active around the gym you need to have less people in the group, understandable. The other guy didn’t have his leg as the prosthetist has it at the moment. It was interesting that he is the same shape as me stump wise and has had exactly the same problems I am having with the socket. So to start off we had a warm up, 15 minutes on the rowing machine for him and 15 for me on the bike, we both only managed 10. I was reasonably happy with 2.60 km as it was the first time I have been on a bike since the amputation. I kept slipping of the saddle to start with but after a while I got the hang of using the stump and settled into a bit of a routine. I felt a bit of pain in my knee straight away but that did stop after I stopped and stretched at 5 mins in. My right hip was a bit of an issue though and would test me through the session (kept wanting to cramp). I could feel myself slipping a couple more times so had to stop and reposition but I quite enjoyed it and was really pleased I can cycle again. I have to say that I was knackered by the time I got off the bike and that was just the warm up!
We were back in out wheelchairs after that and into stretching while maintaining a good posture, this was not too bad, better than expected. Hmmm after that…… oh yes we each went to one of the beds and had to stand with out arms across our chest. It was then simply a case of sitting down and standing up, I can assure you there was nothing simple about it. I sat down OK when I managed to get the leg bent and then stood up twisting and using my right leg, this was not what the physio wanted to see. She came across and bent my leg while I was sitting and put her foot in front of my toes so the foot remained still. Now as I bent forward the top of the socket hit my bone and I couldn’t stand up. She moved me forward to the edge of the bed which was a little better so now I had move forward, socket hits bone, lift up and socket digs in groin! How bloody annoying can this sodding socket get! Moving on we worked on balancing, simply rolling onto the ball of the foot, hold and then on the heel and hold. We stood with eyes closed, onto just the right leg and then it all went tits up when I had to try and balance on the left leg. The prosthesis just dug in and it was too painful, after a couple of attempts it just wasn’t going to happen so we moved on. It was following this that we found out just how badly I move because of all the years of knee problems and surgery. It was a bit gutting really as I thought I was doing really well on the leg and then I felt, well a bit shot down. Basically my hips don’t move very independently from my back so when I am walking my bum sticks out and my back does most of the work to lift the leg. So putting that in really basic terms, I not only have to learn to walk with a prosthetic leg but have to completely learn how to walk properly with my body too. Erm not really sure how I feel now.