My World of Parkinsonian Delights

Wrapping Up the First Round of Physical Therapy

Yesterday at physical therapy, I was treated by the center’s clinical director.  She told me that when they get a patient with Parkinson’s disease, she likes to do at least one session with that person to see how he or she is progressing.

Looks like my therapy has definitely done some good.  For one thing, my left shoulder is much looser.  Still sore, still stiff, but I can put both arms behind my head now where I could not when I started PT.  My “big walking” is much better.  I told her how freaking “unnatural” it felt for me to stand up straight, swing my arms when I walk and take big steps, and she said she has never had a PD patient who didn’t tell her the same thing.

We worked on some balance exercises, including some I did for the first time.  I didn’t fall, and I got kudos for my efforts to right myself when I was tipping from side to side.

She had me walk up and down the aisle.  When I froze, she said I did the absolutely correct thing by just stopping.  Too many Parkies try to jostle themselves free and end up falling or taking a bunch of tiny little forward steps (festinating) until they DO fall forward.  She said my strategy of just stopping and waiting for the freezing episode to subside should save me some falls.  And, she said, that is the be all to end all in doing PT with Parkies — to give them coping skills to keep them from falling since broken hips lead to immobility, which leads to pneumonia, which leads to death for most of us.

Tomorrow will be my last visit for the time being.  They’ll do a repeat of the assessment they did on my first day back in April and give me a comparative score.  They’ll send a report to Dr. Grill.  Then, in about three months or so, we’ll do another round of PT.

As she explained, PD is a progressive disease.  All they can really do is work in the issues that are present at the time.  Then it’s up to me to go home and keep doing the exercises.  As new issues arise (which they will), further sessions of PT will deal with THOSE issues, and further sessions will deal with the issues that arise months from now, years from now…

For the rest of my life.

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