Arx Hereticus

Welcome to the ramblings of a merry heretic, an ex-pat (Tex-pat?) American living in Maryland after having spent six years in Germany. Arx Hereticus is part travelogue, part cooking, part budo, part socio-political commentary and mostly just me BSing.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Monday/Tuesday, Aug. 6/7

Last week here. Thank goodness. Not that it's been a bad experience, but I'm left, in the end, a little underwhelmed.

SOME of the PT is very good, and some is head-scratch material (but, then sometimes the hard-nosed, ever-practical Deutschers have a strong whiff of woo around the edges).

Yesterday, was a little muscle sore from training and the walkies of the weekend, but still not hurting anything like I was before surgery. Had several appointments, one of which was with a treadmill. The tech slung me up in a harness, sort of like a parachute rig – sort of a zero-balance thing with most of my weight in the harness and maybe a quarter of my weight on my feet -- and I spent 10 minutes walking on the treadmill. That's it. Ten minutes. And that's the only time I do it.

One appointment to walk for 10 minutes. Huh. Go figure. I'd have thought that'd be a daily thing.

More on that in today's comments:

Yesterday, I was examining my training schedule for this week and noted a few discrepancies like the one above, and the fact that they'd slated me for sessions on Saturday – the day I'm supposed to be going home.

After PT this morning, I went to the nurse's station and asked about it.

Apparently, (despite HW and I making clear at every turn as we checked me in, with the surgeon and when I was transferred into the rehab center that I was only here for TWO weeks), they put me on a THREE week schedule. Uh-huh. So much for German efficiency.

I set up an appointment with the floor doc to talk about it and she was flabbergasted that I wouldn't do the full three weeks.

I patiently explained that I was here under the American system and not the German one, that I'd made it clear from day 1 that it was a two-week gig, and that I was simply not getting much out of a lot of what they were throwing at me. I explained that HW and I had already begun setting up the outpatient therapy, and my docs back in Eschenbach were aware and cooperating, and that I was, in fact, leaving the rehab center Saturday – one way or another.

I don't know where the commo broke down, but it was broken.

She has had to step back and punt now, and once she wrapped herself around the idea that I really had no desire to stay an extra week, she admitted that I was so far above the curve that they really couldn't do much for me anyway.

I'll finish this week, then head for the house and start outpatient rehab with the very good PT folks at Eschenbach (they were great to me when I was trying to resolve the hip problems without resorting to cutting). We're working out a more sports-medicine oriented approach rather than the cookie-cutter, one hip to rule them all approach they seem, institutionally, to take here.

Some of the experience here has been excellent. The nursing staff (except for that commo problem with administration and my surgeon), have been great, friendly, efficient, helpful and tolerant of my weirdness and bad German.

The PT staff has been a hoot, one guy in particular who, once he figured out I wasn't your average THR patient, really challenged me and gave me some good stuff to work on.

The facility is great, high-tech and well-equipped and restful; which is, I think part of the theory here, that you get away from it all, rest and relax and de-stress.

Overall, I'd give the surgery and post-op stay in the hospital an easy 9 out of 10. The rehab experience, if I were 75 and feeble, would probably also get similar marks. However, as an active, strong, flexible and determined martial arts junkie, hiker and cyclist, I have to knock the rating down to about 6.5 or so.

Other than clarifying that mess, today's been quiet and slow. PT and lymph drainage this morning. A different PT tech, while my guy from last week's on vacation. She was a wee slip of a woman, but strong and smart enough to know that she couldn't offer much in the way of active resistance. She did some fairly intense and deep massage on the o/p leg and the scar, and taught me a couple of exercises.

First is using a physio-ball. I lie on my back and prop the o/p foot on the ball and roll it back and forth. No problem, except that she provides resistance to make the ball harder to roll.

Second exercise is leaning across the table and doing back leg lifts, knee bent, raising the heel to the ceiling. She supported my knee at the apex and helped me raise it another centimeter or two. Good stuff.

Nothing else today on the plate except exer-cycle and weights. I'll hit those after supper, about 18:00, when it's cooler then and not so crowded. Supper. Mmmm. Cold cuts and cheese probably. Again.

I'd kill for a schnitzel, pommes frittes and a beer.


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