Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Look – No Hands!

I feel like a two-year-old.  My latest trick is walking down stairs without holding the banister.

This has been a 3 month long project.  Right after the hip replacement surgery, the hospital therapists instructed me to use a technique called “step-to” in which going down stairs, I step first with my weak leg, keeping my weight on my strong leg until the weak leg has fully landed. Then lower the good leg to the same step as the weak one, holding the banister the entire time. Repeat.

When I saw my surgeon at 4 weeks post-op, he asked if I was still holding the banister. I said yes.
When I saw Young PT, he told me to continue to use “step-to” and the banister until I was stronger.

At 10 weeks post-op, I asked Young PT about exercises to help me climb and descend stairs.

The stairs in my house are 8" high.  He started me on 6" stairs at the gym, with banisters on both sides.  Stand on one leg, and slowly lower the other foot to the next step, placing as little weight as possible on my hands.  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until tired.  Then do the other leg.
When I got home, I did the same exercise on my 8" steps.  Just going down one flight of stairs was tiring!

The next week Young PT gave me Stairs Exercise #2.  Stand sideways on a step with my weight on one foot, and lower the other to the next step. Placing as little of my weight as possible on the banister.  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until tired.  Then do the other leg.

After two weeks of this, there’s still a slight drop where I lose control when I stand on my weaker leg and lower my stronger leg to the next step.  But the drop is less than an inch. It isn’t scary. One foot, Two Feet. Step Down. Stair Feet.

I’ve been biking, hula hooping, jumping on my mini trampoline, swimming, walking and playing on my rope wall. All of these activities seem like real exercise.  Stairs.  Any two-year-old can climb stairs.  Now I can do it, too!

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