Click the picture for the story of Calypso, the Three Legged Green Sea Turtle, and why she's my symbol

Monday, May 7, 2012

Boot Camp Time Again

It's that time of year again. BOOT CAMP! For any who doesn't know, Boot Camp is the name given by the staff at Kennedy Krieger Institute for a two week booster shot to my therapy program. Twice a year I go for two weeks to work 5 days a week for 3 hours a day. While this is not a substitute for regular PT, it allows my original physical therapists to see my progress and point me in new and exciting directions.

The first day is always evaluations, tests, and the like. I don't generally do a whole lot of work the first day, being the object of intense scrutiny by my therapists. After the initial tests we spent most of the rest of the session brainstorming possible goals and ways to achieve them. This sounds simple but if you have ever tried to write down a list of concrete achievable goals you will know how hard this is.

My widest goal is to walk without the need for my cane. I can already do this for short periods of time. The problem is that if I do this for more than a couple minutes the muscles holding me up get fatigued. I simply don't have the endurance to walk around without the cane just yet but I'm getting there.

Along this vein there are various strengthening exercises we will fine tune. We'll also be working on balance, which has improved greatly over the past year but is still not where I want it to be. Finally we'll be working on gait, fixing my walking pattern so that I don't waste energy or trip and hurt myself. There are various ways these can all be done, using some tools that I've used before and probably some that are new to me. I deliberately told my therapist to try any off-the-wall ideas she may have, that I'm willing to try most anything. This tact has yielded successful, if somewhat odd, results in the past.

I'm not sure of everything I'll be doing in the next two weeks. What I do know is that it'll be insanely hard work and will help me improve in the long run. I have no illusions that it'll heal me overnight but if it kicks me off my butt and spurs me on to bigger and better things it's worth every second.

One last thing. When it came time for lunch we decided to try a new restaurant. On a sidepath off the parking lot we found a rock garden that had been decorated with giant stone turtles. Thanks to the wonders of the internet I learned that a group of turtles is called a "bale of turtles."Who knew?

Turtle awesomeness.
Me, overwhelmed by the turtley awesomeness.

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