Physical Therapy

This morning I went to my first physical therapy appointment to discuss the issues I have faced these last several months:  balance problems, vertigo, and dizziness.  What a whirlwind hour!  Although I didn’t know what to expect, I had a rough idea of what it would be like once I got there, and I was right.  Thankfully, I wasn’t as anxious as I expected!

When I walked back to the gym I thought to myself, “What am I getting into?” – and then followed the PT back to the curtained area.  His first question was, “What brings you here?” and I went into my story:

  • 2 brain surgeries
  • 2 brain tumors
  • Trouble with my balance
  • Trouble with vertigo (although I’m thinking this could be medication-related?)
  • Trouble with dizziness (which is kind of like vertigo, duh)

The PT had read the notes about me so had a rough idea of what he would be dealing with with me.  The first thing he checked was my blood pressure.  He mentioned some thing that had several names (I think I have read blogs about it?) and said that we needed to get a lying down BP and then I needed to sit up as fast as I could and we’d take another BP.  The BP lying down was 118 over something.  I choked and told him that that was someone else’s blood pressure.  🙂  Then, after a minute or two I had to sit up FAST and we took another one.  Guess what happened next?  “ER” on the machine, and it didn’t mean “Emergency Room” thankfully!  It meant a big, freaking, ERROR.  So after sitting for about 2 minutes I then had to stand up really fast and PT took another BP.  This was not my BP either!  117 over something.  Wow!  No white coat syndrome this morning, that’s for sure.  Whew!  Which I know is one of the big parts of PT’s job – to ease the anxiety of the patient.  I get that part.

Next, we went to the treadmill and I had to do the neuro tests that I just.cannot.stand!  On the treadmill (thankfully, it wasn’t moving), feet together, don’t touch the bars in front of you, eyes open…ready, set, go!  I had to stay as steady as I could.  Now, that may not seem like a big deal but believe me, it really is.  Then, I had to do those same things again with my eyes closed.  Then, with my feet tandem (left foot in front, heel to toe and then switched feet), and each time I was timed to see how long I could do each one.  My left side (movement, balance, etc.) is markedly worse than my right.  This Therapist was right there next to me as I lost my balance, etc.  I’m surprised that I didn’t lose my noodle this morning during those exercises. I told PT before that I was going to cry when we began all this.  And, I did not!  Praise all that is good and holy!

The last thing we did, that I really, really, really, didn’t like, I think was checking for BPPV (but I can’t be too sure?)…and I had to lay on a table with one PT next to me and the other PT behind me with these huge eye glasses on (so they could see my eye movement in great detail if there was any).  Laying down quickly wasn’t a problem, except it kind of hurt my upper back.  But, when they told me I needed to sit up fast, ugh.  I didn’t like that.  Not one bit.  This type of dizziness was on a whole other level compared to the dizziness I feel when I turn over in bed.  It was almost to severe vertigo and I felt like I was going to hurl.  It was major.  I don’t remember if I asked what my eyes did but there were some small techy-techy convos between both PT’s about my eyes.  Urg.

I get 10 visits, and in these 10 visits we will see what, if anything, can be improved.  We took a whole lotta baseline data this morning.  I told PT that my biggest goal is trying to better my balance.



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