Learning from Setbacks

1473219277449895236740Sorry for the delayed posts, life has been a little crazy this summer. I am working towards certification in NDT (Neuro Developmental Technique) with the course and test done but a project still to come. Wedding stuff never stops. My fiancee and I have had four five moves this summer. Right before we finished our final move, I broke my foot during a street brawl I won against Chuck Norris and Brock Lesnar. (It was actually done by jumping over a puddle and accidentally landing in a pothole underneath the puddle). Needless to say, things are a little crazy. I know excuses, excuses, blah, blah, blah…

My job is basically a setback manager. People normally lose the ability to do what is normal for them and I help them over come this set back to get back to their normal life. Sometimes, it can be quite a learning opportunity to experience the other side of healthcare.

Frequently, patients need reminders to remain patient and avoid frustration. I too had periods of impatience and frustration. I like to think that I limited these episodes, but they still happened. Everyday is a struggle for me to achieve maximal productivity, these setbacks really hinder that despite me knowing better.

This may not come as a surprise to former patients or healthcare workers, but getting better can be a lot of hard work. Trying to maintain non weight bearing status when getting in various environments can be quite an adventure, particularly when traveling. Trying to crawl or roll out of a tub due to the placement of metal bars for a sliding glass door is not easy. My job is to problem solve through these obstacles, but you underestimate the inconvenience until you live through it. Swimming, one of the few activities I am allowed to do, required me to hop one legged close to the ocean and then clumsily roll in. I am not too self-conscious, but this ungraceful activity was still a little embarrassing.

Despite my best efforts, I have had a hard time avoiding movement dysfunction. I am now very aware how reliant I am on squatting and lunging in my daily life. The loss of ankle and foot range of motion in the boot has made me perform some motions with a little more funk. The boot has given me a leg length discrepancy. The rocker bottom also makes it easy to over extend or flex the knee. I am working to keep my flexibility up, but it is easy to see how just a boot can instill a lot of neuromuscular bad habits.

Shockingly, I also found out there are some benefits to having a broken foot. I added a few new tricks to my physical therapy toolbox. Initially my orthopedist discouraged swimming for the first couple weeks to avoid placing too much stress on the foot. The reasons being he did not want me to generate too much force at end ranges of motion in my early recovery. He was fine with me swimming, if I could use a splint to keep the foot in neutral. It took a little brainstorming, but I was able to make a cheap waterproof splint by taking a plastic off the shelf plantar fasciitis splint and wrap it with athletic tape to achieve this effect. One of the main focuses of my rehab at this point is to maintain my lower extremity mobility and decrease edema. For the first time, I used kinesiotape and have seen some great results. The edema significantly improved in only a few hours. I have some of the basics down, but I really intrigued to take a continuing education class to carry over these dramatic results with my patients.

From now to October I have to work on a 40 page project for my NDT certification. I knew this was going to be be difficult, but actually this injury may make it easier freeing up some more time. I am not able to spend as much time running and biking. I also can not volunteer for a while with this injury. I would rather be doing these things, but a temporary vacation from these things at this time may provide me with a little more sanity. Also the injury prevented me from actually performing the last big move. Great for me, not so great for my fiancee. This actually is the third time in our relationship this happened. Right now I am winning with 2 get out moving cards. Sorry Sarah!

Although the last few years, I have acquired a little too much experience as a patient. While I understand the value of perseverance in these situations, I do not think I need to mix in any additional obstacles in life. My lofty goal for 2017 is no more ER visits. However, if any setbacks do come my way, I will be ready.


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