My next visit to the physio wasn’t much more pleasant than the first. If anything it was worse.
I told her how a number of the exercises had been agitating my hip and causing me discomfort. I explained about how I didn’t really have a proper hip so perhaps this was why.
I added that the doctor had told me it was likely I would need a hip replacement further down the track, if not next year.
That was a big mistake.
“Oh a hip replacement is awful,” she said with wide eyes.
“It’s such an intense operation. My father had one recently and the recovery was tough. They open the hip and insert a piece of metal down he thigh,” she pauses.
“But since you only have a short bit of leg I wonder how that will work. Hmm that’s going to be very interesting how they go about that.”
I stare at her with what I can only imagine is a horrified look. I was already about to embark upon some pretty intense surgery, I didn’t need to be told how horrible the next lot could be. Nor did I particularly want to be seen as some sort of medical experiment.
For this session she had planned to do some work in the make shift gym. This when I really wondered if she had ever really worked with any amputees.
One of the exercises she wanted me to do was step-ups on a fairly high step. This was fine stepping up with my left leg, which is how I always tackle stairs, left foot first. But stepping up with the right leg is near impossible. I later discover that for a through-knee or above-knee amputee to walk up stairs normally (as in step over step) is near impossible, as we simply don’t have the muscular strength.
This physio clearly had never got the memo and refused to let me stop until I had completed the ten she wanted. It was a frustrating process, I would tell my brain to lift my right leg up but it was like the message simply refused to get through and I could just not lift the leg.
Despite the fact I did step class twice a week I was extremely frustrated with myself that I couldn’t even complete this seemingly simple movement.
Again I was struck by just how little muscle I have in my right leg and how much extra work my left side must do.