I didn’t write it but looking back at my episode with physical therapy last week https://multipleexperiences.org/2022/04/22/breathing-issues/, may have been a panic attack. It seems that this week things aren’t going much better. I was able to stand right up on Sunday. I got into my wheelchair. I ate dinner at the table for the first time in ages. The next day I couldn’t stand up during physical therapy. This was the third visit that I felt was wasted. Medicare only allows a maximum of around 20 visit. Plus they need too see improvement during the visits or you will not be able to continue on therapy. I know this rule well. I worked in a nursing home. I sat through many care plan meetings with families as we explained why their loved one was being discharged before they thought they were well enough to go home. Medicare rules are simple, they need to have improvement. If a patient stops trying or they reach their potential, the case becomes custodial and they don’t pay for that. I was financials and this was a very difficult concept for people to understand and accept.
I am starting to think I am putting too much pressure on physical therapy. Not on the therapy on myself for therapy. I was waiting for my therapist to start again because he knew my disability. He has worked with me for a few years. He will be able to get me back on track. I didn’t think things were so bad. I thought I’d bounce back easily. I didn’t understand how fast muscle atrophy can happen. I actually don’t think I really knew what muscle atrophy was. I had muscle atrophy in my first relapse 24 years ago. I couldn’t grip my coffee mug. It would fall out of my grip because there was no grip. Physical therapy had to tie my left foot onto the bike pedal so I could use the recumbent bike. Literally I was tied to the pedal so my foot didn’t fall off. However, after some therapy my muscles started to remember. I started to be able to do things on my own. I never really lost the muscle, I really just lost the ability to use the muscle. This was atrophy to me. This was not the same atrophy that I have today.
I have muscle atrophy where I actually lost muscle. I have muscle atrophy from not using my legs as I suffered a pneumonia. I mean I knew my legs were looking skinny but it wasn’t registering what was happening. I also wasn’t eating, I thought I was losing weight. My arms were fine and they weren’t really moving. I lost muscle in the part of my body where my MS is most difficult, symptomatic and challenged. It was one thing to try to get muscle to remember again like I did 24 years ago. It is quite another to actually build muscle again.
I think no matter who is doing my PT, that is an enormous task. This next visit we are changing it up. We’re actually going to use the BionicGym during therapy. This is based on a conversation with the CEO and founder of BionicGym. He explained the benefits I might see if I use the gym while stretching the muscles. We are coming at PT a new way. I have to stop applying the pressure. Most days I know when I can stand up. I also know when I can’t. I think I might be subconsciously putting emphasis on the PT session. I think that is why last week I had a panic attack not a breathing issue.