I met a physical therapist today for an evaluation. Even though I have taken long stretches of physical therapy in recent years, it has been a while. My more sedentary lifestyle has surely taken a toll. I was still surprised by how much, however. I am walking as well as ever and have not lost much strength, but my balance is way off. The lady had me place my feet as close together as possible and stand with my arms folded in front of me. I promptly fell back like we were playing that trust game in which you count on the person behind to catch you as you deliberately fall.
The problem has mostly to do with ankle and shin strength. As my ankles have been fused since 1986, I do not walk in the usual heel to toe manner like everyone else. This leaves the proper muscles unused and prone to atrophy. The difference in my walking method has not been too much of a barrier for getting around, but I have taken advantage of working with a professional at various points in the past to improve matters, and I am doing so again. Besides, I am not exactly a spring chicken. It takes much more work to keep what I have much less improve on it.
My therapist is named Kim. She is a perky, self-proclaimed ADD type. She has worked with other clients suffering from Arthrogryposis. She noted I have a mild case. I knew this. Arthrogryposis is normally a devastating ailment which often prevents people from enjoying any semblance of a normal life. I always knew I was blessed in the sense my physical disabilities could be far worse. But then I am bemused how pretty much everything else has been about as bad as conceivably possible. I guess it all balanced out.
Kim told me her Arthrogryposis clients have some of the highest pain tolerances of anyone with whom she has worked. In spies of us mutually agreeing mine was a mid case, we both allowed I was a pretty tough guy in my own right. Fate put me to the test more in recent years than ever before. Now I have voluntarily agreed to take on no pain, no gain physical regimen to boot. I must be a glutton for punishment.