I'm guessing most of you don't even know what or who a 'physiatrist' is (not to be confused with a psychiatrist. A physiatrist is a doctor who specializes in your muscles and bones, in other words your muscular/skeletal system. Sounds like a natural for someone who is paralyzed, right?
A physiatrist is also a doctor who knows more than most about pain, since most injuries to muscles or bones produce pain. In fact pain is usually the main symptom of muscle injuries. As you would quickly guess a physiatrist deals with a lot of athletes and sports injuries.
We saw my physiatrist last week and he suggested two major changes to my pain medication and my exercise routine, and I'm encouraged to hope these will help. I saw a respirologist, a urologist and a cardiologist soon after returning home from the rehab hospital, and they all set me up with the appropriate routines, medications, and equipment to maintain those parts of my health. I think that package is all working well.
So I've changed my pain medication as he suggested, and so far I think it's working. All these medications just take the edge off the pain, so I find it hard to judge how much they're helping. But he will call after 2 weeks and we'll adjust it as needed until we get it right.
He also suggested adding some cardio to my exercises, so I'm doing that the only way I know how - by following a video on my phone. Obviously I can only ever do upper body movements, so it's limited but I move my arms steadily for the 7 minute video and I certainly feel worn out. I'll have to build up to more. All the rest of you have no idea how many calories you burn just doing your normal daily walking.
So overall I'm encouraged. After being locked down for so long, I hope I can re-engage with this stuff and take more responsibility for my own health. Wish me luck!
In memory of the 215 children discovered in unmarked graves on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, I join with many other Canadians in wearing orange today. I don't have an orange shirt, but I do have my orange hat.