I think this physical therapy is going to turn into a giant pain in my back, which is not going to help me one damned bit since that's what I'm trying to get rid of. I went yesterday afternoon, spent 30 minutes talking with the physical therapist about what's wrong with my back and what I need to do to make it better.
First thing he says is that sitting and bending over aggravate it (even though when my back is hurting, that's what relieves the pain), and that I should never bend over to do anything. Ok, that means I can't get the pots and pans out of the bottom cupboard - put them on higher shelves. I can't clean the catbox - put the cat box on a platform at waist height so I don't have to bend over and scoop it from the floor (yeah, Fat Cat is not going to jump up there to use it, this is that cat that is so lazy, he lays down to eat and drink). I can't do laundry - get a front-loading washer and put the washer and dryer on pedestals so I don't have to bend over to put the clothes in/take them out. Don't bend over the sink to do dishes - open up the cabinet door and put one foot on the rail inside, stand up straight with my belly right up to the sink (duh, I already do that). Don't sit in my recliner, use a wooden kitchen chair for the computer and watching tv, sit like a queen in that hard wooden chair (yeah, so my hips can hurt instead of my back). Go to the swimming pool 3 to 4 times a week and walk in the water (that I can do, once I find out what the motel charges and what days I can go).
All of these changes would be really nice to be able to make, but I want to know where the fuck am I supposed to find the room to store everything (at waist level) in my kitchen and on the back porch that I need for cooking and eating? Even if Fat Cat would jump up on a platform to use the litter box, where the fuck am I supposed to put that platform so that it doesn't get in the way of the shelf it currently sits in front of because we don't have any other place for it (the shelf or the cat box)? We just bought a new washer (top-loading), we can't afford to go out and buy another one (front-loading), plus pedestals for both the washer and the dryer just so I don't have to bend over to do laundry.
Another recommendation he made is to not sit for more than 1/2 an hour at a time, get up and move, even it's just walking from the computer (or my recliner) to the kitchen and back (I already do that, if I sit for too long in any chair, hard or soft, my hips hurt and I walk like I'm 100 years old).
Oh yeah, and my weight isn't the cause of my back problems, but it's not helping them any (duh, no shit sherlock). And if I could just lose 100 lbs or so, that might help. And if I would just quit eating so much, and move a bit more, I should be able to do that (and this in spite of telling him diets haven't worked in the past for me, not permanently, and that having my stomach stapled didn't work either). Then, on top of all of that, he has the nerve to suggest that maybe WLS would help, if I had it redone, or had a different type (yeah, I'm so not going there again, EVER!!!!). I told him that had been suggested and that I told those doctors they had their one chance to kill me and I would be a fool to give them another. So it's back to calories in/calories out (yeah, I eat the same foods DH does to control his blood sugar, I eat less than DH does, and I'm not losing weight, so I just need to eat even less, that's really going to work). Then, we were talking about something else, and he says something about doing the same thing over and over and getting the same result every time, and I said the definition of irrationality was doing the same thing countless times, and expecting different results. He totally agreed with that, but still thinks calories in/out makes sense.
The one exercise he gave me to do is supposed to stretch my back muscles. It's laying on my back, with my knees bent and my feet as close to my ass as I can get them (yeah, arthritic knees that hurt all the time bend real well for that). Then I put one ankle on the other knee, and try to line up the knee of that leg with the center of my chest and hold it for 5 minutes (worked real well, I'm supposed to be able to feel the muscle in the back of my thigh pulling, kind of hard to do when laying on my back makes my thighs go numb). I couldn't do it by myself, so he held my leg in place for the 5 minutes, then we switched legs and another 5 minutes of the same thing. So there I am, laying on this padded table, on my back, and it hurts and my thighs are numb, and I'm trying to feel the stretch in those muscles. I can't feel anything, and when we're done (did this once with each leg, I have to do this 2 or 3 times a day at home) I get up and my back is screaming at me and my knees are yelling, and I'm going "Yeah, this is going to work, the pain I've been having is because my back is telling me there's something wrong, so what does this pain mean?"
I got home, and took 800 mg of ibuprofen and 500 mg of tylenol (which didn't do much for the pain), sat at the computer for a few minutes, then went to start cooking dinner. By the time I had dinner in the oven (an hour later), I was in so much pain, I could hardly move (knees and back). Now my pain, on a normal day, is usually at around 7 or 8 on my scale of 1 to 10 (which is probably a 15 for anyone else). Yesterday, after physical therapy, it was a 10 and I was crying from it (and I don't cry from pain very damned often). I have to go back next Tuesday and Thursday, and I'm hoping things go better, that doing this exercise at home is going to help (but if I keep ending up in that kind of pain, I don't know.....). He wants to start working on my abdominal muscles too, and I don't know how well that's going to work, what with having had an incisional hernia repaired with mylar mesh (and I think the hernia is back).
I think I'm going to do some online research on exercises for strengthening back muscles, and see if it's the same stuff he wants me to do. I do know that I'm not going to be able to eliminate all the bending over I have to do, we can't afford it and we just don't have the storage room in this small house to put everything at waist level or higher.