POTS: Physical Therapy

Until now, I’ve had no experience with physical therapy, nor a very accurate understanding of what it could entail.  I was shocked to see that my referral approved 72 visits between now and May.  That’s 3 visits/week which is really going to shake up our schedule a bit… probably a good thing.

Our first appointment was “on land” at the clinic near the hospital.  Tiara’s eyes got big when we first walked into the big room – the common area where the majority of the patients worked in the open.  I knew she was stressed about that, so we were both relieved when that first appointment was in a tiny private room.  Our physical therapist was wonderful — warm and friendly, chatty, and willing to stay in that little room as long as we needed.  It was the “initial visit” of questions and answers and a few exercises to establish a base line of where T is now and what her goals are.

“To walk,”  I’m thinking, but instead admitted that strengthening is all we hope for right now.  PT is good, but we don’t expect it to cure POTS.

The plan is to start in water, move “back to land,” then head to the gym.  It sounds vigorous and exciting and sort of one of those “wow!  We have a plan” sort of moments that we don’t get with POTS much.  The plan is normally to take one day at a time and try to stay balanced.  (I think I’m more excited that Tiara is… but we’ll see.)

So our last 4 appointments were at the pool and we have a few more weeks already scheduled in advance.  Three days/week except for the holiday weeks, she’ll be swimming at least an hour.  Today, they worked with her for 90 minutes.

Four therapists trade off.  They all give her warm ups and exercises to do.  She’s constantly moving, but in the pool, she can walk unassisted.  It’s freedom.  She seems “normal.”  She’s the youngest one, but everyone is friendly.

The most amazing thing… nearly no tremors.

Usually, if she overdoes it and exerts herself too much in a day, the next day she is tremulous and weak.  So far, even with horseback riding coinciding on two days, she’s been tired and sore, but not dizzier, not blacking out, and no tremors.

I think she’s a bit stronger already.  And it’s a good thing.

She ended today with a massage of her knees and taping of one.  Her patella wants to move.  It always has, but that’s a hypermobility thing.  Still, PT will be good for that too and we are happy.

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