Achieving strength, balance, and pain management
At the beginning of 2015 I joined RVC after enjoying a family Sunday with my daughter and grandsons. Little did I know that this would be the best decision I would make for my mental and physical well-being.
On February 26, 2015 I took a fall, which resulted in a nasty fracture of the left 5th metatarsal. This fracture really should have been surgically repaired. Due to the weekly Humira injections I self-administered for my rheumatoid arthritis my chances of postoperative infection and problems with wound healing were 50%. Not great odds.
The decision was made to take a less invasive approach, this meant casting and x-rays every 2-3 weeks for 12 weeks. Primarily, I was able to walk with crutches and elevate frequently during the day. My gym membership was graciously placed on a medical hold along with any plans for exercise.
During the course of my time spent recovering from the fractured extremity, I was diagnosed with EDS or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome a connective tissue disorder. This is a condition that causes holes in your connective tissue that results in pain. There is no cure and treatment is supportive. I was referred to the pain management department at DHMC to discuss options for supportive care.
The consultation with pain management was informative and I was offered plenty of options. I did not want to take medications for pain or get involved in procedures to alleviate the pain. What I was looking for was a more proactive approach whereby strengthening the muscles & connective tissue would hopefully alleviate the pain caused by EDS and the arthritis.
Once out of the cast and well healed I set my plan in motion. After a Fitness Consultation with Kate Rappaport and finding out how much room for improvement I had, the decision was made to obtain a Personal Trainer. Due to my health limitations and learning style, Kate and I discussed a trainer well-versed in movement and someone who would still challenge me enough to meet my goals.
During my first training session I immediately knew Scott Prince was just what I needed. We discussed limitations, goals, and the benefit of starting slowly to build a solid foundation that we could then add skills to. Since I was also dealing with a weak left foot and ankle after 12 weeks of casting, the progress seemed, at times, turtle-pace and frustrating. Scott was, and continues to be, in my corner always cheering me on and reminding me where I was and how far I’ve come.
At my first follow up consultation with Kate, I was pleasantly surprised to find all the deficient areas were improved and I had a 4% gain of lean muscle. This was a huge accomplishment. I knew the hard work was paying off based on the physical changes I could see and the fact I no longer needed to administer weekly Humira.
My pain is gone for the first time in years and I feel stronger and more balanced. There is a great benefit in the quarterly fitness assessments with Kate. To see actual data is great validation and a positive motivator. Kate also shares the results of our consultations with Scott so we can tweak workouts for further success.
I really appreciate a multidisciplinary approach to care, given my background as a nurse. It is nice to know there is a professional team helping achieve my goals. I often say, it takes a village.
My experiences at RVC are excellent from the moment I walk through the door. I am grateful to all of the friendly and helpful staff for making me feel welcomed and cared for. I’m thankful for Scott, his expertise and well thought-out plans for my training, and for Kate for being there behind the scenes, checking in every three months with kind words of encouragement, which really help keep the motivation going.
Lastly, I am grateful to my daughter, also a training client, who kept saying ‘Mom you would feel so much better if you exercised more.