Physical Therapy

The Power Plate brought me to Jerry Sher, my favorite physical therapist ever.

Vibration training is a great way to strengthen collagen. The Power Plate is a monster vibrating platform. It gets circulation going, stimulates muscle engagement, teaches balance and builds bones. Yes, please!

There aren’t many Power Plates around because it’s an extremely expensive machine. Although pro sports teams have rooms full of them. That’s where the really good injury rehab technology is. I watch these professional athletes recover from such serious injuries and resume their careers. What are they doing? I want help like that. I have a fantasy about going to physical rehab with the LA Clippers! Then I could kiss Blake Griffin! On the cheek. I am a married woman.

Weighted vest and dumbbells. GO CLIPPERS!!!!

Weighted vest and dumbbells. GO CLIPPERS!!!!

Where can I get to shaking?

Beverly Hills with Jerry Sher was the obvious choice. There was only one other PT clinic in Los Angeles with a Power Plate: USC. I mean County USC. And who wants to go there? 

Afternoons in Beverly Hills! I love a relaxed stroll up and down Beverly Boulevard. (Rodeo Drive, one block west, is a bit too fabulous for me.) As I saunter dreamily along, I stop at the clothing stores and do a frantic search through the clearance racks. The residents of Bevelry Hills don't want what's on sale, but I sure do! What do I care if it’s off season? I’ll have to write about the gems I found another time, but its how I know that God is watching over me. My life philosophy is LOOK GOOD AND HAVE FUN. This life has been way tooooo hard and I am exhausted from digging deep. I want to be shallow. I really try at it. 

This situation was a dream come true. But wait, it gets better. I met Jerry. I tried the Power Plate. I fell in love. With Jerry and the Power Plate. 

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you find a physical therapist who is also a fitness trainer and/or a dancer. Jerry is both. Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I get.

Working hard.

Working hard.

A PT with those skills will probably understand the entire body and human movement much better. I find this lacking in straight up physical therapy. The focus there is too much one on area of the body. Musculoskeletally, everything affects everything, especially if you are a walking sack of jello like me.

Kettle bell on Power Plate. 

Kettle bell on Power Plate. 

The Power Plate was awesome, like no experience exercising I had ever had before. I could sense what this machine would do for me. With my disease, I have a hard time engaging my muscles and this big black vibrating machine was forcing my nervous system to do it. Yes! 

Me. Strong.

Me. Strong.

This was going so well, I started cutting back on my pain drugs. Withdrawal was only extremely uncomfortable at first. Three months into reducing my daily dose, I was pretty much destroyed by the ravages of acute opiate withdrawal. Acute withdrawal means you still have drugs in your system, but less and your body is very angry about this.

Jerry and the Power Plate powered through. And I kept cutting down my dose of pain drugs.

Celebrating one year of physical therapy with Sprinkles cupcakes. 

Celebrating one year of physical therapy with Sprinkles cupcakes. 

Jerry had a front row seat to my Opiate Withdrawal Horror Show. He watched me sweat, shake, shiver, ramble endlessly (what was I even talking about?), and sometimes cancel due to stomach meltdowns or no sleep. 

Withdrawal only gets worse, which no one will tell you. Sorry. No one told me. It was all very confusing. I was walking into The Body Pilates every visit, completely freaking out about how was I ever going to get off these drugs, because every single day was painfully impossible to endure. I didn’t think I could even make one more reduction in my daily pain drug dose. Zero was so far away. But this is how these drugs make you feel, see? You will reach this point in withdrawal. Smile, this means you are getting somewhere. Ignore those thoughts and KEEP CUTTING BACK!!!!!!!

Jerry was quiet and kind, and let me be. He was enormously soothing. He has excellent stories about his dancing career. I loved hearing them. And about his mom. Jerry gave me creative weight exercises on the Power Plate. With his background, of course, no problem. Throughout this terrible time, I got super strong and my bone density improved. Yay for me!

Jerry my angel.

Jerry my angel.

Looking back on how hard withdrawal was, Jerry was such a big part of me getting through. I had this wonderful person to be with who made me feel better, inside and out. At the time, however, I was so dopesick all I could do was put my head down and keep going. Dopesick means you are metabolizing out drugs your body is extremely accustomed to, and your body is formally protesting this.

Finally. I hit zero. Zero opiates. And the ground. Face First. Not literally. More on that later.

Jerry took me to celebrate with our significant others for brunch at Pump in WeHo. I was in post acute withdrawal, so I couldn't really enjoy it. Post acute withdrawal means there are no more drugs in your system and your body is extremely unhappy about this and confused about how to run itself now. That goes on for a long time, post acute withdrawal. You are very very sick for a long time after. It’s really unfair. I felt so rotten I forgot to take a pic of us that day. Thats how bad I felt. Oh well. Vanderpump wasn’t even there. Jerry, let’s go back!

Neuropsych testing showed my poor Ehlers-Danlos coordination was making my brain stupid. Jerry help me! He did.

Physical therapy at Roxbury Park.

Physical therapy at Roxbury Park.

We still get together, and my insurance pays for it, even though it is all fun.

Zachary Pennington