Friday, April 12, 2013

Approaching External Crutches Separation

Image from 123RF Stock Photos

As of today (Friday, April 12), I have been on crutches for a month. Believe me when I tell you, that is even less fun than it sounds. See everything in that picture up there? I have been unable to do *any* of that, simply because it requires being able to put weight on both feet. I also have not been able to drive, step in and out of a bathtub, stand in the shower (I've been sitting in a lawn chair in our "shower only" bathroom and using a hand-held sprayer, and I still have to have help getting in and out), carry anything at all in my hands (like lunch or a cup of hot cocoa at work, or a glass of water from the kitchen), cook/clean (okay, so maybe there is one perk), or walk up/down stairs (I have to crawl up on my hands and knees, then have my husband help me up; or I scoot down on my rear end and have my husband help me up). It is getting *really* old!

Well, look out world, because I am ready to jettison these crutches! I saw the orthopedist yesterday. He did say I am healing more slowly that he anticipated (had to resist doing the Will and Grace "told you so" dance (never mind that I can't dance right now); see YouTube video link here), but he is ready for me to start walking on it. I am to work my way up from bearing weight with the crutches to no crutches over next 7-10 days, at my own pace. Also, no more orthopedic boot; I am to graduate to high top shoes instead. Yeah, because that will be easy to find in April for wide hard to fit feet. They have to come above the knobs of my ankle and be sturdy (he suggested Timberlands and the like). If I cannot walk unassisted by the time I go back in three weeks, he will cast it. So let's get to walking!

Easier said than done, though. It's scary after not doing it for a whole month! Walking is apparently NOT like riding a bicycle. I'm sure a lot of it is me. I am absolutely terrified of reinjuring it. And after a month of all medical professionals insisting that I put little to no weight on it, it's hard to convinced myself to bear down.I feel somewhat safe walking on it with the orthopedic boot, but the thought of doing it in just plain shoes (high tops or no) is frightening.

Today, I had my first physical therapy appointment since being told to bear weight on the ankle. I warmed up in my sock feet (yes, plural!) on the recumbent bike, which my ankle was fine with, but it was *killing* my right calf! I guess it's just not using those muscles in so long, especially out of the boot, but owie. I also started on my weight bearing exercises. Nothing exciting yet, just things like shifting  my weight from one foot to the other (doesn't sound like a big deal, but A) first time in a month, and B) owie!). The goal, obviously, is to eventually be able to stand on the injured foot with my left foot completely off the ground, so that I am truly bearing all of my weight on my right foot. Still a fair way off from that, though. I mentioned that the bottom of my foot is really hurting, and he said that all of the muscles on the bottom of my foot have contracted, so I have some more exercises to try and stretch those out. He also showed me how to just use one crutch, which is very counter-intuitive at first (you hold the crutch on the opposite side from the hurt foot). I made a lap around the room, and both he and the other therapist said I was doing *really* well for only bearing weight for a day! Once I get going, I do okay, it's just those first few steps that take some thinking and some convincing my body to "just do it." Hopefully, the high top shoes will help (if I can find any).
Currently feeling: ready to get these feet moving

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