Week Blah Blah: It’s been a while. Alot to talk about here…

Wow, it’s been a long time. I should have been updating quite a bit.

The main purpose of this update, apart from just catching up, is to show how much I’ve still be able to go and do despite going through this surgery. I may wander away from the discussion about stuff that was impacted by wearing a boot or being limited in my movement, but I’m also painting a picture for myself to remember what all I have been doing.  I want this summer to be memorable and to prove that this has only slowed me down a little bit.

Throughout this time I’ve been doing my daily exercises almost every day that include:

  • Sliding my foot back and forth wearing a sock on a slippery surface. I think this is to increase my range of motion to be able to point my toe toward my head and away from my body.
  • “Windshield Wiper” movements where I stabilize my knee and focus on the side to side range of movement of my food at my ankle.
  • Light toe raises and heel raises while sitting down.
  • Rolling my ankle to help loosen up the muscles around my ankle and achilles.

Here is my timeline:

  • 05/26/2016
    • Got my stitches out. According to my doctor, everything was looking good. I just could not soak my leg and needed to be careful while cleaning the incision area while in the shower.
    • I was able to work while my wife drove us to Georgia for our family reunion.
    • We pulled our new (to us) pop up camper in the event that we needed somewhere else for our family to sleep if needed. Finding a place to park it was a total PITA because the cabin did not have any level land where we could set it down.
  • 05/27/2016
    • We spent my wife’s birthday with my family in GA at a cabin for the weekend. My aunt brought us a HUGE chocolate cake for her, but we didn’t eat it because we had so much other great food and we even had a banana split contest. We were going for the best looking banana split. One of my wife won 1st place!! Some of my cousins got crazy creative and they even made characters out of the food.
    • Again, my wife was a champ. We lugged the shower chair, my crutches, my iWalk, and everything else with us to the cabin. She still did a ton of work to get us ready for this trip.
    • The shower at the cabin for our room was huge and it felt amazing to be able to shower without a bag on my leg. It felt great to scrub my foot while being careful to not go near the incision.
  • 05/28/2016
    • Watched my family go down the Ocoee River on a white water rafting trip.
    • Spent the weekend with the family in the mountains of Blueridge, GA.
    • We ate good food and I was able to move around quite a bit on my iWalk crutch.
  • 05/30/2016
    • Memorial Day: Went out on my first boat ride while wearing my iWalk crutch.
    • Hot as hell and I couldn’t get in the water due to my wound, but it was great to get out of the house.
    • Getting in the boat wasn’t all that hard. It was getting out of the boat that was tricky. My cousin Zach pretty much had to pull me out.
  • 06/02/2016
    • Went in for my first round of PT. They put me on 25% weight and showed me how to use my crutches to only use 25% of my weight on the leg.
    • My wife went out of town on this day as well. She went to down to FL to go to a baby shower for my sister who is the Physical Therapist.
  • 06/08/2016
    • Wife came back into town.
    • I spent most of the previous week just doing most of my exercises and staying low key with a few exceptions to go grab something to eat or go to the library for some audio books.
  • 06/09 & 10/2016
    • Went into work in a building near Nashville to do some interviews. Just getting around where I work will wear you out.
    • While I’m super thankful for my iWalk crutch, it does require quite a bit of effort and walking longer distances will cause you to tire out.
    • I met someone at work who was going through the same surgery due to a similar injury. He was into week 14 and was able to walk around in a normal shoe. We had a great conversation about the healing process.
  • 06/10/2016
    • Went into work in a building near Murfreesboro to do some interviews.
    • My iWalk crutch was a huge help again. While I wasn’t able to move quickly, it was great to get out of the house and see some of the team.
  • 06/10/2016
    • Drove down to Alabama to see some family but did not get in until it was pretty late. I stayed at my cousin’s house. It was a bit rural and getting up the steps was a challenge, but my wife was able to help me.  The steps were a bit higher than normal steps and they did not have a handrail. I stayed in their main bedroom and their bathroom was super nice. Huge shower. It was really nice and made taking a shower easy. I’m still using my shower chair, but having the room to spread out made it much easier to get in and out.  I especially liked the limited threshold of the shower. Not much to step over when getting in and out.
  • 06/11/2016
    • Met up with my brother and his wife to meet my new nephew, Will.  We met up at Wintzell’s Oyster House in Montgomery, AL. Again, I had to be careful walking around. I tried to limit my walking again because I would get tired easily and it was so dang hot. I got to hold my new nephew!
  • 06/12/2016
    • Went out on a pontoon boat out on Lake Jordan for the day with my cousin Zach, his girlfriend, and some great people who are big fans of one of my family’s BBQ restaurants (Champ’s BBQ). It was great to get out on a calm lake in a pontoon boat. I basically found a spot on the boat and was able to sit in the shade while we cruised the lake. It sucked that I couldn’t get in the water to cool off, but I had plenty of cold drinks and damp towels. We listened to the Traveling Wilburys and Louis Prima amongst other classics. Most memorable songs that day: End Of The Line and It’s Later Than You Think.
  • 06/18/2016
    • Took the new travel trailer to Cedars of Lebanon State Park
      • I felt terrible because Sarah had to do most of the work to get us ready for our first time taking the camper out. Not to mention that I had some crazy sinus infection stuff going on. We cooked great food on our new small charcoal grill but figured out that we really need a gas grill to cook breakfast faster. Also, we had a Walmart and Dollar General right up the road in the event we needed anything (like sinus pills). It was certainly a challenge to move around at the campsite.  The bathrooms were the worst and taking a shower was a miserable experience. It would have been bad even if I didn’t have to wear a boot and walk on a crutch. The heat and humidity were pretty terrible.  Overall, I’m really glad we went and experienced our first trip in the camper. My wife is a master fire builder and our food was tasty. The people we did get to talk to at the campsite were really friendly and willing to provide advice on things to make our next trip more enjoyable.
    • I learned alot about myself this weekend on my limits. I could do more than I expected, but certainly learned to pay attention to my body and when to slow down. It bothered me that my wife had to work as hard as she did.
  • 06/25/2016
    • Sarah went out of town for the week. She went on a trip with her friend to the Dominican Republic. I worked from home alone the entire week. It was weird not having her around. I missed her quite a bit, but I know she had a great time. Her pictures of the food and events were priceless. Her being out of town also improved my confidence in being alone. I figured I would be fine, but with her out of town, it really proved to me that I would be fine. I think I went out of the house two or three times the whole week.  That certainly helped us save some money.
  • 06/30/2016
    • Our 4th wedding anniversary! Sarah came home from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I picked her up from the airport close to 11PM. I wanted to take her out, but it was too late.
  • 07/01/2016
    • Dr. appointment at TOA. Doctor told me that I could move to only have 2 lifts in my boot. From there, I would be able to remove 1 lift every week (on Friday) until I had no lifts in by boot for 1 week. After that I could move to a tennis shoe with 2 lifts and the every week remove a single lift.
  • 07/02/2016
    • Went to the lake and stayed with my wife’s aunt and uncle at their lake house on Watts Bar Lake near Ten Mile TN. It was great to see Sarah’s cousin and her family.  Sarah’s cousin is a nurse teacher near Ashville, NC. We went out on Sarah’s uncle’s boat to see some fireworks at night. Again, it was a pretty calm on the water that night. The next day we went for brunch at a restaurant across the lake. We took the boat for that as well. Again, it was hot but kept plenty of ice water on hand to keep me cool.
  • 07/08/2016
    • I’m down to 1 lift in my boot. This is much more comfortable and I don’t feel much stress or stretching on my leg when walking. I still have a noticeable limp, but it mostly due to weakness and a limited range of motion.
  • 07/09/2016
    • Went to see our god daughter in Knoxville for a short visit on the way to see family in Sevierville, TN. The family (I think there was 20 of us) went to Dollywood’s Splash Country. I sat in the shade with unlimited soft drinks while the family went down all of the slides.  It was great to see everyone. It did rain, but my family found a spot that was covered for me to hang out under. Again, I was able to take my boot off while I was still. It worked out because I could watch the family’s stuff while they were out having fun.  Thankfully, I was able to bring my work laptop and get caught up on a few things.
  • 07/15/2016
    • I am now able to start walking in my boot with no lifts. Talk about comfortable. It’s amazing. My heel does not feel as tired or sore because the weight seems to be more evenly spread across my foot.
  • 07/16/2016
    • Went to Alabama to see some family over the weekend.  I got my gas travel grill in from Amazon for Prime Day. My dad wanted me to bring my grill so he could see how it worked. We ended up cooking 24 hamburgers on it and they came out great.  I was limited on my mobility, but this was my last week in my boot before I could move to tennis shoes with 2 heel lifts. Again, it was super hot and I would take my boot off when I knew I could take it easy or if there was limited movement needed. As always, I stayed super careful. It’s amazing how much more mindful I have become about walking surfaces.
  • 07/19/2016
    • I called my insurance company to ask about a survey the needed me to fill out so I could get my claim funded for my surgery. It’s hard to believe that if you fail to fill out one survey they threaten to not pay a claim. Anyway, I was able to answer the questions about the claim over the phone so I didn’t have to mail in the paperwork.  While I had the insurance company on the phone I asked about my limited number of PT sessions. Initially, my doctor’s team told me that I was only supposed to get 4 PT sessions. After calling and talking to my insurance company I found out that I have up to 60 sessions that I can use.  This not only includes PT sessions, but therapeutic massage if needed. Know this, I will be setting up some regular PT sessions going forward.
    • We also started detailing Sarah’s car so we could sell it. I had been screwing with correcting the paint by wet sanding, applying paint, cutting, buffing and polishing. Talk about annoying. It’s an exhaustive process that takes alot more time, energy, space, and talent than I have.
  • 07/22/2016
    • Moved to wearing a tennis shoe with 2 lifts in it.  Pretty uncomfortable because I’m back to having all of that pressure on my heel again.
    • I started trying to wear my different tennis shoes. The one shoe that I wore on my good foot is looking a little worn out. I test my shoes and they all seem to be comfortable. My New Balance are by far the most comfortable, but the right one looks pretty ratty. My Adidas seem to be pretty comfortable and offer plenty of support as well.
    • Sarah and I started cleaning out the garage. We moved and added more shelving. We also got some additional storage bins so we could label and organize everything. I’d like to sell some of my beer making equipment and just get down to what I will be using going forward.
  • 07/24/2016
    • I drove to my sites in Kentucky for the first time in months to go see my teams. It was great to see all of the folks in my buildings this week. I was down to a single lift in my tennis shoe. I mostly wore my New Balance because they are a little lighter, cooler, and the heel up the back is so soft.
  • 07/28/2016
    • I wore my black Adidas tennis shoes today and had to do alot of walking around the building. That was a mistake. The back of the shoe that goes up above my heel is much stiffer and actually rubs my incision scar. Some time around lunch I noticed that it hurt more than normal. I got back to my hotel room in Campbellsville, KY and took off the shoes. I decided that I won’t be wearing them again for a while and I move back to my New Balance.
  • 07/29 - 30/2016
    • I met Sarah in Lebanon, TN and we headed towards her home town for her 20 year high school reunion. We had a great weekend seeing some of Sarah’s old friends and people she grew up with.
    • While we were in East Tennessee we stayed at Sarah’s Aunt and Uncle’s place again on Watts Bar. They have the most amazing shower in the master bathroom. It’s a full on deluxe European style shower with no threshold. I wish I could have used it more back when I was going through my first few weeks of surgery.
  • 08/02/2016
    • Went to PT after not going over a month. I spoke to my trainer about my wound hurting, swelling, and opening up last night. I’ll cover it more in my next blog entry as it becomes a much bigger deal than I expected.

That is the timeline over the past couple of months. I’m sure I’ve left out details and I may update this further later on. I’ll try to update with pictures as well. I’ve got a ton of them.

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