Simple Pleasures

As I took a walk down to our neighborhood park and back in some new tennis shoes I realized this was the first time, in a decade, that I was walking in a pair of tennis shoes with no pad added in the heel and without my gel pad socklet on my foot. I’ve been using the socklet lately since the nerve on the outside part of my ankle was annoyed. Didn’t even know what it was until I asked the doc why the outside part of my heel around the ankle bone was the first to swell and the outside part of my heel on the right side was still sensitive. He said a nerve runs through there and the surgery made it unhappy. Anyway it’s an achievement for me to buy some shoes, put on some socks and walk around in them. Before I would buy shoes, spend time adding pads into the back part of the heel and then had to wear my gel socklet as well and STILL I couldn’t wear them for very long due to the big bone protrusion I had under my achilles. I’m glad the nerve is also getting calmed down. I may be able to go to my next consulting job wearing closed heel shoes with no added pads instead of crocs or clogs.

10 week doctor visit - no boot!

Saw the doc today and I am now officially bootless! Whoopie! No night splint either. No barefoot walking allowed yet so will still need to croc it from bed to bathroom, if needed, in the middle of the night - LOL! I still have to wear heel lifts for another month.

I start PT on Monday but he did tell me I can do gentle calf/achilles stretches pushing against the wall. He also re-emphasized not to overdue it because the scar tissue at the anchors is still healing (as it is on my scar on my skin) and if it tears because I overdue it, then the healing has to restart. But I can now strap both feet into the rower and the exercise bike :) I came home from that visit and did a 1 mile walk with the dogs (slowly, of course) - we were doing about 3/4 mile - then went to the gym and did my normal 2000 yard row at level 8 (10 is the highest) with BOTH feet strapped in this time, then did 20 minutes on the recumbent bike on a variety setting with a max of 7 for resistance with both feet pushing up to the 7 level (before I didn’t push much with the right over the 4 resistance level). The doc said I can do the elliptical on flat (may try that, never did an elliptical before) and I can walk on the treadmill flat. I would rather walk outside so I’ll skip the treadmill and continue walking around the neighborhood unless we get a hot spell. No hill walking yet though.

So I updated my “retired” post and can’t wait to get more exercises on Monday!

He also said the best case scenario is I get a full release at the 6 month post surgery mark. That is my next visit with him. We’ll see how that goes. So far things have gone well - so maybe I’ll be able to start playing soccer mid-August - only time will tell!

My foot at week 9

I figured I should share a picture of my foot since I haven’t shown how it looks since the sutures were removed.  It’s a little swollen tonight since it’s the end of the day and I haven’t elevated it much all day.  Here is my foot with the silicon sheet on.  This is to reduce the look/feel of the scar.  I rubbed a silicon gel on as soon as the scar was healed. I only put the gel on at week 5 when the scar area wasn’t very sensitive to the touch. The doctor recommended both and since I do not want to have ridges/bumps/… on my heel when I can finally play soccer again I am actively using one of the other.  This princess does not want a scar causing pain and possibly blisters - LOL! I’ve been using these 2 pieces of silicon sheet since week 5 and I still have a lot of the sheet left that I purchased. A piece is supposed to last a month with continual use. It is still sticking to my skin so no need to cut 2 new pieces yet.

Silicon sheet on scar

And here is how my foot/scar look. My foot is swollen since it’s the end of the day and I have not elevated my foot much today. I may get some compression socks so I can reduce the swelling without having to elevate. You can see the indentations from the silicon sheet around the scar.

Foot/scar at week 9

Here is the upper part of the scar. This heeled much faster and cleaner than the lower part of the scar.

The upper part of the scar

And the lower part of the scar. This took longer to heal and is still sensitive. This part of the scar is on the outside of my foot. When my leg is at rest the foot naturally rolls to the right so this part of the scar got more pressure and that made it heal slower. It is still sensitive to the touch to the right of it. The upper part of the scar feels fine. The lower part is still painful when I massage around it.

The lower part of the scar at week 9

And I’ve been working to remove the calluses on my foot since I was in my boot! I got REALLY thick calluses on this foot somehow due to the bone spur. Not sure why that caused thick calluses but it has taken me literally weeks to grind them down. My left foot calluses are not nearly as big, but the bone spur isn’t as big as it was on my right foot either. Hopefully by the time I’m totally healed up I’ll have the calluses ground down all the way.

Retired so far …

I figured I would document the items I used to use but which I no longer need to use as I’ve progressed through the healing process.

I retired the hand bells at about week 4. I was joking before surgery that hubby needed to get me a bell to ring when I needed him to get something for me. Well, sure enough, he ordered two bells - LOL! One for upstairs and one for downstairs. I mainly used the one upstairs - but not too often. By week 4 I was getting around pretty well with the scooter, had been in my boot for a week and I was able to get the scooter up and down the stairs on my own if needed as I butt walked up/down the stairs. I’m sure starting to do workouts at home and at the gym helped to get me out of slug mode and into a mode of doing more for myself.

Bells to summon hubby so I could keep my foot elevated in the first several weeks

Next thing I retired was the cast cover at about week 5. I got my boot at week 3 and started doing ROM exercises at week 3.5. As I got more comfortable moving my foot out of the boot I felt comfortable enough to get in the shower with my bare foot. I made sure to keep it at 90 degrees as I showered and did the flamingo when standing and, of course, used my shower stool to kneel my right leg on so I didn’t have to stand on one leg the entire time.

My cast/splint/boot cover

The guest shower - LOL!  This has grab bars so while I was doing the flamingo shower I wanted grab bars handy for balance.  I retired this at week 8.  Now I should show a picture of hubby as well.  He finally felt comfortable not being nearby when I showered at around week 4.  Before that he was close by somewhere upstairs and early on he was there in the bathroom helping me get in/out of the shower, making sure my scooter was close by, helping me put the cast cover on, …  As I got comfortable in the boot and was doing ROM exercises and hauling the scooter up/down the stairs myself he believed I wouldn’t be slipping or falling  in the shower.

My shower (in the guest bathroom) for the first 8 weeks with grab bars

Forgot to take a picture of the crutch I borrowed - but here is a picture from the web. It was handy getting around in my crowded work room and upstairs when I didn’t feel like hauling the scooter up.
RammTLC crutch

And my “regular” crutches. I didn’t use these much. I tried them when I was one footed and fell so didn’t try them again. I used one of them for a day or two when I started walking in the boot and then again when I transitioned to 2-shoes.
Regular crutches

More to add on 4/27:

And, today, after my 10 week doctor visit I get to retire the boot

The boot!

And, since the boot is being retired, so is the even-up for the other foot
even-up to level out the left leg when the boot is on the right leg

The night splint

Night boot aka night splint

And, since the night splint can be retired so can the scooter! I was only using it so I wouldn’t have to un-velcro in the middle of the night (and possible wake up hubby) in order to get into a shoe if I had to do a middle of the night bathroom visit.

knee scooter

A 2 footed shower!

OK - so I take joys in the simple things in life :) My doc said I could shower on 2 feet if I wore a croc with a heel lift on my right foot. My foot/ankle/leg finally felt strong enough last night so I abandoned our guest bath/shower with the grab bars and returned to our shower in our bedroom. I found some really stiff packing foam in the garage so I made a heel wedge with that, put it in the croc, put the croc on my foot and walked into the shower. I did move the shower stool to our shower since I didn’t want to stand on my right foot in order to wash my left. I only needed the stool when I washed my left foot. It was great standing on 2 feet in the shower and not having to use the stool as a holder for my flamingo’d right foot (knee on stool). It’s good to not have to play flamingo in the shower anymore - LOL!

Just another step in the healing process. I just passed the 8 week mark.

And I get to double my 2-shoe time tomorrow - woohoo! 1/2 my day gets to be spent in a shoe (which ends up being about 7 hours).

2 shoes!

Today was the day I can wear 2 shoes again - but just for 3.5 hours :) So I started off by keeping my shoes on after driving home from exercising. At first I stepped very gingerly - not because anything hurts - things just don’t feel stable. Probably because I haven’t used the muscles needed for walking in shoes for 8 weeks. Anyway - after walking around a bit things felt pretty good. Once I got in the house I put a lift in my left shoe as well so things will be even and I’m going to do 2 shoes until later this evening. And I get to be 2 shoes for 25% of the time for the next week. I’m looking forward to it!

PWB and driving - YAY!

Saw my doc today for my 6 week appointment. I get to start walking with a boot (went from front door to dining room, back to front door area, up stairs and into my work room so far!) and am cleared for driving with shoes on. Still have to wear my night splint for sleeping - drats - and have to use it for another month. Will start PT in a month. In 2 weeks I start wearing shoes 1/2 time, boot 1/2 time. In 3 weeks I wear shoes 3/4 time and boot 1/4 time. Was excited that after working on walking a bit with crutches my foot felt better. Initially I got these tingly feelings - not quite pain, but getting close - but as I walked a bit more on it things felt better. Doc did warn me that I’ll get swelling again - most likely - but I expected that based on what I’ve read here. :)

He had me push on his hand at the office with my bare foot and I have enough strength that he said I’m OK to drive with shoes on. So all my toe wiggling and such (and probably the working out I did before my surgery and the exercises I did for my achilles before) helped me get to driving sooner than I expected.

So now I’m crutch walking with one crutch - yahoo!

Ahhh …. got to do some cardio today!

I had my hubby drop me off at 24 hour fitness so I could get in some cardio. Did two 500m intervals on the rower. Had to rest my right leg periodically since it was sticking out to the side, holding my right foot off the ground, while my left leg was strapped into the rower. Then did some of the standard exercises I’ve been doing at home - leg lifts, pushups, weight lifting while sitting or kneeling, ab exercises, … Then I got on the recumbent bike and did a mile. It is REALLY hard to get my little left foot strapped into the bike tight enough to be able to pull on the pedal effectively. At least the bike had a middle platform I could rest my right leg on - LOL! I tested out resting my booted right foot on the pedal to see if that bugged it and it did, a tiny bit, so I mainly let it rest on the middle platform. However, it was much easier to pedal with the right foot at least providing a little downward weight while the left pulled up :)

I did email my doc when I got home to see if it was OK to rest the foot on the pedal since I am still NWB. He said that was OK as long as I’m on a recumbent bike, and I just REST it. That’s good since it makes life much easier for my left foot :)

It was great getting in a decent cardio workout - even if I am back into wimpy land for how much of a workout I can do. I’ll do it again next Tuesday when my other friends are doing the High Intensity Interval training class that I was doing before surgery. Can’t wait to get back to that - but that is months away. At least I can say hi to all of them and do my own little workout while they do HIIT.

3.5 weeks postop

Saw the doc today and get to do some ROM exercises. Just simple up/down and side to side movements - but anything is better than just keeping the foot in the boot all the time! :) Found out another difference between Haglunds Deformity surgery and straight ATR. Often in Haglunds (and in mine) the achilles is detached from the bone so the repair that needs to happen isn’t just tendon reattaching to tendon, but also tendon reattaching to the bone. And he told me that NSAIDS are OK after the first 3 weeks since the type of healing that goes on at that point isn’t affected by NSAIDS. The first 3 weeks involves platelets responding to inflammation which is part of the healing process and needs to be allowed to happen and NSAIDS interfere with that.

So I’m still NWB until my 4/3 appointment but do get to do a few exercises to improve range of movement and keep the ankle from getting too stiff. Progress by baby steps - LOL!

1-footed Exercise!

So I was doing my own little exercise routine but decided to use google to find more things to do. So I searched for non weight-bearing exercise after foot surgery and found this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxNyo1yRh60

I’ll have to check with my doc to see if I can bike yet and I know I can’t do the ball exercise yet. Some of these I was already doing - but youtube brings up more 1 footed exercise videos as well with some ideas for exercise that I didn’t come up with. So my after breakfast routine will be one or more of these videos combined with any of my own regimen that these didn’t cover.

So don’t just be a lump - get down on the floor or in a chair and get moving! :)