Week 15 PT #2

Had my second PT appointment today. I get to stand on my toes now! LOL! However to do it slowly, on one foot and to max height without pain requires that I lean on a table right now for the right foot. The goal is to be able to do at least 10, standing straight in 3 weeks. That’s when my next PT appointment is. My PT guy also suggested I not try my allowed 10 minutes of jogging per day until I fully transition to flat shoes with no pain. That makes sense. I also get to do squats, lunges, continue with wall pushes and sitting on my heel stretches. He checked my flexibility compared to my left foot and said it’s a bit less - but not massively less. He did some stretches/pulls/… to make sure the issue is just muscle stiffness rather than joint stiffness. So I have some of the same exercises and some new exercises to do for the next 3 weeks until I see him again. After the PT visit I went to the gym and did the elliptical and rower with the lifts in. I then took them out and did my arm weight work and hip flexibility in just tennis shoes. I kept the lifts out as I finished up with leg presses (which I can do know), some calf presses, glute machine exercises and finally biking. I started to leave the gym in flat shoes but the achilles was complaining so I put the lifts back in. My PT concurred that slowly transitioning to flat is the right thing to do. Not that I needed his confirmation since my foot made it clear what I should do - LOL!

And I get to do one footed balancing! I love to do balancing exercises - LOL! I did it on the flat floor and that was too easy so I’ll try it on a pillow tonight. Once the pillow is easy I’ll use the bosu balls at the gym.

Have a great weekend all!

Testing out the world of no shoe lifts

I decided to do a test run in flat shoes this evening before my PT appointment tomorrow. I was in my crocs for about 4 hours and maybe an hour of being upright (as opposed to at a desk) and my achilles let me know it wanted to get lifted again - LOL! So I’m back in my “high heel” clogs for the rest of the evening. I decided I’ll transition to no shoe lifts slowly to let the foot parts get used to the new position. I thought that with the stretches I was doing and the fact that the felt lifts were compressing my achilles wouldn’t even notice the change - but it did. I even had to focus on walking properly again! If I didn’t my foot wanted to come out of the flex earlier in the step than it should. Just another bump on the road to normality.

And I thought I would be adding those lifts to the retired list! Not quite yet.

Too many steps!

PT exercises are not what I want to do tonight - LOL! I’ve averaged almost 7K steps (whatever that means on my somewhat inaccurate free app on my phone) a day for the last 5 days. I know if I do over 5-6K my heel reminds me it is there. It is very there tonight. I’m actually icing and advil-ing for the first time in months. I must remember to sit more as I watch the games tomorrow - too much standing up and pacing today - LOL!

But, hey, my heel just wants to remind me that I’m not yet ready to play soccer or go on long hikes or … :) I’m at 14 weeks since my surgery.

Like it or not - I need to do at least the stretching and glute exercises tonight. I can probably skip the weight bearing exercises tonight since the foot/calf were bearing lots of weight today.

And, yes, I’m watching soccer as I ice and elevate - LOL! The FA cup replay since I missed it earlier today. And following that game was the Seattle/Portland MLS game. So I’m giving my foot a long break.

week 14 0verdoing it

Bummers - no hills until the 6 month mark (maybe)!

I reviewed the 3 month plan my doc wrote up for me and I was sure he must have just copied/pasted some of the exercise part without editing since it said - flat elliptical, flat elliptical, flat elliptical for all 3 months before I see him again. So I emailed him and asked when I could add an incline to the elliptical and treadmill. He said not until the 6th month. Drats! He didn’t make a typo. No hills until he sees me again. Ah well - now I know why the handicap permit goes through July. I actually have to use it sometimes when the only available non-handicapped parking is down a steep hill. Don’t have to use it too often - but it’s there when I do need to follow the doctors directions.

At least my next PT appt is coming up at the end of next week. I get to move to the next stage in my healing (and I get to start walking barefoot - whoopie!). My therapist mentioned lunges and squats! Maybe I’ll even be able to go to my weight training class at that point.

But I am enjoying the swimming! It’s a nice change from the other gym exercising I was doing and I love that it uses different muscles. And I get to walk barefoot in the pool - LOL!

12 week anniversary today!

Today it is 12 weeks since my haglunds deformity/heel spur surgery. My limits now are - heel lifts in the shoes still (though the lifts are getting pretty squashed!), no barefoot, no real biking, no walking up hills (well steep hills), no running. My foot itself tells my to do less than 4 hours of yard work - LOL! If I’m doing chopping, weeding and whatever else for 4 hours my foot is quite achy. The dogs and I REALLY walked 1.6 miles today. The phone app is very inaccurate for distances so I measured it with my car yesterday on the way home. I should probably do a little less since my foot was definitely “there” for the last bit of the walk. I am happy that I don’t even notice my foot (unless it’s tired) as I go up and down stairs. The more my foot isn’t “there” the happier I am - LOL! One just shouldn’t notice one’s feet. :)

I’m doing my ROM exercises about 2x/day now and I just started doing the PT exercises 3 sets/1x per day - up from the 2 sets that I started with. For the timed exercises - ankle stretches, push the wall achilles stretches, sit on your heels plantarflex stretches and my glute exercises - I’m at 45 seconds (started at 30 seconds) and should be at 60 seconds by the end of the month. For those exercises maxing out at 3 sets, 30 reps I’m just starting the 3rd rep now. I’m up to 16 pounds of weight on my seated calf raises and max out at 20 pounds this month.

So I’m progressing on my PT exercises. I think my dorsiflexion is improving as I look in the mirror during my wall push but I didn’t measure it when I started so it’s hard to say. My doc said don’t overstretch so I’m careful to stop pushing when I start feeling a deep pull on my achilles.

I’m definitely happy with my progress and just have to not overdue it. I’m feeling more aches/pains in the last 2 weeks than I did in the first 10 which means I need to slow down a bit more. No serious, need a pill pain, but definitely some - you’ve overdone it a bit aches/pains. But then both my doc and PT said I have high pain tolerance so maybe other folks would want a pill - LOL!

And here is my before and now picture :) Before surgery and today. A bit of swelling today after the doggie walk.

Foot before surgery and at 12 week anniversary

Some things are getting easier

Nothing like a walking app to get me to lengthen my stride - LOL! I used it yesterday and it said the doggies and I walked 1.6 miles. When I measured with the car it was more like 1 mile. Hubby thought it was because my stride is short right now. So today I lengthened my stride and noticed that I also had a lot less problem dealing with the slant of the driveways as I walked. Not sure if it’s the exercises I’m doing for PT or the walking or time passing and things healing or all of the above :) But it is nice to not feel a bit unsteady walking on the changing angles of the sidewalk. This time when I checked my app at the .5 mile spot it did say .5 miles so my lengthened stride did make things more accurate. I’m pretty sure we walked 1.5 miles today :) Bit by bit things get more normal. And today I’m going to up the weight on my calf “push ups” to 10lb. I’m able to do 30 of them with 8lb so it’s time to up the weight. My goal by the end of the month is 20lb.

PT today and not another visit for a month

Well I was looking forward to PT today and ended up kinda disappointed since it was pretty anti-climactic. He was surprised that I wasn’t hobbling or on crutches and that I was walking so well. He did some checks on flexibility and strength of other leg muscles and found that my butt muscle is actually weak (I had no idea) and (as I already knew) I’m not quite as flexible bending my surgery foot up (dorsiflexion) and to the left (supination). I guess the hammy and quad take over for my butt muscle. So he gave me exercises for my gluteus maximus and other foot and calf stretches and a stronger band (I was promoted from the green one I’ve been using to blue - LOL!) to use for the foot exercises. I told him the exercises I’m doing on my own and he said “Keep at it, you’re doing great!”. And I don’t go back to PT for a month! My pocketbook is OK with that since it’s $30 a visit. He checked my achilles movability and said my massaging has it moving freely so no need to worry about that.

I guess that’s what happens when you prod the doc for exercises to do at home and keep working out, as much as possible, at the gym, they kick you out the door with some exercises and say keep on doing it! LOL! I think part of the limitation on what I’m doing is due to the docs instructions - he still wants it gentle this month. Next month I start doing lunges and squats. Since it hasn’t even been 3 months since the surgery I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that I can’t push it too hard yet - it just seems like it has been longer. In fact my PT said his job is going to be to keep me from overdoing it. I told him I would be good and would check with him if I thought about doing anything else - LOL! I sure feel like I can go jogging - but that is NOT allowed right now so I’ll have to settle for walking more normally and trying to increase my walking speed. I have to keep reminding myself that the achilles tendon/scar tissue around the anchors are still healing even though things feel pretty normal to me.

So - I’ll be happy that I’m doing really well so far and will be diligent about the new exercises I get to do. He did think the September soccer tournament was very doable which is another good thing!

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.