How I learned not to get ahead of myself

It’s not a big deal, no dramas at all.  I’ve not re-injured myself.  But I did have a tiny lesson this week about how important it is to continue to take this injury seriously even after having small (and I mean small!) wins.

At my sixth PT visit on Monday, my PT measured my range of movement and advised that it had increased significantly over the last week, to 98 degrees.  Very exciting.  My surgeon has told me that I should be at 90 degrees by the time I see him next Tuesday to (hopefully) get the all clear to start PWB walking.

I had also noticed that the swelling on my foot and leg was subsiding, to the extent that when I woke up in the morning, my left ankle was almost as small as my right.  Again, very exciting.

On Tuesday, I had a lot of work to do.  I have been very good about leaving work between 4.30pm and 6pm every day, taking work home with me at that time if I still need to work, but it is harder to work from home than at my desk, with all my materials available.  Working from home requires planning!  Anyway, given how well I was going, I thought that my foot could handle an extra few hours at work, where I have it resting on an upturned bin so that my leg is at about 90 degrees to my hip.

I left work at 10pm, and when I removed my boot to ice it a half an hour later, I was shocked at how thick my ankle, and how swollen my foot, had become.  The next morning, my leg was not nearly as pretty as it had been the previous morning.  And at PT that evening, my range of movement had regressed from 98 degrees to 102.

I was very disappointed with myself.  My PT agreed that staying home today would be a good idea.  This evening, after a full day at home, with my foot elevated on a pillow while I worked, I am back on track; my ankle is the most visible that it has been since the injury.  Hopefully tomorrow my PT will tell me that my range of movement is also back on track.

So it’s not a big deal at all; but I think that I learned a lesson from something that has not set me back in the long run.   If I continued with that attitude - that as I was getting better, i could afford to not be so precious about ensuring that I elevated my foot for the entire evening - I think that I would have jeopardised my recovery. 

I feel like a bit of an idiot being so insistent that I spend only certain allocated hours each week sitting at my desk, and I am sure that some of my colleagues resent it, but I have to remind myself that this really is a serious issue and that I am at the beginning of a long road to recovery.  I think that those of us who are prone to playing down health issues need to remind ourselves that just because we feel fine, and just because we are generally healthy and strong, it doesn’t mean that we don’t need to be a little bit selfish (only to the shortsighted) and put our recoveries first.

4 Responses to “How I learned not to get ahead of myself”

  1. Hey Despina, these things can happen. As a friend (who’s a physio) of mine said about me, the hardest thing will be to hold back and take it easy once the rehab has started. I think we all want to get back to the way we were so much and get on with things. You’re doing well.

  2. Hello Despina,
    The same happened to me this week - I’m itching to get back to work and went in on Tuesday for a full day including a meeting in the evening and a couple of beers in the pub on the way home - I ended up knackered (fell fast asleep when I got in) and with a purple,numb and swollen foot.

    Lesson learned!!


  3. wintermute - thanks for the encouragement. Hey, did I read that you are coming out of a cast on Tuesday? Good luck with the next step! I am seeing my surgeon on Tuesday, too - hopefully will get the all clear to go PWB.

    Richard - yes, I too have found that I am much wearier at the end of the day, inactive as I feel! And while I know that purple swollen feet are a bad thing, I think that the odd couple of beers after work during this period can only be good for us! Your emotional health is important, too. So maybe the occasional purple foot is the price we have to pay. Occasionally!

  4. Keep on elevating. I learned the same lesson. It took at least 4.5 months before those swelling issues went away. It still do it every so oftern (especially after a longer workout).

    By the way, I heard that NBC has cancelled Lipstick Jungle. I don’t watch it, I just happened to see a news item that mentioned that show and the one with Christian Slater (My Own Worst Enemy).

    Happy healing.

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