On Vacation making progress

It has been 3 or 4 weeks since my first post. In that time I have a few things to report. Had my 3rd post-op (at 5.5 weeks since going away on vacation the next day)- doc told me I needed to stay on crutches until 6 weeks. I gave him the look and he said “You have been walking around without crutches?”    Yes.  “Just be careful with it. It does seem that the more you use it the quicker the recovery.”  Well, OK then.  When asked about weight bearing he said “Weight Bearing as tolerated.” (That was for PT info).  He also told me four more weeks of boot.  I asked him what the purpose of the boot is and he said it is just to protect yourself.  I guess I have been full weight bearing since about 5 weeks since I gave up crutches earlier than recommended by him.

I haven’t used crutches since exiting the Docs office.  Honestly, given a couple of good falls, I think crutches are as dangerouse as not using them. And, it really put stress on my right forearm due to overcompensation and gripping the cructh.   Anyway, next day off for a roadtrip (10 hour drive) - no problems at all beyond usual driving stiffness.  I drove mostly without the boot (left AT) and was able to do some ROM things while driving.  I packed the crutches but never touched them the whole vacation -just took up car space.

First part of vacation was in my hometown of Oak Ridge, TN which has the most fabulous public pool in the country. It is TWO football fields in size and the lap swim lane is 100 yards which means one mile is only 16 (long) links. It is like a glorious open water swim under the sky with spring-fed 74degree water. This is heaven for a swimmer.  I swam every day and did lots of toe raises in the water as well. (I had started that around 4 weeks gingerly).  Now doing toe raises on land (only with both feet at this point but seeing progress).   The other big thing, against medical advice, is I have basically given up the boot too. It just slows me down.  I do use it in unknown terrain (visited a construction site and glad to have it on) but in the house and pavement I just walk. Had to buy a pair of flip flops as I only brought one shoe from each pair since I thought I was going to stay in the boot. I did bring a pair of sneakers but the back of shoe cuts into scar too much.

I did appreciate Walter’s PT info post/advice.  Because I went away on vacation I haven’t had PT for weight bearing and have been doing my own thing (with info from here and elsewhere). Pool calf raises and on land holding on to furniture etc..  Still doing Pilates as well as swim.  My big excitement at the 6.5 post-surgery was pushing off the pool wall with both feet, full force, no pain. Swam that with a big grin on my face.

2ndweek of vacation we are in Kiawah (with Joe Biden on the island now). This is a great biking place and I got tired of walking to the beach so I hopped on my son’s bike (because it was smaller, I had no problem reaching the ground when I had to stop) to try it out. It is VERY flat here and I took it very slowly and pedalled flat-footed and it went great.  I didn’t even attempt the really small hill in one place since it was the first go round.  I will take it easy and force myself not to bike everywhere now, though it would be faster. My husbandis very fearful of something happening on vacation.  I feel like I know my body and am very careful. Not sure if he is more worried about me or the inconvenience factor!

I have found that giving my scar a massage really makes the walking easier, albeit temporary. No limp for a few minutes after a self-massage. Try to do a couple times a day.

It really doesn’t feel as if I am pushing myself too hard (a little swelling but nothing at all painful and swelling subsides quickly).  I am ‘ahead of the game’ it seems and I don’t want to be afraid to try things while being sensible.

I have had a black cloud over my head this summer. In addition to the AT rupture, the garage door came crashing down on my SUV windsheild 48 hours before leaving on vacation, shattering it. Managed to get it fixed in time (alongwith $1000 of needed servicing!).  And,  a few days ago at the beach I ran into a Jellyfish and got a nice sting on my “good leg”.   Still have nice tentacle markings. So, I am looking at my AT progress as the bright spot.

Will post again after returnto DC and some PT sessions.

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