Post Holiday Update

December 30th, 2018

It’s been a couple of weeks so I thought I’d file in an update. Lots of traveling the last couple of weeks. First a flight out to California to see the folks then a flight back to Tennessee and then a long 6 hour drive home. I knew I was going to have trouble at the airports given my foot. I had connecting flights that I would have to hustle to make, so I opted to wear the boot on the airport travel days even though I’m technically in two shoes now. I can move pretty quickly in the boot but I have to move a lot slower and think about my steps when I’m just in shoes. And boy, I’m glad I did. I ended up doing a ton of walking at the airport. So much so, that I spent the next 4 days at my parents letting my achilles recover. It was so stiff and angry! It took me about a week to get back to where I was in my recovery before the trip. But now I have a better grasp of what it can endure.

Overall though, I think things are progressing nicely. I’ve been walking around the house in clogs, which help a ton! With the clogs on, I almost don’t have a limp. But forget about barefooted. I’m just not there yet. Outside, I’ve been wearing my super awesome new running shoes (Hoka’s, in case you want some). They’ve got lots of padding and are made for stability, which I really need. I still have a pretty severe limp in the running shoes but I know that will improve with time. I think I’m closing in on week 12, so I still have quite a ways to go.

I’ve been going to physical therapy twice a week (except for the two weeks I was traveling) which is going well, and doing my exercises at home. I’m doing assisted heels raises, a lot of balancing drills, some squats and modified lunges. Most of those I can do fairly well except the lunges. Got a problem with those for some reason. I’ve also been going to the gym and have been doing the stationary bike, a little bit of elliptical and lots of weights. It’s nice to actually get my heart rate up with some cardio where I actually sweat!

I still can’t walk very far before my achilles starts complaining, which I find the most annoying. Over Christmas, I tried a short walk outside thought the woods with my husband. I think I only did maybe 1/2 a mile and that was all I could do. Frustrating. But I’m trying not to push it. It is what it is. I also still have a bit of numbness around the edge of my heel, but I’m hoping, as with everything else, that will improve with time.

What I try to remember, during this time of year where we count our blessings, is that at least I’m not in a cast and on crutches anymore. I don’t think there’s been a day yet where I haven’t been doing something around the house, in the yard or out in the real world where I haven’t said, “At least I’m not on crutches. At least I’m not in a cast.” I am SO GRATEFUL for that!

Happy New Year everyone! And here’s to a very speedy recovery for everyone!!

2nd Post Op

December 13th, 2018

9 weeks and 1 day today! I had my second post op with the PA and I got a good report card! She was pleased with the incision site which has very little scar tissue build up. Some that needs to be massaged out but not horrible. She was really pleased with my range of motion and my dorsiflexion. She said to ditch the boot and join the 2 shoes club! And I get to drive! And I can go to the gym! She said most of the stuff at the gym was okay at this point, but to be smart about it. Build up slowly and take it easy on the resistance when doing things like the elliptical and the bike. The only thing she definitely wants to hold off on is jogging/running. Not for another 3 months at least. I can walk on the treadmill but that’s it. I’m okay with that. She said to tell my PT guy that he’s doing a great job and to keep hitting the PT hard. Yes Ma’am!

So I immediately Ubered back home and jumped in the car. I did a quick trip to the sporting goods store to buy a new pair of sweatpants. The ones I have are ripped and I was feeling a little white trashy at physical therapy. All done in two running shoes. I’m still walking incredibly slow and with a limp, but I don’t care. I know that will get better slowly with time. And the limp is from tightness not pain! Can I tell you how wonderful that is? First time in at least 3 years I’m walking without pain in my right heel. Well, we’ll see how sore my achilles is tomorrow since this is the most non-boot walking I’ve done up to this point.

Next appointment 3 months from now (around the 6 month mark) with the actual doctor this time. Now if I can just avoid doing anything stupid in the next couple months I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I know…a very long 12 month tunnel, but a light nonetheless.

3rd and 4th PT

December 10th, 2018

Well, I switched back to my old physical therapist, the one I was seeing before the injury, and things are going so much better! I’m much more at ease and comfortable with him and able to talk more freely and I think that helps. He also knows how prone I am to go overboard on things so he’s helping me to reign in that side of things, which I fully appreciate now. I like how he actually feels and works the ankle, foot and calf with his hands…how tense/loose it is in certain areas. Physical therapy should be a hands on practice, and the first PT I had would hardly touch my foot….made me feel a little leper like. I mean I have some serious calluses on my feet but not that bad! Speaking of calluses, the ones on my injured foot are so much worse than the other one and since the injury I’ve been spending serious time trying to get rid of them and I’m almost there.

So anyway, my PT has me doing more theraband exercises in addition to what I’ve been doing. They have lots of cool machines too so we’ve been some calf raise exercises on a machine where you lay on your back so that the strain on the achilles is really minimized. It’s done with very little weight so it’s like a baby step into real calf raises. He’s also helping me practice walking around in two shoes, no boot, which I love but is super awkward. There’s no pain, but it’s so stiff! I really have to concentrate to walk with a normal gait where you roll through from heel to toe. And then I realized, I have spent the past three years avoiding that very action. My achilles has bothered me so long that I don’t think I’ve walked with a normal heel toe motion on my right foot for ages. I really am having to learn to walk correctly all over again.

I’ve come to really look forward to PT day. I can see progress being made now and I’m excited to learn new exercises to add to my foot repertoire. I’m still in the boot (technically) but my PT is really encouraging me to be out of the boot a little bit each day in two shoes with lifts. He’s really pleased as to where I’m at recovery wise and feels that it’s strong enough to slowly start the process. I’ve been following his advice and just starting out with an hour here and there in the house, in my husbands crocs with one lift. I’ve ordered my own crocs and clogs for when I get the official okay to move to two shoes. By the way, I have to agree with kamueller that crocs are awesome. I always poo-pooed them because they are ugly as sin…but super comfortable! I also wonder if I’ll ever by able to wear cute shoes again. You know the ones…the ones with no support but very pretty. Typical women’s shoes. I can only hope that I am not destined for an entire life of running shoes, clogs and support shoes. It’s hard to go to dress up occasions in those.

I think a lot of this process is also psychological. I’m having a hard time committing to actually trusting in my foot. I know I’m still healing, but I do think my foot is stronger than I’m giving it credit for. I am just so extremely terrified of doing anymore damage or worse, re-rupturing it.

I have another follow up visit with my doctor this Thursday and I am so excited. I know he is going to okay me to drive, which is like Christmas day for me, and I hope he’s going to say I can start moving into two shoes, although I’m a little bit scared of that. I’m also hoping he gives me the okay to start some more cardio friendly exercises like the bike! or maybe the elliptical. Might be a little early for that.

    I’m a 48 year old gal that loves to run, hike with my dog and do yoga. I am constantly on the go and have a hard time sitting still. This injury is slowly killing me.
    • junebug has completed the grueling 26.2 ATR miles to full recovery!
      Goal: 365 days from the surgery date.
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