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.

8 Responses to “3rd and 4th PT”

  1. jeff16 on December 10, 2018 10:06 pm

    Great progress JB. I was in a boot for 12 weeks so was very awkward at first when I went to shoes. You’ll be a natural at that point. As far psychological, keep doing the exercises and you will start trusting the foot without thinking about it all that much.

    I had a PT session today and another in two weeks and I’ll be done seeing them. I was jumping repeatedly for the first time and went pretty well. Still compensating a little on the good leg though I’m sure will even out over time.

    Keep the cards and letters coming on your progress!

  2. carbonfiber on December 11, 2018 2:33 am

    I felt driving was my own physical therapy in way, especially living in Los Angeles and dealing with the daily bumper to bumper traffic. It definitely strengthen my range of motion and flexibility.

  3. dan914 on December 11, 2018 7:55 am

    junebug, that’s great! You have to have confidence in your PT. You made me laugh when you talked about your foot. My right foot, the one I injured, is just plain nasty. For some reason I don’t understand, it’s the one with the nasty toenails, and the chronic athletes foot. When I was in the boot, it positively molted. I’d take the boot off in the chair to wash, dry, massage, whatever, and there would be a pile of dead nasty skin on the floor. the good news is that in order to keep it from stinking up the house too badly, I put Tinactin on it everyday, and it seems to have improved. Even my toenails may be getting better. We’ll see about that though.
    As far as your tendon probably being stronger than you give it credit for, that is probably true, but that’s OK too the way I see it. Better to under stress it a little, and heal a few weeks slower, than overstress it and start over from Day One, in my book.
    Time is our friend here, IMO.
    Keep up the good work, be patient. I think you’ll be amazed at your progress the next 4 weeks. It’s a 6 month, or a one year injury, but soon you’ll have much of your life back.

  4. cserpent on December 11, 2018 6:19 pm

    Glad you’re making progress June! I’m with Dan - don’t overdue it! I speak from recent experience - LOL! My achilles is still annoyed with me more than it isn’t. Don’t be scared about moving into shoes, especially since you’re already doing 2-shoes :) Keep working it, but don’t work too hard!

  5. kamueller on December 11, 2018 10:16 pm

    Glad you are making progress and feeling better! The walking gets easier. I started with just going from the bed to the bathroom, as I was SO tired of putting on the boot to do that. My confidence slowly grew from there.

  6. Bruiser on December 13, 2018 2:40 am

    Congrats on all of your progress, JB. I know PT has been a big help for me as well. My range of motion before and after a PT session is like night and day. Are the crocs really that great? I had to put dress shoes on for the first time since my injury this week. Wasn’t too bad, but I only had to wear them for about an hour.

    One thought that I’m sure you’ll be able to elaborate on, having gone through this twice, it amazes me how up and down the days can be. I’m 14 weeks from injury and 13 from treatment. FWB since mid October and out of the boot full time for two weeks now. Some days are great and I walk with little to no limp…others I have a full on zombie walk going with my bad leg pointed out. How long after your first go around did it take for you to feel completely normal, no deficit, 90% of the time?

    Keep up the great work!

  7. junebug on December 13, 2018 6:41 pm

    Bruiser, oh I haven’t gone through this twice, thankfully! This is my first ATR, so I can’t really speak on the feeling completely normal thing…I am so far from that right now. Maybe cserpent can chime in on that one, since I know she HAS done it twice. And I agree about the range of motion after a PT session. It’s awesome! I almost can walk like a normal person.

  8. cserpent on December 14, 2018 6:12 am

    I’m going through the ups/downs now Bruiser and I’m at 16 weeks! More ups/downs with my left than I had with my right which is rather annoying. In terms of feeling completely normal (though not necessarily as strong) - I know I was pretty darn close to normal at the 6 month mark. But even then there were things I just couldn’t do yet (i.e. walking up a VERY steep hill for quite a distance). I read through my blog and I was still having ups/downs at the 5 month mark. I’m sure age affects the rate of recovery as well :) And I thought I was beyond the swelling stage - NOT. But it seems that standing in the kitchen cooking is what causes swelling. Walking around doesn’t seem to cause swelling though that can get my achilles tired and paining me. I see my PT guy tomorrow and I’ll see what his take is on why simple things still are causing pain even when I’m trying to take it easy.

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    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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