“Look at that!”

After telling myself I’d take the PWB process slow and steady, I ended up testing out some unassisted steps in my boot last night and it went better than I thought. I gave myself 5 minutes to shuffle side to side along behind our couch, holding on initially, and mainly focusing on shifting weight from one foot to the other.

That got me over some of the fear of putting weight on my healing side, I guess. I tried a few shuffle steps from there and ended up in the kitchen, then down the hallway to the bedroom, and then I quit while I was ahead.

This afternoon and evening I practiced some more and managed to prepare dinner without any crutches or iWalk…what a treat after so many days stumping around in the iWalk. The best part, though, was my son following me around saying “Look at that! Look at that!” and “You’re walking! That’s good!” Kind of an emotional moment, to be honest. It’s 2 months to the day since my injury and this is the first time I’ve walked anywhere near normally since then. It’s been hard to deal with not being able to be active with my son, so his delight at me moving around - even in a still-limited capacity - meant a lot.

It’s kind of fitting, really. I’m not sure how much of this he remembers, but about a year ago the roles were reversed and I was helping him with PT exercises. He was a little delayed in starting walking, so we did leg strength and coordination exercises every day at home for about 7 months. We used the same timer and checklists that I’ve been using for myself. And ultimately, we were after the same result - learning (or re-learning) to walk.

Still a long way to go, but it’s nice to have a bright spot, that’s for sure.

10 Responses to ““Look at that!””

  1. Aww….pj, I’m SOOOOO happy for you! Just when I thought I got the ever free flowing tears of yesterday under control, I read this post! Such a touching moment for you and your son!

    I tried putting all my weight on my “bad” leg today too. Yikes! I’m definitely not ready for that yet. But I’m so glad you are, and could even prepare dinner! That’s so awesome! Way to go!! Take that bright spot and hold onto it!!

  2. Thanks shell - it was definitely a nice way to wind down this evening.

    If it’s any help, when I thought about it I realized I’ve been testing and practicing gently for a week or so. I actually started last weekend by sitting normally in a chair and letting my booted foot rest with a little weight on it. I experimented a tiny bit more each day. I bet a week from now (or less, who knows?) you’ll feel a lot more comfortable.

    It’s such a roller coaster! Midweek I was despondent because I felt like nobody was letting me really try to get walking in the boot, and now I’m back to being happy again.

  3. It’s definitely a roller coaster! I’ve been on it since June 2015 when I first started having issues with this ankle. I’m glad you’re happy again!

  4. Woohoo PJ! And you have your own cheerleader too! :) Way to go. Just keep on stepping as you can and when you can. It took many weeks to unlearn everything and it takes a while to relearn it and to get over your own fears/worries too.

  5. Thanks cserpent. “Stepping” is the operative word, I’m learning. I have to think about every step to make sure I’m going through the proper motions. My boot doesn’t have much of a rocker-type bottom so I keep getting stuck halfway through the step, if that makes sense. Still, it’s nice to be practicing and I think the booting around is helping to loosen up my ankle a bit.

    I also ordered an Even Up thing for my other foot. I’m wondering if that will help me get through my steps more smoothly.

  6. I found the evenup quite useful so that both feet would be at the same height as I walked. Bummer that your boot doesn’t rock - that makes it a bit harder for you since your foot has to supply the rocking motion so you won’t walk as easily in your boot as I was able to walk in mine. But, as your foot gets stronger, you’ll start moving more smoothly. Although my calf hasn’t gained any noticeable mass I did notice that by the end of my booted walking stage my foot was getting more muscle mass. I was shocked, as I did my ROM motions and compared both feet, at how much muscle mass the foot lost too! Use it or lose it sure applies to muscles! I guess I better keep that in mind for my brain too - hahahahaha! And, after 4 weeks of walking I’m still thinking about my steps. Not all the time now - but it still isn’t natural. And, of course, when my foot is tired I have to concentrate on how I walk even more. :)

  7. How old is your son, pj? That’s great that he’s encouraging you like that! Your own at-home cheerleader! Just remember, you have a bunch of cheerleaders over here, too! Way to go!!! Woohoo!!!

  8. Thanks Eric. He’s two and a half…and now becoming well-versed in orthopedics and physical therapy! I’m lucky that he’s such a mellow little guy. He’s very understanding when I need rest or when I had to strap in to (or out of) the iWalk. Some days he even asks for a bandage on his leg so he can limp around like me. Pretty funny.

  9. Your little boy sounds very sweet. Obviously you’re his idol, if he wants to have a bandage on his leg just like Dad! So cute!

  10. Congrats!! You’re on your way now. Things are going to progress more quickly.

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