13 weeks post-op.

Steady progress this week. I realized on a couple of occasions that my ankle mobility has improved enough to make a difference in my gait. Every other day or so I have an “aha!” moment when I notice a change.

PT this week: walking with my son. Our paces match up well and I can focus on slow, proper steps. I do theraband exercises and simulated/exaggerated steps and slow-motion running motions to work on light strengthening and balance. I’ll probably revisit “real” PT in another week or so. I don’t feel compelled to check in with them at the moment.

It’s funny how quickly I’ve forgotten what the early weeks were like. Last night I started grumbling about how annoying it is to always wear shoes around the house (I never used to wear shoes in the house). What a pain to slip on my running shoes every time I get up! Poor me! Of course, in the early weeks it was the cast that was frustrating. Then the iWalk and crutches, then the boot. I need to remember that this stage is easy compared to living with all of the other devices I’ve had to use.

The thing is, even with steady progress all I really want is to go back to normal. Completely normal. Rewind to March 2 and decide to hold off on tennis for a while. I still have a moment each morning when I forget that anything’s wrong, and it still sucks to come back down to earth and do 5 minutes of stretching and mobility exercises so my ankle doesn’t feel frozen when I first get out of bed. It’s a pendulum, and quite a ride. Excitement, hope, resignation, hope, excitement. Wash, rinse, repeat.

So, my goal for the weekend is to stay in the excited/hopeful zone for as long as possible. The weather is nice, I can get out and about, and if the worst thing going on is wearing shoes in the house, I don’t have much reason to complain.

5 Responses to “13 weeks post-op.”

  1. I hear you on the shoes PJ! I never used to wear shoes in the house either! Even though the doc said barefoot was OK in June - it took a while to transition from the heel lifts to walking without them. Just yesterday I finally have retired the heel lifts and feel comfortable barefoot, in sandals and in tennis shoes even after a long day of many steps - LOL! Today is my 16 week anniversary :) I am also still doing my ROM exercises before I get out of bed. My foot REALLY reminds me to do them when I’ve overdone it a bit the previous day (as I did yesterday - never combine a dog walk, Costco trip, grocery store trip all in the same day right now - too many steps). On other days it just gives me little hints that I should do them - and, oh by the way, don’t forgot to massage me a bit while you’re at it - LOL! I just rejoice every time I hit a little milestone and work hard in the meantime towards the next one. I think you’ll find that as you get better there are fewer downer moments and more up moments. I see a bit of progress weekly and as long as I’m moving forward I’m happy! I’m finding that my phone app for counting steps is a good way to see progress. Last week my foot was unhappy if I averaged more than 5K steps. This week I’m OK averaging 7K steps - but 10+K steps is still too much (my number yesterday). I’m sure the step count is not accurate - but as long as it is inaccurate in the same way it gives me a gauge to measure progress.

  2. I’m with you both on the shoes! I kind of grumble in the morning as I put them on, but then forget about them for the most part. Other than that they cause me pain where they contact my heel at the back where my surgery was. After having to go back to a crutch last Saturday for the day, my right hand reminded me how much I don’t miss those things! I do my ROM every morning before I dare get out of bed as well.
    The emotional roller coaster is certainly a wild ride. I get so sucked in by the exciting, hopeful times that the lows hit me even harder. At least we’re on the roller coaster together. Thanks for the company!

  3. It’s definitely good to have company! I’m not sure what I would have done without the resources on this blog. At the very least I would have been even more nervous about the early weeks.

    We had our first beach trip of the season on Friday. I was worried about managing the sand but everything was fine (I kept my shoes on). It helped that the sand was pretty firm. Back in March/April I was wondering if I’d make it to the beach in the early summer - it seemed impossible - so this was a nice little milestone to check off the list.

  4. A beach trip sounds amazing! That’s one of my goals for this summer. I didn’t have a beach trip last summer or the one before because of this ankle, so really hope to have one this year. The beach we go to has soft, silky, deep, fluffy white sand, and I love walking in my bare feet in it. Not necessarily a good combination with a recovering Achilles, but I’m hopeful. There’s just something about sinking your bare feet into that stuff!! Glad to hear yours went well.

  5. Way to go PJ! Actually one of my friends who had ATR said that during the last part of her healing she went walking on the beach to help break up a last bit of scar tissue and improve her last bit of missing mobility. So - once you got the OK to do whatever from the doc - go walk on the beach to your hearts content!

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