I’m going, and am taking your physiotherapist with me….

Today, to add some drama at the clinic, I turn up in a wheelchair. The taxi got it from reception. I have bought many items over the last few months but not yet one of those. So Steve walks in, takes one look, ‘Not quite what I was expecting….!’ he says, ‘What happened?’. I tell him nothing, no dancing, drinking, etc. He counsels me and questions while I gingerly do what he says and then carries on while he massages foot and pushes it around. Announces its fine, this is ok, this is just swollen. We identify the negative thoughts associated with fear of re-rupture and panic (hold on, aren’t I the psychologist!). I go out of there walking, in love, seeking a divorce lawyer… But the next challenge awaits him, getting me into swimwear by March!

I want a maid or a physiotherapist to move in…..

The husband is fine, his attempts at putting on or removing a compression sock when I am in too much pain defy belief and have so far defied re-rupture, but I want a servant, someone to make drinks I can’t yet carry, food when I’m in pain, etc. They should if applying be part psychologist and part physiotherapist, qualifications in both good. Access to pain killing drugs good too. Went to friend’s house mid-week. Sat down and announced ‘OK, hun, forget the coffee, most important thing is Do you have any drugs?’! She thought I meant illegal ones bless her…Actually after half lifting me out her house she probably is now taking them too….
One day, usually correlates with physio days, I feel ‘yeah, walking can’t be far off’. Usually day ends by a milestone being reached, like walking without sticks round house three nights ago. Then its more pain inbetween, lots of feeling my ankle for possible spongy achilles(!), alternating between resting too much and swearing and just putting up with the pain. Then its physio again. This has become my life. I live vicariously through my friends and their hangovers, relationship problems, gym work-outs, etc. I try to focus beyond this point to my holiday (so far the physio is not invited but theres still time…) and buy clothes I can’t then stand up to put on. Girls, admit it, who else has not shaved legs since R day? I would rather have a 10 pound baby than suffer this pain, at least they do come out somehow. I lose everything because am too focused on the foot to remember where it is.
If my husband is not back in 15 minutes the advert goes out for the live-in servant/therapist! Applications welcome, must be able to cope with and best of all, fix, messy house! Sex unimportant (this said with feeling), can be male or female. Ability to understand glasgow swearing is a bonus. Pay is minimal. There’s a nice cat and a 6 year old light sabre fiend. Don’t all fight over the job….

Walking in trainers and she still won’t go drinking with me!

Fellow sufferers will recognise one of the effects of this injury is social isolation. Can’t work, can’t go out, can’t drive, feel fed-up. One of my best friends is a marvel, she’s picked my son up, looked after him, popped round a lot. Anyway she promised jokingly that when my boot came off we’d get really drunk. So last night I was fed-up. Right leg hurts through overuse, wanted to move on. Took a few steps in my bedroom in my trainers and actually could walk slowly for about 5 minutes. So today of course its stiff cos its morning, and I text her and change my status on FB. And then she drops the killer; my prada loving mate won’t go out while I’m wearing trainers! So I say actually they are recognised clubbing footwear in Glasgow, cos if you get in a fight you may need to leave real quick! Am sure (almost) she is kidding…..
Its snowing here, lucky am not going skiing anymore or I’d be torturing myself with will I/won’t I be able to!
Can anyone advise on a compression sock you can actually get on your foot without it feeling like you’re foot-binding yourself?!
Also did 5 minutes on my gym bike yesterday and my legs wobbled….And have put on a dress size, not that dresses are my usual attire right now, its joggers, pjs, anything I can reach, anything that’s clean!
So am I FWB yet or not? For 5 minutes, does it count, One thing’s sure, am a million miles from heels! Surely I can find fashionable trainers - advice please girls!?

From boot to shoe in an hour!

I wanted to tell people about my physio today, at the Sports Injury Clinic. In the UK, you seem to get none on the nhs for this so unless you have insurance or self fund like me, so much for our so-called equitable health service here.
I had been frustrated at lack of progress. The first thing was the discomfort and lack of flexibility in the foot. Feeling I should be further on.
He’s called Steve, have remembered that so I can scream it in pain when all his abuse has its effect later! He did a fantasic physical assessment, pushing and pulling this way and that, asking when it felt stretched, when it felt sore, where sore. So he knew how much to push me. So we ditch the boot except for getting around the house, practice sitting with bare foot flat to floor, walking in shoe with frame but putting increasing weight through bad foot. He showed me loads. Next time bring a shoe he said. So we took out the last wedge, which had been impossible only this morning. Its been out since. I got home and put on my running shoe, it actually would go on. Could take little steps in frame with it. Next we ditch the frame for a stick, after a week of strengthening work.
It was so good, feeling safe enough to try things.
New goal, to ditch boot, frame, and drive!

The day it snowed in St Lucia!

Taking the pressure of my recovery, cancelling ski trip! I know its a long time until mid March and one should be positive. BUT, right now am still using frame and in a lot of pain. I realised that some of my low mood was coming from the pressure of a deadline. Even with the option of not skiing, using the lovely spa, would still have to negotiate walking on ice and snow and possibly not getting insured.
It has been a horrible 3-4 months, this, work trouble, pressure on family. We need a really relaxing holiday. So am looking at a brilliant hotel in St Lucia, with loads of kids stuff and adult stuff, spa, fitness suite, etc. And I feel loads better. It will even cost less. In the end it wasn’t the fear of re-injury, it was the pressure to recover every day, every pain a trigger to thoughts of my skiing trip gone. So it will never snow in St Lucia, but this year, I won’t care!

More baby steps and the arrival of the compression ankle wrap

By tomorrow when I see my physio after 3 weeks I was meant to have ditched the trolley. Instead I am still starting baby steps again. BUT…. my compression wrap came from physioroom. Seriously, if you’ve done this and haven’t got one or similar, get it. It goes in the fridge for 2 hours and then you strap it on, pump it up and I swear its better than sex, which I vaguely remember before the boot! After it comes off all swelling gone and feels like a new foot.
So what I’d like to know after scaring myself silly last time is…..
When you start to FWB is discomfort/pain/swelling to be expected and worked through? Cos folks the snow in Obergurgl is mounting up and I have to settle up by 6 January. And for a holiday mid March. So me and the trolley we do have to get divorced somehow and soon and I need to drive, the lack of decent food in this house is driving me bonkers….

Re-rupture scare

On Thursday I was feeling good, thoughts would take physio’s advice to ditch the trolley and try with just me and my boot. So I did little steps like a very drunk person round the kitchen, stopping every minute or less to rest and in total did no more than 5 mins. No pain, no pop, no tear, not exactly lovin it, but pleased. Until Friday. Woke up, foot swollen near heel, red to look at, very stiff. Hurt, tingling. And I thought - oh b—–r it, what if I’ve re-ruptured….. Spent that day and the next icing, elevating, panicking, phoning physio who couldn’t be reached. Spent weekend frantically reading up on re-ruptures, e-mailing folks, thanks guys, and scared to move.
Saw doctor today after waiting until nearly 5 o clock. I describe what happened, he asks me to lie on my tummy on the bed thing, with my feet hanging over the bottom and gets me to press against his hand pushing my foot. Several minutes later, he announced it definately intact, could have hugged him.

I resolve to get on my exercise bike, strengthen up my foot and legs a bit, and then try walking after a week or two. He also said not to ever sit for too long at once.
So possibility of some return to normality intact and hope of going skiing and doing a little remain. But god, it was scary. To imagine all those little and big steps until now back to nought, like snakes and ladders. Will sleep better tonight, thanks to all who answered my worried e-mails!

How to tell husband?

In between debating what I’d done to my foot, my squash partner discussing his past history, etc, we debated how to tell husband about the secret but possibly impossible skiing holiday. Go for tell him now - sympathy vote, overtaken by greater event, etc, vs wait until I get a prognosis! But I told him. Not all of it, its provisionally booked now.

All my doctors, physio, etc, laugh; I don’t ask about driving, walking, pain relief, I ask when/whether I can ski come mid March!

The recovery is slow and boring. Complicated by work hassles. Because I spend too much time sitting debating and sorting work problems, neglect to walk enough I now think. The hospital passed in a blur, scar, what scar, who cares, can I ski?

I honestly think the psychological effect is underestimated. No driving, no work, no walking, no sport, no drinking more than a little. Pain, worry, loss of independence. Have to learn to look after mood as much as leg. Risks - not eating well, its too much effort, not drinking enough, same reason, driving partner mad.

My physio doubtful about the skiing, actually at 8-9 weeks still weight-bearing with trolley I would be too… But surgeon says its hopeful. At least it was until yesterday when the previous day’s efforts at baby walking resulted in swelling and questionmark about damage. Need to see /speak to physio tomorrow. I wasn’t overdoing it, no pop or mammoth pain, but it is inflamed where it joins heel and has lost mobility. Ice helps and can walk using support and weight bear but very wary until its checked out.

Why do these things always happen just before the weekend?

Men shouldn’t play drop shots in squash - how it started

I used to play squash seriously about 10 years ago or more, but ironically kept injuring my ankle so stopped. But about 6 months ago I fancied taking it up again. I really liked it. My husband would come down from above to play me sometimes but mainly I played Sam, my friend, more of Sam later… But I wanted real matches, so I joined the serious club, across the city. Waited impatiently for the first ladder I’d be in, played two club nights. Looking back after the second there was pain/stiffness in the achilles but I thought nothing of it. My first match came, I was running late, stuck behind slow driver too. Got there, thought my opponent gone (if only). But he was there and we started playing. We warmed the ball up a little. I discovered he didn’t play my kind of man’s game; I like long shots up the walls. This guy hit hard, with precision, and dropped the ball. I was losing badly, 8-2 down. Another flaming drop, was never going to make it, why did I try? I heard a loud noise, thought he’d stood on my heel, but there he was admiring his drop shot…And then I collapsed on the floor. And I thought 2 things - drop shots should not be allowed, and how the heck do I tell my husband there’s a secret skiing holiday booked in January? Will continue, must feed child!

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