Boot–the first two weeks

Freedom is a relative thing.   The boot is heavy, awkward, and gimpy-looking and -feeling.   But not being on crutches is wonderful!  I took them with me going around the house for a day or two, but they have been resting by my bed since the 2nd or 3rd day I got the boot. I exclusively use the cane.   I consider this partial weight-bearing, since I’m clearly relying on the cane, not to mention the fact that it’s only my heel taking any weight.

The first day or two, my foot throbs.  But it feels so good to be able to let the air flow across my foot a couple of times a day.    I change my sox every morning, which feels great.   At first I have to take them off very very carefully.   Also, I learned the trick about showering while wearing the NWB cast.   You need something to sit on in the shower.  This works even while NWB in a merely wrapped-up leg.  By sitting, and keeping the NWB leg a) wrapped in a plastic bag and b) lying on the bathtub rim sticking out of the carefully-placed shower curtain you can take a shower–which also felt wonderful.  This method also works with the boot.  I don’t trust myself to tape up the plastic bag adequately enough to make sure it stays dry standing in the shower, so I don’t do that–tho it appears others here have done so.

I’m proceeding very cautiously–I don’t want any risk of reinjury, however mild. (Aside from doing some slightly crazy things like helping get ready for guests by vacuuming while still NWB–I’m very good at hopping, and our upright vacuum functioned as an adequate crutch.).   But we need to get the house ready for all of our kids, their S.O.S, and a couple of grandchildren who will be arriving right after Christmas, and we have to leave before Christmas–so there’s a lot to do. I hobble, pick things up, and keep on cleaning-slowly.   Even tho’ I stop fairly frequently, the heel swells and throbs–but no injury, I think.  And not real pain, not acute pain at least.

And the scar continues to heal w/o any sign of infection.   Yeah!

I am bright enough to realize that I’m not going to be cleaning the gutters or finish raking leaves anytime soon, so I hire some people to do that.  The gutter people finally show up, but the leaf people are slowed by rain and finally a 14″ blizzard, which occurs early enough not to keep us from setting out on our drive on day 31 post-ATR but not early enough for them to get it done by Yuletide.  Meanwhile, I’m still inside vacuuming (not balancing on one leg, this time.)  And shopping online–no malls for me!

It’s frustrating–you’re not as mobile as usual.  You get tired earlier in the day compared to pre-ATR.  You can’t sit in a chair very long without beginning to throb, itch, and feel a strong need to lie down or recline.  Going up and down stairs is a slow process.    Whenever you stop moving, you look for a place to rest your cane where it won’t fall over–picking things up is possible but not easy.   It turns out that putting weight on the balls of your feet is pretty important.  I am getting a much better appreciation of how the body works, and how the parts work together.   I’m glad about that.   Being  silver-lining and glass-half-full kind of a guy.

Just after week two of the boot starts, we get in the SUV and start driving.  I sit in the front seat at first–I’m not ready to be exiled, but I accept my S.O.’s orders not to drive.  At the moment, I’m more worried about rest and recovery than I am about keeping active–and after a few days of a lot of hobbling around I’m happy  just to sit.   Although it doesn’t all go well:  the journey takes  a couple more hours than we thought, I find that there aren’t as many opportunities to put my leg up as there were at home; I’m walking (a good thing, ideally speaking) a lot (a bad thing, practically speaking), which even with the cane is not a picnic.   “I can’t get far on foot”.  My family learns that while they can start briskly trying to get from A to Z at a fast pace, I won’t be joining them until about twice as long as they were hoping.  I feel that learning to slow down is good–kind of like enforced meditation.  Instead of moving around to take a lot of pictures, I have only one POV–from a sitting position.   It’s different–but liveable.

Christmas Day, the end of Boot Week 2–I take out another wedge, making my heel a little lower and stretching my tendon ever so slightly.  This causes some throbbing for a day or two.  But I’m happy I can do it.  Then I think “why am I taking Tylenol?  For anti-inflammation I should be taking Advil.”  Which I’ve been staying off since frequent use exacerbates my pre-hypertension.  But a few days won’t hurt me.  The Advil works great, and I have the best night’s sleep in days.

2 Responses to “Boot–the first two weeks”

  1. ha ha, vacuuming was one thing I also did that I really should not have done when I was NWB. My family is lovely, but apparently they are unable to see the huge drifts of dog hair that pile up in the corners. And I also relate to your comment about crutches and canes— they must have some type of magnet embedded in them that causes them to crash to the floor, no matter how securely you think you left them leaning. Happy healing in 2010!

  2. I love this blog post, it could have been me writing that.

    I think it is excellent you see your limitations, isn’t it interesting how the mind doesn’t talk to the foot much?

    Take care!

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