Boot: Days 15-25–Noticeable progress

I hope this is my last catch-up post.  I’m on day 28 with my boot, which I hope to get off tomorrow and start rehab.  But there is a significant stage I experienced during the last couple of weeks I wanted to document.

After Christmas, we (that is, she) drove back home the 10 hours from Michigan to eastern Pennsylvania.   Since our son accompanied us, I rode in the back seat with my leg up on the seat the entire way (other than rest stops).  The next morning, my leg felt better, and was less swollen, than it had been since I started with the boot.  Practically no throbbing, certainly nothing like pain, I felt great!  More energy, stronger, better all around.

My guess is that in the weeks prior I had been on my PWB leg a lot–the boot offers such freedom compared to crutches, and there is so much to do.  So I had been stumping around a lot, first at home getting ready to leave, and then while visiting for the holidays.  Yes, I took time out to get my leg up, and was usually assisted by a cane, but thru the retrospectroscope I think I was just on my feet perhaps more than was optimal.  Or at least I certainly felt the effects. 

The last week of 2009 was so much better.  During the course of those days, in which much was done for us by our visiting kids, I noticed a great improvement in my stride.  At first, with the boot, you put your booted leg forward a little, then bring up your good leg so its foot is pretty much in line with your boot.  A little better than a shuffle, but not much.   However, during this time, my good leg began to be able to swing past the toe of the boot more and more each day.  It’s not like actual normal walking, since the booted leg is still barely flexible, but it’s a lot better than shuffling.   And the cane pretty much stayed in the corner.  I’d take it out when I went outside, because it’s slippery in winter and uneven, but often even then, and certainly indoors, I began to simply walk without the cane–just me and my boot.

I continued to shower using the sitting stool (the only safe way), but invariably took the boot off and very carefully let the foot lie on the bathtub floor.   Previously, I had kept the boot on but kept it out of the way of the water spray, and did a sponge bath of that foot separately.  I could literally feel it being stronger than it had been–I began to feel strength and tension in the Achilles tendon itself.

Now, my poor neglected calf muscle wasn’t so encouraging–no question that there had been muscle loss.   I was quite concerned about this, but had faith that it would be rectified later when therapy started.   More on that in the next post.  It was just a pleasure to feel, and see, progress being made in the physical realm, which certainly makes a big difference in the mental and psychological realm. 

I kept remembering to elevate my leg frequently.  As I discovered later, it’s just not good at this stage to never elevate your leg all day and all evening–even if you’re not walking on it.   I keep hearing that when I start rehab, doing the rehab is the most important thing.  I would say that during the first several weeks, letting your body heal itself, and not putting extra stress on it, is the most important thing.   It knows how to get better; don’t get in its way.

One Response to “Boot: Days 15-25–Noticeable progress”

  1. I’m on Day 19 of having the boot and putting weight on it. The first week I was too chicken to even PWB on it! And now I’m a free-range chicken with my boot, I walk all over the place. Isn’t it lovely just to be able to carry things? I agree- the freedom of the boot is so exhilarating that it’s easy to over-do. I bring one crutch to work with me, so that when I feel that familiar awful ache in the heel (after 4 to 6 hours) I use the crutch on the opposite side to give me a little relief. I’m sure I look kind of silly in the morning, carrying a crutch :)

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