Boot–the last week (I hope)

When we returned from “vac”, which is more work than leisure, I began to feel better, as noted previously.   Then there was a marked improvement in the last few days.   I read a bunch of posts, all of which were about various (unnamed) people who were surreptitiously walking around in their bare feet before the doctor said they could <gasp>.   They tempted me.  I took off my boot, and stood up (which I had already done).   Then I took a halting step.  Voila!  I didn’t fall down!

On Sunday night, day 43 post-ATR, and day 39 post-op, I walked!  (like Amahl).   Haltingly, shufflingly, but I was on my own bare feet.   I had been worried that my poor calf muscles were so atrophied that I couldn’t even hold myself up.  Of course, I need both legs to do it.  I had also read that the PTs were going to ask me to stand on one leg–the bad one.  I tried this–maybe more than a millisecond, but less than two seconds.  Not much strength there.   But no pain–just couldn’t do it.

So Monday  AM I took a shower standing up–negotiating myself into the shower very carefully.  Fortunately when we had our bathtub replaced they included a built-in bar (not the drinking kind, alas) so I could put full weight onto that as I eased my good foot (thus putting weight onto my limp foot) into the tub.  I mostly stood on 1.2 legs, leaning against the shower wall.  It felt great.  One reason I wanted to see if I could do this is that on Tuesday pm I was planning to take my first flight post-op–and stay in a hotel room.  Could I take a shower without needing a handicapped room?   So I was practicing–and it worked.

Too well, of course.  Being a guy, I then began to get cocky.  Took another shower sans boot Tuesday am.   Went off to my car Tue pm with boot but no cane–tho’ with a suitcase and a messenger bag.   Finally I get to be the one to board early because i “need extra time to board”.   I stump along the runway.  Get on board into a window seat.   It works fine.

Hours later,  I get to my hotel.  It’s late, since the ground crew managed to break a headlamp which had to be replaced on the runway, taking over an hour.  I go to bed without my boot.

the next day, I spend all day from 9 am until about 10 pm dangling my foot–never putting it up the way I do at home.  I look at my foot Wed night–it’s really swollen.  And the more I lay in on the in-room hassock, the worse it feels.  I think “maybe I should put it back in the boot.   Heresy–surely I should work the foot.  But, I feel that maybe i should take care of myself and not outthink the medical profession.  So I put the boot on, including the air pressure.  It feels great.

I love taking an actual shower every day (very carefully).  I love being able to practically walk again, with the boot (just like a wooden leg).   I love taking it off and feeling the freedom of no pressure.

But it’s protecting me.  I know that when I get to  walk around, I’ll essentially regress for a day or days or even longer–back to the shuffle, limp, halting step of the infirm.  And the foot will swell.   I wonder what advice they will give me.

More tomorrow, after the doctor’s appt.

3 Responses to “Boot–the last week (I hope)”

  1. Hi Timothy,

    For what it’s worth, I always figured that having days of more exercise alternating with days of some soreness and fatigue was just part of the rhythm of recovery. That’s the tradition with lifting weights, pushing hard one day and resting the next. I followed the same pattern while getting my calf stronger, and it worked out well for me.

    Best wishes,


  2. HI,

    I have a tendency to do the same but I was talking to a friend last night (physio student/physio assistant) and she was trying to stress to me the importance of progression. She used this example…

    ‘if your training for a big game and you have to do 3 training sessions a week, you wouldn’t do them all on the same day and rest for seven days’

    Which helped me to understand doing so much so you revert back to HAVING to rest the next day is not the best way to build strength and recover. A little everyday is the best way to progress.


  3. Of course! I knew this, I just forgot about it. When I used to go to the gym it wasn’t to build muscle or repair tissue–but now it is. Work the leg hard–rest–work the leg hard (but not TOO hard)–rest…… Thanks to both of you

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