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13 Weeks

Today marks thirteen weeks since I broke my ankle.

Thirteen, y’all…as in three months and one week.

Can you believe it?

When I first broke it and read online that the recovery would take 18-24 months, I did some serious crying.  It was difficult to imagine it taking so long to resume a normal life.

I’m crying a lot lately, but not because of my ankle.

In fact, since I posted last on February 1 (time does get away when life is crazy), I’ve made a lot of progress!

I finished my third week of physical therapy last week.  I’m working on a little bit of everything: flexibility, range of motion, balance, and strength.

Most days of therapy, I warm up on the stationary bike (above).

Because I go in the afternoons after work, I’m hungry.  I took cookies one day, and, in my attempt to take a picture of the cookies in front of the bike for Instagram, DROPPED them on the floor!!!!  Lesson learned!

Now, I take protein bars.  They’re easier to manage. It’s become a joke at my PT place.  Ha!

A couple of times, I’ve gotten on the treadmill…at 1mp (as in ONE mile per hour).  Sooooo slow!  I’m still working on getting my gait back to normal.  The top of my foot is still tight from being in a splint, cast, and boot for nine weeks.  My Achilles tendon is also still tight, which causes me to limp.  I’m walking without crutches, though, so I’m not complaining too loudly.

I did cry the first day I had to balance on my bad ankle.  Oh, it wasn’t because it hurt, but it was more out of frustration.  There are so many darned muscles involved in balancing, and none of them wanted to cooperate.  My therapist saw me get upset and was extremely encouraging.

Last Thursday, I was able to do one entire minute of balancing without grabbing onto the bars I was standing between.  I did all three one-minute rounds this afternoon at home and balanced the entire time!

Progress!

Oh, did I mention that I’m driving?

Yep!  This happened about three weeks ago.  As I said, time flies when it’s kicking you in the arse.

The ability to get behind the wheel and run errands made me cry the first two times I did it.  Freedom is something we completely take for granted.  I now understand why older people get so upset when their driving privileges are taken away.  Having to depend on others to get stuff for you or simply wanting to get out of the house for awhile but not being able to is extremely depressing.

Another BIG milestone happened the night I was able to shower STANDING UP!  Hooray!

And yes, tears did flow.  I’m such a crybaby these days.  I keep the chair in the shower so I have something steady to hold onto.  But y’all…standing!  Oh my but the things we take for granted!

I asked my physical therapist if I could get a pedicure.  My concern was that the technician might bend my ankle the wrong way.  He said it would be okay, so off I went, and let me tell you, it was a God thing, that’s for sure.  The gal who did my pedicure had broken her ankle a couple of years ago and knew what I was going through.  She was also a licensed masseuse, so she knew just how to work my achy muscles.

It was the first day that I had worn flip flops since I broke my ankle in November.  ❤ ❤ ❤

I am hoping that my ankle will look normal one day.  I’m going to ask my surgeon if it’s okay for it to pop out on the inside.  I suspect that’s swelling.  My PT thinks it’s that I have a more protracted angle.  Regardless, I’m walking again, so I shouldn’t be too particular.

I wore regular, non-tennis shoes the day after my pedicure.  It was so nice to have something on besides sneakers.

I sure paid the price later, though, when my ankle ballooned up from not wearing more supportive shoes.

It made for a rough week at work…being behind the eight ball.  Even the PTs were surprised at how swollen it was during my weekly sessions.  It made them hesitant to add weights to my legs while I worked out, which I assured that they could do because I am, after all, an overachiever.  Thursday, they added a one-pound weight for my leg lifts.

One might think that leg lifts are easy.  They used to be.  Until I broke my ankle and couldn’t work out for over two months.  Now, I hit twenty reps and am dying through the next ten.  I do front lifts and side lifts.  The purpose is to strengthen my hip and leg muscles, which are grossly lacking right now.

One not-fun thing about physical therapy is when they run some sort of knife-like tool across my Achilles tendon.  I can’t remember the name of this torture, but it’s excruciatingly painful.  I think the purpose is to work out the kinks from the tendon being so tight so I can regain flexibility, but y’all, it seriously hurts.  So badly.  I don’t cry, but I want to sometimes.  They do this once a week or so.  I’m glad they don’t tell me which session they’re doing it because I’d dread it the entire day.

I really do love my therapy sessions.  I even change into workout clothes so I’ll feel more comfortable.  Plus, the clothes make me feel a little like my old self again.

The place I go is incredibly upbeat.  It’s the same place where Chicky went after her first ACL surgery.  After my most recent knife torture session (gosh, but this reads like a bad novel), I got extra special treatment…

Not only did I get the electric therapy (best thing ever) and ice, but I got an electric towel thing too.  This was the most wonderful combination to date.  Heat and cold at the same time?  Yep.  I wish they would give me this every time I go.

I’m on the hunt for one of the electric machines that I can use at home.  My insurance will only cover a certain number of PT visits, so I want to be able to continue this after-treatment on the days when I can’t go any more.  I already ordered an electric blanket/throw to wrap around my leg.  My goal is to recreate the feeling of wonderfulness that I have after doing all of my exercises during PT.

So, that’s where I’m at right now.  I’m getting stronger, and sometimes, my limp isn’t as noticeable.  One of my students commented that she had not seen me limp Friday morning during first period.  The limp was back by the end of the day when my ankle was tired and sore, but heck, not limping for even an hour is worlds away from where I was a week ago!

I continue to covet your prayers as this journey still isn’t over for me.  I want to be able to run again.  I want to be able to jump.  I want to not be fearful of turning my ankle if I step on something.  Normalcy isn’t here yet, but it’s on the horizon.

Thanks, friends!

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