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19 Weeks

It’s Sunday, and you know what that means…I’m officially another week into my recovery process!  Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever stop counting.  I figure I might once I hit the two-year mark since so much of what I read says that a patient who has a trimalleolar fracture requires that long to get back to “normal.”  So, the countdown will continue.

So Week 19 was Spring Break for me.  I figured that it would be a good time to keep my leg up and not do much.

I was wrong.

I went to physical therapy early Monday morning.  I really, really like doing my therapy in the morning.  There’s something about starting off the day working out my ankle…carefully watched over by the people who are helping me get better.

The Mr. and I went to Jacksonville late Monday, and I did a lot of walking while I was there.  Between the large Mayo Clinic campus and the extra shopping I did, my ankle definitely didn’t get much rest.

Our first hotel room was located at the end of the hallway, near the stairs, so we opted for walking downstairs instead of taking the elevator.

Yeah…it was pretty ugly for me.  I think that even the Mr. was surprised at how much of a hard time I had.

On Wednesday, I wound up putting almost three miles on my feet, and boy did my ankle hurt for it.

I had to drive us back home on Thursday since the Mr. had been under sedation earlier that morning, but I was pleased when my ankle didn’t freeze up on me.  Of course, we did stop a number of times to stretch, so that helped.

I had a PT appointment early on Friday since they close early that day each week.  I asked one of the therapists when I would be able to start walking down stairs again, so she had me step up on a small, wooden box used for exercises and then try stepping down onto my left foot (the good one) while holding onto a pole for balance.

Y’all…the pain that stretched from my right hip to my knee…and the pain on the inside of my ankle going around to the back…it was REAL, let me tell you.  It was as though my knee was frozen and could hardly bend.

Sigh.

The PT is going to ask my main therapist about it when he gets back from his honeymoon this week.  She’s not sure if the issues I’m having are lack of strength in my hips and knees, lack of flexibility in my Achilles tendon and calf, or if my ankle just isn’t healed enough yet.

I’m not going to lie.  When I was in the recliner getting iced down, I shed a few silent tears.

This journey is just so hard sometimes.

Just when I think I’m doing really good, like when I thought my walking was improving, I discover that I still have so many limitations…things I cannot do like I did before.

Sigh.

After Friday’s physical therapy, I went home, changed, and drove out to the beach.

After a quick stop at Ulta, I decided to park near the pier (thank you, Lord, for letting me find the PERFECT, close parking spot so I didn’t have to walk far).

Although I was by myself…empty nester and all…I treated myself to lunch at my favorite beach-side eatery…

When I finished, I carefully made my way to the sand and took a walk down in the surf.

The going was easy at first; the cold, salty water a balm to my bum ankle.

I took my time as I walked and stopped when the water covered my ankles completely so I wouldn’t lose my balance when the tide reversed itself.

I don’t know how far I walked in one direction, but I finally turned around and walked back toward the pier…and then past it.

It wasn’t too crowded.  I spied a few birds…

My ankle got sore, though, and I had to cut my walk much shorter than I’d have liked.  I found a lounge chair that hadn’t been rented and sat for a spell, digging my toes into the cool sand.

I was wishing that I’d had the foresight to put on my bikini and pack a towel and sunscreen.  The sounds of the beach…the wind, birds, and laughter around me…soothed my soul.

I was on the dog-friendly side of the pier and was drawn to the cutest puppy sitting in front of me with its owner.

This was the happiest little thing ever!  It got under the beach chair and dug like crazy!

Watching that little fur baby reminded me that I had three of my own waiting for me at home, and feeling a little guilty about leaving them alone after being gone most of the week, I headed back to my car…carefully picking my way through the dips in the sand.

My ankle was D-O-N-E for the day…for the weekend.  I’d walked almost three miles…much too far for an ankle that was only four and a half months out from injury.

So, what did this week teach me?

Well, it taught me that I’m still going to have good and bad days.  In fact, I’m still going to have good and bad moments in each day.

I was reminded, when my ankle bones randomly ached and pulsed, that although I am up and about, walking without a cast or a boot, I am not anywhere near healed yet.

Just as my ankle isn’t ready to resume regular activities yet, my heart is still tender as well.  I broke down in tears two or three times this week…a weakness I thought I was past once I started walking, unaided.

And so, when I have my mini pity parties, I try to pick myself up quickly and remind myself of what I can do…like go to the pool…sans “footwear” such as a cast or a boot…

When I do that, I am able to continue #findingjoyinthejourney, praising God for all He has done, all He is doing, and all He will do.

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