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20 Weeks

Oh my goodness, but can you believe that tonight marks FIVE months since I broke my ankle?

Truth be told, I can believe it.

In some ways, it feels like it happened a long time ago.  Other times, it feels like it was just yesterday…the memories are that fresh.

Monday marked the start of my tenth week of physical therapy.  It was also my first day back to school after Spring Break.  I don’t remember that we did anything new that day.  The therapist was going to talk to my main therapist after he returned from his honeymoon.  He’d be back when I returned on Thursday for my next appointment.

Meanwhile, I plodded through the week.

I wore my regular shoes three or four days last week; my slippers and sneakers were in my teacher bag just in case my ankle started hurting too badly.

On Wednesday, I got a text from a former student who now works at my therapist’s office.  There was a problem with my insurance, and she wanted me to call.

My heart fell, y’all.  It turned out that I’d been through the 21 allotted visits per six month period.  I wouldn’t be eligible for coverage again until June 23rd.  She told me I could go in and talk to my main therapist…that he had options to discuss with me.

The Mr. had gone back to Jacksonville to meet with his doctors.  I wound up not being able to go because our dog sitter had to work some crazy hours, so I didn’t have a car.  I’d gotten a ride to school from one friend, and my other other friend had agreed to pick me up.  She did one better and took me to my PT’s office that afternoon.

My heart was in my throat, y’all.  I’d spent part of the day in tears.  I did not want to stop therapy.  I was afraid it would be too expensive to continue.  My ankle wasn’t ready.  It won’t be ready for a long time still.  I’d even made a list of the things I’d noticed that I still couldn’t do.  I didn’t want to be pushed out the door.

Fortunately, I have an AMAZING PT office.  My therapist told me I could do exercises at home and consult with him over the phone once a week, or that I could do a special payment plan and continue as I was as a patient in the office.

I ran the numbers and discovered that this was do-able because I’d only have to spend $20 more that what I’d been paying with my co-payments.  I will continue to use this payment option until my insurance kicks back in.  My therapist agreed that I needed to stay in the office to work on my ankle…that I wasn’t nearly ready to be released.  Boy, was I glad that we were on the same page!  We discussed small goals and my BIG goal…to run again.  These will happen, in time.

The most important thing was that God had provided, just as He had been doing ever since I broke my ankle.  I don’t know why in the world I ever doubted.

With that load off of my shoulders, I left…or should I say floated…to the parking lot and my waiting friend.  She had gone and bought me a bottle of wine because I’d been so stressed.

She’s solid, let me tell you.

I returned to therapy for a regular appointment on Thursday, and my therapist had a couple of new exercises for me.

But first…the stretch.  This board is pure evil to me, but I need it so much.  I’ve considered buying one for home, but they are expensive!  I need to use it regularly to stretch my calf and work on flexibility.

Then, the fun began.

Yep.  It’s the leg press machine!

I have not used one of these in a longgggg time!  I started out with twenty pounds, but it was too easy, so we bumped it up to 40.  I had to do 30 reps.  By the time I hit seventeen, my legs were crying.

Ugh.

I am so weak right now.

I pushed through happily, though.

Then, J, my therapist, showed me a new exercise.  It’s based on the Star Excursion Balance Test, which is used to test the stability of ankles after injuries.

Even though my therapist modeled how to do it, boy, was I awkward.  I didn’t know where to put my hands (I watched a video after, so now I know to put them on my hips), and I didn’t know if I should bend my knee.  My therapist said no, but I’m not so sure.

It was sooooo hard…especially the move where I put my left foot behind and to the side of my right (my bum) ankle.

I think I did three of them before I had to rest.

It was also painful, which either indicates muscle weakness or healing that still needs to occur.

I’m tough, though, and did as much as I could.  Then, I proceeded with my regular exercises.

I really, really love my therapy.  I feel like I am making progress when I’m there, and the therapists are so encouraging.

On Saturday, I pushed myself a bit and first did a Piyo workout.  I’d decided that because I’m lacking in strength and flexibility, I could probably do a round of this program.  It was the first Beach Body program I completed a year and a half ago.  I did the upper body workout.

I want to keep my arms defined.  I worked too hard to lose that muscle too!  I’ve already lost so much in my legs.

I also noticed that I still cannot put my right knee on the floor when I cross my legs.  This is not good.  I’ve always been flexible, but that knee hurts something terrible if I try to bend it too far.  I suspect this is happened because I was restricted for nine solid weeks and then had to learn how to walk again.  Talk about frustrating!

After I finished, I went for a walk.  I’d signed up for the 10k and S.P.E.W. Challenge, a virtual race hosted by the Hogwarts Running Club.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to do six miles at a pop.  I aimed for three but completed four by the time I’d finished my route.

I was so pleased!  The walking wasn’t nearly as difficult as the last time I’d attempted it…back on February 11th.  I increased my pace about six minutes per mile!

I did have some ankle pain that radiated from the inside of my ankle around the back to my other side.  My heel also hurt a little.  I think that’s a sign of my Achilles tendon or calf muscle being a little tight.  I’m going to have to mention that to my PT on Monday.

I spent the rest of the day pampering myself at the pool.

That’s when I was reminded, again, that I still have a ways to go with my ankle.  It froze up on me while I was laying out, and I limped to the steps to the pool.  I had to grab tightly to the rail and ease myself down the steps.  I still cannot walk down steps without pain.

Note to self…remind the therapists about this.

Sigh.

Today (Sunday), I’d planned to finish the last two miles of my 10k, but as we were leaving a restaurant after church, I had some pain in my ankle, and I noticed that it was more swollen than usual.

Sigh.

No walking for me.  I decided to rest up by the pool.

Darn.

Looking at that picture, I think my right leg is smaller than my left…probably the result of my injury.

Oh well.

Every week comes with its own set of lessons for me.  This week, it was about trust.  First, I had to trust God to provide, even when I didn’t see a way.  Second, it was about reaching out for help, which I did…twice…when I needed rides to school, to physical therapy, and back home.  Third, it was about recognizing my limits and not pushing myself too hard.  That third lesson is one that I’m not learning very well, I’m afraid.  I am trying, though.

As always, I am so grateful for a God who loves me and sees me in the midst of every need.

I am thankful for family and friends who pray…who fill in the gap when I feel like I’m stepping into an abyss.

There is so much #joyinthejourney, even when the path is rocky (boy, this week sure was) and the way is sprinkled with pitfalls.

 

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