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Week 41

Week 41 of my recovery journey after breaking my ankle has come and gone.  Let’s check on my progress, shall we?

I went to physical therapy on Monday.  I did my regular stretches for my hamstrings and Achilles tendon.

I was actually feeling pretty good for a Monday (the first full week back at school too).

J, my trainer, had me try a new balancing exercise.  She put me on two disks that I had to stand on for two rounds of three minutes.  It was a little harder than I’d expected.  I was a little surprised though because back when I was doing my PT during the spring, I was balancing on a disk on one foot and had gotten pretty good at it.

By the end of therapy, things started going south.  I don’t know what happened, but one of the exercises pushed my ankle too far, and I suddenly experienced a lot of pain.  Despite having the STEM and ice therapy when I finished, I limped out of there.

I was pretty sore for the next few days, but when I went back in for my second weekly round of therapy on Thursday, I was feeling pretty good again.

My trainer has been extremely pleased with my progress, so she decided to up the ante a bit . . . in the form of a thicker towel for my stretches.

Go ahead and laugh, if you want, but sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most.

We have been taking BABY steps in my rehab this go-round to allow my body to slowly adapt itself to new moves – moves non-injured people take for granted.

J also added in some new exercises on Thursday.  One of them was monster walks.  I had to put a band around my knees, slightly bend myself into a squat position, and take small steps in one direction with my legs spread out hip-width.  As I stepped, I had to push my knee over my ankle sideways.

I moved to the left first, all the way to a pole that’s in the back room.  The, I repeated the walk but to the right.

My butt and thighs were BURNING, and I actually worked up a sweat.  I did another round.  The push to my right was the hardest on my ankle.  That’s the side that I have the plate, and it’s also the side that had the longest break.  It’s not nearly as flexible as it used to be.

Another exercise I did that day was a semi-lunge, which I’d been forbidden from doing during my home workouts.  J put me in a lunge position, with my right foot on the floor, knee bent, and my left leg bent with my knee on the floor.  Then, I had to push into my right heel to raise myself, straightening both legs in the process.  I repeated this ten times, going up and down in the process.

It was pretty tough.  My heel has a lot of pain still because of the tendon issues, but it felt so wonderful to be doing a “normal” exercise.

I repeated this on the other side, and it was hard for different reasons.  With my right foot behind me, I had to push with those toes, which required more strength from that foot (along with balance).  I was very hesitant.  My confidence has been shot over the last few months; my balance is definitely not what it was before I got hurt.  I did another set of ten.

Then, I did one more round.

Yay me!

One other exercise that I got to do for the first time was bridges with a twist.  With my hips raised, I had to alternate lifting one leg and then the other, knee bent each time.  This made me put more pressure on each foot and worked on my core.  I liked this move.

I went through my other exercises and ended my session with ice and STEM, the very best things ever!

I’ve had a pretty good weekend with my ankle.  Taking it a little easier on the days I’m not at work has become especially important in my recovery . . . a lesson I’m finally learning.  I can really feel it when I push too hard, like when I walk through Sam’s Club or Walmart.  My ankle yells at me pretty loudly.

So that’s it for this week.

Joy was so easy to find this week; the pain much more manageable despite doing a LOT of walking while I taught five straight days.

God continues to amaze me with His gracious provision and healing touch.

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