• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 542 other followers

  • “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers” — Isaac Asimov

  • Recent Posts

  • Pages

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 147,177 hits

14 Weeks

Y’all…fourteen weeks…can you believe that’s how long ago I broke my ankle?

Yeah, I’m sure you can since it seems to be the ONLY thing I blog about lately.

Ha!

Three and a half months may not seem like a long time…except when you have a break…or rather three…like mine.

So, what new things can I do?

Well, I’ve pretty much been doing the same exercises at PT.  It’s been the slowest process ever!  I was never the most patient person (pun unintended), but I have learned that one cannot rush the healing.

I’m still doing my workouts at home too.  It’s important to keep my ankle moving so I can gain back mobility and flexibility.

Gambit is a very supportive partner…

These calf stretches are my least favorite things of all.  I do three minutes of them and then three minutes of shin stretches (the same movement but with my knee slightly bent).  They.  Are.  Painful.

I even do my workouts when my ankle is swollen after a hard day.  Going the extra mile is tough sometimes but worth it.

I bought bands after my physical therapist added more resistance exercises to get my hips and other leg parts stronger.

I’m not kidding.  I am determined to run again one day.

I started taking a new supplement…Curcumin…after reading about it in a couple of magazines and online.

It’s supposed to be great for inflammation and pain, which I suffer from on a daily basis.  I ordered this bottle from Amazon.  I’ll probably try it for a couple of months before I decide if it will be a permanent part of my regimen.

I’m still limping and have been having hip and knee pain that, we believe, is due from my gait.  My physical therapist took a look at my shoes and grew very dismayed.  Apparently, my sneakers, which I love, offered no support.  I don’t have much of an arch in my right foot and am pronated on that side.  That means that my foot turns inward (not my toes…the arch),  I also need more support to help me walk better.  I have a tendency to roll the top part of my foot to the outside to avoid the pain brought on as I push off from my big toe in my walking motion.

So, I went out shopping.

My PT had suggested three different brands, and we had looked online together to pick out a particular style.  He gave me pointers on what to look for.

I thought I was going to get a pair of Brooks, which I had eons ago and loved.  I saw this blue pair at Dicks and wanted them, but they didn’t have my size.

I tried on a different color in what I thought was my size (I found out I was wrong the next day).  I didn’t like the color at all but liked the feel of the shoe.

I went out the next day.  The first stop was Hibbits, which had the Adrenaline 15.  I wasn’t a fan of the colors though.  The red on the top just clashed with the blue (see the collage below).

Next, I went to the Finish Line.  They had the blue shoes in my size!  But alas, the guy at Hibbit had suggested that I try Asics, which was a brand my PT had recommended, so to make a more educated decision, I tried on a pair.

Oy vey, but the decision became so hard!  The Brooks and Asics felt so good!  The Brooks were more bulky but a little wider in the toe area.  The Asics were smaller overall and a bit more narrow in the toes, but they had more cushioning in the heel area, which I figured would help me with my broken ankle.

I asked Chicky, who was with me (I’ll talk about our visit in another post) and texted the Mr. for opinions.  They both liked the look of the Asics better but told me to get what felt the best.

I decided on the Asics (larger square above).  The price tag was hefty, but the sales clerk gave me $20 off after I gave him my broken ankle sob story.  Ha!

One good thing about trying on all of the shoes was that my ankle made a loud POP during the process.

Like I said, this was a GOOD thing.  My ankle has so much scar tissue in it, and despite the PT’s maneuvering, we haven’t been able to break it up.  The motion of sliding my foot in and out of the shoes must have been just what the doctor ordered.

I felt my ankle and foot area pop a few more times after that, which was also good.  I told my PT about it this morning, and he thinks that maybe I’m turning a corner now.  Scar tissue really limits mobility.  Fingers crossed that it continues!

Another small sign of progress happened this morning at physical therapy when they bumped me up to 1.5lb weights on my legs for my leg raises.

I’ll tell you what.  I had no idea that rehabbing my ankle would involve so many muscles!

After physical therapy, I ran a couple of errands and then got busy in my back yard.  The weather here was gorgeous, and I had almost four months of dog poop to scoop.  Five bags worth.  It was ugly.

Then, I decided that some branches that had been littering the yard for weeks on end after several storms needed to go.  The Mr. was going to ask a couple of work buddies to come and help out, but I thought, “Auburnchick, you’re an overachiever, and the PT said that your ankle is getting stronger.  Why not try to move the branches on your own.”

So, I got out the wagon the Mr. bought to transport our beach stuff and loaded it up with debris.

I was super, duper careful so I wouldn’t turn my ankle, and the going was s-l-o-w because my legs just aren’t as strong as they were before I got hurt.

But…

I.

Did.

It.

It took about five loads, and by the end, I was hobbling, but I finished.

Talk about proud!  I totally should have put in my wireless ear buds so I could get a calorie count.  I’m fairly certain I burned seven or eight hundred big ones.

I continue to make progress, albeit slowly, but who cares?!

I am so encouraged by people who tell me how nice it is to see me up and around.  I ran into a gal from work at Petsmart today (we didn’t have school), and before she left, she said this to me.  She totally made my day, as did the sweet young gal I saw at church yesterday (hey, Tiff!) who said the same thing.  She’s an absolute doll…so positive…just like her mama who told me how great I looked.  Oh the love.  ❤

Although I really want to run, my time is coming.  My physical therapist said that he’s going to start adding new things next week.  I have asked him to challenge me, which he says he will do as soon as he’s sure my ankle can take it so I don’t regress.

I am going through Lysa TerKeurst’s study, Finding I Am, and a quote from her book struck me today.  She said that Jesus doesn’t participate in the rat race…that He likes slower scenarios.

This has been my life for the past fourteen weeks.  I’m learning patience and trust as I continue #findingjoyinthejourney.

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!

One Step at a Time

Nine weeks ago, I literally had my legs cut out from under me when I broke my ankle in three places.

Imagine nearly 63 days of not being able to walk on two feet.

When you’re as independent as I am, something like this can be devastating.

And it was.

Each week, I’ve been updating you on my progress.

I have BIG news for you.

On Friday, I took my very first steps!

I’m not going to lie.  It’s painful to watch.  I don’t mind acknowledging that.

After being given a weekly schedule on how much weight to put down on my ankle, I somehow thought it would be easy.

It wasn’t.

I tried to maintain a brave face, but y’all, inside, I was disappointed.  I cried after the Mr. turned off the camera.

It was very frustrating; it was also exhausting.

I could not make my foot remember how to take steps.

I was scared too, I’ll admit.  It hurt to put weight on it.

We thought maybe I wasn’t ready, so I allowed myself a short pity party.

Then, I did what I do best.

I got up and found a better way (after finding a video online that explained that you are supposed to put the crutch on the healthy side…most people do it wrong).

Watching the above video was a little less painful but every bit as awkward.  Why the heck couldn’t I stop leaning so far over?

The Mr., coordinated person that he is, tried to explain how to walk properly.

He even demonstrated.

I got mad.

He’s never broken his ankle before, so he didn’t get it.

He tried, though, and I had to give him props for that.

Still, I worked on it, because that’s just what I do.

After a solid night of sleep, I woke up to a foot that looked the best it had since November 13th…the day I broke it.

I put on my Superman knee high sock (no picture…sorry), my boot, and my “She believed she could and so she did” ankle sock for my left foot, and headed out on errands with the Mr.

We went to Sam’s Club, and he got the idea to have me push the buggy.

I was petrified.  I didn’t think I could actually push something, but he insisted that it would be like using a big walker.

I took a couple of hesitant steps and discovered that, once again, he was right.

He’s probably gloating a little if he’s reading this.

Hey Hon!

Anyhoo, I also discovered that the going was s-l-o-w.

He rolled his eyes and announced that it would take us an hour to get through the store at the rate I was going.

Ha!

It turned out that this was the BEST kind of physical therapy!  It helped me figure out how to balance myself without making “flying” motions with my arms.

Ahem.

I was also putting all of my weight on the right foot, which was painful, I’ll admit, but not broken-ankle painful…just under-used painful.  I can tell the difference, let me tell you.

I was exhausted when we got home and took a two-hour nap in the recliner.

After I got up, we ran out for dinner with me using two crutches.

There was something different, though.

The crutches felt super light.  I felt really good when we got home and walked around a bit with one crutch.

The Mr. left to go to one room in the house, and I headed toward the bathroom.  Before I did, I made my way to turn off the outside light, and I was feeling so good, that I decided to let go of the crutch.

I called the Mr. into where I was, and this is what he saw…

That emotion was as raw as it could be given everything I’d been through for two months.

When he turned off the camera, I bawled as he wrapped his arm around me.

He knew the struggle…had been there from the beginning.

I was in shock and awe…shock at how suddenly I could do it and awe at how amazing God has been.

Four weeks ago, when I got my boot, the doctor told me I’d be walking again in a month.  I wouldn’t have given a plug nickel given how stiff and painful my leg was when it came out of the cast.

As I have reflected on each week’s progress, I have been amazed.  Looking back has given me hope for the potential that each new week will bring.

When I was in the emergency room the night I broke my ankle, and the doctor told me I had a serious injury, all I could see was the long, dark journey ahead.  A trimalleolar fracture blog post I’d found on Google while I’d waited for seven hours in that ER room had left me devastated and discouraged.

God has taught me to trust Him each step of the way.  I’ve had no other choice.

Well, maybe that’s not true.  I guess God does give us choice, doesn’t He?  To me, though, there was no other course of action.

He allowed this into my life for reasons that I can see and reasons that I’m sure I’m not aware of.

I am still in full recovery mode, and I know my journey isn’t over.  I have a lot of healing to do…physical therapy is going to be long and painful.

I know, though, that with my Great Physician in charge, and prayer warriors lifting me up, I’ll continue to improve, one step at a time…one week at a time.

Seven Weeks Post-Op

Today marks seven weeks ago that I had surgery to repair my trimalleolar fracture.

It’s hard to believe that it was two months ago (11/13/16) that I fell and broke my ankle in three places!

I hope you’re not getting tired of these posts, but I need them to document my progress.  I also hope that they’ll be a source of inspiration to others who may be going through something similar.

I’ve got to tell you that I feel as though I’ve come a long way this past week.

I enjoyed one last day before I had to go back to school.  A nap was in order.

It was short-lived, though.  I got up and prepared another batch of the Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew.  I wanted to have something for lunch the rest of the week.

I had a cute helper.

I went out to check the mail later in the afternoon and, on a whim, decided to see if I could crutch my way to the corner of my street.

I did, and when I got back to my house, I decided to put on the new ear buds that the Mr. had given me for Christmas…the ones that record my heartbeat and calories burned…and made another round!  I wound up walking almost a mile!  It was the first mile I’d collected for Charity Miles (check out the free app) since November 13th, the day I broke my ankle.

I cannot tell you what an emotional lift my walk was to me.  The longer I walked/crutched, the more I could envision myself walking normally again.  My gait became more natural, and I began pressing less and less on my crutches.  The weather was gorgeous that day, so being out and about was therapeutic.

We resumed school the next day.  Gambit was not amused.

It was my first day back at work since I got my boot on the 23rd of December.  Thank goodness I’d had practice walking around on crutches.

I dressed up in one of the new outfits the Mr. bought me after Christmas.

I took my scooter to work each day last week, but I only used it a couple of times.  I was supposed to be putting 75% body weight on my foot, so I knew that taking the easy way out by relying on the scooter too heavily would hinder my progress.

The first day back was a little tough, and my ankle swelled pretty good, as did my foot.  Still, I managed a fun dinner out, in the middle of the week, with my hubby…along with a rare glass of wine…rare these days because I’m being extra careful with what I’m putting into my body so the focus can be on healing.

Thank goodness for Epsom Salt!  I bought this from Amazon.  The salt is finer, so it dissolves a little better.

Last Wednesday marked a BIG milestone for me.

I got to sleep in bed WITHOUT the boot!

It was the first time in almost two months that my foot wasn’t confined while I slept.

I still kept it elevated on a pillow, but y’all…to be able to turn, gently, without five extra pounds weighing me down…

Oh my goodness!

When I woke up, nearly all of the swelling in my leg was gone.  It looked nearly normal.

Needless to say, I love bedtime now.  I’d dreaded it up to this point because I never slept well.  My sleep quality is slowly improving each night, although I am being super-careful not to twist my ankle when I turn over at night.

I went walking again on Thursday, but I think I overdid it a little.

By the end of first period on Friday, my ankle was shot.  I still have one area that hurts with regularity.  It’s the area where I think I have a pin, and it feels like a super-bad blister when it starts hurting.  The skin around it also gets red.

I took pictures of it and sent them to my nurse.  She still hasn’t responded.  Ugh.  I suspect that she must be out because she’s always so diligent to reply.

Before the weather turned cold on Friday, I did manage to get out and about (despite my sore ankle)…

I’ve definitely gotten more adept with the crutches and move along pretty well!

The weather here in Florida turned bitter cold late Friday night and through the weekend.  I’d been told that I’d be able to feel it in my bionic ankle, and boy did I ever!  It ached so badly Friday and Saturday night that I had to take Advil.  I’m praying that this gets easier with each cold season.  I cannot like this.  At all.

I must have been exhausted after the first few days back to school.  I got the best sleep since before I broke my ankle.

All of that rest was good for my ankle.  It looked amazing when I woke up.

This is the side that hit the floor directly when I fell.

This is the side that has the plate.

This is the side that has the plate.

Gambit acts as my personal escort now.  He’s constantly by my side in the house…

The Mr. and I went to a movie Saturday.  We finally saw Rogue One, which we enjoyed.  I crutched my way around the theater and up and down the stairs about three times.  On the way back to my seat after using the restroom, I saw a guy wearing a boot.  Of course I had to talk, and I learned that he’d broken his bone above his ankle the week after I broke mine.  He’s sporting a plate and screws too.  He gets around with a cane.  It seems that I keep running into people with similar injuries.  It’s my own little family.  ❤

I found these cute socks at Kohl’s on Sunday when we went shopping after church.  They were on clearance, and I wound up getting them free after we used Kohl’s cash.

I also found these slippers, which I got free as well after using my store cash.

It hurts a little to put anything around the back of my right foot.  Considering that I broke a bone in the back, that makes sense.  It’s still swollen back there!

As my healing progresses, I am gaining more independence.  I can now get myself into and out of the shower unaided.  Yay!  I can also get myself into the bathtub, on those nights that I feel like soaking my ankle this way.  I still need help getting out of the bath, though.  I’m very afraid of falling again.

I can do even more things around the house.  I ironed clothes Sunday night after the Mr. set up the ironing board for me.  I only dropped a crutch twice and spilled a cup of water once.  Oops.

I haven’t gotten a bone density test done yet, but I’m already taking supplements…

Yeah, my house is starting to look more and more like your grandma’s house.

Here’s a homeopathic gel I read about online.

You can find Arnica in gel and cream forms.  I found the above at Walmart.  I’ve had burning pain since before my cast was removed.  Massaging my leg with coconut oil had helped a little.  This gel is magic.  I can put it on and be pain free shortly afterward.  I read about it on a broken ankle support forum.  Thank you, Lord, for allowing man to invent the internet.  🙂

So, that’s my update for this week.  I continue to be amazed at God’s grace and the way He constantly provides for me.  Every time I’ve been anxious, I’ve felt His Spirit calming me down.  Though I still sometimes question why I have had to go through this, I choose to trust the Author of my story.

Thank you for your continued prayers.  I know that they are a major reason why I’m healing…why I’m so close to taking my first steps unaided.

 

Six Weeks Post-Op

Happy January 2nd to you!

Last night marked seven weeks since I broke my ankle.  Today marks six weeks since I had surgery to fix the three fractures that I got when I fell over my dog (in the dark).

Here is a list that the emergency room doctor wrote for me the night I broke it…

Yesterday, out of curiosity, I googled the bones.  Here are some pictures (nothing gross, I promise)…

If you’re wondering what the pinning looks like, here’s a photo (nothing gross)…

Here’s another illustration (it’s a little yucky)…

You might remember that I went to the doctor on December 21st and had the cast that I’d worn for three weeks removed.  It was replaced by a removable boot.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve progressively been adding more weight to my bum leg.

Using a scale to figure out what 25% feels like was harder than it looked!

Rooster took these pictures of me the first day I used the walker.  What a workout!

Oh goodness, but this has been so hard!  The first day I added 25% weight and walked around with a walker, my foot swelled so badly!  It was almost comical, except that it wasn’t.  It freaked me out a lot.  I took it easy the next couple of days to allow the swelling to go down.

I was also instructed to begin making air motions with my foot to work on my range of motion.

Meanwhile, my left leg, which has been doing all of the work for both legs, began hurting.

I freaked out a little.  It felt like I was getting a shin splint, which I could not afford!  The Monday after Christmas, I emailed my nurse; I was worried about stress fractures given that my bones are brittle (a discovery through this ordeal).  She assured me that it is very normal to feel pain in the supporting leg and confirmed my guess that wearing a more supportive shoe on that foot would help.

I’ve since been babying the leg a little…icing it when it’s sore…and wearing a sneaker when I walk.

I’ve noticed that the pain is worse the more I’m up walking around.  Duh.  That may seem silly, but I’ll admit that I’ve taken it a little easy since we got home from visiting family.  That hasn’t been good because I’m supposed to be working my bum leg, which swells when I walk, and which makes my left leg pain flare up.

It’s a brutal cycle, let me tell you.

When we were visiting the Mr.’s parents, his mom had told me that one of her friends swore by Epsom salt baths to help with swelling post-surgery.

I’m all about homeopathic treatments, so I jumped on board and got my family to buy me some.  I’ve been faithfully bathing with the salts or soaking my feet in a bucket of Epsom salt water.

I've already gone through this bag and half of another. I've got a large bag coming from Amazon!

I’ve already gone through this bag and half of another. I’ve got a large bag coming from Amazon!

Last night, I noticed an immediate difference in the swelling when I took my foot out of the bucket.  It had swollen on the left side of my ankle, near one of my bad breaks.  The swelling was GONE.  Even the Mr., who’s been poo-pooing this whole thing, noticed.

Excuse the lines on my foot. They are from my knitted sock.

Excuse the lines on my foot. They are from my knitted sock.

I’ve been doing more research now that I’m emotionally ready to handle it.  One thing I looked for was an answer to why my skin has been burning since I got my cast off.  I discovered that this is due to the nerve block I had during my surgery.  My nerves are asleep right now, but they are trying to wake up.  It’s painful.  It feels like a bad sunburn every time I have my boot off and the skin is exposed to the air.  I may have found a cream to help with that, though.  The Mr. is taking me to the store to purchase it today.  I’ll report back on it later.

So, the positives, since I just realized that much of what I’ve already said sounds negative.

I’m noticing that the walking is getting easier.  Although it’s been difficult to get to 50% body weight…this week’s goal…I am noticing less heel pain when I put my foot down.  I have an area on the left side of my heel (the bottom part) that feels like a hard knot.  Left side of the heel…where my ankle hit the floor and broke so badly.  No coincidence.  I’ve read that the pain is from the Achilles tendon trying to stretch.  It’s getting better though!

I’m massaging my foot every time I have the boot off.  This is helping with the nerve pain and, I believe, distributing the swelling.

The need to walk has been a great excuse to go shopping.

I’ve done a LOT of this since Christmas.

A lot.

I did some online shopping on the drive home.  I’d wanted to get more Ginger Snaps charms for the necklace that Super Sis’s family gave me, but the store wasn’t open.  I found a coupon code to get a fifth charm free and, since they were pretty inexpensive, I went for it.

We did our traditional after-Christmas shopping and I bought Express jeans on sale for half off!  I wound up only paying about $20 after I found a gift card from last year in my wallet!

We’ve also done a bit of shopping since we got home.  Chicky went with us one time.  The Mr. and I have ventured out a few times on our own, though.

One place I shopped at was a jewelry store.  I had Pandora charms on my mind…

For the record, I didn’t get the above charms.  If you’re in my family, I would be most pleased to see these gifted to me though.  😀

I did leave with three new charms (one of them was free because of a great sale)…

The family, dog paw, and flag charms joined the heart/birthstone charm that the Mr.’s parents had bought to accompany the bracelet.

Yesterday, we headed to Dillards for their semi-annual ginormous sale.  I tried on a LOT of stuff, including these dresses…

See my crutch peeking out from the right.

See my crutch peeking out from the right.

I loved the next dress…

I didn’t buy ANYTHING from Dillards, but my ankle got a good workout.  The people, y’all!  It was an obstacle course!

We headed over to American Eagle, and I did buy a few things.  No pictures, though.

By this time, my ankle was done.  I was in a lot of pain, so we headed home so I could rest it before dinner.

Another thing I’m able to do now is cook.

Last week, I made this Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew.  It was super easy and delicious!

Yesterday, I made another batch of chocolate covered peanut butter Ritz crackers.  I’d made a couple dozen before Christmas, but I had not put in enough peanut butter.  I made this layer a lot thicker this time, and YUM!

I’m even able to clean a little!

For those of you who are concerned that I’m pushing myself too hard, take heart.  I’m listening to my body, I promise.  I’m sitting when I need to, icing when my muscles are sore, and keeping close tabs on my pain to determine just how far to push myself.

Because of the research I’ve been doing, I understand that this is going to be a longer process than I’d like.  Making a complete recovery is my highest priority, but pushing myself a little is also part of that process.

I am thankful for the encouraging words and prayers that you lift up daily.  I know I wouldn’t be this far along if not for the healing power of the Great Physician.

Quiet But Busy

It’s been rather quiet on the blog since I posted last Friday, but y’all, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy, because I totally have been.

We’ve had a lot of company in these here parts, so things have been hectic!

A messy bathroom is the sign that children are home!

A messy bathroom is the sign that children are home!

 

The sight of these boots makes my mama heart so very happy.

There was this thing called a wedding that happened last weekend.

I’ll blog about it soon.

There was work, which had to continue despite lack of interest on the part of students and teachers.  I had an all-day meeting on Tuesday, which I actually enjoyed.  Shhh.  Don’t tell anyone.

And then there was a pretty big event for me…

A visit to my surgeon’s office to see about a thing called a cast.

My appointment was set for Wednesday morning, bright and early…the ONLY time I could secure back when they put my cast on.  I’d eagerly snatched it up and requested sick leave.  Because my doctor is two hours away, Chicky, who’s home for Christmas, drove me over the afternoon before.

My grandpup is staying at Chicky’s grandparents’ house during the holidays so she doesn’t have to be boarded.  She was thrilled to see me!  It was all Chicky could do to hold her back so she wouldn’t jump on my leg.  She finally settled down though.

We spent the evening watching television.

For me, it was like Christmas Eve; the anticipation kept me awake on and off all night.

The dog got up when she saw I was awake each time and gave me a few snuggles.

Finally, it was late enough in the morning that I could say it was time to get up.

Y’all, I loathed the cast.  From the moment it was put on, I had been counting down the days until it was off again.

Being unable to see my leg and ankle just was not fun.

I dressed up to match my excitement.

After Chicky ran by Starbucks to grab herself a cup of coffee, we headed over to the orthopedic center.  I was called back exactly at my appointment time…props to the office staff!

I went straight to the cast room.  It was hopping; several people were waiting to get their casts off or, in the case of one young girl, get one put on.

I sat nervously.

What an interesting process.  There’s something that looks like an electric saw with some other sort of electric piece that runs it.

The guy who took off my cast was the same one who put on the splint during my first visit to the surgeon…the splint that I wore the week before my surgery.  He was very kind and knowledgeable about his job (thank heavens!).

First, he cut down both sides of my cast.  All I felt was a lot of vibration…

Up one side and down another.

Then he used a tool to pry open the cast on each side.  After that, he began cutting away the sock down at my toes.

Then, he pried open the entire cast and took off the top layer.

I held my breath as he did this; the instant relief brought tears to my eyes.

Oh heck.  What am I saying?  I was a hot mess the entire morning.  Emotional is my middle name.

With the hard cast off, all that was left to do was cut away the gauze that had been wrapped around my leg first to prevent chafing.

To lay eyes on my leg, ankle, and foot was a wonderful thing.

If I could have hugged them, I would have.

I’ll admit that I did pet on them a few minutes…pet being a good word to use because my leg was h-a-i-r-y after not being shaved for five weeks!

Ha!

Next, I was off to get an x-ray.   The technician was a sweet lady who shared her own story about being in a cast and boot.

Two x-rays later, and I made my way to an examination room to wait for my surgeon’s PA…a nice guy who had seen me during my first visit.

While I waited, I took a closer look at my leg.  The swelling had gone down a lot from my last visit three weeks before.  The tissue damage on the top of my foot (from the splint that the ER put on too tightly the night I broke it) is still healing.  Sigh.

Much of my bruising is gone, and the incisions on each side of my ankle are healing well.

I don’t think the scars are going to be too noticeable…not that I care much about that.

You can see where the surgeon had to go further up on the outside of my leg.  That fracture was longer than he’d expected.

I had LOTS of questions for the PA.  I’d been keeping track of them on my phone…

He was very, very patient and answered each question thoroughly.

I’ll be wearing a boot for four weeks.

Folks, that’s two weeks less than what I’d been told during my last visit!

I have to wear the boot while I sleep for the first two weeks.

Cha-ching!  I felt like I’d won the lottery!  I may actually get to sleep again one day!

I don’t need to ice my ankle unless I’m in pain or swelling a lot.  It won’t necessarily help with healing.

I do have to wear the boot when I’m up though.

My favorite question and answer had to do with my pants.

Yes, I can wear skinny jeans, as long as I can tolerate any discomfort when putting them on.  The issue isn’t the break but my range of motion which is very, very, very limited.  My muscles are crap right now.  They are extremely tight, and I’m barely able to bend my ankle in any direction.  Mobility will return with time and exercise, though.

The doctor was actually stymied by the skinny jean question, though.  He laughed as he answered it because he’d never been asked it before.  I’d been concerned because the leg openings for skinny jeans aren’t big at all!  I didn’t want to impede healing by turning my foot wrong.

My next question…baths…was a YES!  He said I could take showers or baths with my right ankle submerged (no boot on, of course).

Y’all, I’d been looking forward to this since the very beginning!

Regarding socks, I actually have to wear one with the boot to prevent it from chafing my skin and to keep it from stinking from the sweat that inevitably comes off of legs and feet.

Blech!

One other question I asked was about how red my right foot was.  I was worried about circulation issues.

He assured me that the red indicated GREAT circulation…that my body was sending blood to heal the area of trauma.

Thank heavens!

Oh, and one other thing I learned was that along with the boot, I’d be slowly adding weight.  That’s something I already knew, but I didn’t know that I’d get to start right away!  The way it works is that I’ll be adding 25% of my body weight each week.  To figure this out, I was instructed to get on a scale and weigh myself and divide that by four.

To help me learn what each percentage feels like, I’ll have to press on the scale with my right foot (the broken ankle) until the 25% weight pops up.  I will then need to walk around using a walker or crutches with that weight on that foot.

In essence, at the end of four weeks, I’ll be putting 100% weight on my ankle.

This is both exciting and very scary!

I was also given instructions for some home exercises.  I have to use my right ankle to make the shapes of the letters of the alphabet in the air.  Sure, it sounds easy…until you have an ankle that will not move in any direction!

I’ll go back to the doctor in four weeks when he will assess my progress.  I will, more than likely, be permanently out of the boot by then and will begin physical therapy.

So, I had a good report…one that was desperately needed as my head tends to go places it shouldn’t sometimes when I think about the recovery process.

We were then sent to another office in the building so I could be fitted for a boot.  Before I left, the doctor wrapped my leg in an ACE bandage.

We waited…for a while.  Everyone and his brother was getting something.  Finally, it was my turn.

Now y’all, I don’t know why, but I thought this part would be easy.  After all, I’d already been through the break (so painful), surgery, and my return to work.

Nope.

As I sat there with the very gentle boot guy, I realized that I was in for more pain.

Trying to get my foot into the boot (it slides right in from the front) was no easy task.  Namely, putting my heel down flush with the sole of the boot proved incredibly difficult.

My Achilles tendon was crap.

After weeks of not being used, what was left of it had tightened up.

Ugh.

Because of that, there was pain in my heel and up the back of my ankle.

The guy was patient, and we did our best.  He showed me how to add air to the pad that runs around the back of my heel to give it support, and how to put it on and remove it.

There’s a crap-ton of Velcro.

Then, I scootered out to the car feeling a little like Darth Vader.

Chicky and I began our two-hour drive home…an interesting experience, let me tell you.

All I’ve got to say is Hips Don’t Lie brings back fond memories.

When we got home, we all trekked out to get my Rooster a new phone.  While we were at the store, I decided to upgrade mine and the Mr.’s.  Because they didn’t have the color my guys wanted, I was the only person to walk out of there with a new phone.

Yay, me!

I went from the 6 Plus to the 7 Plus.  The size is the same; the camera is much better, as is the processing speed (RAM).  It also comes with more storage…something I need with all of the photos I take.  Ahem.

We ran by Best Buy so I could buy a new case.

After a fun dinner out with my sweet hubby and the kids, I was finally able to do something I’d waited weeks for…

SHOWER!!!

No pictures though.  Try not to be too disappointed.

Ha!

I told the Mr. to go away until I called for him (he’d helped me into my shower chair).

This girl was about to use all of the hot water in the house!

I enjoyed every single second, taking my time when I shaved my uber-hairy leg.

Y’all, never ever take for granted the ability you have to stand in the shower.  I’m not kidding.  What a privilege it is!

I had taken off the bandage strips that had been placed over my incision, so I gently cleaned that area in the shower.

Take a look at my leg…

See that patch where the scab is gone?  There’s only a thin line of a scar.

Yep.  My surgeon is pretty good at his job.

Here’s the other side.

It definitely looks more gnarly; the swelling is a lot worse on this side too.  This totally confuses me.

I slipped the boot back on just long enough to get back to my recliner where I quickly took it off again so I could love on my ankle.

Let’s have some real talk real quickly.

The pain is still there, but it’s different now.

I had no idea that my skin would feel like it was on fire after getting my cast off.  I guess the adrenaline from having the cast removed delayed the pain.

I read online that the burning feeling was caused by the condition of my skin…so dry that it was stretched tight and flaking.

I massaged coconut oil into every part of my foot and ankle.  The doctor had told me to massage the incision areas to prevent scar tissue from building up underneath, so that’s what I did.

Then, I put on a long sock to keep it moisturized during the night.  This will be my nightly routine for the next few weeks, I think.

And so is it any wonder why I haven’t had time to blog lately?  My world stays in a state of flux, which isn’t a terrible thing right now because that involves having my family around.  🙂

If you wouldn’t mind, can I ask you to continue praying for me?

I’ve decided that this road to recovery is similar to parenting.  Every stage comes with its own set of challenges.  There are things to celebrate, but there’s a whole lot of hard stuff to work through as well.

Not only is this a physical struggle but an emotional one as well.  I keep telling myself that I CAN do this…that I WILL push through the pain (without pushing myself too hard), and that God WILL provide the healing I so desire.

The anxiety I’ve experienced still rears its ugly head from time to time, but not having the cast on anymore will help with that.

I’m still experiencing fear, which I know is from the devil but is a direct result of my injury.  The security I once felt was unexpectedly ripped from me, and I feel incredibly vulnerable now.

I’m learning so much about myself and am seeing an empathy develop for those who have similar injuries or those who are handicapped.  This isn’t a bad thing…just a time of change for me.

As always, I rejoice in all things.  My family…so supportive…my husband…truly an angel on earth…my friends…always ready to help…my Lord…a constant presence.

#findingjoyinthejourney remains my mantra on the easy and hard days.

Three Weeks Post-Op

Yesterday marked three weeks since I had surgery to repair my trimalleolar fracture.

Despite the fact that some days are still filled with pain (yesterday was not the best day in this regard), I’m seeing progress in what I can do.

The Mr. and I have resumed our dinners out at local establishments…

We make sure to ask for booths so I can put my leg up.

I’m back in the swing of things at work thanks to a wake-up routine that the Mr. and I have just about gotten a handle on…

I’m dressing more professionally again; the Mr. has seen to this with his shopping excursions and daily outfit selections.

The guy has good taste in clothes.  He bought me three dresses and two skirts (on sale) this past weekend and then went back to the store and bought me a few shirts to match (we decided to keep one after I tried them on).

Dressing nicely has helped my psyche.

Check out the scooter!  The Mr. works with a guy whose wife broke her ankle…maybe a year ago…and generously offered the use of several items.

The Mr. eagerly took him up on the offer, so now we have two scooters!

I’m using one for the house and the one with the basket for school.  We think it will help reduce the number of times he has to put the scooter in the car and take it out again.

I love the basket!  I used it today at school to carry my stuff to the copy room.

The second scooter also has this nifty item…

You know I’m having fun with that bell.  In fact, when the Mr. took it out of his car yesterday to adjust the seat and handlebars, I might have made a certain dog unhappy by ringing it more than a few times…

Another sign of progress is that I’m making my breakfast!  In my effort to get more calcium in my diet, I’m using fortified soy milk to make my old fashioned oatmeal.  I used to cook it with water.

I even washed my pot after!

Oh, and the Christmas present thing.

Thanks to the internet and Santa’s elves, who are sneaky things, I am making purchases and getting them into the house.

I did nearly get busted by the Mr. this afternoon when he came home from work earlier than I’d expected.  I quickly hid his gift…

In plain sight…

With whatever I could reach.

Let’s hope he doesn’t get the urge to peek.  Santa would have to move him to the Naughty List!

I am not overdoing things, though, so don’t worry.  At least, I’m trying not to.

I’m still lesson planning hard-core when I get home from school each day, but as of last night, my plans are finished through the second week of January, so I am set!  Copies are also made, except for the semester exam.

It’s really hard to believe that it’s been a month since I broke my ankle.  It seems like a long time, but then again it doesn’t.

I’m still #findingjoyinthejourney…seeking out a silver lining for every negative thought I have.

%d bloggers like this: