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18 Weeks

Today marks eighteen weeks since I broke my ankle.  I say this every week, but it bears repeating…I am in awe of God and His healing grace.

First things first.  Remember when I posted last week and said that I had not done anything that Saturday…as directed by my physical therapists?

Well, let me tell you that I noticed a HUGE difference in my ankle this week…all because I took it easy last weekend.

Normally, Mondays are hell on my ankle.  Please pardon my directness there, but that’s the only word that fits.

I seriously cannot function well and hobble into PT on Monday afternoons.  The swelling in my ankle is usually pretty bad too.

Not last week!  I’ll admit that slowing down is not how I like to do things, but I can’t argue with the results.

It’s frustrating because this means that I am still further away from a full recovery than I’d like to be.  On the other hand, I’m closer than I was four and a half months ago.

During Monday’s PT session, they measured my foot to note my range of motion / flexibility.

I’d had this done during my first visit, but I was so overwhelmed with everything that I had not bothered to ask about the numbers.  All I knew was that I couldn’t move my ankle much.

When they measure, they’re looking at the way I can move my ankle four different ways…

During my first visit, my Dorsiflexion was at -5.  I couldn’t even get to neutral (90 degrees), y’all!  Now remember, this was only a week after I’d gotten out of my boot, and I was still relying heavily on my crutches.  On Monday, I was at 20 degrees!  Granted, that was with the PT pushing on my foot.  Ahem.  But the fact that it could move toward me that far was excellent!  Get this…the normal range is 20!!!  Woo hoo!

My Plantarflexion started off at 16 degrees during my first visit.  On Monday, it was up to 30!!  The normal range for this movement is 50, so I have a ways to go.  Nearly doubling in number though was GREAT progress!

My Inversion range started at 12 degrees; on Monday, it measured at 33!  The normal range is 35, so I’m just about there!

Now, the Eversion was not great.  During my first visit, I measured at 4 degrees.  Y’all, turning my foot outward is so stinking hard!  On Monday, I was at 7 degrees.  The normal range is 15.  This was discouraging, but I have to remember that most of my hardware is on the outside of my leg.  That’s where my plate and nine pins are holding things together.  I may never get full range back, but like the Mr. said, the only people who really need this motion are those who are making moves by cutting outward.  Still, being the overachiever that I am, I’d like to be able to get back as much of it as I can.

The most important of the above are my Dorsiflexion and Plantarflexion movements.  They are what I need to take simple steps…to walk up and down stairs…to step down off of curbs…to walk uphill and downhill.  That’s why I’m required to stretch on an elevated board every time I go to therapy.  I’m giving serious consideration to purchasing one for my house, because I’ve read on message boards where people continue to struggle with the Achilles tendon getting tight long after “recovery” is over.  The price is hefty, though, so we’ll see.

Overall, I was thrilled with my measurements.  Last week was my eighth since I started physical therapy.  The progress is slowwwwww, but it’s there, nonetheless.

I didn’t get any new exercises added to my regimen.  The only thing we did was to tweak one movement.  Up to last week, I’d been sitting on a bench while using my wobble board to work on all four of the movements listed above.  On Monday, my therapist had me start standing while holding onto a pole and doing the exercises.  Monday was easy, so on Wednesday, she had me stand on my tiptoes on my left foot to put more weight on my right ankle while standing and doing the exercises.  This was decidedly harder.

I’m doing better on the Bosu ball.  The balancing is getting a little easier, although I’m super happy when each minute is over.  My hips still aren’t strong…yet another source of frustration but part of the process.

My gait is continuing to improve.  I recorded myself walking across the house.

I’ve watched it numerous times and am beginning to notice a few things.  My right leg is still stiff, and I seem to still be walking with a heavier step on that side.  It also looks like I’m walking with that foot further out.

I also noticed that my right knee seems to turn in when I walk.  I’m going to ask my physical therapist about it when he gets back from his honeymoon.  He was an athlete in high school and college and knows a lot about this stuff.

Hey, though, my walking is FASTER than it was even a couple of weeks ago!  I still go slow, because I want to focus on my form.  I also go slow because my foot still hurts when I walk.  My big toe is still feeling some pain when I push off of it, and the top part of my foot closest to my ankle is sore almost all the time.  It cracks and pops a lot when I walk, which feels wonderful but can’t be exactly normal since my left foot doesn’t do this.

The word “normal” is such a subjective word, isn’t it?

My new normal looks like this…

In addition to the Juice Plus I’ve been taking for years, I’ve now added bone health supplements…D3, B12, and a magnesium blend.  I’m also taking a turmeric blend for inflammation.

My new normal also includes a lot of days ending like this…

Under the ice is my TENS unit, emitting soothing waves of electric stimulation.

#bliss

17 Weeks

Four months and one week…that’s how much time has passed since November 13th when I broke my ankle.

Each week brings me closer to a full recovery, but I am still a long ways out.

This past week, I learned some painful, yet powerful lessons.

Last weekend, I thought I’d be all that and did three very tough weight lifting routines.

I’d wanted to start Body Beast ever since I’d been sidelined in November.  I had done chest and triceps the previous Friday, legs that Saturday, and biceps and back that Sunday.

To make matters worse, I spent about seven hours on my feet on Sunday…cooking four different recipes.

Boy, was I hurting when Monday rolled around.  I always say that it’s not the day after a workout that you’re most sore but the second day after.

This was me on Tuesday…standing like a gorilla because I couldn’t straighten my arms from Sunday’s bicep workout…

My ankle was a hot mess from Saturday’s workout, let me tell you.  It was so bad that the outside of my ankle…the side where I have my plate, was hurting.  This side rarely gives me problems.

When I got to physical therapy on Monday afternoon, I was doing some serious hobbling.

My physical therapists were not happy, and because I’d done too much, they weren’t able to add new exercises to my regimen.

The ice and stem therapy when I finished that day were much needed.

I struggled all week with my ankle…all because I’d tried to be my former, overachieving self.

Here’s what’s hard for me…remembering that, although my ankle might feel okay while I’m doing something, the effects of being on my feet or doing whatever it is I’m doing don’t hit until later.

I have to start thinking about the after-effects, which is so hard for me because I feel as though I’m missing out on stuff.

Sigh.

So, last week was frustrating, and I might have had a pity party or two when nobody was looking (and even when someone was).

The Mr. got a bit upset with me and fussed…in a loving way (ahem).  He reminded me that I am only four months out from breaking my ankle.

Yes, I can walk.

Yes, my limp is getting better.

Yes, I can drive and do some things.

The key is the word “some.”  That doesn’t mean all, and it doesn’t even mean that those “some” things are going to be to the full extreme that I’ve done them in the past.

YET.

One day, I’ll be able to.

Just not yet.

Just like I can’t wear pretty shoes for very long, so it’s tennis shoes and dresses, on the days when I feel like looking uber-professional.

Don’t be jelly of my fashion style.

Before I left my PT session on Wednesday, I was instructed to take it easy over the weekend…to not do any more than a mile without checking to see how I felt (it had been my intention to get started on my S.P.E.W. virtual race…six miles…broken up for me, of course).

I took their words to heart and went home on Friday determined to be a better patient.  On my way in the house, I stopped to smell the roses…literally.

It had been a tough couple of days with work stuff, and I listened to my body and crashed in the recliner.

Then, I did NOTHING on Saturday.  I stayed in my pajamas and read my new Neal Shusterman book, Scythe.  I had started it Friday night after the Man in the Brown Truck delivered it and finished it early Saturday evening.  It was FANTASTIC!

There were a few twists I didn’t expect, which made this a real page turner.

I took a bit of time out on Saturday to watch the movie If I Stay, which is based on Gayle Forman’s book.  I read it last summer and enjoyed it.  It was a heart-wrenching book.  The movie didn’t disappoint except in a couple of places where things strayed from the book a bit.

Gambit chose to interrupt my “me” time periodically throughout the day.  Being in the recliner puts me at the perfect level to give him a good scratch or two.

All of the resting made a huge difference for my ankle, as evidenced by the fact that you can see most of the bones in my foot.  They’re usually slightly obscured by the swelling that seems to be a constant part of my world right now.

As I type this, it’s Sunday afternoon.  The Mr. is grocery shopping, and I’d like to try to make a couple of things.  We found some recipes that don’t look like they’ll require a lot of standing-up time.  My fingers are crossed.

This journey is reminding me of the importance of rest.  So often, I, along with most of America, use the weekends to try to catch up on tasks that aren’t able to be done during the week.

My body, however, tells on me.  I need the kind of rest that requires purposely sitting down and not doing a whole lot of much, whether it’s thinking or finishing chores.  Everything gets done eventually…it just doesn’t have to be done now.

Speaking of now…the Mr. just pulled into the garage which means for now, I’ll be starting work on those recipes and then hunkering down in my recliner to watch a little NASCAR and, perhaps, enjoy a quick nap.

Thank you for your continued prayers as I press on in my recovery. ❤

16 Weeks

Yesterday marked 4 whole months since I broke my ankle!

Can you believe it?

Sometimes I can; other times I can’t.

I do know that it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up Sunday morning.  The milestone meant that much to me.

I told a friend at church on Sunday that I am a completely different person from who I was four months ago.  Between my ankle and the Mr.’s health issues, I’ve changed.  So much.

My physical therapy is going well, as always.  I seriously love the place I go to.

Tuesday was tough (work-wise), let me tell you.  It was the day that I had to proctor the FSA writing test…two sessions of it.  This meant an entire day on my feet with not a lot of breaks.  I also proctored in the building furthest from my classroom (props to the Guidance administrator who wanted me to be able to use the latest technology).  Walking back and forth with tubs of material was just too hard.  I made a special request to proctor in my building when the kids take the FSA reading comprehension exam in April.  That was a day I wished I could have had PT so I could be hooked up to the TENS unit afterward.

On Wednesday, I got to add a new exercise…balancing one-legged on a Bosu ball.

That’s not me, and I don’t balance while holding onto a medicine ball.  I place it between two parallel bars and stand in the middle on my right ankle (the one I broke).  I had to stand for one minute.  I couldn’t balance the whole time.  It was soooo hard, and my hip got very sore.  Strength training is a big part of what I’m working on right now, in addition to flexibility and mobility.  Still, it felt good to move from the foam pad to the ball…progress!

Wednesday evening, the Man in the Brown Truck dropped off something I’d ordered the week before…

It’s a TENS/EMS unit…similar to what my therapists put on my leg after I finish each session, only smaller and portable.

Can I tell you how much I love this?  It has different settings, and they are just wonderful.  It was worth the $60 I paid.

I’m still not at the point where I can wear regular shoes for long periods of time.  I’m starting to get frustrated, though.  I want to wear my favorite dresses, so I finally caved and put together this ensemble on Thursday…

Yeah, it wasn’t my favorite, but I’m learning that some things don’t matter when you’re recovering from an ankle break.

On Friday, I decided (sparked by me noticing my shoulders…and decreasing muscle definition) to start the Body Beast program I had planned to begin the week I broke my ankle…

It’s almost all weight lifting.

I want to be buff!  Bikini season is right around the corner!

So, for Day 1, I did chest and triceps.

It felt wonderful to pull the weights out again.

It was hard, though.  I started with low weights because it had been awhile since I’d worked out.

I wore my new ear buds the Mr. bought me for Christmas.  Look at the calorie burn!

I felt so accomplished when I finished…a little more like my old self!

Saturday morning, I did Day 2 – Legs.

It was ugly, y’all.

I had a meltdown halfway through; some of the moves were not feasible for me.  I discovered that I couldn’t do lunges where I had to put my right leg back.  My ankle just wasn’t flexible enough yet.  When I told my physical therapists about it, they said I’m also not strong enough.

It was sooooo frustrating, but I watched the guy doing modifications and incorporated them into my routine.

Pushing through built my confidence.

The calorie burn was BIG too!

On Sunday, after church, I did Day 3…biceps and back.

I loved this video, even with my modifications.

After I worked out on Sunday, I spent almost seven hours in the kitchen preparing several dishes.  It was almost 8pm when I finally sat down.

Sixteen weeks out, I think I’m strong enough to do what I want.

I’m learning that I still have some serious limitations.

For instance, working out three days in a row was brutal on my ankle.  Not taking Sunday off to rest did a number on me, and I paid the price today (Monday).  Not only was my ankle swollen, but it hurt pretty badly on the outside where my plate is.

My physical therapist wouldn’t add a new exercise because I’d overdone it, so I’m relegated back to just upper body workouts.

There’s a fine line between working hard, as I promised my therapist I’d do during my first visit, to remembering that yes, I’m still recovering, and no, I cannot push myself so hard.

I think, too, that people see me walking and assume I’m better.

I’m not there yet and won’t be for a long time.  Although I’m on my feet, and I’m smiling (most times) on the outside, I’m still in pain.  It’s not always bad…especially in the mornings…but my ankle is shot around lunchtime, and it’s downhill from there.

I’m on my feet a lot more because the Mr. has been sick.  I am cooking tons, which means more time on my feet in the afternoons.  I don’t mind attitude-wise, but my ankle hates life.  Thankfully, the Mr. is very understanding and makes things as easy as he can.

I guess the message for this past week is that I continue to make progress, but it’s still slow.  My physical therapists are incredibly encouraging and tell me that I’m making great progress, but they gently remind me that it’s going to take a long time.

I still can’t walk down steps without holding onto something.  It doesn’t matter which leg I lead with; each presents its own problems…either lack of flexibility or lack of strength.

But I’m walking…a little faster than the week before.

My balance is getting better too.

And so I continue to plod through this journey…slowly…gratefully…aware of the blessings that I would have never received had this not happened to me.

God is so good.

God is so great.

He loves me; He provides for me; He’s healing me.

His timing is perfect, and I trust in that.

As always, I continue #findingjoyinthejourney…even if that journey takes me two years.  I’ll never stop being grateful.

15 Weeks

I’m sitting here, writing this blog, and marveling at the fact that, as of 11:30pm tonight, it will be fifteen weeks since I broke my ankle.

There weren’t any significant changes in my ankle this week…at least not that I could see.

My new sneakers are wonderful.  If I wasn’t walking so slowly, I hardly suspect that people would know that I’d hurt it.

The first thing my physical therapist asks when I walk in twice a week is, “How’s the ankle feeling?”

Honestly, it’s a day-by-day thing.  Sometimes, I know from the way it feels when I put on my shoes, how it’s going to do.

Other days, it surprises me.

I’m never pain-free, and I’m always hobbling by the end of the day.  The amount of swelling varies but is never completely gone.

I’m not complaining, mind you.  I am still so grateful for the healing that has occurred and the healing that is continuing.

I started doing some stretching exercises this past week in an attempt to alleviate the knee pain that started a couple of weeks ago.  My PT says it’s because I’m not strong yet.  I think it’s due to my right leg being underused for all of those weeks.  I lost flexibility in my knee.  I’m borrowing moves from my Piyo workout routine.  I love the Warrior positions.  I’ve been practicing my balancing…not easy, let me tell you!  Down dog looks rather ugly, but I can do it with my heels lifted off the floor.

I also discovered that I can still do push-ups!  That was a pleasant surprise.  My upper body is strong because of all of the walking I did via crutches.

I’m also doing some good old fashioned stretching.

On Saturday, I went out and did a little shoe shopping…yeah, again.

This time, I was on the hunt for stylish sandals that offer support for my non-arched, pronated right foot (the broken one).

Last Sunday, my friend, Barb, had told me about Vionics.  I’d never heard about this company, but when Pamela commented on my Hodgepodge post last Wednesday and mentioned Vionics, I knew I needed to check them out.

I went to a local store first and saw this display when I walked in…

The staff was incredibly knowledgeable.  They used some of the same words that my PT had used to describe my foot, which made me feel a lot more comfortable.  I was a little dismayed (but I didn’t show it) when one of the clerks told me that she could tell which ankle I’d broken…that my legs looked nothing alike (ignore my ugly toenails…I’d just taken off the polish).

I don’t know why, but my heart hurt.  I know that I’ve made a lot of progress since I broke it.  Heck, I’m walking for heaven’s sake.  Maybe it’s vanity, but I want things to look normal again.  Maybe it’s fear that they won’t.  That’s a question I’m going to tuck away to ask my surgeon when I go to a followup visit in April.

I was having a rough morning with my ankle, though.  You can see this from the redness.  There’s still a lot of healing going on.  Plus, one of the other PTs told me that foot injuries are the worst because of the impact that gravity has on them.

Anyhow…back to my shoe story.

I was super honest with the clerks and told them that I was only looking…trying to get an idea of how the supportive shoes felt on my feet.  I tried on three pairs and fell in love with these flip flops…

I don’t think I’ve ever worn flip flops with support in the arches before.

They felt like butter…smooth.

Oh my.

For the price tag, they better!  We’re talking $74.95 or something like that.  I didn’t buy them.

I tried on two more pairs, which I did not photograph.  I absolutely could not stand one pair…the straps were just ugly.

This girl is NOT about to get old lady shoes, despite my need for arch support.

Vanity is indeed my middle name.

The other pair I tried on looked nice…on the shelf…but on my feet, not so much.  I have long feet, but the clerk said that they are thin, so wider bottom shoes don’t work on my feet.

Dang.

I went to Dillard’s next and was surprised with the selection.

I tried these on…

Oh.

My.

Goodness.

I.  Loved.  Them.

And another hefty price tag…

I also tried on a pair of flats, which I didn’t take a picture of but liked.  I needed a smaller size, though, which the store didn’t have.

One other pair of shoes I tried on were these…

They weren’t Vionics.  I can’t remember the name now.  I liked the look but was concerned that there wasn’t enough support.

So, I went home without buying a single pair, but I will go back at some point and buy at least two of them.

That ended the week, except for a day spent cooking…prepping for the week…and washing dishes.

Maple-Nut Cookie Bars

Maple-Nut Cookie Bars

I continue to find myself grateful that I am able to drive, run errands, and work around the house.  These are things I couldn’t do for so many weeks that rather than being chores, I consider them privileges.

Perspective is everything, y’all.

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.

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