Begun Physical Therapy: Talus Recovery (Week 10)

It took a little while after I started walking to get the work comp approval to start physical therapy. I was nervous, but also excited. Husband kept warning me that it would be painful, but I assured him that it was different now since he had it as a kid, that they had better, less painful ways, bahahaha.

Husband showed up for my first appointment, which really focused on the intake and teaching me a few range of motion exercises to do with my ankle. I was like “oh, this is easy” that didn’t last long though.

I had one solid week of PT before our beach trip with friends. It was painful and tough trying to get my knee to move over my ankle. You see you have to rest your leg in order for your ankle to heal…but at the same time all of your muscles completely atrophy or develop scar tissue and become stiff from disuse.

I wanted to cry so much, and I did the first time I officially worked with my physical therapist, I think because I had allowed myself to believe it would be something different than it was. I joked and I said, through sniffles that I couldn’t hold back, “tears are supposed to prove that you are strong right?” I felt slightly comforted by the fact that there was no way that I was the first person who had cried in front of him. He said, “tears mean you worked hard” He’s kind of a no nonsense hard to read type, so I treasure that he said that.

The first month of PT I was able to meet many of the therapists including some assistants. I enjoyed distracting myself from the painful massages by asking them about themselves, especially what caused them to want to get into the field. It was neat to hear their passions in their answers. One of the PTA’s I’ve gotten to know the best used to do ballet and was going to try to be a professional ballerina in Richmond I think, before she had an injury. I really enjoy working with her as well because she has a similar bubbily personality to me, she’s easy to talk to, and very encouraging at any progress that I make.

Most of the physical therapists will apologize or check in about the level of pain that they have to cause me while working on my ankle. My main went out of town again and the one who was left to fill in said, “So your PT left me some notes to work on you with….I’m sorry” None of them hurt my ankle as much as my main PT so I just laugh it off.

Physical therapy has been an interesting journey, and my PT warned me that its easier to make progress in the beginning, then many people reach a plateau and they become stuck. In the beginning it was incredibly painful but I could marvel over each step. Today was the first day that I walked across the room, today was the first day that I balanced on my bad foot 3x for 30 secs, today my knee moved a little farther over my ankle, etc.

Unfortunately, the thing that seems to work the best to help me bend my ankle back (dorsiflexion) is the graston method. Basically, they take this thin steel bar (think butter knife sized) and some oil type stuff, and literally rug burn scrap into your stiff muscles. I was so proud of myself for not crying during that or asking the PT to stop. It really feels like they are cutting into your skin, or its like the most intense zit popping pressure you’ve ever felt. However, my ankle works so much better after.

Here’s to finding my motivation to do my exercises well at home to be able to get back as much range of motion as possible and decrease overall ankle pain while walking.

Reclined Like a Roman: Talus Recovery (Weeks Five & Six)

Sorry its been so long, but here are some details from my weeks 5 and 6 post injury, and the week 3 and 4 after surgery.

I was able to get out a few times, but only with “toes above the nose” which by far has been my least favorite phrase throughout the recovery process. This, for you non injured folks, means reclining such that not only is my foot elevated, but it is elevated so much that your toes are higher than your nose. It really isn’t fun, but I appreciate how it decreased pain and swelling.

My main adventure of week 5 was visiting my family in Maryland. Most years my husband’s family gathers for a family reunion, and this year it was in Maryland. It turned out that the majority of the family was going to be there, so we decided to make the 4-5 hour drive. We didn’t make the car ride pleasantly.

I was in the back seat propped up with pillows, while the dog took my seat. I quickly realized that this made me sick so I took my first Dramamine. It definitely could have been worse, but I learned for the way home that you want to have a pillow under yourself as well. When you sit at that angle you aren’t sitting on the plush part of your tush, just fyi.

The reunion was amazing. I was in a wheel chair but that didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy myself. I played corn hole (not placing any foot on my injured foot by the way). Ate yummy food. Rediscovered an appreciation for Maryland crabs (you can totally eat the legs). Took lots of pictures, including with my cousin who also had an injury. It was fun to people watch from my wheel chair and DSLR.

 

Week #6 was about reclining with my brother and his new wife! I hadn’t seen my brother since 2014. He volunteered to come visit so I could meet his bride. I didn’t know what to expect and she humbled me by being such a kindred spirit. :0)

We spent time playing pokemon go, raiding and defeating legendary birds (I actually captured one), he treated me to giant yummy pizza, and a fun trip to michaels. It was pretty wonderful. We haven’t maintained the best connection the past few years, but I’m excited to see what the future brings.

 

Wonder Woman’d My Air Cast : Talus Recovery (Week Four)

4 weeks post injury, 2 weeks after surgery.

It’s crazy to think that I’ve been living on couch/bedrest for an entire month!

This week was a busy week with several outings!

After church on Sunday I tried to catch an Articuno on pokemon go, we failed after multiple attempts due to lack of players, but it was still fun to try for it.

Tuesday was a double date with a very sweet friend of mine to see Valerian. We’d planned to see it together since hubby has been highly anticipating it, before I even broke my ankle.

We sat in the middle due to my wheelchair status. It was neat to have such a guaranteed good view. Also an excellent movie, I know understand why hubby does not consider Star Wars true sci fi. Incidentally, it also seems as if Star Wars copied Valerian (a French comic book series). I became obsessively interested for the night and ordered a physical book of the first volume of the comics. I think it would make a great tv series.

I decided to try to look cute and wore my new purple polka dotted minnie Lularoe leggings.

However, when I got home my poor feet were swollen again.

Wednesday was my next post op appointment. More xrays were taken and they actually showed them to me! Look at all that hardware. I also made the Physician Assistant’s eyes almost pop out of his head when stressing the importance of strict non weight bearing activities. (So what if I was asking about exercises like pool and stationary bikes….)

Then my stitches were removed. This means no wrapping and I can finally go back to taking showers again!

Weds night I got out of the house again for midweek church. (A friend recently stated when I phrase it like that I sound like a caged hamster…well…I mean…we both have wheels..)

With all of that getting out of the house I was pretty exhausted and felt less guilty about binge watching Big Bang Theory. But, I had envisioned a fun project, ordered supplies, and actually completed the project that evening!

I figured if I’m going to be wearing my air cast for the next at least 6 weeks (let alone whenever I transition to partial weight bearing) it might as well look cool. What looks cooler than the super woman of the summer: Wonder Woman. I just covered it with red masking tape and glitter washi type. #winning. I thought too seeing the “wonder woman ” boot might be more encouraging through physical therapy.

So overall, I’m taking things day by day. The pain usually isn’t too bad as long as my foot remains elevated and iced. Off and on I struggle with sleeping through the night just because it is hard to stay comfortable. Please keep praying for the bones to heal through union and there to be no damage to the blood supply (which could result in the death of the bone). I’ll find out more at my next scans in 4 weeks.