Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Week Five

Wednesday, November 3rd, was five weeks post-surgery. The Celebrex seemed to lessen the pain and stiffness, but of course the tingling continued. I went to physical therapy and the therapist told me that the cramps I was feeling was due to lack of movement in my muscles. This made sense, since moving around helped with that pain. The therapist wanted me to wear the air cast whenever I was walking around, since I needed the support and eventually I would be walking with just the air cast and no crutches. My foot was sore after therapy and I couldn't wait until the range of motion improved.

On Thursday I had forgotten to take the Celebrex in the morning and my foot was fine all day, even after doing my exercises. I walked around the house for at different intervals to get my foot used to walking inside the air cast.

By Friday the pain was back again and physical therapy did not help ease the pain. I noticed that I was probably not pushing myself as much as I should have been due to fear of the pain. I would definitely need to work on that! I also couldn't wait until I could use my foot normally again; I would watch all the other patients doing their leg lifts and other exercises that I could not yet do and was so frustrated. Then I realized the reason for my frustration: for so long I had been unable to use my left foot for so many things, and even after having surgery I still couldn't use my foot! Part of me wondered why I even bothered getting the surgery at all. My physical therapist reminded me that eventually my foot would be normal again, I would just have to be patient and quell my anxiousness to get back on both feet.

Saturday morning my foot was still stiff and sore, so I took Celebrex that morning but it didn't seem to help. So I decided to not take it anymore, especially since it is meant for arthritis pain and technically I no longer had arthritis. I kept my pain relief down to over-the-counter medication.

My physical therapist had told me to start using one crutch instead of two, to help begin the process of putting more weight on my foot. He said it would be uncomfortable in the beginning but that was normal and part of the rehabilitation. So over the weekend I worked on getting around on one crutch and by Monday morning I was getting around much better. My ankle was still sore after walking around but it felt good to have one hand free; getting up and down the stairs in my house was much easier but I still didn't do that unless I absolutely had to.

I also noticed that the spasms were less and less frequent, although when they did come they were still excrutiating. Sometimes there was a pulsing in my foot, usually in my heel or my big toe, that felt like a small, stabbing needle. The worst part of the spasms and pulsing was that there was nothing I could do except massage and move my foot around. Pain medication did not help these sensations at all.

On Monday my therapist also started me on more leg exercises during our sessions and these hurt immensely. How I wished I had worked up my leg muscles before the therapy! I had begun using one crutch to walk around so I could put more weight on my foot and by the end of the day my ankle was pretty sore. One of the bad things about being a little more mobile was feeling like I could do so much when I still needed to take things slow. My endurance and energy were still not 100% and I could not spend too much time on my foot. Having been a very active person before the surgery it was hard to remember to take things one day at a time.

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