Wednesday, December 1st, was nine weeks post-surgery and my first day back to work. I wore my air cast and my ankle held out, but I was pretty drained at the end of the day... and it was only a half-day! I had to get back into my morning routine.
Thursday was a long day... work in the morning, physical therapy in the afternoon, and then a parent-teacher conference in the evening. By that night I was exhausted and my ankle was sore from all the walking, standing and exercise it had endured throughout the day. Before going to bed that night I applied some ice to help sooth it.
By Friday I was very much ready for the weekend and couldn't wait to relax a little! Overall I felt that my first week back went well, even though it hadn't been a full work week for me.
On Saturday morning I had physical therapy and my therapist noticed that the flexion in my right foot was not at a normal range. It was definitely better than my left foot but it could use some improving. My therapist said this was most likely due to years of walking differently to accomodate my weaker and less flexible ankle. He suggested when I do my exercises to also work on my right foot in order to improve the range of motion. My right foot would always be more flexible than my left, but the exercises would get it back into a normal range.
On Monday afternoon I used the elliptical machine for the first time at physical therapy. My therapist could see that I was walking better out of the air cast and he wanted me to try the elliptical. It was set on a slow speed and I used it for about 5 minutes. My therapist suggested I also use the elliptical at home, for only about 5 or 10 minutes, on my non-therapy days. By the end of the session he told me to start walking around the house in shoes, more often than in the air cast. The goal was to continue strengthening my ankle, and he believed that I would soon be out of the air cast.
As I walked around the house in my shoes for the next couple of days, I felt more confident that my strength would return. My recovery still had a long way to go, there was still much more progress to make, but every step forward (no pun intended) gave me more encouragement.