Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week Sixteen

Wednesday, January 19th, was sixteen weeks post-surgery. The soreness I had been feeling lasted into Thursday, and it seemed my foot was more numb and tingly than usual. At times there were sharp, stabbing pains in the toes, heel and along the bottom. The worst part was not being able to massage the areas because they were numb. The same thing happend if I had an itch; scratching was useless.

My therapist thought I could be having a spasm, he sad this was normal and it was also normal to have set-backs. The weather was also bitterly cold and this could be affecting my muscles.

On Friday I canceled my physical therapy appointment; the soreness was just too much and I didn't want to make it worse. Over the weekend the soreness continued but it seemed to be getting a little better; I tried to stay off my feet as much as possible. I started to wonder if I should be pushing myself... maybe the muscles were getting stiff and needed to be used more.

I started to feel upset about the numbness, tingling and soreness. I worried that this was going to be permanent and that everything I'd gone through was for nothing. Overall the discomfort was still better than what I had experienced before the surgery. I suppose I just wanted to be "normal" again; the recovery was going well but it seemed to be taking so long! I reminded myself that my therapist said setbacks were normal and knew I should contact my doctor if the discomfort persisted.

Over the weekend I became sick and was told by the doctor that I had bronchitis.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week Fifteen

Wednesday, January 12th, was fifteen weeks post-surgery. When I went to physical therapy on Thursday I told my therapist that my ankle had felt sore the past couple of days. He felt it could be the weather; we had had a snowstorm and he said when the pressure drops it might affect my ankle. This may or may not be a permanent thing... only time would tell.

This was a little disappointing to me but I had to remind myself that the pain I was feeling now was still so much less than the pain I was experiencing before the surgery. The soreness was tolerable and didn't affect me half as much as the arthritis pain did.

Over the next few days I worked on rolling my left foot completely through each step, trying to push myself forward while walking. It was uncomfortable but tolerable and I knew it would pay off in the long run. I showed my therapist what I was doing on Monday and he said I was doing much better and to keep working on it!

The next day there was rain and I noticed my foot was stiff and sore once again. Working on my walking was difficult and more painful. I didn't do my home exercises either, because of the soreness. I hoped it would pass soon.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week Fourteen

Wednesday, January 5th, was fourteen weeks post-surgery. Full-time days at work that week with physical therapy afterward were draining me but my ankle was holding up very well.

My ankle was definitely getting stronger but the pai in my Achilles tendon was very intense when the therapist massaged it! That was the one part of physical therapy that I dreaded... the massage of the tendon. At home I continued my stretching exercises knowing eventually the pain would go away, and I worked on my balance exercises to help get my strength up. The Achilles tendon pain and getting the strength back were two hurdles I definitely couldn't wait to overcome! Each night and each morning I also massaged my scars with cocoa butter to help the healing process; they were healing well but were still painful to the touch.

On Saturday I returned to the shelter after three months of being away... it felt great to be back! Before the surgery I would be at the shelter for 2-2.5 hours in the morning and then my ankle was done for the rest of the day. It would be sore, I would be limping, I was pretty much useless! This day was different; when I returned home my ankle was sore but nothing like the soreness I had experienced before the surgery. That afternoon I was able to run errands and take care of household chores... all without any discomfort.

By Monday I noticed that my Achilles tendon did not hurt as much when I was walking; the extra stretching exercises I was doing were definitely helping. At this point the hardest part of the recovery period was working full-time, going to physical therapy, and attending to all the little details of my every day life. I found myself pretty tired at the end of each day!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Week Thirteen

Wednesday, December 29th, was thirteen weeks post-surgery. My ankle was feeling good that day... the past couple of days it had been sore, probably due to the weather. Physical therapy was going well and I started using the treadmill, walking backwards, for two minutes. The object was to put more pressure on the toes and ball of the foot, and the exercise was easier for me than I thought it would be.

I hadn't been at the shelter in three months and was anxious to get back. My physical therapist thought I was ready, and although he didn't feel I would need the air cast, he suggested I bring it along just in case. I knew there things I could do that wouldn't require too much lifting on my part, and my son usually volunteered with me so he would be able to help me out.

Over the weekend we drove out to the beach for a little day trip. I did more walking on the beach than I had in a long time, and when we came home I cleaned the house a little, and my ankle was feeling just fine! I was so happy... before the surgery I wouldn't have been able to walk as far on the beach as I did that day, and even after the little bit of walking I could do my ankle would have been done for the rest of the day. It was sore but tolerable, and the soreness was expected. The best thing to do would be to ice it up and elevate it. I was feeling good and knew that I was well on my way to getting my life back.

On Monday I returned to work full-time and then went to physical therapy afterward. Needless to say, I was pretty exhausted that evening!