Ok, so here I am. It's Tuesday 28th February 2006 - just over 1 calendar month since I was discharged by my OS.
Boy, it feels like an age since that last appointment.
I thought I'd best post a progress report on here as I'm still going through circles of recovery, although they are on an ever decreasing scale, thank goodness.
Well, I had a PT appointment about a week after seeing my OS and was given a lengthy list of exercises to carry out which mainly consisted of stretching exercises to cajole my shortened tendons and ligaments back into some form of working order. My PT was pleased overall with my progress and didn't really feel the need for a follow-up appointment unless I ran into problems or felt that I needed it.
So just over a month down the line, I'm pleased to say that things are still improving; I'm under no misapphrensions, though - it will still take some months (maybe 6 or more) for me to approach any form of "normality" (whatever that is).
I know that I will never ever be the same as I was prior to the accident and that is just something that I will have to accept. I still have my life, two functional arms and two functional legs and I am walking reasonably well - that's a LOT to be grateful for.
I now walk unassisted when indoors and also for short distances, but I have a single crutch with me (my preference over a cane which feels too damn wobbly!) when I know that I am going to be on my feet for a while.
At the end of each day, my lower leg and ankle are quite puffy and fluid-filled although not always painful. I get painful aches and pains at irregular intervals of the day whether or not I've exercised the leg which is strange, but again, this is just something that I'm getting used to. The pleasing aspect of my leg going all puffy is that first thing in the morning after a nights rest, it is nearly always back to a normal size (i.e. it looks roughly the same size and shape as the good leg).
I have started going up stairs consecutively i.e. one leg after the other, if the stair treads are wide enough, but nearly always (currently) come down stairs one at a time.
I try and make the effort to go out for a short walk at lunchtimes when at work as I work in an office and don't really have to walk around too much. I find this helps a bit although my foot does then tend to ache in the afternoons. Unfortunately, I'm in a catch-22 situation in that if I don't exercise the leg, then everything will get all tense and tight again and I won't improve, but when I DO exercise the leg, I get the "healing" pain that goes with it. Guess I've just got to grit my teeth and persevere with it.
So my life is nearly normal in every respect once more. I can bath and shower without requiring a military operation in planning terms. I can walk upstairs with a cup of coffee in one hand. I can drive down to the shops and do my shopping by myself. I can get to and from work and fetch my own drinks whilst there. All of the things that we take for granted are once again within my reach, but everything now seems to have taken on a special meaning and I still rejoice at the simply ability of being able to get up out of my seat and walk down to the coffee machine in my office and grab a hot cuppa.
I hope that this posting gives people some hope for their own recovery if they are in the midst of grappling with self-doubt about what the future holds. It will get better, but unfortunately (and frustratingly on occasion), it takes TIME.
Good luck to all. Stay focused (I know how hard it is, believe me). Most of all, I wish anyone reading this healthy, happy healing.