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Comment : Six Month Check-In
Posted by Sue3 on Tue 8:48am 30 September 2014

Six Month Check In

Iíve noticed that it still hurts to walk on uneven surfaces, and itís still hard to go down stairs. Itís painful but I decided to just push through it. In that vein I bought an elastic ankle brace, with two straps that criss cross over each other Surprisingly, it helps a lot to wear the brace. The surgeon said I had healed up nicely, however itís not a baseline yet. The tendonitis I am experiencing now is part the healing process. I really wonít know my baseline for another six months.

The soreness comes and goes, it will be pretty good for a couple of days, then pretty sore for a couple of days. I managed to get a few more PT appointments approved so I have spread them out for the rest of the year. Now I am concentrating on working out for 45-60 minutes, 5 days a week. I started out on the stationary bike for a three weeks, then split time half and half between bike and elliptical for three weeks, and now am splitting time between elliptical and treadmill (walking). Walking is still painful, and I am feeling pain and tightness in the opposite hip, due to compensation. I roll the knots out with a foam roller, or the Knobble II Massager. The knots in my broken leg are slowly, very slowly, easing.

Stretching the leg helps, but itís exercise that really does the trick. My cardio is starting to come back (I no longer get out of breath walking to the office) and continuing to do strengthening exercises. My PT told me to balance myself when pushing up onto my tiptoes, so as to not irritate the tendons, and to isolate the muscles. Iíve also added side-to-side foot stretches which are HARD and scary but Iím doing it anyways. I noticed I was able to sit cross-legged for the first time since the accident! That was a big achievement. :D

Iíve also noticed I am fitting into my shoes more easily, and the swelling around the ankle is less intense - waxing and waning more with hormonal changes rather than exertion. Uneven surfaces are still a challenge. I made it to the dog park for the first time in six months, but found I was more comfortable using a walking stick than walking solo. (Side Note: A wooden walking stick at a dog park equals excited dogs. Use a metal stick or ski pole instead. *laughs*)

Driving isnít a problem anymore, although my one-hour commute (each way) results in a stiff ankle when getting out of the car. Disuse of the ankle results in painful stiffness, so I just take my time getting up in the morning, or getting out of the car.

Another thing Iíve noticed is I can carry heavy things now without too much discomfort (water softener salts, or the dog). I can carry them on flat surfaces or up stairs, but down stairs I proceed with more caution.

Winter is coming, which is terrifying. Snow, ice and slippery surfaces are bringing on PTSD. Do I wear the boots I was wearing when I fell? Did they contribute to the broken leg? Were they too grippy or not grippy enough? I may get new winter boots just to resolve that fear. The psychological trauma of the injury is just as severe as the injury itself. Donít let anyone put you down for being fearful, but remember to push through the fear - try not to let it rule you. I know that the first time I walk on the driveway and slip a little I am going to completely freak out, and Iím okay with that. Every time I try again Iíll freak out a little less and a little less. The first time I went back to the dog park I was fearful I wouldnít be able to hike around - but Iíve been back several times since, and it gets easier every time.

Youíll make it, hang in there. Youíll heal - it just takes a long long time. You may never be 100% again, but youíll have built strength in different areas of your body and mind. Youíll be okay.

Youíll be okay.

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 Tue 8:48am 30 September 2014
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