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Comment : Two year Check In
Posted by Sue on Fri 8:02am 8 April 2016
Two year Check In - April 8, 2016
It’s been two years since day zero and to be honest, I’m not fully recovered. I had a 2nd round of Physical Therapy at the end of 2014, before I was laid off and lost my medical benefits. I landed a new job in May of 2015 and got new benefits so I promptly went for a third round of PT. The third round helped IMMENSELY. The biggest problem I had was going down a flight of stairs. The PT was focused soley on initiating movement in the mortar and tenon joint of the ankle. You wouldn’t think they were doing much, but the relief was almost immediate. The flexibility took about 9 months to regain, and as of today I can go down a flight of stairs with a backpack on, and NOT have to hold on to a railing (although most of the time I do) for stability.
What I am dealing now is plantar fasciitis in my right foot. The pain in my arch and ankle was so bad I could hardly walk. I also found that I walking barefoot or shoes with little support made it worse. Heels were impossible for me before I broke my leg, and they still are. I found several good brands of shoes: Birkenstock (the BEST) Dankso, Sanita, Born and Cobb Hill. Cobb Hill is a brand created by New Balance, they have great arch support, and are very comfortable. Not cheap, but worth every penny.
This was a very mild winter so I found that a plain pair of Cobb Hill lace-up ankle boots got me through it. I like the support the ankle boot gives me. Now that it’s spring I’m starting to switch up the shoes a bit. Merrill is hit or miss for me now. They were always a staple but they’ve changed their line and now I’m not so sure.
I bought a wobble board and “porcupine” ball for home PT. I also massage the tendon in my arch often. The kinks in the tendon are huge and painful, but hurt less when they are broken up and massaged out. My right ankle doesn’t swell as much anymore (although we’ll test that this summer) but the bones stick out more prominently than my left ankle. I’ll take it. For work I brought in a foot roller, and bought a small, under-desk elliptical from InMotion. I can pedal it back and forth and the motion helps keep my ankle loose.
I would say the ankle pain is pretty much all gone now, and except for the plantar fasciitis I feel pretty normal. I have bad habits to break such as compensating my stride, and 20 lbs to lose (okay, 35lbs) but overall, I feel pretty normal. I can do nearly everything I want to do, I can walk and carry things up and down stairs. I can flex both ankles and feet to nearly the same degree. I’m contemplating a “couch to 5k” program once if warms up. Maybe I would have recovered faster had I pushed myself harder, but I chose to listen to my body and I don’t regret it. I’m sure that it will take me two more years to lose the weight I gained (due to thyroid issues and inactivity due to the broken leg) but the one thing I have learned throughout all of this is PATIENCE. Be patient, be loving, be kind to yourself and those that are caring for you. Help others as much as you can, support them, do what you can, because it helps you feel better. Keep busy - read, knit, go outside - it takes your mind off the pain. It’s okay to freak out over what caused your accident if faced with the same situation again, acknowledge it, breathe until it passes, then move on.
The hardest part is retraining your brain to trust your leg again. The only way to retrain your brain is to go through the situation again. That may be visualization, it may be walking on wet ice extremely slowly and deliberately, it may be balancing on the broken leg until you can hold it for two minutes - whatever it is, try it and take baby steps until you are confident again. The hardest psychological problem of overcoming a broken leg is the loss of confidence in your body. My body image has gone to hell, and I am slowly… verrrry slowly….. learning to trust it again. When you can trust your body again you can love your body again. It’s a long journey, but you’re strong. I know you can do it. You will heal. You will become whole again.
Love you, love the site. Have a great year!
- Two year Check In - Sue Fri 8 Apr 2016
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