Thursday, April 16, 2015

All American Surgery Update - Four Months

Yesterday I had my four month check-up with the Physician's Assistant to touch base about my continued recovery from the All American surgery. I am still doing physical therapy twice a week, and my limp is definitely less noticeable. My ankle is still stiff in the morning, and swollen at night, but there is progress.

The other big news is that I will be going back in six weeks to schedule a surgery to remove the screws in my heel and ankle. They are still exceptionally tender, and you can actually palpate the edges of the screw in the heel! I'm glad we are doing it, but definitely not looking forward to more surgery. But, more on that as it gets closer. Now, the updates!

What I Would Have Done Differently - Changed PT's Sooner
Since the surgery, I've worked with two different physical therapists. One is the one I did pt with previously when we thought the ankle was sprained, and the other who has filled in when my regular was gone or sick. They work side by side, and are both very nice and friendly and smart, and I don't want to misconstrue that at all.

The couple of times I worked with the other PT, I've noticed that there was more variety in what I did, and that each session was harder and I felt like I got more out of it. The real kicker (har har) was that during my last time with her, my 12th session, instead of doing windshield wipers with my ankle while sitting, she had my lie on my side and lift my foot up. When I was on my right side, she had a hand resting on my foot, and I actually thought that she was pushing down on it. I was very frustrated that, after 6 weeks straight of PT, that had gotten skipped. I'm going in tomorrow and have the appointment directly with the newer PT, but wish I would have listened to my gut and switched over sooner.

What is Frustrating - Swelling & Bruising
Gross picture, I'm sorry, but I thought I'd be honest with you. I had absolutely no expectation that, four months out from the surgery, I'd still be dealing with swelling, let alone bruising. At the end of the day, after work and errands and cooking and rattling around the apartment, my left (and newly repaired) foot is almost always bruised, red, and swollen. FYI, the lower picture is after sitting for several hours, the upper is after being on my foot, up and down, all day. Lovely, right?

What I'm Looking Forward To - My New Shoes
Oh boy. So, I spent an entire evening after work trying to find new shoes. Following the surgery, I have one screw in my heel and one starting on the outside of my ankle. Unfortunately, with the latters placement, a lot of my existing shoes are exceptionally uncomfortable. I had a professional conference to go to and wanted nice shoes to wear, and got very, very frustrated trying to find something that would work. After FOUR stores I actually found what I wanted at Target. It is an open ballet flat that really only holds onto your toe and the heel, and doesn't hit the screw on the side. Plus, they are actually cute! Luckily or not, these are the same screws that we're going to be removing sometime this summer, so we will see how my foot ends up!

What is Working - Biking & Elliptical
I went for a BEAUTIFUL bike ride. I am lucky, I live within a quarter mile of a bike path that goes along the Mohawk River and historic Erie Canal. It is gorgeous, and actually goes almost straight from where we live to where I work. In my dream world, I'll actually be able to start biking to work in a few short weeks!

The other night, I also hopped (read: stepped gently) onto the elliptical machine at the gym. I didn't use any resistance at all, and really was tuned in in case it hurt, but it felt great. I went a full half hour, and my legs and ankle were no worse for the wear the next day. Yay!

What I've Accomplished - Professional Conference
I spent last weekend at a statewide conference, and it was SO much fun. I love working in a creative field where we all share and steal each others ideas. I honestly didn't really think about my ankle ahead of going, but I did throw my cane in the back seat of the car and I'm glad I did. I spent a LOT of time on my feet on Sunday, including the networking reception that evening (why no chairs?!) and on Monday my knee felt like it kept trying to pop out. I used the cane and it worked well, the only issue was trying to balance that, a drink, and a snack during one of the breaks!

This Week's Goal - Daily Gym Activity
If I am serious about moving from zero (the surgery) to Disney (a half marathon) I need to make physical activity a part of my everyday life. I am setting the goal now, as I'm about to throw on some sweatpants and head to the gym, that I'm going to do some version of physical activity every day. That can be the elliptical or recumbent bike, riding my bike on the path, some very gentle yoga, just something!

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