Monday, December 28, 2015

All-American Surgery One Year Later

This Wednesday, just three hundred and seventy days after my All-American Surgery, I had my one-year follow-up appointment with my surgeon. It has been a long and tough twelve months, but I wanted to take some time to talk about where I'm at now and what work is still left.

Let's start with a high note. November was the healthiest month I've had in probably two years. On Thanksgiving, I went running. Outside. I went 2.3 miles alternating running for 60 seconds and walking for 90 and felt great. Like, might have sat down and cried a little bit from happiness once I was done. That wasn't the first time I'd run, I'd gone on several on the treadmill at the gym. I also was very successfully meeting with a personal trainer once a week and doing a variety of strengthening and stretching exercises, not just with my ankle but in general.

And now the low note. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, my husband and I were doing yard work (in Upstate NY. CRAZY weather this year). We've had one spot on our gutters that drips onto a windowsill when it rains, so we decided to go up and clean the gutters out. Ladders + unsteady ankles do not equal a good plan, so I asked my wonderful husband to go up for me while I held the bottom. We successfully cleaned the gutters out, he didn't fall off the ladder, and as he was coming down I took a step backwards to get out of his way and rolled my ankle on a clump of grass.

What has followed has been very frustrating. My Achilles tendon swelled right back up, and I'm having pain on the outside of my ankle joint, right where I was having problems prior to the surgery. I've stopped running and training, cut way back on my daily physical activity, and still have quite a bit of swelling.

The good news is that I had my one-year follow-up appointment on the 16th. As part of the regular appointment, we took x-rays of the ankle and bone wise, everything looks great. He gave me a script to restart physical therapy, and if things haven't improved after a few weeks I'm supposed to come back in for an MRI. The trick has been that we did a lot of traveling over the holidays (been gone since the 20th, heading home this afternoon) and we are heading back to Disney World with my family on January 19th. That doesn't give me as much physical therapy before our trip as I'd like, but we'll make do.

All-in-all, I'm glad I did the surgery but the recovery has been difficult. They said that full recovery was at least a year out and boy, I did not believe them. The sprain is absolutely because my ankle is still weaker than it should be, which just means I need to be more vigilant about doing my exercises. In my ideal happy world, once the swelling goes down I'll start doing yoga consistently to help keep everything flexible and strong. If you saw in the photo, I still have a lot of swelling but also quite a bit of bruising which at this point I'm just assuming I'll have from here on out.

So, sorry that this wasn't the glowing and excited one-year report I was expecting to write after Thanksgiving. Check back soon for my 2016 goals and ambitions.

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