Thursday, July 27, 2006

PT times 3

I had my third visit with physical therapy yesterday. I have been feeling really good about my progress. After my first PT visit, I ended up having to ice my ankle later that evening because it was so sore. The second visit was much better - with no lingering discomfort. But following yesterday's visit - YOW!

The only "new" thing we did was some stretching of my ankle from side to side. Otherwise, it was a typical visit. However, I could tell within an hour after that I was going to be uncomfortable. I figured it would swell up and I could just ice it, but that's not the case. What I'm having is real pain along the metal rod side (the outer side). If I sit still, it's fine. But if it rubs against anything - my camo boot, the sheets, my clothes - it hurts like crazy. Like a deep bruise almost, though there is no discoloration.

The ankle itself looks really good, and my scars seem to be healing nicely. I don't have a lot of swelling and there is essentially no pain when I weight bear. Just this shooting pain along the edge of the metal rod.

I won't have PT for the next 2 weeks because we'll be traveling. I was given a rubber band and told to do the exercises at home, like I have been. I see the doctor again on August 15th, and I'm hoping he'll clear me for full weight bearing out of the boot and without crutches then. Maybe even approval to drive! THAT will feel like tremendous progress.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Wine Tasting Weekend

Hubby and I slipped away with another couple to eastern Washington for a wine tasting weekend. We left bright and early Saturday morning and returned last night. It was a great opportunity to spend some time away with good friends, and to test my stamina on crutches and a walking boot.

The drive over was uneventful. I went through 2 skeins of yarn on a crocheted blanket I'm working on for my daughter. It was predicted to be in the low 100's in eastern Washington, and it was! I think the thermometer topped out around 107 on Saturday. YUCK! The worst part was having my foot in the camo boot - which acted as it's own heat conductor. When I finally took the boot off at 8 pm Saturday night, it was soaked in sweat. I did ice my foot for a while before we left for dinner, since it swelled up some in the boot.

It was a little annoying having to crutch my way in and out of 10 different wineries - but it wasn't completely miserable. Nearly everyone wanted to know what happened - and one winery, Maison de Padgett, even gave me a free bottle of wine. I'll call it "sympathy wine." :0) (This winery makes a GREAT coffee-flavored port, by the way!)

After about 4 hours on my feet on Sunday, however, my ankle started to ache. I knew it was sweaty again and I actually felt my foot slipping around inside the boot - which I think just aggravated the ankle bones. After the long drive home, hubby and I had to take a ferry ride over to Whidbey Island to pick up our daughter, and by the time I got home the boot was starting to feel tight - a real sign that there was some swelling going on.

All-in-all, I held up pretty darned well. I'm exhausted today - but that could be the heat wave we are suffering with here in the Pacific Northwest as much as anything. I've got my third PT appointment on Wednesday. I've been pretty good about performing my stretching exercises and I have been doing partial weight bearing as tolerated. I'm feeling pretty good about my progress.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cast-less Images

Here are some recent photos.

My dry and crusty foot.

The inner scar - and my really hairy leg!
Check out how skinny my calf muscle is!

My "Frankenstein" scar where the metal plate is.

Fortune Cookies and Horoscopes

You will have a new look that will do wonders. This is what my fortune cookie said the day before my cast was to come off.

The next morning, my horoscope arrived in my inbox and it read:
You may feel an increased enthusiasm today, which may be due to the changes you have been making in your life recently. When we experience positive changes in our lives we are buoyed by our increase of positive energy. We can use this energy to continue to change our lives for the better, since change only happens when we make a conscious effort to do so.

It was as if the Universe was aligning just for me - just for my BIG DAY!

Things went well at the doc that day. My cast came off. The x-rays look good. Even the 7-week-old pedicure is still going strong.

Now I'm in a camo boot, which my online friend Sarah calls "Robo Boot." I am to wear it whenever I am up and moving around. I can weight bear up to 50% with crutches, though I'm having a tough time figuring out what that means exactly. Fortunately, I start physical therapy tomorrow.

The next milestone for me will be to ditch the crutches. Even with the ability to partially use my right foot, I still find that I am exhausted when I have to walk around too much. I made the mistake of going to Costco the night that the cast came off and I suffered for it. I still break into a sweat if I've been standing on my good leg for too long. I am treating the scars with an over-the-counter ointment called Mederma. I've still got quite a bit of dead skin sloughing off the bottom of my foot too. But the good news is - I can get my foot wet. I spent Saturday at the neighbors, soaking in their hot tub (a little piece of heaven!). I also took a hot bath my first night home and it was wonderful to not have to balance my leg out of the tub. I'm definitely making progress!

The doc says it will likely be another 6 weeks before I am completely crutch and boot free and able to drive again. However, I have been told to expect intermittent swelling and stiffness for at least 6 months to a year. I'm trying not to get bogged down in the thought of a long recovery, and just be grateful for the progress I have made so far.

Thanks to all of my supporters for sticking with me up to this point!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Indendence Day!

As we celebrate our country's "birthday" - the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence - I would like to be signing my own declaration of independence. For me, the battle to be independent rages on.

I have just returned from a trip to the grocery store with my husband. I decided I could tag along using my crutches. Even after all these weeks, I still can't endure more than 15 minutes or so before I break into a complete sweat. It's so frustrating!! I tried to be helpful, hobbling down the aisles to take things off the shelf. But if the cart wasn't nearby, I found it very difficult to carry anything while using the crutches. ARGH!!

I am making a salad for our 4th of July party this afternoon. I will have my daughter put all of the ingredients on the kitchen counter, and then I will put a chair up to the counter and sit while I chop up the ingredients and assemble the salad. That's a baby step towards independence!

I see the doctor in 46 hours. Hopefully the cast comes off and the walking boot goes on. Another giant leap towards independence.

I wish everyone a blessed and happy Independence Day. A day to be thankful for the freedoms we are so proud of. And a day to think of our troops who are scattered all over the world, working to protect those freedoms.

HAPPY 4th of JULY!