At present, I am 5.5 weeks out from ankle surgery. While this last week contained some an exciting development, it also came with some setbacks and reminders of just how far I still have to go with my healing and recovery process.
On Tuesday, at PT, I was cleared to practice walking WITHOUT the boot. I knew this was coming and had been (cheating) practicing at home a bit the few days prior, just shuffling around our main floor without any boot or crutch. So that day at PT was great. Got some new stretches, did some new exercises, and left with the green light to wear the boot as much or as little as I saw fit day-to-day.
Unfortunately, the very next day, I got way ahead of myself which has now landed me back to where I felt things were a week or more ago. Wednesday morning I was getting around the house in just my Hokas (my favorite brand of athletic shoes) and felt pretty great. In the spirit of tidying the house, I was also doing multiple loads of laundry which required me to go downstairs to the basement multiple times to switch out loads, etc. Since surgery and getting cleared for weight bearing again, I’ve been doing the step-step-pause when I go up or down the stairs. In other words, I have to put both feet on each stair each time because I don’t have the range of motion in my left ankle yet to step/lift off one foot at a time.
Going to do laundry, however, and feeling super pleased with myself meant I forgot that I’m not ready for stepping down stairs, and without thinking, I lifted my left foot, placed it down on a stair and immediately rolled it through the action of lifting my right foot which was. not. good. That’s definitely a lot different than just lifting and setting my foot from one stair to the next. Thankfully I didn’t tear anything in the process, but I also didn’t do myself any favors in that moment, as I have been trying to work back from it every day since this week. As I told my physical therapist the next day, (damn) gravity and feeling a tad too confident got the best of me.
In all fairness, this is my first real set-back during my recovery. My pain after surgery was minimal and since I got rid of the Rhino Horn, I’ve been making steady progress every 2-3 days where I am suddenly able to do the next progression of movement, exercises, and get rid of aids like the crutches, and so forth. So part of me thinks, I should just be grateful that I’ve made it almost a month and a half and am already where I’m at with mobility. Another part of me, though, is super frustrated, hurting and sore, and just wants to be done with this. I miss going for walks and I miss doing yoga. I even miss being able to pop downstairs quick to check on the (damn) laundry when I want to without it taking twice as long as I step-step-pause my way down and then back up the stairs. I know all of this is going to come in time, but currently, I’m in the time where I feel like it’s been quite long (almost three months now) since I’ve been able to move my body how I want and I’m still quite far (at least another month, maybe more) before I get there.
Am I surprised that this is a legit lesson in patience or that it is hard? Not, not at all. But am I still in the thick of it? Yes, yes I am, sometimes with a boot, crutches, and all.