Yesterday, I went to the doctor. He said everything looked really good. I even got to see the X-ray this time. Look at all that metal! The little circular bit is right at the top of the break and then it goes down towards the middle where the screw points upwards. I was surprised to see how long the screws are- they go all the way through the bone. Now I know why I have such strange sensations down at the bottom of my ankle bone. It's the screws and metal plate. He said that I can get the screws and plate out next year, if I want. I asked him how my bones looked overall because my mother has osteoporosis, bad, and I'm a likely candidate. He said the bone density looked good, that there wasn't as much "gray area" as is often the case with bone injuries. Good news! But this reminds me to start taking more calcium now before it gets too late. Also, I see some redness along the incision and occasional drainage of fluids. He said that was normal and that it was my body expelling some of the internal sutures.
He said that now that the bone is healing/healed, I should start walking. I tried, but my heel is so sore!! But, I can put weight on my toes. He said that the boot is probably hurting my heel. He said I am ready to start physical therapy. However, he said that because it looked like my sole has dropped, I should wear a special ankle support. Then, he said he'd see me back in five weeks and he hoped I'd be walking on my own by then. I'm down for that.
Today, I had my first physical therapy session. Boy, they don't waste time! I was more nervous about going to PT than I even was for the surgery. Everyone has told me how they make you do things until it hurts really bad. Everyone! Frankly, I was terrified. Looking into the room and seeig all the equipment just scared the bejesus out of me. I've never been one to enjoy working out in a gym anyway.
But, J, my PT, was really nice, after all. He explained that because I broke the bone down at the joint, I sprained the one side when I broke the other side. Now that the bone is healing, the sprain needs to be addressed because, basically, my ankle has frozen up. J showed me an actual plate and screws and said that was like what was in my leg. He also told me that I could get the hardware out in 10 months to a year but not if I wait any longer than that because the bone grows around the screws. He said that it would mean surgery and six weeks of being very careful while the holes in the bone healed up because of the high risk of rebreaking the temporarily fragile bone.
There is still a LOT of swelling on the outside of my foot. If it had happened higher up on my leg, I'd be walking right now with no problem, he told me. He said that, although I need to walk, that's not necessarily the best way to return to normal. He told me not to wear the boot, if possible, but to actually place as much weight as I can on my foot, using only the ankle support and crutches, if I must. Pedaling a bicycle or doing low impact exercises to strengthen the muscles is better than actually doing a lot of walking. Thus, the need for physical therapy which he said can take weeks to months. I made a vow to myself right then that it was going to happen sooner than later, for me.
He gave me a long elastic strap tied into a loop at one end. He showed me how to put my bad foot in the loop and pull tension and then do exercises to flex the joint and build up the muscle tissue in all four directions. I have very limited range but at least it's on the plus side already. Two weeks ago when I got put in the boot, I began trying to stretch my foot forwards and backwards. Although I didn't get far, at least it was a beginning. I have a red elastic strap and then a firmer green one to work with.
After each session, preferably twice a day, he told me to elevate my leg very high and ice the joint for 15 minutes. This will help get the blood flowing and heal the sprained joint. He said there will be swelling and pain if I try to do too much, otherwise, it should just be uncomfortable, not unbearable. I felt much better about this whole PT thing afterwards but still, I want to get better!
I asked about riding my horses and he told me it would be okay- when I could walk again. Cripes! That could be the whole summer!! Please drop a prayer or two my way for my continued speedy recovery, okay?
Apemen with metal parts - song: Ramona A. Stone, artist: David Bowie, album: Outside