October 22, 2019

Ankle Leg Surgery Part 2

This is my continuation of a post I did here at this link… 
http://teachingheart.net/blog/2012/09/ankle-surgery-orif-part-1/

It details the first couple of weeks after I dislocated my left ankle and broke my leg in two places requiring surgery and 1 plate and 10 screws.  Below is part two and picks up at the 1 month mark since my surgery.  My hope in writing these little diaries is to help someone else going through this same type of situation.

“Another day, another fight
It always feels like an uphill climb
Another step, another mile
The story of your life…
This is only a mountain
You don’t have to find your way around it
Tell it to move, it’ll move
Tell it to fall, it’ll fall
This is only a moment
You don’t have to let your fear control it…
And I know it looks big
And I know you feel small
But just a little bit of faith can change it all…
Ask like you believe it
Trust like you can see it
Take your fear and say
There’s nothing in your way,
Just a little bit of faith can change it all…”
Jason Castro

Before I start, I need to thank my friends and family for their continued support and encouragement.  Also, thank you to my Teaching Heart family!  I am amazed at the  emails from fans (27) I got after I posted my first account of this situation.  Many of my Teaching Heart followers sent me such kind words and I happily got back to you all – I hope I did not miss anyone!   Also big thanks to the comments posted as well.  Thank you all for your prayers!   It’s amazing how the online community can really be such a life line!!!  I hope I can help you all in some way.

Sept 21, 2012 – Today marks the 1 month mark (4 weeks) since my accident and surgery on August 21st.   Really, this happened 4 weeks ago???  It feels like forever ago.  Yet, here I am in much better spirits than I was two weeks ago.  That may be because I can get up and move more and I can drive (if you are reading this and broke your right ankle – I can’t even imagine no driving for weeks – 2 1/2 was hard)!   Also, the pain has decreased significantly.  Most days I do not even take Tylenol.   I am sleeping better too.  Just yesterday I felt like my ankle felt ok if I slept in my favorite position…  Stomach.  Awwwww, I felt like I was preggers not sleeping on my stomach for over three weeks.  Also this week I noticed that I don’t wake up if I turn my bad leg while I am sleeping.  Life is getting better.

I started PT about two weeks ago.  I cannot believe what I read online where some of you have the same surgery as me and you do not get PT.  I can’t even imagine.  It has helped me so much in just the five sessions I have had. I go three times a week for about an hour and a half.   It’s pretty boring in the beginning of the session…  Lots of writing ABC with my ankle and just doing mobility exercises with my foot.   But then I get to do some stretching of the muscles in my legs and that is the best since I really have no way to stretch those at home.  Then the therapist usually does some resistance activities with my leg and foot.  Also he stretches some of the tendons in my foot (well that’s what  I guess he is doing??).  My Achilles was bothering me so much last week – it felt tight and he did a stretch of it and it felt 100% better after the session.   Then at the end of the session I usually go on a machine that freezes your foot and sends shocks through it.   I still have major swelling around the ankle and a little less feeling in my pinkie toe.

 It is a little frustrating of how slow things are going…  I knew it would be slow.  I think the most difficult thing for me is thinking about how I have lost my previous cardio endurance.  I have not gotten my heart rate up since my last 4 mile run on the 20th (will I ever run again or even walk fast???)   My stery strips finally all fell off this weekend and my therapist did say we could try some weight machines to build up all the lost musle in my legs once he is sure I have healed well from the surgery.

When I left my post ob at week 2, I was told I could put about 10% of my weight on my bad leg…  walk on the crutches like I am walking on glass.  By Oct. 4th I should be full weight bearing in the boot.  I can handle about 85% of my weight now before I feel some pain.  I have been walking around my house with just one crutch and the moon boot on.  I also taught Sunday school this week and noticed I was walking a bit without any crutches.  So I know I am progressing.  However it’s a new world when you remove the boot and try to walk.  I know it will come.  I just can’t wait till I am walking around the neighborhood again.  My poor dog misses getting the kids off the bus.  I can’t walk her while I am on crutches.

O, and the other day I needed something at K-mart… So I put the crutches in the cart and walked around the store holding onto the cart for support…  When I told my therapist this, I think he was a little surprised…  but it feels ok doing that at four weeks post ob.  Of course I had to elevate and ice when I got home.  I guess all will be telling when I see the surgeon on the 4th of October – hopefully I am not pushing it – but I feel pretty good….

Crutches just are not fun.  Yes, they help you walk… but, you can’t do anything except walk.  No carrying things around…  Luckily I purchased the little carrier for my crutches and that helps a ton.  This weekend I attended the kids soccer games and I fit two cameras, a water bottle, my car keys, and wallet in the pouch.  GREAT INVENTION!!!   Plus the pads on my crutches are extra cushy and have really helped.   I so look forward to the day when the family does not need to come shopping with me.  This weekend as a family of 4 we hit walmart, Aldi’s, and Sam’s Club to do major shopping.  I do miss the day when I could do that on my own.

My appetite has returned…  UGH!  I think a little depression was going on the first three weeks mixed with the fact I really could not get up much to get a treat…  I actually lost 10 pounds and regained that…  But so far no extra weight gain.   I am hungry again and no exercise means still low calorie intake to make sure I do not gain weight.

9/27 – I am walking around my house in the boot and no crutches.  Although the boot is like lugging around a small toddler  wrapped around your leg, it’s much better than using the crutches all the time.  At night I hobble with no boot and no crutches from my bed to the bathroom…  I do not feel pain when I do this – just tightness.  I walk with a HUGE limp without the boot.  And I go much slower… much!  Still, improvement!   Little bummed, this weekend is the Great Race and I will not be running it… still I have my fingers crossed that I will run a 10K AGAIN — someday.

When I go out on the town or teach, I use one crutch.  I went to the grocery store this weekend by myself.  That was so awesome!!  Although someone must be home when I return to unload the goods and get them up the stairs to my kitchen.  So life is definitely improving in small steps.

I still find myself frustrated with all I want to do and stopping for 30 minutes to RICE…  Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate…  But, that’s just what God’s plan is for me right now…  My Rosary came back out – might as well pray it while I RICE.   So, if God’s plan with this little incident was to get me to stop and just be (or maybe he wanted me to pull out the Rosary that was in my purse all summer)…  it’s working.  WHO knows what his plan was, but I am confident that he is in charge and sees the bigger picture.  I am thankful everyday for what I am blessed with.  I feel bad feeling bad for myself when so many have it so much worse…  the grass is always greener or browner.

With all the negative talk online about this type of issue…  I have to say, I feel like so far I am a positive example that healing will happen.  Also, I have run bumped into at least two people who have told me that they actually feel like their operated leg with the plates is stronger than the one without it.  There are positive stories…. it just seems people only take the time to write the bad ones online.

I will be back with another update after my appointment on the 4th of October.  Prayers that healing is on the right track would be so awesome and very much appreciated.  Prayers really are the best gift you can give someone.

PART 3 – One Year Later!!!

I wanted to  share my new theme song with you…  it gets me through a tough day!  Jason Castro’s Only a Mountain!

Some of my must haves if you are someone dealing with Ankle/Leg break.