Saturday, February 1, 2014

3 Weeks Post-Op!

I can hardly believe it has already been 3 weeks since I went under the knife. I stop and do the math every time just to make sure because it always seems that there is no way it has already been that long! But sure enough, it has!

It's funny how life goes on, even if you have had surgery. Kids still need to go to school, dinner still needs to be made, bills still need to be paid. But I am thankful for all of that because I have a million reasons to stay busy. I'm on my feet virtually all day, and I am finally feeling very close to normal. I am used to the boot, and I don't even notice it much (unless some stranger points to it and asks me what happened. It seems to happen more than I would like and can be a little awkward...kind of like the stranger touching your pregnant belly...) Often I wear the boot most of the day then just as it is time to make dinner I take it off and it stays off the rest of the night. The days that end with a sore left heel are becoming more even with the days I end without a sore heae.

Yesterday I was wearing flip-flops, no boot, and I noticed that The normal dynamics of walking are slowly returning to my left side. My forefoot was actually a small amount active in the action of walking-yay! How did I notice? Well you know how your flip-flops make the "flip-flop" sound? Well that is usually one sided for me as one side "flip-flops" and the other side does not. Yesterday they were both flip-flopping :)

This is me in my flip-flops, hanging around the house. I can get around ok like this, and I love wearing a wrap. It just feels comfortable to have it all securely wrapped.

Here is my incision now, after unwrapping it for the day. I'm very pleased with how it is healing. The swelling has gone way down and the incision is very healthy! There are still stitches staying strong in there, and I am actually curious as to when they are supposed to dissolve.
On an encouraging note, my physical therapy referrals came in and I have my evaluation appointment next week then sessions each week for the next 8 weeks! I am excited to get this part going. I have been so nervous to try anything that might re-injure my Achilles but I am more than ready to start doing some proactive things to get my strength and motion back.

About two more weeks in the boot!

And yes, in the back of my mind (or maybe more toward the front I will admit), I have been a little concerned with staying in shape, or not falling out of shape! While my legs are still doing ok in shorts (I give some credit to my regular California tan), it is my uppermost thighs, into my rear end that are missing it most. I am grateful that I will have a couple of months to get back into a program before I have to "debut" in a swimsuit this season.

You know though, all in all I am feeling satisfied with myself in spite of these challenges. I have felt a lot of pressure to do whatever I can-strength moves, swimming, whatever, in order to burn calories and work my muscles. Pressure to push forward and find exercise at all costs, despite my injury. That is great, and I am sure some women can or will do all of that. But I think what most won't understand unless they have undergone surgery like this is that recovery itself is exhausting and takes a lot of energy. Getting around with an injured limb is hard and takes a lot of extra effort. Some days I would have to take a break and lay down around mid-day just to get my strength and nerve back in order to keep up with my family. I have been doing some exercises throughout the day; quick push-ups, leg lifts or tricep dips but I have not been pressuring myself to do so. I have been doing it because it feels good. My body is going through other stuff right now. It's like with pregnancy. Staying in shape is great, but overall what is most important is the health of your baby. So maybe you can't run a marathon while pregnant like some crazies can, but you can get out and walk with a friend and do some yoga. My point is, you do what you can. Past that you can't feel guilty! Life continues, even when you are injured and you have to prioritize. It's not the end of the world if, for a season, exercise is not the top of your priority list.

I think what I am most looking forward to is that once I am rehabilitated, I will run again, but this time having overcome something pretty huge...not just the surgery itself but a close-call where I wondered if I would ever run again. Running will never be the same.

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