Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rehab I: I am Putting My Foot Down!

Had another x-ray this morning before seeing Dr. Jake.  He looked at it and said everything looks fine, but it's time to start putting weight on the foot, as my bone density is not looking so good.  Imagine that, after six weeks of weightlessness, my bone density is low.  Time to load up on mineral supplements and start walking.  (Walking?)  He said I don't need crutches anymore.  What?!  "Yes, it's graduation day," he said.  Holy crap!  I expected to have to crutch-walk for a couple of weeks, then walk with one crutch for another two to four, but quitting cold-turkey?  I was really anxious about walking, uncertain whether I could.  In two weeks I can ditch the boot and start wearing shoes.  And I can start riding -- at least indoors.  Hell, I may even try riding outdoors! 

[Bad News Interlude]
He also told me that trimalleolar fracture (have I mentioned that is the medical term for what I did to myself?) takes the longest of all ankle fractures to heal completely -- up to two years -- and patients with this fracture have the greatest risk of developing arthritis.  Not much to be done with that information, so I said: "Well, if I develop arthritis in my ankle, I'll know why."

The appointment was coming to an end.  "Let me see you walk," he said.  Holy crap!  So, I tried.  I stood up and stepped unsteadily with my right foot and tried stepping with my left, but the small boot's sole is so thick and the boot is so bulky that I could only sort of drag the left foot along, then shift the weight on it and step with the right.  I did that several times.  There were shooting pains on the outside of the heel, below the ankle.  Persevering (and with an additional two-month extenstion of my handicapped parking privileges and a referral to a physical therapist in my pocket), I proudly and happily gimped out of the examination room, down the hall, and out of Orthepedics to where the elevators are, carrying the crutches in my right hand.

Then, it was hurting more than I was willing to put up with, so I switched to single-crutching and that worked OK.  Seems like a good compromise:  it's painful, but less than going crutchless and I am putting weight on the foot.  I switched to the big and bulky boot and found that it is much better suited to walking.  I managed three blocks from my car to the office.  I am moving slower and a bit uncertainly.  The best thing is I have the use of my left hand.  I can open doors.  I can carry things.  I can hail a cab.  I can do everything a one-armed person can do.  I am in a great mood.

P.S. Switching to titling this series of posts to "Rehab" since I'm recovered from surgery...  Sort of.


1 comment:

Gunnar Berg said...

Good man. We still need one of those Facebooky thumbs up LIKE buttons. If walking hurts too much, get on your bike.