August 16, 2011: A Weak Review of a Week in Review
The days are long, the days are slow. How they speed by? I dunno.
Today I place my focus on the incremental healing, because any healing is good healing.
Tiny bubbles of progress. Tomorrow is exactly five weeks post op for me. This will be an exciting day, because I have my next follow-up visit with the OS. Every day (several times a day) I visualize the following dialogue between the OS and me:
OS: Hmmm…(looking at my x-ray and my amazingly healed-looking foot)
Me: Ummm….is everything okay?
OS: Yes. Yes. I’m just surprised to see how well your foot looks.
Me: Please explain. It’s hard for me to understand the x-rays.
OS: Well, according to today’s x-ray, your bones look healed.
Me: (smiling on the inside). Uh huh. Go on.
OS: Well, I’m going to schedule you for an MRI just to make sure I’m not missing anything. If all turns out well with that, I’m going to give you the OKAY to being weight bearing in one week.
Me: (Smiling on the outside). Sounds great!
OS: What is it that you are doing?
Me: I don’t understand your question.
OS: Well, I’m surprised at how quickly you’ve healed.
Me: Oh, that. Well, I’m eating an alkaline bone-healing diet very much like my regular vegan diet; only I’m very focused and have increased my intake of nuts and apples. I soak my nuts (laughing inappropriately). In addition to my physical therapy that I do onsite and at home three times a day, I am also getting FSM – Frequency Specific Microcurrent. I’ve noticed some improvement only after three sessions. Oh, and I visualize this conversation every day along with visualizing myself walking. The only problem with visualizing myself walking is that I am usually walking somewhere in a hurry, so I have to slow myself down.
My incremental progress. I say incremental because on some days I see nothing, yet when I look back on the last five weeks since surgery, I’ve made some strides. Real strides. It is a slow progress and one that dictates patience. Last night, Scott was helping me to bed, which is a fairly time-consuming event, and he said, “This seems like it’s going on forever, and I don’t have the pain that goes with it!”
I need to focus on the progress. Focus focus focus. My incremental progress includes:
– a more normal-looking skin tone returning to my broken (healed) foot.
– while I still feel numb from my big toe to my second big toe and down through the screw on the right side of my foot, the feeing has returned from my little toe to my middle toe and down to just about an inch above the plate and seven screws on the left side of my foot. I also have feeling on the bottom of my foot. Feeling (as in having the ability to feel one’s skin) is really something one takes for granted, and much like the absence of pain, isn’t noticed or appreciated until it manifests.
– I can point all but my big toe forward.
– I can flex my foot. The first time I did this (July 26), I was really really pushing it and barely noticed any movement. Now I can clearly see the flexing. I have about 15% the range of motion of my other foot and cannot expect to get full range of motion until I am actually walking. It’s a process.
– I can make circles with my left foot. Okay, it’s a small circle, but it’s a circle!
– Nighttime is no longer something I dread 100%, yet it’s still kind of a mixed bag. On the one hand, I’m happy when it arrives, because it means I made it through another day. With each day comes incremental healing. On the other hand, I still need courage to face it, because it also signifies hours of frustration and sleep deprivation.
– I can wash the top part of my foot and even shave the top part of my calf without great fear of accidentally doing something harmful to myself. I am still unable to get the incisions wet, so it’s a wash-around.
– The pedicure on my left foot still looks great (this is due to minimal washing).
– I can now use crutches and feel a bit more stable each day. I did lose my balance yesterday on my crutches. Fortunately, I fell directly into the wheelchair.
– My right ankle (the sprained ligament) is healing beautifully! I can stand on that leg without pain and that wobbling feeling is slowly evaporating as well.
– I can bump my boot into something and feel almost nothing. THIS is fabulous. The first week of bumps were incredibly painful. Now, it’s just a bump.
– I am bumping my boot into things less and less because my boot-size judgment has improved.
– I can get food out of the fridge while on crutches. It requires several steps. 1) balancing myself on the crutches to open the door; 2) opening the door without toppling over; 3) taking out the food; 4) putting the food on the counter beside the fridge; 5) repositioning my crutches a few feet from the fridge and while balancing on them taking the food off the counter by the fridge and moving it to the counter across from the fridge; 6) shoving the food to the other side of the counter (that faces outwardly to the living room); 7) crutching over to that side of the counter, balancing myself on the crutches, grabbing the food and placing it on the dining room table; 8) repositioning the crutches so that I am in between the dining room table and the couch; 9) balancing on the crutches so that I can reach the food on the dining room table, take the food and place it on the top of the couch; 10) moving to the arm of the couch, grabbing the food off the top of the couch and placing it in the middle of the couch; 11) while holding onto the arm of the couch, putting the crutches down, and sliding myself onto the arm and then gracelessly falling into the couch. 12) sitting comfortably on the couch with my feet elevated and holding my food. 13) realizing I forgot to get a fork and doing the whole thing all over again unless Scott is there, at which point I yell for help out of sheer frustration.
– If my energy feels good, I wash dishes. As mentioned during some other post, this involves my throwing my left leg over the left side of the sink and balancing on my right leg. The mess is nothing in comparison to the freedom of being able to do something around the house.
– I can ride a bike at PT for up to 14 minutes! Each time I go, I add two minutes despite the fact they only want me to ride for seven. I do not push with my left foot. I simply keep it on the pedal for ROM (range of motion) practice.
– I’m using the wheelchair only as backup for when I’m super tired. I can, however, now wheel into the closet and find my way out of there in 5 minutes or less. I’ve learned to navigate the obstacles.
– My appetite has returned, which feels GREAT. While I’m not eating as much as before, I feel like I am eating exactly the amount of food my body needs to have enough energy to heal and not too much energy to waste.
– I have made it through several nights without finding myself in a puddle of sweat.
– I have forced myself to be okay to only shower once a week with some wash-offs on the in-between days. It’s just too much work otherwise. sigh. I have simply let go of a lot of stuff that in the past would have caused anxiety.
I wonder if I’ll stay this way even after I begin to walk?
I do credit my progress to a number of things including determination, FSM, diet, water (LOTS of it), PT, my loving husband/caregiver, and the power of prayer and healing thoughts from others and myself. At a future post, I’m going to share some of the inspiration I’ve received from others, yet I want to share one more thing before I sign off. FSM: Frequency Specific Microcurrent.
The FSM is wild and very cool. I learned about it from a friend, Julie, who is a practitioner in Santa Rosa. My first treatment was last Thursday (August 11). This was a good day. I had my FSM treatment, my dear friend, Colleen, brought her fabulous self and a scrumptious meal for a visit, and I had a WALKING dream that night.
This past Sunday, August 14, Julie, her husband and darling child came to visit us. She brought her machines and generously gave me about two hours of treatments and other healing work. She has magical hands! Afterward, my foot was alive with buzzing, some of the hard swelling around my heel was gone, some color returned to my foot, and I felt so incredibly relaxed. She used a number of protocols on me including the Fracture protocol and one for Relaxing and Balancing. I had another treatment with a local practitioner (Dr. Shea) yesterday, August 15, and Dr. Shea did a Trauma and Bone Healing Protocol on me. Last night was the best night of sleep I’ve had in more than 6 weeks, and there were no drugs involved. I only awoke once and fell immediately back to sleep. Eight hours later, I awoke feeling refreshed and prepared to face my day. Today at PT, my foot looked better than ever AFTER I did my exercises. It was almost a normal color instead of that rich purple it has been in prior sessions. Megan (my PT) was amazed at how “loose” my foot was, and I am shedding skin like I’ve never seen. That’s a new thing – layers of skin peeling off. Megan educated me on the fact that sloughing off old skin is a good sign that there’s a lot of new growth occurring. An FSM FYI: supposedly FSM expedites cellular growth at 500% the normal rate.
Take not one moment for granted. Take each step with intention. Notice your good health or notice the good days with your bad health. Appreciate any ability to function with ease. Keep your head high and aspirations higher. Hold gratitude for those who are willing to stop – even if for a short moment – their busy lives to offer you help or a word of comfort. Skip with great enthusiasm – if only in your dreams.
To see all the posts in the trimalleolar series, click away! Things DO get better!
Post #1 Me and My Trimalleolar: A Life-Changing Tripulation
Post #2 Me and My Trimalleolar: Transcending the Funk
This is Post #3 Me and My Trimalleolar: Tiny Bubbles of Progress
Post #4 Me and My Trimalleolar: A Healing Ankle
Post #5 Me and My Trimalleolar: Talus All About It
Post #6 Me and My Trimalleolar: A Week of Firsts
Post #7 Me and My Trimalleolar: Cast of Characters
Post #8 Me and My Trimalleolar: 9 1/2 weeks…
Post #9 Me and My Trimalleolar: The Screw, Some Scars, and a Busted Uvula
Post #10 Me and M Trimalleolar: Walk a Mile in My Screws
Post #11 Me and My Trimalleolar: 11 Months and Moving Right Along
Post #12: Me and My Trimalleolar Go to Mexico…with my husband and our pooch