Me and My Trimalleolar: 11 Months and Moving Right Along

Pacific Grove post trimalleolar fracture

Stella and Kenda at Pacific Grove

Tomorrow, June 3, 2012 marks 11 months since T-day.  I promised somewhere earlier in this blog that I would report back, that I wouldn’t be one of those people who heals through this thing and leaves without an update.  Well, I haven’t done such a great job at updates.  So, in an effort to keep my word, here’s a quick catch.

December 15, 2011:  On my birthday I ran my first mile since before the accident. It hurt.  It took 16 minutes.  I can crawl faster than that.  Then my hubby took me and Stella to the beach for some fun.  I completely stopped wearing my hiking boots shortly thereafter.  While I felt vulnerable in regular shoes, I needed to cut the ties (or shoestrings) and let go of the boots.

January – February:  Continued to build strength and continued PT.  Thank goodness for health insurance that allows for unlimited sessions albeit with a battle and a $1300/month premium.  Dorsiflexion = almost back to normal.  Plantarflexion = not so good.  My left ankle plantarflexion measured in at about 46 degrees compared to the 64 of my right ankle.  Walking down hills and steps remained an issue despite the fact that I worked on it every single day trying to loosen up the tendons and break up scar tissue.

March 12, 2012:  I ran 4.5 miles in 46 minutes.  I felt like puking, but I did it anyway.  THEN, I felt great!  It was so nice to get back in touch with my inner Kick-Ass.

March 19, 2012:  I ran 5 miles – this was my goal.  yeah. baby.

Between the end of March and the beginning of May (6 weeks total), I traveled in Europe for both work and pleasure.  It was cool to be able to walk around.  It was scary to walk on wet cobblestone.  But because it was so cool to have the ability to walk, I dealt with the cobblestone thing.

I don’t think I’ll ever take walking for granted again.  My ankle is not 100%.  I sometimes wonder if I’ll go a day without noticing my ankle or feeling tightness and some discomfort.  My plantarflexion is still very tight.  My PT suspects some type of adaptive tendon shortening.  My big toe doesn’t bend and has very little strength (as evidenced by my inability to pick anything up with it).  While the plantarflexion has definitely improved, it’s probably only about 80% of the “good” foot.  Let me rephrase that.  I only have about 20% to go.  I’m still numb from my big toe to about the middle of my second toe and down the right side of my foot, BUT I have noticed lots of tingling the past couple of months and new sensations.  I do believe the feeling is returning.  This is good, because having a numb big toe feels weird in shoes.  Which probably sounds curious, but yes, numbness feels weird.

I still get very stiff, and my calf muscles easily get tender.  There’s something going on with my Achilles, hence the calf muscle tenderness.  The scars are healing fairly well.  I rub scar cream on them everyday with the hopes that I’m also breaking up scar tissue on the inside.  They (the scars) have only seen the sun once as I’m trying to prevent them from getting any darker.  It still swells on occasion – especially if it’s hot and if I’ve spent a long time on it, but otherwise, it’s almost back to the same size it was before.  Every evening when I sit down to watch a movie with my hubby (yes, we watch a movie almost every evening), I spend the entire time stretching, doing the Alphabet, massaging it.  I foresee a lifetime of special attention to this foot, but then again, that’s not a bad thing.  I try to give lots of attention to my other foot too, as not to make it jealous.

I have learned that…
1   Time really does heal ankle wounds.
2.  Sometimes all I can do is cry, and that crying is one helluva fantastic way of healing assuming that it doesn’t go on for too long.
3.  I can get PTSD from this type of trauma and can begin to heal through it.
4.  Some kind of innocence is lost after a serious injury and it slowly gets replaced with another kind of wisdom and more caution.
5.  I can feel metal in my bones, and I don’t like it.
6.  I can have the metal removed as I plan to do on July 18, 2012.
7.  It’s okay to be afraid as long as it doesn’t stop me from living the way I want to.
8.  What might seem like a desperate eternity when I was couch/bed-ridden and unable to be mobile is not an excuse for bitching but an opportunity to sit down, shut up, and practice the art of being.
9.   It is possible to muster up strength, a bit of courage, and even a little humor while in tremendous pain, and that all those things help make the pain feel less painful.
10.  A good diet helps the healing process.
11.  Loved ones help the healing process and how important it is to accept support graciously (still working on this).
12.  I have a friggin’ awesome husband (tho I knew this already).
13.  I have fun, funny, loving, supportive friends and family (I knew this already too).
14.  In general, stuff I read on the internet about illness and injury is more damaging than the actual illness or injury.
15.  I should’ve listened to my husband and avoided reading stuff on the internet about Trimalleolar Fractures.
16.  One day a year will pass and I can look back with utter relief and gratitude that the worst is over.
17.  To watch my step and appreciate my body’s capabilities.
18.  About 98.5% of my limitations reside in my brain and not anywhere else -including my muscles, tendons, and bones.

There you go – that’s my update!

Overall, I’ve healed very well and life is very good.  I’m moving right along – ONWARD!

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
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
This is 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