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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ankle Update

I didn't think I would need to do another one of these. I am constantly frustrated at how long this injury is taking to heal. I am still at physio...I've been a total of at least 28 times. That's at least 16 hours of physio appointments, 28 hours of driving, another 20 hours of finding a parking spot and walking to the hospital, for a grand total of 64 hours of just physio related time. Then there are Dr's appointments, emergency visits, specialist appointments, pain clinic appointments...all too numerous to remember. All for a stupid broken ankle! It's insane.

My physio therapist is going away in April. She wants me done by the end of March. I'm trying my hardest, but set backs are a bit of a worry for me after the last time. The last one I had took months to settle down. I'd irritated my Achilles tendon. I'm now finally back on track, starting with jumping again - the first step in dynamic movements to enable me to jog again. I am able to hop on two legs with no pain. I am able to hop on the bad foot with some pain, about 6-8 times before I need to stop.

This week I am supposed to go for my first jog! Albeit, and VERY small one. The first time I will be allowed (and able, hopefully) to JOG. Wow. It'll have been 432 days since I was last able to jog.

My flexibility is seeming to level out about now. I still feel like I am just stiff, and that I should be able to keep pushing it, but it's so hard. And discouraging. I keep reminding myself it could be years, if ever, that I am able to walk up and down hill normally. I am a steady 9cm knee-to-wall, sometimes 10. But those last 3-4 cm are huge in reaching fluid movement, I'm finding. My balance and strength are almost perfect. I can now balance on my tippy toes on my bad leg for 20 seconds, 30 on a good day. Same as my good foot. Single leg heel raises are the same too. Even with that, it took a year to build up that strength again (including set-backs).

Through all this, I am incredibly grateful for physiotherapists. I just can't sing their praises highly enough. If I can offer one word of advice from all this, if you injure yourself, do whatever you can to get a Dr's referral for physio. I went to see specialists who didn't think I needed physio, but I insisted (having needed physio in the past a few other times, I already knew the importance). I shudder to think of my progress had I not had instruction on how to go about stretching and exercising my ankle this past year. Even if you have to pay for it, go a few times and get them to write down your exercises. Then go back as often as possible, doing your exercises diligently. I was lucky to be referred by the specialists to the physio centre at the hospital, so I've had my physio sessions included in my general heath care.

Being away on holidays with my sister and brother-in-law for the past 11 days has had some ups and downs with the ankle. We did a lot of swimming, some minor hiking and walking, but it's been enough to cause some swelling and soreness. Nothing too major, but I see that returning to normal is still a little way off yet. I had to force myself to do some things, but it was good to see that I could do it. I'm just so glad I was able to do just about everything everyone else could, and didn't miss out on anything major.

I'll share some holiday photos later...