I have a new approach to recuperation.
Seeing as this my third time at this dance, it occurred to me that I need to do things differently in order to get back to to 100%. The first go-round, in 2012-2013, I followed what my doc said while I was wearing the soft splint and the hard cast. I used the crutches. I went up and downstairs like a toddler — on my backside. I didn’t put any weight on my leg at all. September of 2012 through February of 2013, that was my life. Then I got a walking boot, and the sweet taste or mobility was intoxicating. I walked all over the place, doing the most, like normal.
That probably wasn’t a good idea, but at the time, what did I know. The doc had surgically repaired me. The physical therapists had pulled me and pushed me. My leg was still attached and I was walking. Why shouldn’t I get back to business? I was running my household again, full steam ahead. I started planning a trip to Vegas with my girlfriends. Things like #FOMO were for other people.
Several months later, I began to notice that the site of surgery was a little puckered. It didn’t feel like things are sliding smoothly when I would point and flex. My leg ached a bit, but nothing that was intolerable. I called my doc to ask his opinion. He wanted to see me and have a look for himself. He didn’t say specifically, and I’m not even sure that this is the case, but maybe I pushed myself too hard, too soon. The tendon was moving, but the movement was impeded. Normally, organs and tissues in your body are able to smoothly shift around each other due to their slippery surfaces. Your stomach and intestine are static in your gut; when you move, they move due not only to the fluids in your body, but also the slippery surfaces they possess. So, when you’re injured or if you have surgery, adhesions can form and prevent this movement. For some reason, I see adhesions and think “glue dots”. Glue dots have been sprinkled all over this lacerated tendon. The way things healed, the tendon and the underlying (or in this case, overlaying) skin was sticking together. It was moving, and when I pointed and flexed, the entire scar would pucker and shimmy. FYI: you’re not supposed to see that.
We talked options, my doc and I. In all honesty, I believe that my doc did what he determined to be the best course of action for me, for my situation and for his ability. I don’t blame him for anything. Point of fact, I still sometimes blame myself for being so careless with the glass pitcher that got me into this jam in the first place. That’s another story for another day (and probably another type of doc). In any event, my doc suggested another surgery, less invasive this time, to clean things up and help the tendon slide more smoothly. So, of course, my first question was, “What about my trip?!”
Hey, there were deposits on the line, people.
I had reached out to him in enough time that even with a few scheduling snafus, I was back in the OR well in advance of wheels up for Vegas. The surgery itself, while it did require anesthesia (bye-bye, brain cells), the recovery was significantly irksome. I made it to Vegas and had a great time.
So, between then and now, it had been business as usual. I continued to do everything that I’ve done before, until the aching returned. Until I fell that November day. Until I realized that I needed to have a doc take a look.
Here we are, three weeks post-op. The first two weeks, I did nothing but lay up in the bed, my foot swaddled from knee to ankle in gauze and ace bandages. My mother-in-law came for a week to help with the girls and to make sure I was cared for. My parents came for several days. The Hubs worked from home for several days. It literally took a village, which surprised me and awed me. That it would take scheduling, planning, and a literal team of grown-ups to manage what I do everyday. . .that’s kind of amazing. I
was am truly thankful for all of the support. I must admit, though, I watched enough television and surfed the Internet to last me a very long time. When my follow-up appointment came, I could not wait. I got my walking boot about a week ago this coming Wednesday.
Jumping back into the fray now that I have a boot isn’t an option for me this time. I don’t plan on having any more surgeries on this leg, so I’m following my recovery instructions to the letter. Deep knee bends five times a day for 20 minutes at a time? Bring it. Bear weight as tolerated. Done. I make one excursion or do one activity that involved being on my feet, once a day. After that, I’m sitting down with my leg propped on some pillows.
Today, I dropped the girls off at school and then went to Target for toilet paper.
Then I came home, popped V on the floor with some Play Doh, and put my leg up on a stack of throw pillows that, three weeks ago, would have gone HAM over if I’d seen them anywhere other than the sofa.
Incredible feats of strength? This right here. Not doing the most.
Of course, this is only day 1. Check back with me at the end of the week.