Broken Ankle Week 11

My trusty mobilegs crutches, tricked out in blue, and my fingerless bike gloves

his week I started physical therapy for real and I have been walking (short distances) with crutches while weight bearing probably 20% of body weight on my recovering ankle. When I was non-weight-bearing (NWB) I would get some exercise by crutching back and forth across our courtyard and I got faster on crutches. Now I am a slow turtle walking back and forth. I am going to half-miss the crutching that strengthened my arms and shoulders.

Changes in my daily life from NWB to weight bearing:

  • The switch from holding leg up to putting leg on ground means my legs are imbalanced (because of the CAM boot). I got an EVENup for the sneaker so my legs are even when walking.
  • My daughter helped adjust crutches for my new height (I’m 1" taller with CAM boot and EVENup + sneaker)
  • Getting out bed in the morning used to be: first rally myself to get up, then with my noninjured bare foot, crutches, holding up injured foot, I could headto the bathroom. With my crutches adjusted 1" higher, I can’t just grab and use them because they’re too tall. I have to first put on sneaker and EVENup to grow an inch.
  • Using different muscles with walking in CAM boot (instead of holding it up) and I have new aches and pains to manage.

Faster progress this week:

  • Less mental struggle: this injury happened when I slipped on stairs and my ankle took the force on the tile floor. I’ve been managing anxiety when I go up and down those stairs (seated) and this past week I haven’t had any panic/anxiety when I’m on the stairs.
  • Less ankle swelling and now I can be on knee scooter for 1–2 hours to prep and cook dinner without as much ankle swelling and then pain. That’s given me callouses on my knee. One for one trade feels like a win: trading ankle swelling for knee callouses.
  • For the last few weeks I was only supposed to dorsiflexion and plantarflexion and I was careful to not go beyond the precautions. This week I started doing ankle circles and ABC’s, and stretches, and my ankle feels so much less tight in morning after moving and stretching.
  • My ankle shakes less now when I do range of motion exercises. It used to shake just when trying to point my toes (working so hard, you can do it, injured ankle!)
  • Feels like it is taking FOREVER to get the dead skin off my foot/ankle and for the surgery scabs to fall off. As of this week there is only 1 scab left (4 weeks after cast came off). This is the absolutely grossest part of this whole ordeal.
  • At PT I practiced doing wide lunges, with a chair or table to hold onto for support, so I can get down to the floor and onto a yoga mat to do some stretching and yoga. I want to get back to my routine of listening to a podcast and doing some stretching and yoga and weights on a mat.
It’s the little things: carry coffee in thermos, pour in mug

or all of these 11 weeks, my wife has brought me coffee in the morning whenever I ask (and sometimes when I don’t ask). When I started being able to go upstairs, to kitchen, then I started getting my own coffee in a thermos that fits in hoodie pocket. I usually wake up before my wife and it feels better to get my own coffee and not text her and wake her up. I prefer a mug over a thermos and this past week I realized I could drink out of a mug by carrying both the thermos and a mug in my hoodie pocket. I’m wearing out the pockets of my pullover hoodies throughout this injury recovery.

he pockets on zip up hoodies are too small to be useful. Pullovers with kangaroo hoodie pockets are a BFF while on crutches and needing to bring something from one side of the room to the other (or up/down the stairs).

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