Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I know I haven't been around much this past month (two months??)... Once I got off bed rest and started working I just felt like a hamster on a wheel - always running but never getting anywhere. Then there was the rest of life... daughter returning from Switzerland, son graduating HS, family coming into town, graduation party... you know, life.
So many of my dear spark friends have popped over to my page to ask me how I'm doing, how my healing is progressing, what's next for me... and I haven't been able to properly respond to them or catch up with their lives. So I figured it was time to blog, to at least bridge the gap from my end so to speak.
I started weaning myself off crutches after I saw the Dr. June 2nd. It took me nearly 3 weeks, but I am officially done with them now!! I still wear my boot full time and I have a fair amount of pain and swelling by the end of the day but I am celebrating this progress as a major milestone in my recovery. No crutches means the start of cardio again!! So on Monday at PT I got to do 15 minutes - 10 on the elliptical and 5 on the bike - and was told I could build from there but to take it slowly. I also did some squats with a TRX. Have any of you ever used that system? Its just straps and handles hanging from a bar and you use your own body weight as resistance while doing exercises. Seemed easy at first but I'm still struggling with getting on/off chairs and its been two days now!! I had hoped to work out again every day this week, but it looks like I need 2 days rest before I try again, so I'll do some more cardio tomorrow.
As of today I am also trying to wean myself off of my boot. I have the green light to wear a running shoe (not an easy thing to get into!!) for 30 minutes, 1-2 times a day, with crutches for support. I put my sneaker on this morning with great difficulty and proceeded to walk around the house withOUT the crutches. I mean, what's the point of weaning off them if I have to go back to using them?? I'd rather walk less without them than walk more with them, even if this is going to take awhile...
Now for the downside of recovery... I have been gaining weight since I got off bed rest. Seems like as long as I was stuck in bed I was vigilant about my eating (maybe vigilant is too strong a word, but I was maintaining my weight at least). Once I got up and moving and went to work all restraint fell by the wayside. Since I wasn't getting a workout in I started to gain again. Bad eating habits took over and I now find myself up 7 lbs. from my pre-surgery weight. Ugh!!
Today I am going to try to get a handle on this bad habit of self indulgence and see if I can't turn things around!!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I saw the surgeon yesterday for my 4 week (post cast) checkup. The last couple of days my foot has been aching where my bones were broken so I was glad that I was getting a checkup. The last time I was there I got my hard cast cut off and starting wearing my walking cast (my "boot") and using crutches. I was told at that appointment to start putting weight on my foot, up to my tolerance, while using the crutches. I saw this as progress and had hoped that yesterday's appt. would mean the start of PT for me!
Alas, that was not to be. In my sincerest attempts to be a model patient, I have been gradually increasing the amount of weight I bear on my foot while walking, even walking without my crutches from time to time at home, such as around my kitchen or in my bathroom. When I arrived yesterday the Doctor's asst. asked me how I'm doing and I told her that my foot had been aching the past two days, but otherwise I'm progressing. She checks the chart and says "You're only putting weight on it while standing, right?" Quick mental rewind to my last appointment, where I got physically ill from the pain of trying to walk right after having the cast cut off... at that time she told me just put weight on it while standing... but my mental replay definitely included walking with weight on it, to my tolerance (Uber Doc even demonstrated how to do that with crutches!)... so I answer "No, I'm walking on it with my crutches".
OOPS! I guess that was a no-no, and now she says I might have re-broken it?
Off to Xray I go, and luckily all appears well in spite of not being totally healed yet. Apparently I've been doing too much and the increased swelling is interfering with my healing, so I've got to go back to toes-above-nose for awhile, at least intermittently during the day. No PT orders yet, and back for a recheck in 2 weeks. If the swelling isn't under control by this next visit, its back to the hard cast
I'm obviously highly motivated to get the swelling down but I no longer have a bed downstairs, in front of the TV and next to my laptop, so lying around is sort of a punishment rather than a respite in my day...
I was really upset yesterday but today I'm optimistic again. I just need to keep putting my recovery first - ahead of my job, my family, my housework, even my weight loss plans. Health first, then everything else.
Time for the next step forward...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I feel like I have been recovering from this surgery for-EVER!. I find it hard to believe that its only been 3 weeks since my hard cast came off, because I feel like I'm moving at full speed even though I'm on crutches. Problem is, I don't mean that in a good way...
I'm definitely making progress, and for that I'm grateful. What I'm most frustrated by is the fact that I'm well enough to go to work, to drive a car, to go to the store (although I need someone to push my grocery cart or get my stuff for me), but I'm not well enough to go to the gym, to ride a bike, to walk across the room using my foot normally. I've admitted it before, patience isn't my strong suit, and I've been working on that. I patiently counted off the days of bed rest and cast changes. I've been following my doctor's orders and using my crutches and my boot, even sleeping in it for 2 weeks. But now my patience is wearing thin. I want to start PT, I want to see my toes move again, I want to be able to put weight on my forefoot like a normal person. I want to do cardio so that I can lose some weight again! I had resolved to drop more weight before my birthday in August and I find myself stagnating yet again.
I'm full of excuses - I can't stand for long periods of time in the kitchen cooking, cutting, mixing, etc., I'm tired from working so I'll just grab what's handy, I have a headache from using the crutches so I deserve wheat thins... - like I said, excuses. What I need is a plan that I can live with until my status changes again. What I need is more energy, and more hours in the day so that I can come here and get the support that keeps me on track. What I need is patience, because I'm powerless over so many things right now...
I really miss being online; I've gone from lying in bed with my laptop next to me to barely being able to boot it up once a day. That has been tough! I know my friends are still out there, I know I'm not forsaken -- but I also know that I NEED to be here to be successful.
Once again, time's up and I have to go. At least I've put this out there, and can try to stop stewing over it now...
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I don't know why I was compelled to name this blog after the Bowie song, but maybe its partly because getting my cast off today was a bit surreal...
My friend Wendy drove me to the Uber Doc for an 8:15 appt., and we waited over an hour to go back to the cast room. His assistant cut the cast off and then left... more waiting... at 9:50 the Doc came in and started removing my sutures. Snip, pull, snip, pull... WAIT. He hurriedly confers with his assistant in hushed tones and then disappears. What the heck? There are still over a dozen stitches to go! What's up with that?
Turns out I need to have an Xray of my foot before he'll proceed. He thought it had been done already, but I guess the asst. never ordered it. I say that because the gal on the bed next to me had an 8:30 appt. and was taken to xray as soon as they brought us back to the cast room. So we wait some more for the xray... in the meantime, I was preparing for the pain of having the pin pulled out. I took Advil at 6:30 a.m. and took a vicodin at 8 a.m., thinking that would suffice. I was caught off guard by how much my foot hurt just sitting there and waiting, so in my anxiety I took a lower dose of another pain pill around 10:15... then the Doc came back in, before it could kick in and he finished removing the stitches.
When it came time to pull the pin he had me lie down (good thing!) and raise my foot in the air, resting on my other knee. He got some kind of tool (couldn't describe it, I shut my eyes!) and started twisting and yanking the pin out. OUCH! It didn't take more than a few seconds, but it felt awful. Then, to add insult to injury, he started to pull away the dry skin around the pin hole! That hurt worse than the pin removal... It took me a few minutes to compose myself after that, but he seemed quite pleased with my progress.
I am back into my walking boot, but unfortunately his instructions weren't very clear... he wants me walking with partial weight bearing, up to my own tolerance, and even sleeping in the boot for the next 4 weeks. Hard to imagine sleeping in something that I've worn walking around (would you wear your shoes to bed?!?) but its because the broken bones are not totally healed yet and he doesn't want it bumped during the night. I elected not to take crutches because I have a walker at home that has a seat and I figured that would be easier on me.
So... a few minutes go by and the assistant straps me into my boot, and I try to stand up... try being the operative word. Shooting pain in my heel on repeated attempts meant that I was back on my scooter to go check out. Next appointment set for 4 weeks, but then I nearly fainted! I got really nauseous and light headed, broke into a cold sweat and started shaking. I think it was due to shock from the pain, but it might have been that extra pain killer too... My friend suggested that maybe I should get crutches after all, so that I wouldn't have to put my foot down any more than I wanted to, so it was back to the cast room to wait. I thought I was going to leave them a little present, but I remembered my 1st aid and got my blood going back to my head... by the time I got the crutches I was feeling a little better . I'm talking to the assistant and saying how I can't possibly walk yet because of the pain in my heel, and she says "just start weight bearing when you're standing still, you aren't supposed to walk on it yet" My friend and I just looked at each other... obviously, the previous instructions were NOT clear...
As much as I'd like to say that I no longer self medicate with food, the truth is that I couldn't wait to go to my favorite fish taco place and eat lunch. I told myself it was necessary, after all - if I was sick from the meds, or too much caffeine, I needed food in my stomach, right? It was 11:30 and I hadn't eaten since 6:30, so there was some logic in that...
Lunch, then home, then a much needed nap. Whew! This healing stuff is exhausting!
I'm a little sad that I can't stand on my foot yet, and that I'll be using crutches for the next 6 weeks (at least!). I'm not ready yet for PT, but I go back in a month and maybe then? So, phase 3 begins today and will last for 4-6 weeks or more...
Major Tom to Ground Control: I'm floating in a most peculiar way... *
*David Bowie, Space Oddity
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I learned today that I had been selected (elected?) as a Spark People Motivator, in the fitness category. I didn't know whether to be excited or humbled, but in the end I am both.
I am so excited to be recognized, because I have learned that staying positive and encouraging others is a key component to my own success. Not unlike 12 step programs, where sharing your story is a requirement of continued recovery -- investing into other people's success pays dividends into my own. Hello, my name is Tammy, and I'm living the Spark!
I am humbled, because all of the people who I turn to for support, encouragement, camaraderie, understanding, advice and laughter are themselves Spark People Motivators. It is truly humbling to think that other people thought of me the same way I think of these people. When I am struggling I look at Motivational spark pages to get my groove back. When I feel like I'm stagnating, I look to see where others have been successful. Just last week I had an "a-ha" moment because I had been reading other Spark Motivator pages and something clicked for me. To think that I will now have my page included in that company... Wow. Amazing.
So to everyone who voted for me, . I truly hope that I can continue to motivate, thereby reaching my own goals and living my best life.
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