Rehab

September 15, 2011
For the past two weeks I've my rehabbing my ankle in Physical Therapy three times a week. It's my first time experiencing this song and dance. It's unfun, but it seems to be beneficial and I wished it had been suggested to me six years ago after breaking my ankle. I really don't think I ever recovered from that injury, sure it healed and I eventually learned to move it, but it's never been the same. Its instability has proven itself with the multiple sprains I've had over the last few years.

After three weeks in the boot, I healed well enough to earn some freedom. Wearing my robo boot in triple digits was very toasty to say the least. So I was thrilled when I retired it, and it better be for the last time, too, dammit! I've gotten far more use out of it that I had ever intended.

Those three weeks allowed enough time for the medial ankle bruising and swelling to vanish. I was left with swelling on the lateral ankle. My Achilles ached and just beside that, up to ankle was tender and swollen. I was told I was suffering from Achilles tendinitis and one ligament from the sprain was slow to heal. That's when I was told to start Physical Therapy.

My initial exam showed very little range of motion. Very little is an understatement. I was shocked how stiff and limited it was. That's when I was released from the boot. My physical therapist wanted me mobile to gain strength. I was shaky at first, but I quickly gained stability. I was just slower than molasses. I'm a bit faster now, but I'm still moving at turtles pace.

I've been treated with ultrasounds, stim and ice therapy. I have a laundry list of exercises, I pedal on the recumbent bike and I fight the BAPS board and elastic bands. It's beyond frustrating being told to complete a simple straight forward task and think "it's a piece of cake" only to learn what a nightmare it truly is. Each day I give it my all. Some days are better than others. Apparently, sitting on my ass at work is causing fluids to pool so I have to keep my foot elevated to keep the swelling down. My ankle still gets really puffy but it does keep it from feeling like my toes are grapes ready to explode at any given minute. Every time I'm given a new exercise it really pisses my ankle off and I deal with an angry ankle for at least 24 hours. Inversion exercises with the bands got me last night. I'm still waiting for the soreness and swelling to subside. I hate feeling like this before even beginning the day's PT session.

Good news is it's all not for nothing. Yesterday, I had a progress report done. We reevaluated my pain and ability to complete tasks, and measured my range of motion. My most impressive improvement is my ability to stretch outward (think pressing on the gas pedal), I gained 14%. Last Tuesday was when I noticed my breakthrough in that regard. It was then I realized I could reach both the gas and brake with my right foot. I'm still driving two footed, but I'm using the left to brake less and less. I improved 2-5% in other areas. Counter and clockwise circles are tough and inversion and eversion exercises are my nemesis. But I'm determined to conquer them, I can't trade this ankle in for a better model so I gotta do what I can to get this one in better shape.

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