So I saw my Physical Therapist today. We have a goal to get me walking like normal again by the end of February. As I've heard other people give dates like six months, I was a little surprised.
She took measurements of both my feet so that she could compare. My right foot is still swollen and she said post operative swelling can take a long time to go away, so I am not too worried.
Next, she checked my range of motion. She was surprised at the range of motion in my good foot. She said the range of motion in my healing foot is within what is expected.
Finally, she had me lay down and she raised my feet up. After that, she put a wet sock with points to attach electrodes on me. Of course, she did attach electrodes and then wrapped my ankle in ice. She had me turn up the power for the electrodes to whatever was comfortable. I cranked it up to about 45 at first, but had to back it down to 30 after a while. I laid through that for 12 minutes and then I was on my way.
I have 14 more appointments, including two in the pool - or at least that is what my measly insurance will cover.
I got a little anxious when the nurse who took the cast off mentioned that he might put me back in a cast, but after the doc looked at my X-rays, he said I was fit to start walking with my crutches or a walker. He also said that as soon as I feel comfortable, I could start walking on my own. He said the same about driving.
I think I'm probably a couple weeks away from walking without assistance, but I am driving. And as much as I have bottomless thanks for tafkaj99 ferrying me around for the past two months, it was wearing on me that I had to rely on someone else to get around. Words cannot express how happy I am that not only can I walk, but that I can get around town on my own.
In less than 12 hours I should finally be cast free and, hopefully, walking on both feet, even if it is with a walker. I've been stretching the foot to it's limits within the cast for the past few days in anticipation of this. It feels like my toes haven't actually lost any range of motion, but I can't tell for certain because of the cast.
So I finally got around to calling the ortho's office today. I had a legitimate question: was he going to put me in a walking cast or using a walker? I mean, if the latter, then I would need to come prepared with a right shoe. The gal I spoke to seemed annoyed by my questioning. I'm sorry, I don't carry around my other shoe with me all the time. I don't expect to suddenly have my cast magically come off and then I'll get up and start doing some soft shoe. If it's who I think it is in his office, then she has always had an attitude problem. She's the only one in the office I really dislike speaking to. All the other ladies, both office and nurses, have been wonderfully nice. Heck, the ortho has been pretty good, too, if really busy.
So I have one week to go in the cast. I am so ready to get this damn thing off!
As it stands, I've been having some weird feelings in my ankle/foot. I'm not sure what it's from. It isn't painful, just...weird. I think it's just the cast.
Oh, have I mentioned that when I have my foot for a while and the swelling goes way down, I can almost slide my cast off? It isn't often that my ankle/foot at the point where I could that, though. I will admit that I have been tempted to try and see if i could manage to get it off, but given that it could screw my ankle up, I've opted not to.
One bit nastiness, though. I've been wrapping my leg in a plastic bag while taking a shower, however some water inevitably makes its way into the bag and the cast. As a result, it would seem that the dead skin on the bottom of my foot started adhering to the stocking, so I had to work a bit of flat thin metal in there and seperate things. I'm not sure if I separated dead skin from my foot or dead skin from the stocking. Either way, that stocking is going to be thoroughly nasty.
Today is shaping up to be one of the most painful in a while and I don't know why.
If it gets worse, I may hit the wife up for some Oxycontin when I get home.
(I got a prescription for it when I had my vasectomy, but only took a couple of the pills. Since then, Sunny has been in charge of them as I am afraid that my predisposition to addiction might lead to bad things.)
On the plus side, that one toe that was hurting is hurting a lot less.
A bit of background: the cast I am in is not the old school plaster one. It is much thinner. However, before the doc put it on, he covered my shin and foot with a bit of stocking like material from a big ol' roll of the stuff. once he had the inner part of the cast on, he rolled the edges back and secured it down with the outer part of the cast.
For about a week or so now, my 4th toe has been getting rubbed till it isn't quite raw, but just enough so that it was painful. At first I accused my overgrown toenail on the small toe. That was trimmed, but the pain continued. I figured that it just needed to heal, but no. Last night I noticed that my small toe was actually within the cast, instead of being exposed. As a result, some of the stocking material was getting worked over it so that it was rubbing against my 4th toe. Surely, though, something as soft as the stocking material could not be the culprit, I thought.
Today at work, it started acting up, so I jammed a spare pen into the side of the cast to keep the material from rubbing. Sure enough, after a while, the pain in my toe subsided. So, to keep that stuff in line I have fallen back on that silvery stuff that keeps the world from falling apart: duct tape. It seems to be doing the job. I certainly hope it helps, that pain is part of the annoyance of this cast.
So in a fit of insomnia, I had the idea to search the intarwebs for what kind of walker the doc might have me using after this annoying cast comes off.
Turns out there are these things called "cam walkers" which are commonly used with broken ankles.
If this is what my ortho doc meant, then this is good and possibly bad. It would be good in that I could then walk instead of rolling or hobbling around. It could be bad in that it will mean more time until I can drive again.
I will call today and find out if this is what the doc meant, as well as which kind(inflatable, pre-inflated, range of motion), if he did.
As if being in pain and trying to sleep in a hospital bed isn't bad enough, now I keep waking every so often to intense dry mouth. To paraphrase, we're talking dry mouth the likes of which even God has never seen. I suspect that the air in here is so dry it makes a typical Phoenix summer day look like a typical Houston summer day.