I met with my surgeon yesterday. He completely blew my mind. He came in smiling and said, I want to show you your xrays you just had. I said, ok and looked at them. To me, they didn’t look all that different. I guess I do not have a future in radiology. He was beaming and told me they looked great! Do you see how the bones have all come back together? There are no gaps and everything has healed perfectly, he told me. I looked at him surprised. I was hoping for good news but this was beyond my expectations. I said, what about the ligaments? Are they healed? He said they take three months to heal so yes, they’re healed. He told me I could take off the boot and walk out of there. I thought he was joking.
I said, what about physical therapy? I haven’t put weight on this leg and foot for 4 months. He looked at me surprised. He said, you haven’t put any weight on it? Not even a little? I said, no, you told me not to put weight on it. He laughed and said most people don’t do what they are told. He wrote me a prescription for physiotherapy for two to three times a week for the next six weeks. He said with the way that I have been progressing, I may only have to go a week or so before I am fine. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was shocked. I thought I would have a long, grueling time ahead of me and he was standing there telling me I was healed. Not healing. Healed. As in, totally repaired and perfectly, nonetheless.
So I guess being über-compliant has its advantages. I AM HEALED. Yes, I still need to strengthen my atrophied muscles and gain flexibility in my foot and leg. This will take a little time and I’m excited to get to it. He wants to see me in two months and we will schedule the surgery to take out the screws that are in place now. I asked if there were things that I shouldn’t do. He said I should not run or dance for now or do any pushing off motions. He said they will teach me how to walk properly again when I go to physiotherapy. I left the office shocked and amazed. I am healed. My foot is no longer a mangled mess of fractures and torn ligaments. I could hardly wrap my mind around this.
After making my next appointment, I put my foot down with the boot on and walked forward using the crutches. No pain. Again, I was surprised. I crutch-walked to the elevator and had a big, stupid smile on my face. I walked into the lobby giggling, found my sister and told her the good news. I kept saying that I couldn’t believe it! I had expected to not be able to walk until the end of the year and he was telling me it could be a matter of weeks. He also told me I could DRIVE! Another surge of elation coursed through me! I am gaining back my independence. All this patience, persistence, and pleasantly following orders has paid off. Things seem to be moving at a heightened pace now.
Last night I tried walking around the house a little bit in just the boot—no crutch assistance. It was incredibly awkward and there was a slight amount of discomfort. I was spastically lurching around like Igor with the few steps I took. I’m not sure if it was because the boot was pressing on the back of my heel or if it was just the hopping of my other leg. I decided it was best to use the crutches for now to support myself and put about 50% of my weight on my leg.
This morning I got up and put my bare foot on the ground. This was pretty terrifying, as I had not done this in almost 18 weeks. I was afraid there would be pain. My foot was a little stiff going down to the floor and I didn’t put any more than 50% of my weight on it. There wasn’t any pain, just a little discomfort. This could have been partly because of all the fear I had about putting my foot down. I decided to put my slippers on instead of the boot. They are hard soled and lined with wool so they are like putting a pair of shoes on. Pair. A pair of shoes—I haven’t done that in over four months. I had read in other Lisfranc blogs that people had trouble fitting their injured foot in their shoes. I didn’t have this problem. My foot slid into my slipper just like Cinderella. I went to the stairs and realized, hey, I can WALK down these stairs. I don’t have to crawl. I swear my calloused knee smiled up at me.
I walked down the stairs using the crutches for support. I stepped one step at a time and was so proud of not having to crawl down the stairs. It took about the same amount of time, maybe a little less. When I got to the bottom, I lifted my foot up to crutch across the room and had to remind myself that I can keep it down and walk. I can tell that I am going to have to really loosen up my Achilles tendon because it is hard to put my foot on the ground and there is a little bit of pain in my heel when I ‘walk’. I make sure that I am not putting full weight on my foot when I do my crutch walking or when I’m standing on it. I don’t want to do too much too soon and strain the muscles that haven’t been used for so long.
I decided to do some chores and watered the plants, put some stuff I bought away, vacuumed part of the house—standing on two feet, and vacuumed most of the stairs too. The biggest and most challenging thing I did today was to bring up a 30 pound bucket of cat litter. I had meant to ask someone to help me with it earlier in the week but kept forgetting. I thought: I can do this. I stood in front of the bucket, slid it across the floor and lifted it over the doorjamb from the garage into the foyer. I stood—on my own two feet—over the litter, bent at my knees, tightened my core and lifted it up to the stairs. I stepped up with one foot and then the next, and lifted it up another stair. I repeated this 15 times until I reached the top of the stairs. I felt like a rock star! I was smiling and shaking with adrenaline. I did it! There was a tiny part of me that doubted if I could do it. I knew at my core that I could.
I am beginning to believe that I can do anything. My outlook is extremely optimistic right now. I know there will be challenges, ebbs and flows in the upcoming weeks and months. I am confident that I will be able to expertly ride those out and end up on top. I’m excited to start physiotherapy. The first available appointment was Thursday. I would have liked to start earlier but I know that there are things I can do in the meantime that will help. I am so happy and proud of myself for doing what needed to be done to get here. I am going to go through that list of 101 things I want to do and check something off as often as possible. There will be many ‘firsts’ in the upcoming days, weeks and months and I will be sharing them with everyone. I hope my excitement with this is mutual and you celebrate these victories with me. It has been a long time coming to be able to stand on my own two feet! I am going to enjoy every moment of my progression to ultimate wellness. As I move forward, I believe the possibilities of what I can achieve in life are infinite.
It’s only appropriate that I change my theme song from Feels Like We Only Go Backwards by Tame Impala to this: