I’m back! The last time I wrote I was not in a good place. My foot was troubling me and I was experiencing the beginning of some other serious health problems. True to my nature, I retreated to care for myself and am reemerging now that I am getting better. Allow me to pick up where I left off.
I saw my surgeon on the 9th of May. He examined my foot and listened to my concerns. He basically said that the healing process takes time. (Something that he has been telling me all along.) It takes more time since it is my foot, an extremity, and blood tends to naturally pool in the foot and not circulate as much as non-extremities. Therefore, it is going to swell more and swelling causes pain. Also, all the impact of each step is absorbed by the midfoot—precisely where my injury occurred. He explained that everything is in place but it needs time to completely heal and strengthen.
He told me the last surgery, to remove the hardware on 17 January, put me back at the beginning of rehabilitation. It will be a year from then, not a year from the injury or the first surgery, in which I can expect to have full function of my foot. I still have the holes in the bones where the screws were and my body will take time to regenerate. I asked if I needed to be doing different physical therapy and he told me I didn’t need to go any more. My body will heal on its own schedule and I can use pain to determine whether to do more or less. He suggested I wear a compression sock to help with the swelling. The good news is there is nothing ‘wrong’ with my foot and I am recovering as expected. He has done his job in successfully repairing my Lisfranc injury, now I must do mine.
The first order of business was to see if the compression sock helped with the swelling. I first bought a long white knee sock. It was the only thing I could find that was labeled a compression sock in the drug store. It was really thin although tight. I didn’t think I needed something that went all the way up to my knee. And since it is summer it would be difficult to work in one white knee sock to my usual skirt or dress outfit. I asked for suggestions on what kind of sock to get on the Facebook Lisfranc group. These were suggested and I bought a pair.
I began walking again with my friend and her dogs on the weekends for about 3 miles then eventually increased to daily walks. The party sock (as it has been dubbed) is short enough not to be as noticeable as the white sock plus it is nude colored. It has helped when I have a day where I know I’m going to walk a lot. It doesn’t erase the pain and I still need to ice it when I walk more than 3-5 miles. I recently went to Spain and averaged 7 miles a day. One day I even walked over 10 miles! (I was smart enough to pack my freezable gel pack and pain medication which were both needed most days.) But I am getting ahead of myself.
My recovery is now completely under my own direction. That realization took a minute for me to fully grasp. I am in control. I decide how much, when, where, with whom, what, and why I do anything in my life. No one else. That is both exciting and anxiety provoking. It has opened me up to new opportunities.
A few weeks ago I was walking over to a friend’s house and I remembered The List. There is a multi-level balance beam in the park I was walking by and walking on a balance beam was one of the things I wanted to do and hadn’t done yet. Challenge accepted. The first part was easy, close to the ground and wide; the second part was a little more challenging, as it was higher and thinner. The transition from the second part to the third part stymied me. I stood there staring at it thinking all sorts of things as to why I shouldn’t do it. Why I shouldn’t go on, why what I’ve done already was good enough, just get off the beam now. I probably only hesitated for a few seconds but it seemed like a long time. Instead of thinking about all the reasons why I shouldn’t do this I silenced the voices in my head. I felt the fear and stepped up to the final beam, walked across it and carefully stepped off of it.
I don’t want to live a life that is ‘good enough’. I will risk and move forward each day in order to live the life that I truly want. I have two missions in life right now. This first is to move freely in the world. The second one I’m not quite ready to share. I believe I will make a full recovery from this injury. My foot still hurts every day to varying degrees. Like the fear, I feel the pain and move forward anyway. That is the only way I will progress.