Monday, 14 September 2009

Week 12 - Walking (almost) Normally

My visit to the consultant (who I wasn't there, as predicted) went as expected, and I was advised that I could dispense with the Aircast boot and crutches. I was told that I'm half way to complete healing, which would make the process from injury to complete healing about 5 months.

One dark cloud was that on Thursday evening I noticed that my leg, and in particularl my ankle, had become very swollen.

On Friday I had a second visit to the Physio. A very different experience, in a different wing of the hospital. A small, pleasant waiting room, and a wait of no more than 5 minutes. The physio is a nice young Chinese man who is cheerful, encouraging and obviously knows his stuff. He got me to walk around the gym in bare feet so he could observe how I walked, then got me to do a lunge to see how far I could stretch the tendon in comparison with the uninjured foot. Then standing on tiptoes. My homework is to do 3 rounds of 15 tiptoes, a lunge, and to remember to consciously push off with the heel when walking. All of which is helping, and the limp seems to be disappearing quite quickly.

Re the swelling, the physio said that exercise will help prevent it, but if swollen, I need to lie down with my feet against a wall. He said that it should be higher than the head, although this is the first time I had been told that. So in the evening, whilst watching tv, I've been lying on the sofa with my left foot up against the wall. Quite comfortable really!

Apparently the swelling may come and go for up to another nine months, and I will be seeing the physio once or twice a month for the next six.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Week 11 - Crutches Away!

The leg has been feeling stronger each week since my last post. Last week I started doing workouts in bare feet, and can feel the tendon stretching. I don't push too far it of course and if there's any pain I stop immediately. I saw a physiotherapist for the first time(!) on Friday and I think he was surprised at my progress. He got me to walk in bare feet and could see how I was limping, which also exacerbated my flat-footedness. He laughed when I told him I had cycled to the appointment, wearing my surgical boot. He told me I could dispense with the boot so I have been walking without it and the crutches outside since then. I kept it on at a party on Saturday night though, as I knew I wouldn't be able to resist dancing. It was a great ice-breaker too and got me lots of attention!

I'm seeing (or more likely not seeing) the consultant today, hopefully for the last time, and I expect he will corroborate what the physio said. I have to wear the boot to the consultation though in case he thinks the physio has overstepped his authority :-)

I asked the physio what the hospital did with the aircast boot and crutches. They clean and reuse the crutches, but due to fears of cross-infection, you get to keep the boot - or it gets dumped. What a waste. Surely they could be sterilised and used again? Hospitals in poorer countries would be grateful of them too I'm sure. Maybe I'll try and find a charity that accepts them and ships them out.

Or maybe I'll keep and wear it at parties.