Here I am, 3 weeks post surgery, and nearly a month since “the event”. Time has had a funny way of both passing very quickly (where did August go, exactly?) And very slowly. Another day on the couch, another excruciating shower, counting how many more weeks I have this boot on my foot. Here are some recent milestones with my swollen ankles:
Left ankle: I had also sprained my left ankle in “the event” – it was the twisting of that ankle that caused me to actually break the other one. So…it’s why the first few days on crutches was um… interesting, and why I was unsure of myself getting around, since my “good” foot was well, not so good. But, good news! It is nearly healed! Nothing like completely staying off your feet for several weeks to cure a sprained ankle. There is still some swelling, and a little bruising, but overall, I’d say I’m pretty much done with that one.
Right ankle: I graduated to the fashionable black boot about two weeks after surgery. I was never so happy to get my leg out of a mummified bandage – sometimes I actually felt claustrophobic with all of the wrapping on it – I would literally have mini panic attacks, where I had to practice good ole’ meditative and yoga breathing techniques until it passed. I can take my leg out of the boot to shower, and to put ice on it. If I have an itch, I can scratch it! Cheers all around!
I am mastering the crutches, I am only still uncertain and need help if there is a step involved – and because of that, I still cannot get outside by myself. But I can scoot around my house pretty well now. Baby steps, as they say.
Joe has been on a mission to get me out of the house sometimes, which I truly appreciate, but which has also terrified me for various reasons. I get it, I need to get out in little spurts to improve my outlook, to prove that I am getting better, and just for the sheer change of scenery. But, I also have to navigate unfamiliar territory, which is exhausting. It takes a great effort to cross a cross walk – (I envision a truck careening around a corner – my crutches flailing in terror, and that I won’t make it to the other side. Full body cast image flashes in front of my eyes…) I also worry I can’t tolerate having my leg down for too long, and what if I need to put it up and I can’t?
But – for my own good, I have gone out. I went out to the Carvel ice cream store this week – air conditioning and a chair for my leg….then we went to Cream King for dinner two nights later (I had felt I was cheating on them, so you know…) and the difference just in two days in how my leg felt was great.
Yesterday, Joe took me to Kohl’s to get a new suitcase for my upcoming trip to Europe. If you could picture us – generally we go our separate ways when shopping, and I can’t even tell you if we have *ever* gone to Kohl’s together – here he was, pushing me in a wheelchair through the store, then diligently taking down piece after piece of luggage while I hobbled through the aisles on my crutches. That one’s too small, that one’s too big….this one looks like a steamer trunk. Hey, do you like purple?
Finally, we found the right suitcase, then he had to push me back through the store, all while I am holding this monstrous blue suitcase sideways on my lap, avoiding hitting various displays (Watch out for the socks! This is a tight corner!) – then of course I have to ask: Wait – Can we stop to look at the purses?
I did the dishes, and cleaned the kitchen. That’s right! I can’t put dishes away, but I can stand at the sink and wash them. And I can wipe down the counters. This, more than anything, has felt like a step towards resuming my normal life. I could do all of this, and my leg didn’t even hurt! Who would ever think I would be happy about doing the dishes?
I still feel guilty that I am asking so much of my family – can you take my coffee cup to the kitchen? Can you refill my water bottle? Can you pick up that piece of dust on the floor? Can you…can you…can you… But…I’m also grateful this is only temporary, and that I will get better in a few weeks, at which point time will continue to speed along in the *usual* breakneck pace, no swollen ankles to slow me down. Although for a while, I might miss Joe coming in through the door, rolling his eyes and lamenting: Are you STILL on the couch? It’s right where you were when I left! Have you moved at all? OK, maybe I won’t actually miss that.
And all the while, my faithful kitty Jinks has kept his vigil. I put together a little photo collage of the last month. He is so sweet. I might miss his snuggles. Special guest appearance by our little cat Missy too. Can’t wait to take a picture of him when I have two shoes on my feet!