Two steps forward, one step back. The circle of life can make you feel as if you are repeating a vicious cycle and the only hope is that you will somehow break free of the rotation and get on the straight path to success.
Such is my life this past week, which I have spent shedding skin and learning to walk. Sound strange doesn’t it? On the 15th of November I had surgery, an ankle fusion. It was a three-month, non-weight bearing recovery and when you are living alone that is enough of a challenge, not to mention isolation. On the 10th of February I was told that my ankle is completely healed, I can’t hurt it. The hard cast was removed and I am free to walk on it.
I was warned that the foot would be very sensitive. They weren’t kidding! Walking is agony. I am so glad I still have the medical cane from the original accident six years ago…the kind that has four feet and stands on its own. The ankle doesn’t hurt – the foot itself does.
How bad is the foot pain? I hate shoes, they are generally the first thing I shed when I walk in the door. However my tennis shoes provide padding, much needed padding. I wore shoes inside my house all last weekend, and I am wearing tennis shoes to work this week. Once I take the shoes off inside my house I haven’t been able to walk on the cane; I have had to use my knee cart. Things are improving though. This morning I was able to walk, barely, with my cane when barefoot. Tonight barefoot meant the knee cart. I am hoping by the weekend I will finally be able to make it up the stairs and into my own bed.
At least I have stopped leaving a dead-skin trail, sort of. I had never been in a hard cast before, and after three months the leg and foot were extremely dry. I felt like a crocodile that was shedding it’s skin. I discovered moisturizing shaving cream was the best thing for washing it; better than a moisturizing soap. I now treasure my 24-hour body cream more than I ever have. I’m still slightly flaky, but not as bad — no comments from the peanut gallery please.
So I am now shedding my skin and learning to walk. I haven’t bounced back as quickly as I had hoped, but I am seeing progress every day. This morning I was able to walk out the front door and onto the porch by myself, but needed my bag carried. I hope that after a few more days I’ll be able to carry my own things in and out of the house and start driving myself to work. That is if they don’t kill me in physical therapy, which begins on Thursday.