Released!

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Yesterday I got released from Physical Therapy!!  

Six & a half months after I went into that first cast;  just over five months after my surgery;  3 months of intensive PT.  Yesterday it all finished. 

My therapist whipped out her handy Goniometer and announced that I had finally reached the magic number -  15 degrees of movement in my ankle!!

So happy!  As I left Katie I said "I hope I never see you again" … it seemed mean, but it felt so good to say!

I have a home program to continue strengthening the ankle and working on balance; I will be wearing the brace for a few more weeks;  I still limp by the end of the day but at last I can do steps & escalators, up and down, in a totally normal fashion!  

Now I have to go back to Rome and do these:  

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Progress Report

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My foot is now described as "functional"  -   it finally got to the 12 degree movement this week and I can go down about half a dozen steps – haltingly but going down normally.  

My next goal is 15 degrees so I continue with the PT torture twice a week until then. 

We are having friends over for a Chinese feast tonight – the manservant is cooking, but someone has to go supervise….

More Italian photos:    a  church in Rome with a truly beautiful interior:

 

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The calendar turns…. and thanks.

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I am not a night person but with the help of caffeine and the Batman: Dark Knight, DVD, I managed to stay awake till midnight. I told the manservant that this is the last year I am going to stay up as the calendar turns whether I am up or not, and quite frankly I am a much nicer person if I get a full night's sleep!
More appealing to me is the idea to set the alarm for dawn and toast that first sunrise of the year with champagne.  (Yeah, well we'll see if that happens ….).
If I was asked to sum up my 2008  I would say my foot, my foot, my foot!  It certainly seems to have dominated my year but it was not, by any means, my entire year.
January:   I was getting ready to say goodbye to the Princess (daughter) who had spent 2 months visiting us.  

February:  My Economist son turned 21 and we decided to cash in frequent flyer miles and have a trip later in the year once he had finished his final exams at university.

March:    I spent the entire month gallivanting around in Australia. 

April:   The Pope came to town and totally disrupted my trip to work.    
It was Admin Day at work and I had to go Bowling (which I hate);  given a gift card which didn't seem to have value on it (and which I got taxed on in my December pay).
I fell down our stairs – but I did not hurt my foot.
May:    I posted photos from my year-ago trip to China – a wonderful experience – both the trip and the re-visiting. 

The first mention of my foot appears – in a meme where I mention that I don't think the (as then diagnosed) peroneal tendonitis is ever going to get better.
June:  Half the month taken up with a visit from my in-laws.   The other half a rodent family moved in.  
July:  Had an MRI; had my foot encased in the first of many hard casts and had a birthday – in that order. 

August:  Started the month with good news as my eldest son became engaged at the end of July:


I devised clever ways to carry things while on crutches.   On the 22nd I had extensive surgery on two shredded peroneal tendons and a torn ligament.   Passed the last week in a drug induced stupor.

September:  A whole month in an euphoric drugged state.
October:   I don't seem to have done much except complain about my foot –  I must have been cutting down on the drugs.
November:  After 114 days the cast came off!!   Obama, Obama, Obama. 
December:  I took my walking stick on a 3-week tour of Rome, Florence,  Milan and London.  (photos in order:  St Peter's Rome;  city of Florence,  snow in Milan;  London x 2).


During this whole foot saga I have received amazing support from my Vox neighbours.  I really appreciated people checking in to see how I was getting on.  I valued every comment and private message of encouragement.

I feel that I have vicariously walked, travelled, ridden bikes & horses, and exercised with everyone and I thank you all for such physical times! 

I wish everyone and their families a very happy and healthy 2009 – and if you are one who has made some goals for the year I hope you achieve them.

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Movement amongst the hurdles

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Now I know my vacation is really over – it was back to physical therapy yesterday!   

My ankle range of motion has improved from 6 degrees to 9 degrees!    Three more degrees to go before I lose the limp and the walking stick.  I walk up stairs totally normally now – (sometimes even without hanging onto the rail. LOL). 

But, it seems as though I am still a way off being able to come down again without having to put both feet onto each step before I go to the next step down.   My brain thinks I can, but there is a serious disconnect when I attempt it.   So they have set new goals for me:  walk without a limp/stick and come down steps normally.   I will go to PT twice a week now, until those are met.   

 

My appointment was at 7.30 am which meant leaving the house at 6.30am. I hate leaving the house that early!   I got to my Metro to find that the escalator was out of order.  Now, there is a lift but it is across the other side of a 6-lane road and in the middle of a block – so it's in-between traffic lights!!!  I briefly weighed up the amount of time I thought it would take me to walk to one of the lights to cross over and get to the lift,  against the time I thought it would take me to descend this long, steep and deep set of escalator steps.    

I did the escalator.  It took a long time!  In fact, it took so long that 2 or 3 trains (maybe even 4 or 5) came and went during the descent!

This morning the escalator was still not fixed but I am taking the long route to the lift from now until it is repaired.   I have another PT appointment tomorrow morning, again at 7.30am.   God knows why that time seemed like a good idea when I was making appointments!

This photo reminds me of hurdles and seems appropriate!    I took it in Virginia: 

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Six Degrees of ….. Movement

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This whole walking "thing" is very tiring!  

Twice this week I have walked 5 blocks. On Tuesday it was the first time that I had walked this far in a very, very long time.  Yesterday was a "rest" day and today the 5 block walk was repeated.  This is the return trip distance between my office and the Physical Therapy torture cave. 

When I went to my first physio, about 4 weeks ago, they took a series of measurements to assess my range of motion.  It was zilch, nada, zero. The block of wood at the end of my stick leg was pretty much immovable.

They measure the range of motion of the forwards flexing of the foot (towards the shin) beyond the 90 degree point.  My measurement really was zero – my foot was "set" at 90 degrees.

Normal range of motion of the ankle is 15 degrees beyond 90 degrees;   12 degrees is the point at which there is no limp and steps can be climbed in a normal fashion.

Today Katie got out her little measuring tool  (which looks suspiciously like something out of my school protractor set) and I managed to achieve a 6 degree movement!!   How exciting – I am half way to not limping!!

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Sasquatch foot

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Cat had a post on footwear which turned into talk on hairy toes. 

I drew attention to my newly hairy foot.

Notice I said foot not feet.  I have always had smooth feet and toes but after 114 days in casts, under cover of darkness, my left foot grew coarse hair!!   Hopefully it will start to fall out naturally! 

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Beauty & the Beast

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I followed the doctor's advice and took it easy over the weekend – I didn't leave the house further than our back courtyard.  It helped that the weather was gorgeous and that I could sit out on our deck for a couple of hours each day.  Actually, it was so nice that I was able to sit out in a tee shirt (and skirt).

I needed one crutch under my arm yesterday but today I have managed to get around without an aid.  I even went down the back steps almost normally LOL  – having to put both feet on each step as I went up and down, gripping both rails, counts as almost normal!

 My white rose still has some buds to open but the thing which attracted me to the plant today, and hence the trip down the steps, was beauty & beast together:

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It’s free …. almost!

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Today,  after One hundred and fourteen  (114) days …..   that's 16.285 weeks,

my foot was freed  -…………..  almost!

This is my latest footwear accessory:  An ankle brace which I will wear for 6 weeks.  I will have to wear joggers to work – though obviously I won't be jogging anywhere for some time:

But tonight, when I got home from the Doctor's,  just for a short time, it was really wonderful to free the foot and "slip" it into the gorgeous shoes Jillie  painted for me – I'm looking forward to actually walking in them one day:

 

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Aqua- therapy

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I've been pretty good with actually doing my "aqua-therapy"  bath-tub style.  Sitting in the hot water eventually loosens up the foot enough so that it can move backwards and forwards.  

My brain sends it a "move now" message and that should be that.
My eyes tell me that my foot is barely moving.    LOL….   then my brain tells me to ignore my foot and enjoy the bubbles!! 

I took this photo somewhere around Alice Springs in NT,  Australia.

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Treated…

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My neighbour,  Jillie  had a competition to win a pair of her hand painted shoes.  I did not win the "give-away" pair but Jillie felt so sorry for my booted foot that she sent me a consolation pair!!!    The only stipulation is that I have to take a photo of my feet in the shoe when the boot finally comes off.  I was thrilled to find a couple of extra things in the box like a pair of animal-print manicure flip flops and some delightfully smelly rose soap  -  things to make this poor foot of mine feel, look and smell better.   Thank you so very much Jillie – it was such a sweet thing to do!    

Here are some photos – without my foot…..   the boot comes off next Friday.

 

 

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