Today marked a very important milestone: I no longer have to wear a walking boot!
Two months ago today, I tore my Achilles tendon; since then, I have been wearing either a splint or walking boot. Not only was this bulky and uncomfortable, but it also made a lot of extra work for me and my family, since I required assistance for simple activities like taking a shower or changing the bandages on my surgical incisions.
The boot also had an unfortunate habit of gouging my good ankle and drawing blood!
This morning, acting on surgeon’s orders, I took off the boot, hopefully for the last time. Instead, I’m now wearing hiking boots with heel wedges when I “walk.”
I use the term “walk” advisedly, since I’m not exactly bounding around. While my tendon may now be strong enough to walk, the muscles in my leg are incredibly weak from disuse. It’s more like a crutch-assisted shuffle. In fact, I’m slower than I was in the boot! But I’ve heard from friends who have gone through this process that I should improve rapidly as the muscles regain their tone and strength. I’m eager to switch from medical crutch to stylish cane or walking stick! I even bought a cane with a built-in flashlight.
I’m still wearing a bandage on my surgical incisions, but all but one appear to be closed over, and even the laggard has made huge progress over the past month, and should be closing up soon.
The next major milestones–and I don’t know the order in which they’ll occur–is starting physical therapy in two weeks, and recovering enough leg strength to actually drive!
To safely use the gas and brake pedals, I need to be able to do a heel raise (rising on to my toes using leg power alone). I can’t even imagine doing it now, but hopefully my leg will recover quickly now that it isn’t strapped into immobility. For the record, the very last visitor to push me around in my wheelchair was the one and only Manu Kumar, who got quite a workout pushing me to the mailbox so I could mail some bills. That’s my glamorous life for you!
Hopefully my recovery will continue to be steady. I’ll check back in after my physical therapy starts (or if I’m miraculously able to do a heel raise before then). Wish me luck!