Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Back to the Grind!

Day 70

  I started back at the gym on December 19th, three days shy of my two month surgery anniversary.  It was the exact date that I projected for myself from the very beginning; the same day my gym would start taking payments out again! I remembered what Dr. Brunet had said to me at my final post-op:  "You can walk on the treadmill for about 20 minutes, use the elliptical and cycle without resistance. If you over do-it, it could set you back, not push you forward."  I started on the bike for 30 minutes with resistance (sorry Dr. Brunet).  It was no problem; very low impact on my feet and at the same level of resistance that I used pre-operatively. It was wonderful to feel my body move again and I was so thankful to be there.  I remember why I loved the gym.  It was my time to reflect, relax, think, stare, sweat, read and decide what I was going to eat for dinner.  I use it to meditate, basically.  Then I moved to weights and found out quickly how much my home workouts actually helped to keep me fit.  I could lift more weight in my arms, shoulders, chest and back than before.  My main focus was now my legs with squats, lunges and weight machines that exercised my quads and hamstrings. This was definitely my expected weak point. I finished with 20 minutes of walking on the treadmill. Dr. Brunet cautioned that people tend to walk on the outside of their foot so I made a conscious effort not to. I describe it as a relaxed hurt.  I closed my eyes to bare through the discomfort with a mission to learn how to properly use my foot again.  

Check out my impressive 2.5 miles/hour

  The last time I used my aircast was December 24th.  I really didn't mind wearing it. But now that I don't need it, it feels fantastic. I walk with a noticeable limp but I noticed today that it's becoming less evident. I didn't end up having to buy new shoes.  Dr. Brunet recommended this because men's shoes have wider toe boxes but it turns out that my shoes do too! The swelling has come down enough to fit what I already own. My winter boots were expensive and less than a year old and molded to my old foot shape. It was weird wearing them at first, but now it feels more normal and becoming less of an issue.
  I'm headed back to work on January 6th (with doctor's note), two weeks sooner than expected. I will still have restrictions and cannot work in the OR until the 31st. So as my final week off is half complete, I reflect on my journey and realize that it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I didn't fall apart, I didn't lose a foot and I emerged stronger than before. 

See the crease on my left big toe? It is evidence of swelling/edema and will dissipate.

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