Managing expectations

Foot-wise this past week has been a hard one.  A week ago, I over did it.  I met my friend at the lake and did a walk/run around.  We did a 15 minute walk warm up, 1 minute run/2 minute walk and then 20 minutes walking at the end.  I didn’t count the run intervals but there were probably 8-10 of them.  After I finished, instead of going home and putting my foot up, I was on my feet all day getting ready for Lauren’s first communion.  By 11 pm when I finally sat down, my foot was swollen and painful.  After the first communion mass the next day, I came home and put the boot back on for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, I started physical therapy.  The session wasn’t the best for me.  I ended up running for 20 minutes on the alter g treadmill at 40% body weight.  My foot still hurt at 40% although obviously not nearly as bad as at full body weight.  I got through 2 miles, was given a few exercises and sent on my way.  Wednesday when I got up, I could barely walk.  My whole right side was sore, my calf was in a knot and my foot was painful.  That morning I saw my chiropractor who worked on my foot for a while and also gave me some exercises to do.  I spent the rest of Wednesday taking it easy and icing.  I haven’t worked out at all this week for fear that I was hurting my foot.

The next couple of days I spent terrified that my foot was broken again.  I had an x-ray coming up on Friday and was sure that it was going to come back with bad news.  When I walked into my podiatrist’s office, he was really reassuring.  He said this always happens and is the hard part of recovery.  Being in the cast and the boot is easy because he’s not asking me to do anything.  But surgery is traumatic for the body and having my foot and ankle immobilized for 8 weeks takes a while to recover from.  It takes a while for a joint to get moving regularly again after being messed with.  After talking me off the ledge for a little while, he did the x-rays and they came back beautiful.  Everything looks perfect.  Such.a.relief.

My problem at this point is that I have no idea what the difference is between okay pain and not okay pain.  I got myself into this mess by running through not okay pain.  My foot hurts more now than it did before surgery but apparently, this is normal post surgery pain that I just have to work though.  That’s a hard concept for me.  Also a hard concept: trusting in my medical team.  I have to trust them when they say the pain I’m feeling is normal post op pain and okay to push through.  After seeing so many doctor’s last year and being misdiagnosed repeatedly, I have a hard time trusting.  But the reality is, I love the people I’m working with right now.  And I want to trust them when they say I’m going to be fine and that recovery is going well.  But after such a long road to get here, I’m finding that easier said than done.

After seeing my podiatrist, I headed back for more pt and the second session was great.  This time she did a lot more ankle manipulation and mobility work.  It hurt but I’m okay with pain.  As long as I know things aren’t breaking, pain’s okay.  And that brings us to today.  Things got pretty dicey over the last week.  It wasn’t just that I was worried that I wouldn’t run again.  I mean, I was worried about that, but I had gotten to the point where just doing every day things was painful and I wondered if I’d ever not be in pain again.  Was surgery a big mistake?  I was upset and depressed.  The clear x-ray took a weight off my shoulders.   I’m going to try really hard to stay positive and trust the people I’m working with.  I have 4 weeks until I see my podiatrist again and I think there will be some big changes over the next month.  It’s going to take hard work and I’m sure there will be some frustrating and scary days but I’m going to attempt to roll with it as best I can.  While I knew surgery wasn’t going to be a quick fix, I guess I didn’t expect recovery to be like this either.  I need to manage my expectations and I think things will move along a lot more smoothly.  Yes, I’m 10 weeks from surgery but I’m only 2 weeks out of my walking boot.  If I compare the day I got out of the cast and put into the boot to the day I got out of the boot to today, there has been vast improvement.  When I look at it that way, I’m a lot less stressed about it.

So that’s about it.  It was a hard week.  But I’m ready to put it behind me and get down to work.  It feels good.

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