Slow and a Bit Unsteady, but Winning the Race

I’m making slow but steady progress. For a long time my ankle hurt too much to even try walking on it, but I have progressed quickly since I was able to start putting weight on it. Two weeks ago I was told not to go without my crutches. A week ago I was on one crutch outside of my apartment. On Saturday I started challenging myself to go without my crutches inside my apartment so long as I was wearing my brace.

And now I’m down to no crutches inside or outside my apartment, so long as I have my brace. My ankle is flexible enough now that I can place it flat on the floor in the shower without it hurting (though I still don’t put any real weight on it). The biggest problem at the moment is the fact that the muscles on my right leg basically disappeared from disuse. I have to build them back up before I can walk without my brace or risk the muscles being too weak to support me. That could lead to re-injury and since I fully intend my hospital stay in November to be the next and last one, I can’t let that happen.

So for now I am working hard on my physical therapy homework. I do calf raises while I’m sitting at my desk at work and do a bit of stretching every morning and night. I am hoping to return my crutches to the hospital next week. I still use them occasionally in my apartment if my ankle is hurting or if I wake up in the middle of the night and am too lazy to put on my brace to go to the bathroom. It is also nice to have them in my apartment as a sort of safety blanket. I know that if I need them or need to take them somewhere, I can.

I have a lot of walking this week, so I am torn between the desire to bring one of my crutches just in case and the need to not have to schlep around a crutch if I don’t need it. Thankfully, as crazy as this week and next will be, the week after is the start of summer vacation for the students. Normally I would complain about all the downtime I have during summer vacation, but now I am looking forward to just sitting down at my desk and only taking a few laps around the school when I feel up to it.

My physical therapist, Kai-sensei, says that I can probably start running again in September, but she doesn’t think I should count on it. It seems October is the better choice to start anything more intense than slow skipping.

But I’ll get there. Slowly but steadily, I will make my way back to fighting form.  The only real deadline I have is making sure my ankle is strong enough to ensure a quick recovery from the second surgery.

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