It’s been about three months since I broke my ankle and I have progressed to what I am calling “stage three” of my post-surgery recovery. I now walk without my brace most days. Every so often, especially after a day where I did taiko or otherwise pushed myself, I still need the brace, but over all I can walk around without it.
During my last doctor’s visit the doctor said I should be walking without it overall, so that’s good. It means I am on the right track, I think. The hardest part of this whole situation has been not being able to have someone spell out my recovery timeline for me. The doctor has been infuriatingly vague and now my rehabilitation is over. My ankle is still tight and hurts most of the time, though it is the muscles and tendons more than anything. (Though it feels so teeth grit-ingly weird/bad when I have to rest my ankle flat on its right side for the x-rays. I can definitely feel the metal.)
I am not sure when the pain is supposed to fade. Maybe at the sixth month mark, just in time for my next surgery. Maybe in a year, maybe in ten. Who knows? The biggest problem is that I often lack the vocabulary to ask the doctor the questions I want answered and as nice as he is, the doctor isn’t on my time here. He is on his own and when he’s done with the appointment, he’s done with the appointment. He and the nurses will give me uncomfortable looks along the lines of “Doesn’t she know it’s over? Why isn’t she leaving?” until I leave. I’ve gotten better at “reading the air,” but I still miss the cues sometimes.
The timing of my next surgery is also a huge stress factor. The doctor wouldn’t schedule it at my last appointment. He said I had to wait until my appointment in October, but he said since my ankle was looking so good he was willing to consider my request of doing it “as early as possible.” (Though he was still fuzzy on the exact dates.)
If it were up to me, I would have been fine with doing it at the beginning of December or January like he originally suggested, but the JET Accident Insurance only covers treatment until six months after the accident. The claim can only be submitted once per accident and therefore should only be submitted once the treatment is completely done. That means that I have to be released from the hospital after my surgery before the coverage period runs out on November 18th.
Compounding this stress is that my school has it’s culture festival on October 31st and November 1st, the Dragonboat race is on November 1st, and I would like to be in Hiroshima on November 14th to support Jen in her marathon.
Additionally, this is the first time I’ve had an injury this big. I don’t even know what the recovery timeline is supposed to look like. Can I start running yet despite the pain? Would running help build up my muscles or would it cause more harm than good? I need to start running for my overall health, but I do not know if I still need rest. Little by little I will figure it out. I have heard that it can take some people up to a year to recovery fully. As much as I hate running as I’m running, I like how I feel afterwards. I am not going to last a year without it. I am going to try going for long walks in the morning and work my way up from there. Hopefully by this time next year I will have nothing to remind me of this injury but a thin scar.