Last week at this time, I was in la-la land, somewhere between the OR and the PACU. To be completely honest, this past week has been far more difficult than I was prepared for. Some of that was that anesthesia really took a lot of out of me; the other major part was that I was unable to tolerate the pain meds, so had to experience recovery on tylenol and ice.
Today, however, I started to get back to “normal” life. I went to work this morning and found out just how far my office is from the Peds Clinic on crutches. Normally, it’s a 5 minute walk. This morning, it was a 25 minute adventure that left me breathless and soaked in sweat. I am learning quickly that many doors are heavier than they look and that walking should not be taken for granted. Luckily, once I got to the clinic, I put myself on an exam stool and scooted around. My leg is achy but not overly painful. The swelling in my foot is down as well.
This afternoon, my project is laundry, as I’m scheduled to travel to North Carolina in the morning. Surviving this morning gives me some confidence for tomorrow. I am going to have to swallow my pride and use the wheelchair service at the airport; there is no other way to tote my bag. My dependency on others is perhaps the hardest part of this whole recovery. I hate needing help or feeling like a burden. Over the past week, I have had to ask for help with everything. After the first day, I managed to use the bathroom without help, but even this morning Matt had to put my sneaker on for me. I cannot imagine having done this without the support of my parents, my sister or my boyfriend. My friend Katie who had ankle surgery last year, did much of her recovery alone and remarked last night that “you’ll be amazed how resourceful you become.” Indeed, I just used my right crutch to push the laundry basket around so I could load the washer.
I am finally starting to see how I’m going to walk and run again. Starting PT was encouraging, as was getting through this morning, sweat soaked as I was. Over the next few days, I need to work on getting the swelling out of my ankle and beginning to weight bear on my left foot.