It was February 5th, 2013 and only took one misstep that would change my life. Luckily, as I look back, it was when Tatum was only a baby so I did not miss out on so much of her activity. But more importantly, the massiveness of this calamity was a small window as I reflect one year later. It is amazing how the moment of an occurrence or the bit of time this occurrence effects is larger than life and at that moment we think that event will last forever. And it does….in our minds.
As I laid on the doctor’s table and he diagnosed me with a full tear with the foreboding surgery to be had, all I could think about was all I would miss with Tatum, how would I ever walk, all the people I would inconvenience…how my body would be messed up from not working out and the missed school….etc. It was all daunting. Isn’t that just like us? To think that in a lifetime this small window of time is continuous. However, it does change our lives for the better. The better in that the bitter makes us better.
I do not want anything like that to happen again, however, I do not regret the time. One year later, I see that I have learned to relish the small things and appreciate all of my blessings. No longer do I stress about something I cannot control because you never know when you can lose it (i.e. my mobility!)
Still I have less mobility in my left leg and the atrophy is still a bit embarassing. My left calf is almost half the size of my right, but it gets stronger every day. The therabands NEED to be used daily on BOTH legs. This way the OTHER leg will stay strong.
Strength…Found in pain, perseverance and patience.
I cannot believe it has been six months! I had my “check-in” with Dr. Waz on Tuesday to see how it is going. I stopped going to Physical Therapy about two months ago because things seemed to be progressing well. However, I would not have minded hanging out with my PT.. I definitely got the 2 most handsome guys to guide me through this (Dr. Waz and Troy have never been struck by an ugly stick)
Anyway, I digress! Dr. Waz wants me to go HEAVY at the gym on my calves once a week due to the atrophy. Also, he says “eccentric” movements with the bands is KEY “as much as possible.” I take that as often! Otherwise, I’m jogging again, swimming and doing my weights. My ROM is perfect and equal to the other side. He’s very pleased. There is extremely LITTLE chance of re-rupture, but this could happen on the other side. So he says those thera band exercises must happen (eccentrically, which is pulling forward the toes rather than out). This really stretches and strengthens a TENDON. He differentiates tendons from joints or muscles. Unfortunately, there is no magic vitamin to take to strengthen a tendon…just the bands. For joints, sure, you can take glucosamine, calcium…etc… but for tendons? No. They just break down with wear and tear, and need to be strengthened AND stretched.
Now, I am so careful, and I will always stretch! With the atrophy, I also need to be in the gym doing my calf work along with the thera bands. Happily, I’m walking normal and feeling great!
Don’t get discouraged if you are experiencing this process. IT TAKES TIME, PATIENCE, and HARD WORK, but it GETS BETTER! 🙂 (He also said, most people are 150% stronger AFTER this happens, so there is hope.)
A turnaround this week. I entered PT with much chagrin on Monday, right after my 11 week appointment. Would I ever have less tightness and a smaller ankle? All of my compadres on the blog say, “Be patient; it will get better.” Yet, I thought I was stuck in neutral. Finally, we started to do some lateral walking and ladder walking on the floor. Also, he had me balance on a whatchamacallit platform thingy. I had great balance and walked without a limp. Today…it is actually smaller, and I say: PATIENCE PAYS.
At Physical Therapy today at Pro Sports, Troy said my ROM is near perfect. However, I have thickness in my ankle area, and it seems to be inhibiting my healing. Every time I go in, he massages it almost away which is a great sign in that it is malleable. We are not doing much strengthening yet. All we do is theraband exercises and toe crunches. After 2 weeks of PT, I’m ready to do more, but he cautions taking things too fast. I know we are all different in our progression, but I am getting impatient. I want my calf back! It’s a vanity thing, and therefore I know it’s best to just wait.
The swimming and kicking really feels great. I will continue to hydrate via the pool! In time…. I will be back to normal. At least I’m walking without a limp for the most part. He wants me to walk with full heel to toe motion and not flat foot. It does help.
Floating among the comforts of life can be still and peaceful. One day, the storms hit and they bring rough waters and not so smooth sailing. Now, do you stay in the boat for safety? Sure! However, what if you stepped out of the boat and attempted to find a more stable or sturdy ship? Sometimes, we are called to make hard choices. Both are very admirable and positive. What do you do? Do you flip a coin? First, you pray…and pray hard. Then, you wait.
Waiting requires faith to get out of the boat and ride the storm, and it may be for longer than desired. I have made a choice, and now I wait.
FitFlops are the Bingdadabombbomb!! These shoes may be pricey, but are they worth every stinkin’ penny! In PT yesterday, he massaged the scar a bit and tried to lessen the swelling. If this is not done, it can stay there and inhibit healing. We also did 3 sets of ten on the therabands (left to right and vice versa). Plus flexing with the bands. I have my ROM at normal, and he said not to stretch anymore because it may be counterproductive at this point.
What did I also do today??? SWIM!!!!! Yep! I did just 20 minutes in the pool fluttering my feet (and no pushing off the sides), and it felt D…I…V…I…N…E!!! 🙂
Mobility is something we all take for granted. Today, I praised GOD for my TWO feet.