As any girl about town will tell you, they carry at all times ‘essential kit’. Magazines call it ‘what’s in your handbag’ and it usually entails a random selection of old make-up, bashed up snacks and technology. I carry all this but since I became more mobile I have added to my kit, which now includes:
> Compression sock – I am currently rocking black. But after I realised my rookie mistake and the realisation that swelling is going to be a part of my life for a while, quite like the new Daft Punk album, I have now purchased various other colours. Socks will be rotated depending on outfit.
> Deep Freeze – it’s not always practical to whip out the old leg and a bag of peas in a meeting, so Deep Freeze is perfect for such occasions. It also doesn’t have the pong of Deep Heat
> Ibuprofen – both capsule and gel formula, because you just never know which you’ll need and I’m all about all eventualities pain relief.
> Heel inserts – I have some rather snazzy gel ones which I bought off Amazon. They are stack-able so very practical, I am not sure if Tom Cruise uses these ones or not.
> Arnica – for when I am not in the mood for modern medicine.
Basically I don’t leave home without the above, I’m a walking foot Dr with a Mulberry handbag.
I’ve been in shoes for a few days now. It is strangely liberating, very scary and quite bizarre to be part of the two shoes brigade. Do I need a membership number and badge??
My walk is coming on slowly. I am slower than I was in my boot as I walk through the aches, which today seems to be everywhere from the knee down and also try to focus on heel to toe. I like to describe my current walk as ‘gimpy’. I’m gimpy when I start walking, then it smooths out and then becomes gimpy again as I get tired. My physio keeps shouting at me to glide. I was supposed to glide on crutches, glide on one crutch, glide in my aircast and glide now I am on shoes. I feel like I should be decked in sequins about to talk to Brucie, post Strictly Waltz. I don’t have the heart to tell him (physio, not Brucie), that I have never glided anywhere in my life. I am clumsy and abrupt and an Achilles rupture is not going to suddenly make me a glider.
If you catch me in the middle phase of my walk I could be mistaken now for a slow walking casual lady who lunches. At least my crutches gave everyone notice that all was not well with the leg. Now I just look like a slow walker. I experienced this today when I held up traffic as I made my way back from physio. Ass-hat motorists.
I have been told that I have a look of fear on my face when I am walking. I think this is my concentrating face. I can feel it contort as I walk. When I am in shops I also now get asked if I am lost or looking for something. Apparently this is my new walking demeanour. Dazed, bewildered with a look of complete fear on my face at all times.
This is too many things to work on at once, so I’ll concentrate on the walking and apologise to everyone for the faces.
…you rupture your Achilles.
1) Bake – move over Paul Hollywood
2) Sort out your wardrobe – if you wish to pick up a item from my A/W wardrobe 2012 its now on Ebay
3) Read – I am now intimately acquainted with Amazon’s top ten list. I am now putting my focus onto the classics
4) Memorise the tv schedule – like people who memorise cards, I have memorised tv schedules. You name it I’ll know the time and channel (Freeview, Sky & Virgin)
5) Find a new job – yes I have
I started physio on Monday. After not having much movement (forced or otherwise) in my foot, the thought of moving it on demand was quite daunting.
Also over the last six weeks I have developed something like foot OCD. I do not like anyone touching my foot or leg, even looking at it the wrong way causes me concern. Yes I am that strange. I’ve read that a lot of people develop a dislike of their leg being touched after an Achilles rupture. Add to that that your leg doesn’t get out much (excuse the pun) and it itself start to desensitise so anything touching it does feel odd. Its a vicious circle.
So anyway back to physio. The challenge laid down by my Dr was to be full weight bearing in four weeks and at the moment that’s what we are working to. I have a range of exercises that I need to do 3-4 times a day. I can see the different within 24hrs. I’m going twice a week for the next month at least.
On top of this I have some psychological exercises:
1) Touch the scar
2) Sleep without the boot
Simple? Maybe. Well I am working on no1. and no2. I accomplished last night. After being in a cast/boot for six weeks it was bizarre having a ‘free’ leg. My boot is my security blanket, so without it it wasn’t the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had. But it felt good to be foot loose for once.
For the first time in my life I am continuing to receive good reports. Yesterday was my six week post op review appointment. There’s lots going on…
I’m now down to one wedge
I don’t need to see the Dr again for another 4-6 weeks
Physio starts Monday
I’ve been given the okay for delicate range of movement in the foot
I’m still on two crutches until the physio says otherwise. Did try one step but even writing this makes me feel nauseous again
The boot will continue to be part of my wardrobe for another 4 weeks or so
I’m really happy. My Dr is really happy. We’re all really happy. I hope you reader are happy.
Its raining here which is trying to scupper all my hard work – wet surfaces and crutches make for slips, skids and sore legs. If this was a Hollywood movie my post Dr visit slip would have ended with me flat on my face and a tense hospital visit to see if I had undone all my hard work. It was in fact a mini slip which whilst shocking was a good reminder that I am not a crutch wielding superhero and should be careful.
My reward is to go shopping. I’ve been on a shopping diet lately, so I am so excited I feel like a 7 year old off to a birthday party. I know all I will want to buy is shoes, however I am focussing my mind (see previous post for this in action) on items which are not dependent on me, a) queuing for a changing room or b) needing to remove the boot to try on.
Mad as this sounds, there are lots of bright sides to a ruptured Achilles. Stronger upper arms and leg. Lots of daytime tv. You get to work on your crutch jokes etc etc But the main thing is it doesn’t matter what your woes were before the pop, you will instantly forget about them, post pop.
- Rubbish love life? You won’t even remember who the loser was.
- Stressed and struggling at work? Move that to the back burner.
- Worried you have nothing to wear and need a wardrobe revamp? Your wardrobe will mainly consist of leisure wear and when you do go out you’ll now style everything to go with your new accessories: crutches, cast and aircast. Doesn’t matter if its Spring/Summer or Autumn/Winter.
- Finances giving you a headache? You won’t be going anywhere to spend money, so enjoy all the free daytime tv you can.
Obviously some of the above are more important that others.
Everything and everyone that was stressing me out and making me anxious stopped on 29th January at about 8.30pm. It went away to a back burner so far away its in another time zone and my focus turned 100% to me and working out what was wrong, then what needed to get done to get better, then day by day how I can get better, now taking my first steps without crutches and the list goes on.
I’m not one to talk or write about being blessed and stuff like that all the time. But I do think that my Achilles was a good thing. Yes it has been painful and confusing and I’ve struggled. I do advise everyone not to rush out and ruptures theirs. But when I think about the last couple of months and my rupture, when it happened I immediately stopped sweating the small and inconsequential stuff and people and automatically my focus switched to me and what’s going to make me happy. Sometimes its takes a pop as loud as a gunshot to do that.
‘What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise’
– Oscar Wilde.
I couldn’t have said it better.