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.
Yesterday my physio asked me to stand on both feet and shift the weight from side to side. He might as well as asked me if I wanted a final cigarette. However with a ‘can do’ attitude I got up and tried to stand. After much moving of hips, bottom, head up, weight here, move there and holding on for dear life I finally got to something akin to what he was asking.
It took so long because my body automatically cheated. Weight through the heel, lock the knees anything to stop me doing what he wanted me to do. Not because I can’t. I really believe, whilst the muscle is weak, the tendon is healed enough to do this. Its all about the psychology.
I am trying my standing exercises at home. My brain says one thing and my body another. Slightly like being in a foreign country and trying to ask for directions. It will take time before we have a mutual understanding and clear direction.
I had a personal trainer years ago and I always remember how he knew I was cheating when I was rowing, lifting, cross training etc etc. Even through the haze of sweat, blood pulsing and near fainting, I could cheat.
Maybe its true what they say, once a cheater, always a cheater.
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.
Today I’m no better. Leg still sore, but its not the calf more the ankle.
I’m thinking maybe physio will help. I have Bupa so I called to find out if I need a GP referral. Yes
I got an appointment with my GP pretty quickly so off I shuffle. I basically want her to refer me, the end. I love the NHS but if I can see a physio today or tomorrow then great.
After a few questions she gives me the news, ‘If it was me I would go and see a Foot & Ankle Dr, a specialise for a MRI. It might be your achilles’ Oh jeez. I know that is bad.
I get the names of a couple of hospitals and off home I go to make calls.
In 20 minutes I have an appt for the following day in Highgate and been approved for a series of things from Bupa as part of the consultation. I then call my boss to say I will be working from home Friday and head off to the sofa to rest the leg and watch random daytime TV.
Taking pain pills and watching ITV3 is not good for my address book. Several random emails are sent, which I only discovered a few days later…whoops. They are quite funny. I told someone they reminded me of deep heat!