Monday, 27 May 2013

21 weeks - approaching normality

HUGE APOLOGIES! I thought I'd published this but it was still in my drafts. Sorry! I think I was going to add some pictures, but instead I'll just get this posted and do pictures for you another time. I do have videos I've been doing but I have so much trouble getting them uploaded to YouTube I may give up on them. Anyway, hope this is still useful/interesting and I'll get writing more I promise.

*should have been published a month ago, whoops*

It's been three weeks since my last update, and I'm now 21 weeks post-surgery.

Last week I picked up my new, custom, orthotics from the hospital. That marked the end of my hospital appointments at the Royal Berks, apart from when I need the orthotics replacing in about two years' time.

The orthotics are as slim as they can make them. You can see from the picture that they are really thin, but the curve of them where they support my arch and heel means that they push my foot up, which means I need to be careful what kind of shoes I wear.

I am working on a post looking at shoes, but basically my orthotist would like me to wear big, clunky shoes with very rounded toes, either completely closed or with a wide strap, and generally pretty ugly.

So far I've found I can wear my orthotics in my flat ballerinas, which have a rounded toe, because although they have no strap they grip the back of my heel and my heel doesn't slip out of shoe when I walk, which is often a problem with very open shoes.

I also wear a pair of sporty styled shoes with two velcro straps over the foot.

As the weather warms up, I probably won't wear the orthotics as often as I should, because you cannot wear them in sandals, but I do make sure that I am conscious of my foot positioning and pronation, and I hope that will be enough to make up for it. I'll definitely wear them all winter.

Right now, I can't wear them the whole time anyway. The orthotist told me I had to build it up by wearing them for half an hour the first day, then an hour the next day, and two hours the next, and so on.

I find they do make my feet and legs ache, because the muscles are adjusting to the new positioning, so I'm still working on increasing the time. I can't wear them in the house unless I wear shoes inside, and I usually wear slippers, so it's taking me longer to build the time up, but I think that's OK.

I also saw my physiotherapist again. I know Ed has been reading the blog, so "Hello Ed!" *waves*

I had to admit I've not been doing my exercises as much as I should have been, because they make me hurt, so I have promised that over the next month I will do them regularly, and wear my orthotics, and hopefully when I go again he will discharge me.

I did go back to yoga and have done two sessions now. Surprisingly, it wasn't as hard as I expected.

During my recovery I have been making sure I did foot exercises, and calf stretches, and I found I was no where near as stiff as I thought I'd be. My teacher, Minna (who also reads this so "Hi Minna!" *waves again*) does try to tell me to take it easy but I like to push myself and I never do anything that is painful.

As expected, it was a challenge to roll over my toes to go from all fours into downward dog, for example, but I either do it one foot at a time, or I do both together but put a lot of my weight onto my hands and arms.

Over time, it will definitely get back to normal, I'm sure.

I am actually really pleased with my recovery; with my range of motion and with my lack of pain. I know I've worked hard on my recovery but I also feel very lucky and blessed.

I do still have the problem with my toenail on my left foot, but I can now see that there is a new nail growing under the old one, and the old one is growing out, so in six months that is going to be back to normal. It's irritating, but a temporary annoyance.

So there we are! I'm still doing my exercises, building up my general stamina for walking and standing, and sometimes overdoing it a bit! Some days I'm fine, some days my legs and feet really ache, but the progress is in the right direction and soon, in terms of medical appointments, I'll be flying solo!

As usual, please ask any questions or make any comments below.

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