“weight bearing to tolerance” in progress

Y’know, when I came to Australia I never thought I would be writing so much about being (even temporarily) disabled. All this new material, and meant very much for the outside world so I don’t have to send so many emails to everyone.

Today was my first private physio appointment. The fellow seemed a decent sort and discussed all kinds of injury-related stuff while giving me a foot and leg massage. (No, it wasn’t like that!) I still haven’t got the kind of range of motion back that I’d like, but apparently I have much more than many people who come in to his office, and he claims we can get back most of what I’m likely to get back in about a month and a half, if I’m diligent. The muscle strength in that leg should come back on a slightly longer timescale, but the bulk may take up to two years to reclaim. So I’ll have a weird left chicken leg for at least that long. Fortunately I don’t care how goofy I look in shorts.

The exercises I’ve been given read somewhat more whimsically than previous, including: Toe scrunching with tissues — 5 minutes. Besides just stretching the ankle and putting a load through it, which are both important, we’re also just trying to remind my foot what it feels like to be touching the ground and doing stuff. Picking up tissues, socks etc. with my toes is apparently a good way to do this. I see some silly games with Emily in the near future.

Today also marked two weeks after my previous Fracture Clinic, meaning I can now start putting as much weight as I can handle on my left foot. Accordingly I took my first few faltering steps. Just standing on it doesn’t hurt, but I feel an uncomfortable amount of pressure when I flex it enough to walk properly. I also have, like, zero strength left in my left ankle; it can’t yet stabilize me against the slightest deviation from vertical. So I’m going to have to use my crutches for at least another two weeks, less for load-bearing than for balance. I’ll see what I can do about that in the interim.

So I probably won’t be dancing in time for Canberräng (beginning of August). But I’m going to be optimistic and register for Southern Blues (first week of November). Just to have something to look forward to.

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About Richard

I'm an American scientist who is building a new life in Australia. This space will contain words about science and math, but also philosophy, policy, literature, my travels, occasional rants, all sorts of things I find strange and awesome. The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer at the time (currently University of Sydney), though personally, I think they should.
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2 Responses to “weight bearing to tolerance” in progress

  1. I’m thrilled to hear that you’re making good progress and literally getting back on your feet. When I did … something … to my back (stupid Pilates), I saw a physical therapist who started out every session by putting this odd cross-handed pressure on my lower back that damn near gave me visions. It was unbelievable, especially for a place that usually felt nothing but pain and stiffness the rest of the time.

    Is there anything the therapist can give you to provide some limited “training wheel” type support to your ankle to keep your range of mobility from getting away from you while you build up strength?

    • Richard says:

      I’m not sure. You mean mechanical support, like a brace? Neither of the physios I’ve been to seem to think that’s necessary. (This is separate from the question of compression to control swelling, which may remain necessary from time to time but which I can hopefully ramp down gradually.)

      I suspect I’m just going to be wobbly for a while, and while I can stand now and sort of hobble along, I’m not gonna be off the crutches for a while yet, and can’t drive or do anything much really until the Fracture Clinic guys clear me to do it. So I’ll check up with them in two weeks. When they do eventually clear me, you betcha I’m gonna find an ankle brace so I don’t fuck things up even more by accident.

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