Note: Originally published Sept 10, 2018 on my old website
Two weeks ago, my cast was cut off (by the way, did you know cast saws work by vibration? Since the fiberglass doesn’t vibrate and your skin does, the saw can tell the difference between the two). Anyway, I was fitted with this super fashionable walking boot and have been slowly building back my strength.
Initially, my first few steps were excruciating -it felt like stepping on sharp rocks and it seemed like my balance was totally shot. But I was surprised how quickly it came back. All the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that were totally immobile for 7 weeks in the cast were all springing to life, along with every nerve ending that hadn’t felt any movement or touch. My left calf muscles had atrophied significantly and my foot and toe are STILL swollen.
I’ve been in this boot day and night apart from showers and a few steps here and there, plus a couple times a day I simply bend my big toe back and forth several reps.
Starting tomorrow I can start incorporating regular shoes into my day, wearing them at home at first, then slowly wearing them more and more as pain allows.
It’s felt REALLY nice to be able to do some simple exercises again – TRX squats, then bodyweight squats, single leg deadlifts (bodyweight, of course), and I even managed some swings by putting a 5 lb plate under my right foot to even out the height difference of the boot. I’ve also been using the rower to help stretch my calves and bottom of my foot (I do it barefoot, very slowly) and I know that simply walking in shoes will prove very challenging.
I’m proud of my commitment to continuing with physical activity despite my limitations – I honestly believe it’s helped my recover faster and deal with the emotional roller coaster much better. And in addition, I’m proud of myself for very rarely over-doing it. I think I’ve been very mindful of how my body has been feeling and that awareness has given space for acceptance.