Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 37 - Fourth Pool Class

Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 - Week 13

It's my fourth Pool Class! I drove myself to class again =) This makes my 4th day driving and I had no issues. I was still sore from walking around in 1 crutch grocery shopping and walking around the mini mall by my house yesterday. This time, I used the stairs to get into the pool. Serena taught me a few new exercise moves and this time around I was able to walk around the entire pool circle during warm up. The shallow side on the left I was able to manage and was strong enough to hold myself up without any issues. However, Serena preferred I say in the right side of the pool, deeper end so I don't hurt myself just to be safe. 45 minutes of class is enough, I was starting to turn into a prune after just 30 minutes!

I looked at my chicken leg again and it seems like the muscles are starting to come back! Serena said it would take about 8 weeks for it to fully come back. It's been about 5 weeks now, Nov. 21 was the day I got my cast off. You can still see the bruise on my right inside ankle. I think that just will never go away. There is still a bit of swelling on the top of the right foot arch too. I wonder if that will ever go down over time? I'll see what 8 weeks will look like soon. I've got my entire January of appointments set up for twice a week physical therapy. Serena said I may not need anymore Pool Classes by end of January? It'll be just all land sessions there on out. We'll see...

            Nov. 21                                           Dec. 17                                  Dec. 28

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 35 - Graduated to using one crutch!

Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 - Week 13

Today marks my 8th physical therapy session. I woke up early, felt great, and drove myself to physical therapy for my 9am appointment! What a great Christmas gift to myself! I felt completely fine. I arrived 15 minutes early and enough time to warm up on the bike. Serena, my physical therapist, started me on standing exercises. More stretches using the rubber band, massage, and stepping on the half yoga ball balancing. Again, more measurements to see how much I have improved on my movement and still the side to side movements are still not quite there yet and stiff. Then she asked me how much I'm walking, and wanted to see me walk. Said that I may try one crutch so she can see how well balanced I am. You can definitely still tell my leg is weak, but I can put about 80% weight on the foot and walking quite well. She graduated me to using 1 crutch in non busy areas! If I do go to the mall, I should use 2 crutches to be safe. I'm so excited! First the driving, now the 1 crutch! New years is next Tuesday, I wonder how well I'll feel then. My goal to walk without crutches is near. Almost there!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 33 - Exactly 3 months since injury and I tried driving today!!!

Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 - Week 13

Ohhhh my gosh! It's been exactly 3 months since my injury! I'll never forget the day, Sept. 24, 2012 around 7pm when it happened playing softball. =(   Today, I had a good feeling about my foot strength and really felt ready to drive. Lucky the rain stopped today. It was also sunny and warm out. It was pouring for the last few days. So I went ahead and tried to go around the block. I still used my crutches to get to the car. Got myself in and played around with stepping on the pedals. Got the car ready and then I went! I felt completely fine! I was soooo excited, I drove myself to Trader Joe's to buy some groceries hahaha! I went around the store with 1 crutch on one side and carrying the bin to shop in the other hand. I can now drive myself to Physical Therapy and to work! What a great Christmas gift to myself. I was hoping I'd be off crutches by New Years, we'll see when next week comes. =) I can't believe it! I continue to use the chinese medicine "Dit Da Jow" and do my ankle exercises. I'm getting better by the day and sure feel it. Soooo happy!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 30 - New Rubber Band Stretching Exercises!

Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 - Week 12

I can't believe it's been about a month since I got my cast off. How time flies!

I came in for my regular gym physical therapy session. I did the usual exercises, got my massage, and ankle movement measurements. It's improving! I'm now more flexible, and able to place more weight on the foot. I'm bearing about 75-80% weight on the right ankle now. Almost graduated to using one crutch but not quite there yet. You can still see me leaning a bit on the left side for support when using just one crutch. I've started a new standing exercise to stretch out my calves and walking step movements. I've also started a new rubber band stretch where I take steps into the stretch as if I am driving. Driving! That word just makes me soooo happy. I feel like I can and it looks like I have enough movement on my ankle to do so.

Since I have been going into work twice a week after my physical therapy sessions, I've been doing a lot of these ankle heel lift exercises. Walking a lot more with crutches really help with getting my foot use to stepping fully again to walk. I feel the improvements everyday. Less pressure on the balls of my foot now and getting more flexible with the up and down motion. As for the side to side motion, I notice turning my ankle in I can feel the pull bruised feeling on the outside of my ankle just below and around the ankle area. When I turn my foot out, I'll feel the bruise, but less bruising pull feeling on the insides of my ankle just below and a bit on top of the foot. There is also a weird clicking my therapist says could be my tendons rubbing against my bone. Well see how I feel in a few days, I may attempt driving!!! The therapist said it should be ok and be careful! Update soon! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 26 - I walked today...without crutches!!!

Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 - Week 12

I went to my second Pool Class today and felt really good. No pain today either. My ankle and foot bottom felt really strong today. I still feel a bit sore from the weekend shopping though. So far so good.

I still have a chicken leg though. It appears I am gaining my muscle back from all the walking I've been doing.  I feel some muscle. Actually it looks like my left calf is getting more muscular and the right sort of look the same haha. I swear I feel the muscles when I flex my right calf. You can still see the bruising on the inside ankle. I wonder when that will go away.

                         15 Days Ago                                                      Today

My scar is also looking well. However, my skin is still a bit discolored from the rash I got around the area.

OMG!!!!!! Ok, so I was hungry for some dinner. I went downstairs and felt really good walking. I was just sick of moving my crutches around the kitchen and then I did it. I walked from the kitchen to the living room, back to the kitchen, and downstairs to lock the door to the yard! I was ok walking on stairs, still with rail assistance of course. My ankle is stronger then I thought hahaha. I just got too excited and needed to share the news! Time to text my friends =). I have a limp but I don't care! I walked without crutches! I am so happy! I feel so free!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 25 - On crutches out all weekend shopping!

Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012 - Week 11

It's 9:30pm and my ankle is feeling really sore right now! I was out all weekend shopping. I got in some really good exercise for my ankle. On saturday, I crutched around walking for about 5 hours and today, about an hour. I am surprised my ankle didn't swell up. It just feels tender and bruised while taking each step. No pain! Today, I felt a weird clicking feeling on my foot. I have no idea what it is. I can sort of use one crutch but of course with a limp. When I got home, I sort of hobbled around without any crutches in the kitchen. I still can't fully take a step without a hop. Sigh, I'm getting really close and feel like I can almost drive let alone walk!

I went to target and found those mechanical shopping carts parked to the side! I got really excited but thought no, forget it. I need the exercise. There's way too many people to weed through anyway with this huge cart. I got all my shopping done! Feeling very tired but good =)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 23 - Fifth Physical Therapy Session

Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 - Week 11

I'm back for my regular session! I really enjoyed the Pool Class on monday. So much so I had a dream the next day I lost the crutches and was able to walk haha.

Serena came by the bicycle where I was warming up and already noticed my walking in crutches has improved. She can tell I am putting on more weight on the foot. Today I did the regular exercises and received a massage on the incision, leg, and ankle. My scar is looking better as well as the sensitive skin around the area. This time she measured my ankle movements from up, down, left, and right. When I run my fingers over the scar, I can definitely feel the metal that's inside. I'm feeling great and no pain! Still I get a bit of the pressure bruised feeling when stepping down on the balls of my foot. This week shows major improvements and definitely can see that I am able to move my ankle from side to side this time without any issues!

However, the top of my inside area area swelled up just a bit. It could be from this new weight bearing exercise. This is good to get my foot use to having weight shifting as if I was walking. I'm excited for this coming Monday's Pool Class!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 19 - First Pool Class

Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 - Week 11

I was so excited to start my first Pool Class! I got in to get ready for my 11:30am class. Right when I got in, two very nice assistants showed us the way to the pool. It was so nice inside! There was a changing area, bathrooms, and showers. We were told to get into the pool to wait for our teacher. It was nice and warm in there. I was told to stay on the right hand side of the pool because it was deeper. That meant less weight on my foot so there's no pain. I was excited to see assisting walking bars under water and to the side. I felt very safe. Serena who's been helping me is also the teacher for this class which I'm happy about. She walks in shortly and we start with a warm up to walk around the pool.

It felt soooo good to be able to walk without crutches for the first time since the day I got hurt about 2 months ago!!! I was so happy and everyone could tell. We had a small class, there were only 3 of us, Serena, and a student. Serena made sure to constantly check on each of our pain levels. I was completely fine. When I got to the left side, more shallow side, I felt the pressure coming onto my right ankle. Because of the shallow water, more of my weight was used. I thought maybe I can do it but I was too ambitious and really felt the pressure on my ankle. Then Serena suggested me to go back and stay in the right side for my safety and to not push myself. We did quite a few exercises. Making sure we're not forcing our movements through the water, rather letting the body flow into the movement so we don't hurt ourselves. Then she turned on some classical music which was helpful to distract any type of discomfort we had. It was just enough time in the pool, my fingers were actually starting to prune after about 45 minutes haha. Class came to an end and we were given a towel and a plastic bag for our wet bathing suits. They even turned on the hot showers for us to rinse off. Everyone's so nice and attentive, Serena constantly asked to make sure we were ok and not in pain. When we got out of the pool, they covered our shoulders to make sure we weren't cold. I had a lot of fun in the pool today. I'm very excited and look forward to my next pool class!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 16 - Fourth Physical Therapy Session

Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 - Week 10

Happy Friday! I come in for the usual ankle and leg massage which feels really good. There were new measurements made on how far I can bend my foot up and down. It seems to be getting stronger everyday. I really do feel it. Exercises really do help. As long as I keep using my foot more to walk with crutches. I continue to massage my ankle when I'm home. Maybe the chinese medicine is working too? Serena, my Physical Therapist, started to move my ankle from side to side. I am able to move it more then how it was just a few days ago when I was in. We started to take measurements on the side ankle movements. My scar is healing nicely and my skin is getting better! My new skin is so smooth, tight around the surgical incision area. As instructed, I'll continue to massage around it to loosen up the dead tissue below it so when I walk and bend my foot, it wouldn't feel so tight.

I will continue my usual exercises like the ones below. ABC's with my toes and moving the ankle only, not the leg. 

At the beginning, when I did hip raises I really felt the pressure on my right ankle. My heel is much stronger now and I can lift my hips with ease now. No pain! The balls of my feet are still just a tiny bit sensitive with a bit of pressure. I started out with my right leg closer to me and the left leg further out so it's working out my right injured ankle more. Today, Serena had me try to lift one leg up at a time. I was surprised I can actually do that. She's also taught me a few new isometrics. Building strength on my ankle muscles now. It appears I've bruised and torn ligaments on both sides of my ankle which will take a while to heal. I feel like it's getting closer to the day I will drive again. Good news though. I can start pool classes this coming MONDAY! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 13 - Third Physical Therapy Session

Tues, Dec. 4, 2012 - Week 10

I'm glad it didn't rain this time going into physical therapy. I am making progress with my ankle bending measurements. I'm able to place more weight on my foot and there's more movement everyday. I've learned more new exercises and got another massage. I've also learned to massage and move my skin around the surgical incision area to loosen up the tissue underneath so I have easier movement when I'm walking. Lots of leg and ankle massaging will help with the circulation and getting my feeling sensation back.

Here is a picture of the stool I use in the shower. I'm starting to stand in the shower and don't need this as much anymore. I still keep it in there for days I get really tired standing and to get in and out of the shower. I still get a little nervous and afraid I'd slip.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 11 - My surgical incision is fully healed!

Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 - Week 9

Yay! My scab on the surgical incision area fell off in the shower! My incision is healed! I'm sooo happy! My scar measures about 3.5 inches. I still have a little bit of a rash on my leg from the dead skin that peeled off and waiting for that to go away. Still some discoloration too. The top of my foot arch is still stiff and I'm massaging it everyday and continue to do my ankle exercises. Next goal is to get rid of crutches!

Day 10 - Chinese medicine for my ankle!

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 - Week 9

My calf is still so tiny haha. Chicken leg! At least the swelling has gone down and no more burning sensation. I still have a tiny bruise on the inside ankle where the dislocation happened. The torn ligaments around that area and the top of my arch is still a bit stiff.

My mom dropped by yesterday with some food and some Chinese Medicine. I grew up using this Dit Da Jow and never read what was in the ingredients. Haha, today I learned something new. Reading this made me laugh out loud! It has a really potent smell and is suppose to heal me faster.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 9 - Second Physical Therapy Session

Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 - Week 9

It's been 9 days since my cast came off! I am feeling well, and no pain at all. Just still some pressure when I place my foot down on the ground. I am stepping my foot down more and walking with crutches. I still can't fully put weight on it. I feel the bruising sore stiffness on the top of my foot where the torn ligaments are. I am feeling better everyday. My skin does look better and the surgical incision is almost completely healed! It still feels sensitive with a bit of dry skin. I will continue to lotion and massage my ankle bring back feelings to my muscles and nerves. 

Today is my 2nd Physical Therapy session. Serena is my new PT moving forward due to the time I have available to go in. She was great! I loved her. She was more aggressive with my stretches and taught me quite a few more new exercises to do at home. I got the usual leg and ankle massage which felt really relaxing and good. She said that my surgical incision looked really well and healing fast. On my file, Colleen (my first PT) wrote down that I had no restrictions. As long as I am comfortable, I can continue to work on my walking. In about 2 weeks, Serena said she would like me to go into the pool and start walking in water. I'm so excited! She added 2 more ankle exercises to do at home. 

Using a towel to stretch is helping my foot movement to improve everyday. I am getting closer to being back to normal. However, I still feel the stiffness and pressure from the torn ligaments. I feel a really good stretch doing this one.

Scrunching my toes to grab my bed sheets is good for working on my arch and the bottom of my foot. I can definitely feel the muscles pulling all the way up to my ankles. It feels really good.