Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 98 - 4 New Balancing Exercises

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 - Week 22

I woke up emotionally drained today. My ankle was also a bit sore from last night's ankle exercises. Today's the first day I was sad about going to Physical Therapy because I really thought it was my last day but obviously not due to my ankle progress. But at the same time I was happy to be there to get myself better. Since my last session, 3 more weeks of Physical Therapy had been added on because I needed it. I can't believe it has been about 2 months since I've started. 

I had an 11:45am Physical Therapy session today with Colleen. I did the usual review of last week's exercises and then my favorite part, the massage! Then she had me stretch out my ankle with this ankle stretching exerciser tool I don't even know the name to. I got a great stretch standing on this with each foot, leaning my heel back into this. I felt immediately warm and stretched in the ankle area.

Colleen taught me 4 new balancing exercises. The grapevine side stepping alternting my feet and cross stepping, squats with arm rotations, multi directional lunges, and 75% weight bearing heel raises. 

After all of these new exercises, I always end with the leg press machine. There was some crunching around the right bottom and top of ankle during today's new exercises. As usual, I was given ice and a new printout with instructions on my new balancing exercises. I felt sore throughout the day. My limp came back because my ankle was tired. I have noticed a bit of a difference since using Coco butter on my scar. It is slowly smoothing and fading away. More the scabbed and areas where I had a rash from wearing the cast for so long. Luckily I don't mind it. The scar doesn't bother me at all. I continue to massage the scar area to loosen up the tissue inside. I can also feel the bolts when running my fingers over it. It feels so weird haha! What a tiring day physically and emotionally.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Day 95 - Able to walk my dog for the first time!

Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 - Week 21

I woke up to a very warm and sunny day today! 


I felt strong on my ankle today and decided to try giving my dog a walk! I felt like I had enough strength to hold Pebbles on a leash even when she tugs. This would be the first time walking Pebbles since I got injured! A very exciting and accomplished day for me! Another step forward towards recovery! Once I grabbed her leash, she knew we were going out for a walk. Pebbles was so happy! It felt great to be out walking, dog walking! My ankle felt strong but I still had a tiny limp. Little hills still feel a bit awkward to walk on. My ankle side to side movements are still a bit sensitive and bruised feeling. However, that feeling is slowly going away. 

I love my Adidas Trail running shoes! These are the only shoes I have that are light and comfortable for walking and doing any type of exercise. It's so light weight and has a ton of traction. I can't wait for the day I'll get to run again! 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 91 - Half Foam Roller Exercises

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 - Week 21

I had a great week of recovery! I found another way to describe what I feel in the ankle. So when you squeeze you arm, that's pretty much how I felt everyday. Then every step I take, it would be an added squeeze to the arm. Just a lot of pressure really is what I feel now. The bruising feeling has narrowed down even more and almost gone. I'd say I have about 10% of this feeling left. My limping is also going away. I am able to get out of bed without stretching now, but it is still a bit stiff. 

It's been a week since my last Physical Therapy session! I came in thinking, this is my last 2 scheduled appointments! I hope I don't get anymore. Again I was 5 minutes early so I stepped on to the Elliptical to warm up. Colleen came to fetch me and went straight to a bed to get my shoes off and jumped right in with my usual survey on how I am doing and feeling. Next I did some of my usual balance exercises and I've clearly improved on standing on just my right foot bearing all of my body weight. I was able to balance and hold my body up longer. Colleen said that I may be able to join in on some balance type classes they hold there. She would decide after my entire session to see how I am managing with these new balancing exercises. I was asked to stand on my right foot alone to do some toe raises. I was not even able to do 1 just last week. This week, I was able to sort of do 10! My bending motion is still stiff on the top of my foot. Next she had me do toe squats and I was able to hold my body up with her supporting my hands. 

One fun new exercise she had me do was the Half Foam Roller exercises. This was all new to me and it was the first time I've seen anything like this. It was so interesting to me. One of the exercises, I placed my heels on it with socks on and did squats. I also stepped on it, flat side under my one foot and held on to a ski stick for support to balance. Then alternated sides I felt the stretch around the ankle and it felt good. This actually relieved a lot of pressure off my heels. It felt good and very comfortable. I liked this one a lot. 

After my entire session, sadly I was still struggling with a bit of balance and needed more leg strengthening exercises. She preferred I continue to see her so I can get more personal 1:1 time. I felt sore after all these exercises and got my bag of ice. So I left and went to the front desk to schedule in 3 more weeks. I wonder what new exercises I will get to try for next week. It was a really fun day today. Colleen was very impressed with my progress and said that I will heal up just fine and will eventually be able to go back to playing Softball if I wanted. I said, probably not haha!

I got home and continued to use my Chinese Medicine (Dit Da Jow) my grandma gave me. I've already used up more then half the bottle. I feel like it has removed the aching for me. I guess it really works!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 84 - Last follow up appointment with my Surgeon!

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 - Week 20

Today was the last follow up appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Lundy!

I came in to his office for the first time without any crutches nor ankle brace! I paid for my copay for the visit and after about 5 minutes of waiting I was lead in to my room to wait for Dr. Lundy. In he comes and I was ready for him. I had my shoes and socks off already. He viewed my scar and said it looked really good. There was more movement around the scar area which he liked seeing. Then he had me move my ankle up, down, and side to side. Then asked if I was in pain and how I was doing. I was completely fine moving up and down. Still some stiffness and not completely able to move side to side still. Everything sounded and looked good. Then we reviewed how long it has been since my cast came off and told him I have scheduled only 2 more visits with the Physical Therapist. He then said this will be our last meeting until I have any issues and would like to get checked out then. It's up to me. I'm FREE! My eyes lit up with happiness! He said it would take between 9-12 months before I'll be close to my normal self again. Currently I am at about 5.5 months. I will continue to feel the stiffness around my ankle until then. Just keep up with the exercises and I should be fine. He said that in about 6 months time, if the metal is bothering me and I'm in pain, I can get back in touch to set up another surgery to get the metal removed. Dr. Lundy said that most people are not bothered by it and wouldn't need to remove it, and a very small percentage of people do have it removed. I quickly responded with a "I'm OK now, no thanks!" It's way too soon at this point to even get surgery to remove it if I wanted to now he says. My ankle is too fragile at this point anyway. I can't even imagine having surgery again. I'm so happy to say, I'm FREE!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 83 - Graduated from my yellow elastic band to a red elastic band!

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 - Week 20

I think this morning was the best I ever felt! I felt ok stepping out of bed and didn't have too much pressure or stiffness. I am starting to walk a bit faster and the bruising feeling is narrowing down even more. I still have this tiny limp, and walking on hills is still a bit funky. 

I saw Colleen today and went practiced the new balancing exercises we did the last time we met. These new exercises are really tiring me out, and I am more sore then usual. I've also asked her for some stomach toning exercises and she gave me two types of plank exercises. The regular push up stance planks, and side body planks but using my elbows and knees to start because my body and ankle is still not strong enough yet. This time we reviewed my Elastic band ankle exercises. There's only three stretches, left right, and up and down. She said she would like me using the red elastic band now to replace the yellow one, because red one is more advanced and has more resistance. She allowed me to keep this one. I felt like I've just graduated another level in my physical therapy session. I was so happy! 

My line walking forward and backwards from toe to heel are getting better with balance and more in control. It appears my backwards walking in a line balance looks more controlled. I am still struggling with the single right foot toe raises. There's a lot of pressure and it just feels like my entire body is so heavy when I try to lift it with just my toes and the balls of my foot. However, my left foot is fine and very strong and was able to lift my body without any issues. My last exercise was the heel lifts on the shuttle machine. She had added on even more weight this week and I could definitely feel the difference. I didn't have trouble with it at all when alternating sides for single leg heel lifts. I finish the session with the usual bag of ice to go. Only scheduled 2 more days of physical therapy and we'll see what happens! I see my surgeon tomorrow and very excited to show him this visit I am completely off my crutches and ankle brace! It's only been a month and I've improved so much in so little time. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day 80 - Can't stand for more then 30 minutes

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 - Week 19

Today is Chinese New Year's eve of the Snake! 

I woke up refreshed and ready to take my mom out for some Chinese New Years eve shopping for the traditional family dinner tonight to celebrate. Chinatown was crazy busy! There were so many people. So crowded to a point when you walk through the sidewalks, you're literally touching bodies. So my mom had to pick up one last food item and had me wait at the street corner with a bag of groceries. I had no idea how long she'd take! 30 minutes went by and I was starting to freeze standing in the shade. So I decided to walk across the street where the sun was shining to get warm. Then when I took a step, my ankle was sooo stiff, felt sore, and achy. I was doing pretty good for the first about 2 hours of walking through chinatown without much of any limping until that point. So I hobbled across the street with a bigger limp. 10 minutes later, my mom finally came back. It was then about 40 minutes of standing. At that point, I felt a lot of pressure on the outer ankle side. I had to do some ankle stretches moving my foot up and down. When I started to walk, I had to stop after 2 steps to rest before walking again. I guess the blood circulation stopped in that surgical area. I felt it alright. Finally I got back to my car to rest a few minutes before driving home for dinner. Throughout the night, my ankle was sore and tired. The more apparent limping slowly went away, but still had my little usual limp. However, the everyday bruised feeling is subsiding and narrowing down to a smaller portion of my ankle which is good! At least I know now how long I can't stand for. 

All that waiting and shopping for our traditional Chinese New Years eve feast with the family!

So full! I got home and did some of my prescribed new every other day ankle standing balancing exercises. I see why now Colleen said to do them every other day. I have been sore even until the next day, and feel like I do need a day to recover before doing them again. Here's another one of my exercises I have to do. Squats! I have these other balancing ones I'm doing too and feel the pressure around the outer ankle. Some weird pulling, knuckle cracking type feeling, bruised stretching pressure. I guess these new movements are not making my ankle happy. The weird crunching sometimes happens. The first day I did these at home was rough, I felt the pressure especially when leaning my body weight more on the foot. Afterwards, I continue to use the Chinese medicine: Dit Da Jow to help with the aching. I hope this pressure goes away soon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Day 77 - Graduated to doing more balance exercises

Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2013 - Week 19

Today was an exciting day! I finally moved my one crutch that has been sitting on my passenger seat to the trunk. It's slowly retiring from my sight. I know I don't need it anymore but I still keep in around just in case anything happens. It was such a good feeling to feel confident enough to put it away and walk without it! 

I had a late afternoon Physical Therapy appointment today with Colleen. For the first time, I finally got a parking spot at the Handicap Parking zone in front of the block. I was sooo happy I didn't have to drive around the block to look for parking as usual. 

There were a lot of new exercises and different things done today. I got the usual ankle movement measurements and I continue to improve some more. Colleen had me show her my squat, and clearly she can see that I was able to bend down more then I was able to the last session. I went back to do the same heel lifts on the machine and on the stairs. She had me walk up and down the stairs to see how I was taking my steps. Apparantly I have been so cautious about my ankle, I have been taking every step with my heel first. She corrected me and had me start stepping down with my toes first. She said that this was actually better with more support. Immediately I felt the difference and more comfortable. I felt dumbfounded haha, I've been doing it wrong all along! Now I just have to train my brain to remind myself to do it. This time, I did some balancing exercises on the half yoga ball. I threw a ball back and forth with Colleen, and she had me follow the ball in every ankle and touch it with my right hand and then alternating with my left hand. This time I definitely felt the sore coming because these were completely new exercises. This time the sore was in one central area, the lower right side below and around that ankle. There was definitely more pressure and pinching type feeling. We went back to our little room and she graduated me from laying exercises to more balancing and standing exercises! 4 new ones she showed and had me do today every other week so I don't get too tired. I'll continue the other balancing ones from the previous sessions. Progress! 3 more weeks of Physical Therapy and we'll see where I am then.

Day 73 - I bought heels I can't even wear...

Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 - Week 18

It's February already! My ankles is still stiff every morning when I wake up. The bruising area is slowly going away. I am getting more comfortable taking every step. I am also starting to walk a bit faster.

I went to DSW today to kill some time before having dinner with my family. There I found a pair of red heels on sale and bought it! Chinese New Years is about a week away and I need something new so I thought, what the hell and went for it. I was actually looking for some flats and didn't find any I wanted. I felt happy and sad at the same time. I know I can't even wear them right now, I wouldn't dare to! It will just be there to encourage me to get better so I can one day wear them haha! The question is... when?!