Relearning How to Walk

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yesterday, I visited the doctor to have the purple cast removed. Unfortunately, the broken bone STILL hasn't healed, so I have ANOTHER six weeks in a walking boot.

This time, the nurse who removed my cast, actually managed to cut my skin! I told her it felt like the cutter was cutting me, and she stopped, but told me the cutter couldn't cut skin and not to worry. When she pried the cast apart, we discovered an inch-long razor-thin line on my calf. It stings about like a paper cut. She felt so bad, but I think more than anything, she was afraid that Bones would notice it. (I think he intimidates her too.) She said he'd give her a lot of grief if he found out. I told her he wasn't even going to be looking at my calf. I was right--he never noticed, and the nurse was so grateful that I didn't tell him.

I'll spare you the icky photo I took of my two feet together, but let me say that I simply don't recognize my broken foot anymore. I can't believe that it's possible for a foot to be both shrunken and swollen at the same time, but that's what has happened.

Now that I have the walking boot or Aircast, (here it is, looking like an off-color Stormtrooper boot) I'm supposed to begin walking. Problem is, after six weeks of not walking, I can't manage to let myself put any weight on the broken foot. I get all strapped up, and I can trust myself to stand on both feet, but as soon as I go to take a real step and put significant weight on the broken foot, I freeze up. My mind just won't let me walk and I end up doing a modified step-hop. As a compromise, I'm still using the crutches to hold half of my weight and "walking" while I crutch around. Eventually I'll get over this aversion, but especially knowing the bone is still fractured, I just can't bear it yet.

Another problem I have is the height of the walking boot sole. At the doctor's office, Bones said that ordinary sneakers would be fine, but that it's important for the heels to be the same height to avoid messing up my walking gait. Unfortunately, going through my closet, I've discovered that nothing is the right height. I have 3 pairs of sneakers--all are too low. I'm not about to try and wear heels, and my flip-flops won't work either. My sister, Karen, had a walking cast last winter, and she recommends Dansko clogs. (Clumsiness runs in my family--we have a total of 8 broken bones among us, although I have the others beat as this is my 3rd fracture.) Guess I get to go shoe shopping, but it's a bummer that it will have to be for "sensible" shoes.


Cori said...

Ugh. I have never broken anything and I am very sad that you have to go through this. I can't believe how many leg/foot injuries your family has had. I'm glad that you got your cast off, even though she actually cut you! Yikes! and hopefully your road to recovery starts off well. We miss you guys and are thrilled to see you for Christmas. Only a few months to go!

Lori Ann said...

Isn't the brain a wonderful and horrible thing. Knowing you can walk on something and getting yourself to do it are two totally different things. Good luck! You can do it! I'm sorry that you have to buy sensible shoes, but just remember that cute shoes got you into a cast. Oh, but cute shoes are so much more fun!

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