In Which We Introduce the Reader to My New Best Friend, Steve Groban

I have an entry rolling around in my brain that contains Genuine Deep Thoughts, but for the moment, a Physical Therapy Update:

On Monday I started physical therapy. My foot and ankle are very weak so there wasn’t much they could do to me yet; I was told that the most important thing I need to do is put more weight on my foot and stop babying it. Apparently my foot is at the point in the healing process where it will go much faster if I actually use the thing. Bummer. I also must continue doing my ABCs, and was given some leg lift type exercises to help regain strength in my legs.

The sheet they gave me has 4 exercises and says to do 1 set of 15 of each, once a day. For someone who, when not afflicted with a crippling injury, works out 4-6 days per week, involving weight training, swimming, biking and running, this does not sound like exercise. I know I don’t look like an athlete (yet), but I most sincerely am one, and I was a little insulted at first that perhaps I wasn’t being taken seriously when I said that the PT’s job was to get me back into triathlon shape by August and that I would do everything he tells me to do in order to make that happen. However, I did my exercises again Tuesday night and while I did manage extra sets, it was harder work than I anticipated. Using a wheelchair* for 2 months does its damage more quickly than I realized. Bummer again.

*The wheelchair was because I needed to keep my foot elevated constantly otherwise my toes would swell and scream in agony. I had crutches but it hurt like the dickens to use them so I avoided it wherever possible. The only places I really had to use them were: 1) To get into the bathroom at work, because even though technically it is accessible, there is no way to get a wheelchair into it. Luckily for my employer there is another one way on the other side of the building that is accessible in fact, as well as in theory. But that didn’t help me much. 2) To get around my house, which is not even remotely wheelchair-friendly. It has narrow hallways, a narrow galley kitchen and is full of crap.

But weaker than expected leg muscles can be dealt with easily enough. My biggest problem right now is swelling. To combat this, my PT put those sticky electrical pads on both sides of my foot and then wrapped my bare foot in ice. But just wrapping it in ice wasn’t enough – first he put the giant ice pack inside of a damp pillow case – his little trick for getting it good and cold. It sounds like torture but I tell you what – that ice pack tiptoed right up to the edge of painful, and then magically stopped at the place where a mystical bubble of pain relief floats around my foot. I didn’t even know that place existed. I wish I had a family crest so I could make a flag and plant it and claim it for my own.

My other big issue is that the top of my foot has become like a giant hypersensitive funny bone. The slightest touch sends shock waves through my whole foot. So tonight my PT* spent some time massaging Important Spots on my leg to find whether a nerve may have been compressed by the hard cast. I think he made a little progress, but I am concerned that I have nerve damage in my foot, a real possibility from what I’ve read. It may go away after a few months, or it may be forever. Only time will tell. So that’s fun.

*I totally heart my PT. He is super nice and actually cares about his patients – not in that fakey way that people who get paid to care about you do, but in a very real and personal way. Also he is adorable. He looks like the love child of Josh Groban and Steve from Blue’s Clues.

He also spent some time tonight stretching and bending my foot, which I thought would be torture, especially since the foot has been really painful since I started walking on it more the last couple of days. The bottom (the bottom!) of my foot is swollen, but the only way to get better is to walk on it. It’s quite a conundrum. And Advil doesn’t do much for conundrums (conundra?). But evidently having my foot stretched by Steve Groban and then encased in ice can solve nearly any problem. I almost feel like I’m not in pain tonight. Almost. There may be hope for me yet.

In closing, I honor My New Best Friend by helping him promote his new album:

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About leftfootchronicles

In 2010, I went from 0 to Triathlon in 8 months and completely changed my life in the process. In October, on the very day I decided I would train for a half-marathon, I tripped and suffered an injury to my left foot that, in the words of my doctor, ends athletes' careers. I am not prepared to give up so quickly.
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5 Responses to In Which We Introduce the Reader to My New Best Friend, Steve Groban

  1. fractralfoot says:

    A number of people have commented on the ultra-sensitivity of the top of the foot. Tapping it, or gently rubbing it with different-textured materials truly seems to help. I was told that it helped the traumatized nerves realize you wouldn’t hurt them! A bit purple haze, but it had a really good effect. The last thing to feel normal, for me, was the big toe. There is a big nerve that runs along it that gets moved in the surgery, and IT DOESN’T LIKE IT! But the good news is that it can get better!
    I also had the electric shocks in the foot when I stepped on it. They did go away, although at first it seemed as though they would go on forever. Truly.
    So don’t lose heart. By the way, I found having short-term goals to be very helpful.

    • Thank you so much for your explanation. I guess I never considered the innards that would need to be moved around to get at the injury, but I can imagine the affected parts being pretty unhappy about it. It seems so counterintuitive to tap/rub it when it’s so sensitive but I’m willing to try anything. Thanks for the encouragement. This is really tough but it makes it easier to hear from someone who’s been there.

  2. fractralfoot says:

    Be really gentle! I tried the tapping, not the stroking. It did seem to work well..I’ve been looking for the blog that talked about stroking the foot, so I could give you the reference, but I can’t locate it!

  3. mwvagabond says:

    You can also try contrast baths: dunking the foot in a bucket of warm water, then a bucket of ice-cold water. If you have sensation issues test the temperatures with your right foot to make sure you dont burn or freeze your left foot. This will also help improve circulation a facilitate healing. Ask “Steve” about this and also about other sensory integration activities like tapping/rubbing/stroking that you can do on your own and it will help convince him that you are being proactive about every part of your treatment (not just the part at the end, when he says goodbye to you and you start training for triathalons again).

    • Thanks for the suggestions – the idea of contrast baths sounds like just what I need, and I never would have thought to check the temp with my other foot.

      My favorite part of what you said, however, was the part at the end where I start training again. The vote of confidence means more than words can say. Thank you.

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