Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Get Around!

But not easily.

I got my knee walker just a few days after my surgery and I've loved it.


With the knee walker, I can move around quite quickly and have both hands free.  This allows me to cook, clean, move things from place to place (thanks to the basket), and to be out and about.

The limitation of the knee walker has been that I can't get it up and down steps, so I can't bring it with me outside the house without help.

But I love my knee walker like Tom Hanks loved his Wilson ball in Castway -- it's almost taken on a personality of a faithful, ever-present friend.

Now that my cast has come off and I've been instructed to gradually put more weight on my foot using crutches, my knee walker has become... well, a bit of a crutch!  I want to keep using it, but I must not.  Doctor's orders insist that I must rely more on these damn things...


...and if we're gonna make another Tom Hanks movie analogy (must we?), these things feel more like the broken lunar module in Apollo 13 -- I have no choice but to count on them and I just hope they'll get me where I need to go without launching me further into some strange orbit that I can't recover from (oh, that's bad... sorry!).  I feel unstable on these crutches and just hope, every time I plant them, that they "hold."

I'm supposed to put weight on my foot now, beginning with 20 pounds last week and adding another 20 pounds every three days.  That works alright when I have my storm trooper boot on...


...but I'm trying to spend more time moving my foot around (very important at this stage), which requires that I spend more time like this...  IMG_1189

... and even touching my foot to the floor just feels weird.  Weird, weird, weird!  My first reaction, when I tried to put my bare foot flat on the floor, was 'Uh oh... they put this back together all wrong' because my foot wouldn't even sit flush on the floor.

This is a huge part of my rehabilitation right now:


Each evening Tom massages my foot and moves it around to slowly increase my range of motion.  For some reason the massage is more painful than pleasurable, probably because my foot is still quite swollen.  But it definitely helps, especially with increasing my range of motion each day.  For now, this is the extent of physical therapy (other than our initial PT appointment at Harborview), but in the next few weeks I'll be paying someone to say to me, "No really -- this is supposed to hurt."

Gee, I can't wait.

On Monday I'll be returning to work full-time again.  I went back twice last week and braved that steep, scary staircase.  The second time I did it, I told my boss that I'll probably just work from the Microsoft building closest to our office (Microsoft is so amazingly, wonderfully handicapped accessible!) because I carry a heavy backpack with my laptop and files, and going up those stairs with crutches and my backpack, which throws off my center of gravity, is just downright scary.  Can you imagine if I went tumbling straight down them?  I'd be starting all this over again... at best! 

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Jen said...

You've made incredibly progress, Carol, but I know it can't be easy. Hang in there! I'm now in PT 3X/week for my knee and I'm definitely in the "I'm paying you to hurt me?" phase.

I'm liking getting my knee back slowly but surely, though.

Anonymous said...

You have to get a compression sock on that leg first thing in the morning, every morning, before you get out of bed, before it swells, and keep it on all day. Less swelling will increase your range of motion.

At first I was jealous of your knee walker thingie, because they didn't have those when I broke my ankle and it seems like a really cool gadget. In retrospect, I think it was better that I only had crutches from the beginning, because I really learned to use them, so by the time the cast came off, I was a crutch expert. Seems like you're just learning how to use them now.

Can't a co-worker help carry your junk up the stairs for you?

Goofball said...

how did your day go? Did you get started again well with your crutches? Did Tom give your foot a good massage?

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