Can I Get a Can of Oil for This Rusty Joint, Please?
The pain and stiffness seem eager to remain my constant companions. Sometimes the pain abates, but then the stiffness remains. In fact, it's the stiffness of the joint that's pissing me off. I conveniently forgot that six weeks of immobilization combined with four screws means that this joint isn't planning on moving much without being forced to do so. Muscles must be stretched back to their normal lengths. Bones must be reminded how to move properly and freely (even with screws) once more. The lower leg, ankle and foot apparently believe that swelling is what they do best. Therefore, the recovery and rehab process are slower than I'd like.
With that said, I have to remember that I've only been rid of the crutches and boot for about nine days. Why I expect to be walking normally and feeling better than I do is beyond me. I know the drill. I've been down this road before. And there haven't been many waves during my down time. Still, it's hard. I'll be the first to admit that. I've not stepped foot in the sand—let alone touched the Pacific—since January 17. I've hobbled to the edge of the sand. Then I stopped, knowing that a rash decision to try to walk on an uneven, constantly shifting ground could end badly. The bones are healed now, yes, but the joint is not as strong as it needs to be. It's also not happy.
Last week, I got myself to both pool-based rehab ($20!!!) and land-based rehab ($100). Both were helpful. I would like to keep going to both. However, I only went to the physical therapist to get exercises to do at home. I told her that I probably wouldn't be back; the out-of-pocket cost of therapy is prohibitive. The pool therapy is a blessing. I actually got myself to a water rehab class. You can sign up for a series or just drop in. I dropped in, wanting to see what the class is like before deciding whether or not I'd return. Well, I will be returning (as a drop-in). Yes, it's a class. I lucked out; I was the only person who showed up on that day. So, I got personalized water rehab for a song. And it feels good to be in water. It's not the ocean. It's close enough. It's a reminder of what I'm working towards. It's also more forgiving on the joint. I'm going to try to attend that class twice a week. That I can afford. Okay, not really, but I don't want to mess around with this joint, thinking I can do the rehab on my own. I can't. I need the professionals to help me through this. The land rehab was great. I only went the one time. Still, my physical therapist did some manipulation of the joint. I think that, in combination with the pool rehab (which I attended the previous day), helped to free up the joint.
I've still got the zombie walk down though. All I need is some good make-up, some tattered clothes and my zombie apocalypse shoes. I'd make a great zombie in someone's film. Seriously.