Friday, June 25, 2010

Walking The Walk

Since my orthopedist advised me to "be aggressive" in regards to getting back on my feet I've been trying to follow that. And you know what? It seems to be working.

I still can't exactly walk yet and I have absolutely no balance in my bad leg, but I feel like I'm already building muscle -- even in just a day. Though I can't yet ambulate, I'm still trying to get a feel for actually being on my feet and came up with a little workout to do so that my leg can get used to supporting the weight. While gripping the stair railing in our building's hallway, I marched in place 60 times, then did 60 reps where I got up on my toes and lowered my heels (to strengthen the calves and loosen up the tight spot in my foot). I then did 60 "shuffles," where I took three side steps to the right, three to the left.

It felt pretty good to be on my feet again and even in a short time, I can feel a difference. When I tried to move yesterday, I was dragging my leg along as if it were dead; I felt as if I could barely lift it. But today, the movement felt a lot more natural, especially as my exercises went on. Even Jon noticed the improvement while he spotted me.

Of course, I still have a long way to go. As of now, I'm still not secure enough in my balance to even face forward and walk with a normal gait; I have to grip the banister and shuffle sideways. I also couldn't believe how out of breath I was after doing maybe 15 minutes of exercise. I don't know if I'm just that out of shape or if it was because I was concentrating so hard. Still, I felt as if I were accomplishing something and am looking forward to physical therapy tomorrow. Everyone I know who's had a broken leg tells me that you reach at least some level of normalcy fairly quickly, so it'll be nice to be able to walk again, even if I do have to use a walker. I'm hoping that if I do my own workout routines at home in addition to the PT that I can even get beyond that at a quicker speed. My friend, who also broke her ankle last fall, says that she's just starting to walk without a limp all of these months later. I'd like to think, though, that if I really push it, I can speed up the process.

It'll also be great to ditch the "moon boot," which is actually quite uncomfortable to wear while moving. My doctor wants me to transition into wearing sneakers, which will feel really weird after being in various casts all of this time. What's funny, though, is that the sneakers I have are still new. They're those fancy Sketchers sneakers that supposedly help tone your legs. I got them a week before I fell so I never really got to try them out. Maybe now I'll finally get to see if they work!

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