For my entire career I have attempted to sympathise with my patients and the anxiety they feel coming back from injury or illness. And until you get to walk in their shoes (again, pun intended) you really can’t comprehend it.
Last week I was able to take my first steps putting some weight through my foot, 3 weeks after my Achilles repair. That feeling of apprehension, which lasted several hours, is something that I’ll never forget. No matter how hard I tried to tell myself to put “25% of my bodyweight” on my right foot, I could force myself to not carry all my weight through my crutches.
But what a difference a week makes. 7 days later and I can walk with minimal assistance of the crutches. I am feeling much more confident in my leg, at times standing with all my weight on it. In all honestly, at time I still feel a fair bit of anxiety when it pulls or stretches when I load a different way. Even though I have the knowledge to know that it is nothing to worry about, and they will be normal feelings as I start to do more, it is hard to overcome the “reflex” of worry (for want of a better term). It feels quite strange but I’m excited by the progress. The highlight being today with the excitement in my 4 year old sons voice at how well daddy was doing. I am also hoping that being able to load it more will help with some of the aching that still happens, particularly earlier in the morning and much worse at night.
More importantly, I was also able to take a normal shower for the first time in a month! No wrapping my leg up in bags to keep it dry etc. I’ve definitely come to appreciate some things I normally take for granted!
The next phase for me is to remove the heel lifts I have in and then be out of my cam walker*. This will mean I can walk normally again, can drive myself around and generally stop being a burden to everyone around me! I am sure there are some people more excited for this than me. This should mean over the next couple of weeks I will be able to return to relative normality, get back to contributing more at home, being able to help improve people’s health at work, be able to drive between those locations etc.
However, the past month has gone surprisingly fast and I attribute that to my incredible family and friends that have supported me through this time. I have said it in every blog so far but I continue to be amazed at how well supported I have been, even all of our incredible clients/patients at Rise that have emailed me, or stopped me in the street etc. to ask me how I am and wish me well has meant the world to me so thank you to you all.
* Random side note: Health professionals, if you have never spent anytime in a cam walker, try to spend an afternoon in one, or for the real competitors, try spending a whole 24 hours (including sleeping) in one.