Friday, August 21, 2015

Putting one foot in front of the other

The new sneakers
A week and a half ago the ankle doc said, "Start walking, in good sneakers and oh sure, you can drive too." Yee-ha! I clump out of his office with my boot and walker, making mental lists of all the stuff I can get done before school starts, and I am thrilled to become a less needy member of my family team. This is going to be great!

Well, wow... my foot sort of hurts stepping out in my old sneakers and boy, does it swell up with this new activity. Let's just say when I wear yellow anklet socks, my right ankle really does look like a tennis ball. I also can't quit the aluminum walker, I sort of tip over and my right leg gets a bit wonky without the support. This is all slightly disappointing for my impatient, ready-to-be-over this recovery phase and on to real-life stuff mindset.

So, I bought new sneakers; I had them fitted at a specialty shop, explained my situation, and spared no expense. Thinking this will be the magic bullet solution to my ambulatory challenges. Well, it wasn't, but it did help. My foot feels better and I am certainly styling in these colorful, light-weight, technologically wondrous shoes, but realistically only time and practice walking on two feet will create improvement.

The key word being practice. I sort of threw myself into coping with life outside the house, using my new sneakers, and rolling along with the walker. I set up my senior communication internship with the local English Language Acquisition program, meeting with the director and lead teachers. Explaining repeatedly the temporary-ness of my disability and trying to impress them intellectually, while not letting the walker silently scream, "incapable" by its presence in the room. Happily, I got the internship.

Thrilled with my success I had to really admit that now I was afraid... of driving. I hadn't driven since May! I had become someone chauffeured. I had coached my youngest to drive and finally get her license this July, but that did little to give me confidence in my skill behind the wheel. Anyway, I finally had to do a test run, I threw the walker into the passenger seat, got my temporary handicap tag and took off. Thank goodness, driving is like riding a bike, you don't forget and since there is just a little pressure needed from the ball of the foot, I am fine. No need to clear the roads folks, driving, unlike walking is something I am good at.

So while I have figured out some of my limitations, like grocery shopping and long hikes, I seem to be making sure and slow progress. I start school again next Tuesday and have a full week interning. I bought a stylin' purple flowered aluminum cane at the pharmacy though, and have been practicing in a hall at home... It's all about baby steps.

No comments:

Post a Comment