11 weeks post-surgery

September 12, 2010.

It has been three weeks since my last post. I have been going to physical therapy and I am quickly getting back to my normal life. My bike has been a source of strength and comfort. Since my foot no longer holds me back on my bike, I feel like I’m riding faster and more confidently than just a few months before. I look forward to waking up before dark to get on my bike and ride downtown to catch the train to work. And at the end of the day, my ride waits for me in my classroom. Cruising down the streets and multi-use paths in the afternoon, rain or shine, I feel alive.

At the rock gym, I continue to push myself. Although there are certainly moves that I cannot do with my foot in its current state of recovery, I am able to climb nearly as well as I could before the accident. I am fearful of getting back on lead, and that is something I will have to work hard to achieve. Perhaps once my ankle is flexible and strong again I will take on that challenge.

I am almost able to walk without a limp. I move more slowly now than in my previous life, but each day I gain a little more speed. Walking downstairs and down hills is still difficult. I feel pain in the crease on top of my foot, in my ankle. I have to use hand rails and the rest of my body to make up for the deficit in the left side. And when I hike, poles are essential. Uneven ground is still very treacherous territory for me; I feel like this will be my greatest obstacle. I managed to hike Dog Mountain yesterday, which was a nice milestone for me.

My left calf is still weak. I can see and feel the difference from side to side. I cannot do a single calf raise, instead, I must keep both feet on the ground. My right foot helps with balance and also with supporting some of the weight. I think I’m able to get about 90% of my weight on the left side. But it is difficult for me. My balance is really pathetic on the left side as well. I have been modifying yoga poses for myself when teaching classes after school :). All of these things just need more focus and work. Based on other people’s stories I shouldn’t be walking right now. I feel tremendous joy that I have been able to overcome this devastating injury and that I have been making such quick progress. It’s my stubborn attitude and focus that, I’m sure, has something to do with it. I have much more to accomplish in the coming months. My next goal is to be ready to climb South Sister in one month. This means I have to bolster my ankle stability significantly as well as build up endurance and power in my left leg. It can and will be done.

Next…I get my (hopefully) final x-ray on Friday. Stay tuned.

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