PT has been going well since I started last week. The first visit was evaluation, some stretches, and some stretches assigned to do at home (the ubiquitous alphabet, calf stretches). Second visit with a different therapist was mainly deep tissue massage and an attempt at a cold water circulating and compression unit. My foot was so sensitive and swollen, and the therapist tried it on my bare foot - no way!
This week was moving into the harder work phase. Julie, my regular PT, started working on stretching the achilles tendon, releasing the tension in my toes, working with massage on the plantar fasciitis that I've developed from the cast, and trying to get me doing more weight bearing. I got so frustrated at one point - she asked me to stand with my back to the wall, heels on the floor and underneath me, then bend my knees. I just couldn't do it, and the combination of pain, frustration about that task, and just being sick of the whole thing made me start to cry. She took it in stride, and we moved on to other pursuits. She helped me walk down the hall with one crutch, put me on an incline/platform machine to strengthen my leg, and had me ride the recumbent bike for 3 minutes. It all hurt, but over the 2 days afterward, I could feel an improvement in my flexibility and confidence.
Today we started with my asking when she thought I could start driving. She said she thought I was ready, and I agreed. In fact, she asked why I hadn't tried yet! I was waiting for her blessing, quite frankly. We did some more walking with one crutch, this time with less fear on my part. She did some joint manipulations and massage. I'm having trouble with some pain in the right knee, which I've had minor injuries to in the past. Since it's weaker and is having to hyperextend a little with my ankle flexion being less, the knee's complaining a bit. So we went straight to the bike for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes in the cryocool with elevation.
As soon as I got home, I crutched my way over to the car and started it up. I took a drive around my neighborhood, first with the ASO brace on, then with it off. It's hard to accelerate with the brace on, so I'll keep it off for driving for now. I braked mostly with the left foot, but instinctively hit the brake with my right foot when I stopped quickly to let a pedestrian across the road. The ankle was a little sore, but I don't have a long drive to get to my basic functions of work, groceries and Walgreen's (about 1/2 mile from home to amenities). I was so stoked! I feel a huge sense of freedom, and look forward to driving myself to work for the first time since September 10.