After finally having a little time after our little camping trip to get caught up on everyone's diaries, I noticed a trend emerging. It seems that as we all progress, we enter into different phases of this break-recovery pain process. At first, it was the initial pain of the break that was the most challenging. At times we had the "I'm getting electrocuted by bolts of lightning and my toes feel like they are going to blow off the end of my foot" kind of pain, or the burning pain of blood flow every time we put our foot down, or it aches over every square inch kind of pain. After a few weeks, and thankfully finding this website and realizing we weren't nuts for feeling all these strange types of pain, we discovered that all these pain sensations were apparently part of "the process". As time went on, the pain seemed to subside bit by bit, or evolve into some other form of weird pain, but usually with less intensity.
Eventually, we were allowed to add weight-bearing to our recovery, and that brought a whole new type of pain. Now we were faced with the "Oh my gosh my foot aches every time I step on it" kind of pain, and we waddled around looking like a penguin or Frankenstein. The more we attempted to walk, the more we were greeted with a nice little donut of swelling. So, ice packs and elevation becaome our friends in an attempt to keep progressing.
Next, we were told to lose the crutches, walker, or "training wheel" of choice, and walk on our own. That was met with more versions of pain, more waddling, and finally a sense of some independence since we could finally carry things. That was usually followed by some Physical Therapy (hopefully) so we could learn the best techniques to regain our lost ROM (range of motion), walk correctly, and hopefully return to our formally un-hindered lives. Of course PT brought with it its own lovely versions of pain but in our determination to regain our mobility, we slogged through that pain as well.
Finally, we were cut loose from our OS visits, and released from our Physical Therapy sessions, to recover on our own. At that point, most of us thought we were at the "light at the end of the tunnel", only to discover that just because every one else was "done" with us, the pain was not. And that was where our patience was wearing pretty darn thin. We had survived the initial break, the "stuck on the couch and totally dependent" period, the anxiety of OS visits and "Oh my gosh, did my bone grow?" period, the learning how to function with a wheel chair, or crutches, or walker period, the PT sessions, and every version of pain we thought imaginable, only to find out that now we just had new versions of pain to deal with. Instead of being "released" and waking up without pain, we found that the foot was still dictating what we could and could not do and how much. We really were not released at all, we were just in a new phase of the recovery. And that has been met with not just a little bit of frustration, a desire to vent at times (even though we know things could be worse), and an "Okay, I've got enough patience now!" attitude. This journey of recovery has certainly been filled with many challenges.
So, why do I write this entry? I am at this last phase, and boy can it be frustrating at times. I try to structure my time with my head like in the "good ol' days", only to find out my foot has a mind of its own! If I overdo it, I am still paying for it with an achy-breaky foot that at times will still require elevation and ice to settle it down. And, this is at the 5 month time period! ARGH!!! I am still working on the patience thing, and every day I try to hear in my mind what my physical therapist said as we were wrapping up my last session: "Remember, these breaks take a LONG time to heal totally." If I keep those words in my mind, I try to focus on just how far I have come, and not on how far I have yet to go until I reach that magical place where I feel like I have gotten back to "where I was", wherever that is now. Boy is that hard to do after 5 months of dealing with this break. But, I am trying ...
So, in closing, I would say to all my BL friends, hang in there. We'll eventually get "there" and some day wake up and realize that we went through days with no or virtually no pain. What a great time that will be!!!