I'm on a rollercoast ride. The ups and downs of my injured person can't be healthy. The first month of this injury, I lived in denial. Or, I kept busy with work to avoid thinking of the true meaning of "12 weeks off." When I got the good news that I could spend some time out of the boot cast, I was pretty ecstatic. But, the true reality of rehabilitation is sinking in.
My ankle has lost all range of movement. I know this is partially due to the cast, but even with nightly stretching, the difference between my healthy foot and injured foot is dramatic. I can flex the foot fairly well, but pointing it feels both painful and disgusting.
Without the boot, I can stand with my full weight on the injured leg with no pain. I am also able to walk with only a slight limp. But, going up and down stairs still causes painful twinges, and if I lose my balance and try to correct, I definitely feel pain. My mother keeps warning me "don't do too much. Don't run." At this point, I'm more worried that fear has rendered me motionless. I can't even handle the THOUGHT of running.
Strangely, the boot has become somewhat of a security blanket. I still wear it often, maybe more often than I should. I've got questions. Do you keep the boot on because it's safe? How much pain is too much pain? How much do I stretch to increase flexibility, but if it hurts, am I supposed to continue? How much of the pain is due to inactivity? How much is from the pressure of the splint cast and/or the boot? IS THIS EVER GOING TO GET BETTER?
That last line is truly tearful panic. I'm trying to be positive. In fact, Steve thinks I'm doing amazingly well. Today was my first real emotional breakdown. This week, especially with the 60 degree weather yesterday, it really sunk in. If I can't even start a walk/jog program until at least May, that pretty much leaves most of the summer/fall racing season out of the question. And, since I will only be able to run on flat surfaces for awhile, that means no trail running. The worst part is that I can't run with other people. Everyone goes on with their lives, planning their race schedule, planning their training. It makes me feel lonely, even though I'm not really alone. I am sad. End of rant. Tomorrow will be a better day.