Getting Ahead Of Your Skis

I think I now fully understand when someone says “you’re getting ahead of your skis.” That is my default mode of operation, it seems.

Yesterday morning Greg was here for physical therapy. He had good news. The insurance okayed another month of in-home physical therapy.

I told him that the boot had scratched open the wound on the top of my foot again.

The wound is only there because of the boot, not the surgery. My walking boot scrapes against the top of my foot and opens a sore up. And this is even with Ace bandages wrapped around it.

Walking While Wearing Both Sneakers:

I told Greg I wanted to try wearing both of my sneakers to practice walking. So he walked beside me as I took mincing little steps.

I didn’t get to try “walking through” because without the walking boot, that would not have been a good idea.

So I walked in my sneakers to the front door and back twice. Very slowly. Then I was tired.

He had me do my ankle exercises and then showed me another stretching routine I could do to try to ease the tension in my ankle.

I’m to stand in front of the fireplace, put the palms of my hands on the mantel, and slowly lean a little bit forward. Just slightly.

We ended things there.

If that had been the extent of it, then I would have known that I’d walked a bit too much.

I watched a movie without pain.

But then I decided to walk to the kitchen with my sneakers on to make lunch and then walk back.

What I Did Yesterday Afternoon:

Then later in the afternoon, I was facing my office closet, which is a long space with two doors. Staring into it, I became irritated with all the clutter inside it.

Ivy’s litter box is in there, and it being in front of the door meant she was kicking litter into my office.

So I eased myself down on the rolling garden cart. I moved her litter box farther into the closet like it was before I had surgery.

But in order to do that, I had to move a small table and a plant stand out of the closet. I figured moving these two things while sitting down would be fine.

I woke up this morning with my ankle pounding. Not a terrible kind of pain, just a noticeable one.

If I’d left things with walking during PT, I’d see that the pain was from walking without the boot.

But adding decluttering the closet as well meant I didn’t know which action pushed things too far. Or if it was both.

I could have kicked myself this morning. But I realized, with irony, that I’d have had to use my left foot to do it.

And then I quite literally wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on.

I didn’t laugh. Because unfortunately, it wasn’t even funny. It just showed how I can be my own worst enemy.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back:

So now I’m wearing the boot again but slightly altered.

Greg said to take the plastic form that fits in front of the boot off. Then see if that keeps the sore from constantly being opened up.

I got ahead of my skis by trying not just one new thing yesterday, but two.

So here I am on this somewhat cloudy Sunday morning frustrated with myself.

You know I was giddy with delight when I was able to make a cup of coffee and walk to my chair in the living room.

That lasted two days. I just had to go a step farther.

I think I now understand what the surgeon meant when he said it would take a year. In order to see how much improvement there actually is with my ankle.

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28 Comments

  1. Glad you have Greg for another month as it will help and progress will be one step at a time, literally. Thanks for the work of physical therapists who listen and help us mentally adjust to the way it is.
    How we accept it is how we choose but I know personally I have changed a lot of my own perspective on life since the pandemic.
    I am more content home so you know it doesn’t matter if it takes me all day to clean up my kitchen. I also wear good sneakers around the house, no bare feet or slippers anymore, cause I want the security of walking safely in my home, rather than worry about the floor being clean. It’s way more than I can handle now with what they tell you our floors and counters have on them and a cleaning wipe, vacuum or broom can get up what I see.

    1. I saw a podiatrist once in Texas who told me never to go barefoot, and I never do. Not even on carpet or from the bedroom to the bathroom at night. He told me he sees way too many injuries when people go barefoot. Or when they’re wearing thongs. I don’t mind being inside and not going anywhere. But I do like to move around.

  2. Ah! You’re just human and impatient like the rest of us. I’ve done the same thing recently during my recuperation from knee replacement surgery and I know darn well the problem is me and wanting to go faster and further than I should. BUT I’m learning. So don’t feel too bad — now you know to take it as slow as necessary and still make a little progress at a time. Best wishes.

  3. We are definitely our own worst enemies! I think you did very well yesterday with your therapist. Celebrate everything that made you happy and push the things that didn’t out of your mind. I know that’s not easy because we have a tendency to overthink everything.
    Give yourself grace, Brenda.

    1. My physical therapist says it’s too much to ask that someone my age will suddenly change their ways when it comes to movement. I’ve always moved fast. I have to stop myself and think because moving fast is my tendency. I always want to go one more step.

  4. I’ve never heard of that saying before! I’m glad u can have pt for another month Brenda. Try not to play that game of “should of could of would of “ nobody is perfect! Your doing great, it just takes time!

    1. Yes I agree.
      Easy on yourself Brenda.
      Even if you can sometimes maneuver a thing or two, that can be harmful.
      Happened to me.
      Took over a year to properly heal from a strangulated bowel.
      Also for the hysterectomy. That was not a good time for me.
      Learned to live with it. Pain also.
      I took care of myself as best as possible.
      Didn’t overdo it.
      Was fortunate to have sibling help.
      So glad PT will continue. A very good thing to look forward to.
      Greg is a wonderful guy ,,,,, I like him!!

  5. We too are in that kind of see-saw thing you are going through…how far to push Hubby and even myself, with my knees at times hurting like crazy…the plan is to do enough but then stop soon enough so that we can at least sleep ok at night!! SO HARD being old…whoever knew it would be this painful!! Now we know why one of the main subjects of old people was their health eh??
    Sending you hugs!!

    1. I wish there was a manual I could follow. The only way I know I’ve gone too far is when something hurts, so you have to hurt before you know to stop. It’s like someone tying a bandana around your eyes and throwing a tennis ball into a forest, then telling you to find it.

  6. You know, all our lives, we’re all told in various ways that we always need to push ourselves, to make ourselves better, to do our work faster, to clean our houses more thoroughly, to lose more weight and do more exercise, to learn how to fake looking 40 when you’re 70 by spending thousands on cosmetic surgery, injections and “serums” that cost $200 for half an ounce of bees’ wax and a mystery “X” product. It’s no wonder we’re constantly trying to do more, more and more, and push ourselves as hard as we can to do that more, more and more. It’s part of our culture now, and we’ve been “trained” to think that if we don’t always try that pushing to be “better” that some how we’re failures. It’s exhausting – and it can hurt us, psychologically, and also physically. Just being aware of this tendency that has been pushed upon us by U.S. culture so that it is now part of our psyches is a good thing – we need to learn to stop, take a step back, and think about what we’re doing before we push ahead.

    1. Many heath issues I suffer from today is because of all the reckless exercise I did in my younger years.
      It was just too much.
      Also not supervised properly in those exercise groups.
      Knees, legs and even my back at times suffers.
      Severe joint damage doesn’t go away.
      Of course surgeries are helping people immensely.
      Not everyone is qualified, or can afford surgery.
      When I think back to all those times of “working out” makes me upset.
      Just didn’t realize back then the harm I was doing to myself.

  7. It sounds as if you are doing great Brenda. you just took a step to far but that is what we all do when we are so anxious to just do one more thing and then we sometimes regret it . Glad to hear that you will be getting another month’s therapy.

  8. Oh, Brenda! Don’t be so hard on yourself. I know you were delighted to walk and you WILL. Glad to hear you got the ok for more physical therapy. Continued prayers for a full recovery. I was shocked to hear how long the recovery time was for my husband’s surgery. I didn’t imagine it would take 18 months! He had a tiny scar on his neck and the area he needed worked on was the back of the neck. It is amazing what they can do today! I have had a huge scar across my neck for 43 years when I had 7/8s of my thyroid removed because of Grave’s disease. Even when my friend had thyroid cancer recently her scar was only 1/3 of mine. You have modern medicine on your side!

  9. Whenever I’m sick, the worst part of the pain is mentally twitching over how I’m unable to get things done instead of just relaxing with the chance to take a break from the hustle of life. I see you join me in this, and I understand the frustration. I can’t add another thing. It takes time and patience that we don’t want to give!

    1. Me too. If I see something that needs to be done, I want to do it. If a lampshade is crooked, I have to fix it. I have a hard time going into other people’s homes and seeing a crooked lampshade because that’s about all I can think about while I’m there!

      1. Hey, that’s great news that you get therapy for another month! I’m sorry you overdid it and suffered for it. It’s understandable though. Especially since you were doing so well, it gave you confidence that you could do a little more. That’s a mistake I’m sure any of us would have made. Just try to take it easy for the next few days. You’re doing good, Brenda. Just remember to take it one day at a time, and before you know it, your year will be up.

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