Day 4: Progress

Not quite as good as a bike but still on wheels!

Another good night’s sleep last night. I’m pleasantly surprised at how well I’ve been able to sleep with my foot in a cumbersome cast up on pillows. Most cellular repair happens at night, so the knowledge that my body has been hard at work healing itself makes me happy when I wake up after an uninterrupted 8-9 hour stretch.

It’s still very early days but there’s definite progress on the mobility and independence front. This morning I got out of bed and got myself to the bathroom before Husband was fully awake. I then made our coffee and breakfast. This is something I always do and I don’t like asking him to do it. Partly because I hate not being able to do things myself and partly because, well, I just make better coffee. I also made my own dinner tonight which involved actual cooking (only eggs on toast, but still).

I’m feeling much more confident navigating around house and I also feel that I can tolerate more time up and about without upsetting my heel. I’m trying not to overdo it though as I think I may still not have all the feeling back in that region.

After a boring, gloomy day yesterday and three days straight inside on the couch, today I had to get out. Husband loaded my knee scooter into the car and helped me get down the steps into the car. I sat in the back with my foot up on pillows and we drove a couple of minutes to Ballast Point Pier Park.

Since I moved to the neighborhood in November 2010, no more than a few days have passed when I’ve been in town without going down to the pier. Almost every single run I have ever done from home has included running down and touching the end of the pier. It’s exactly 0.68 miles from my front door to the edge of the park and 0.98 miles to end of the pier. I’ve seen countless sunrises, dolphins, manatees, and all kinds of birds down there over the years. It feels more like my backyard than my actual backyard. People come from all over to fish off the pier and enjoy the park and playground. Despite its location next to the yacht and country club in an affluent neighborhood, it draws a very diverse crowd. On weekends in particular, the park is alive with people from different ethnic groups and backgrounds, all enjoying life in a way that makes me feel hopeful for Tampa and society in general. When I went for a walk the day before surgery, I was sad at the thought of not being back for weeks, so it was the obvious choice for my first post-surgery outing.

We parked and I scootered halfway up the pier and took a break on a bench with my foot resting on the knee scooter. Today was the kind of sunny, breezy January day that people move to Florida for. (Note: it’s going to be cold the next few days.) It felt amazing to be outside in fresh air, near trees, and water. I’ve read several books recently (including The Nature Fix) on the role of trees and the natural environment on physical and mental health. It seems there really was something to the mountain sanatoriums (sanatoria?) of old. In addition to the immediate mental lift of being outside in the sun, I convinced myself that any risk of overdoing things was outweighed by the healing tree pheromones I was inhaling from the old oaks in the park. (Finding a persuasive argument, including with myself, has always been my forte.)

After a few minutes of sunny bliss, I decided I should quit while I was ahead and scootered back to the car. There was enough uneven ground and slight inclines to make me a little tentative and slow. Husband thought I was being overly cautious but the instinct to protect my foot is pretty strong, and it is just way too soon to have to tell the doctor that I ruined his good work because I wiped out on my knee scooter.

Altogether it was probably only about 15 minutes of adventuring, plus the time in the car. I retreated to my mound of pillows on the couch for the rest of the day and don’t seem to have suffered any ill effects. I did some push ups and crunches again so technically did a workout too. Hopefully tonight will be another good night of sleep and cellular repair and Day 5 will bring more progress.

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