Day 33: Moving On Up Like a Tortoise

So, the headline of today’s appointment is that I am going to be doing a lot more things very soon. I had x-rays taken again and everything is looking good. Even though I still have a little swelling around the heel (totally normal at this point), it already looks more like a normal heel compared to my x-ray from September last year.

Next Monday, I can start partial weight bearing. I never thought I would be so excited about the thought of walking in a boot with crutches. I’m supposed to start out just taking a few steps around the house and still opt for the knee scooter when I go out. I had a wedge added to the heel of my boot in preparation for this which will take some tension off the Achilles for the first few weeks. The doctor also wants me to start physical therapy next week. He wrote me a prescription to give to the PT that indicates three times a week for four weeks. I’m going to be busy.

Of course my big questions revolved around what other activities I can do and when I can do them. I thought aqua jogging would be sanctioned this week but that also begins next week. I can however RIDE MY BIKE this week! Only every other day. And only on the trainer inside. And always with the boot on. And definitely Not Overdo It. The doctor told me to come back and see him in three weeks. I was feeling pretty psyched about today’s developments when there was what felt like a slight bait and switch at the end. He decided that I should wear a compression “sleeve” for a couple of days to help push some of the edema out of my heel. I was expecting a removable type of sock but then his assistant came in, bandaged me up and told me I had to keep it dry. As in, don’t put it in the shower and definitely not in the pool. Today was supposed to be a swimming day…. I wish I had known this would happen as I would have got up early to swim before the appointment. It is however only two days so I will probably survive the disappointment.

It was slightly unclear whether I could ride my bike right now or in two days. In light of how extremely compliant I have been thus far, I opted for today. I had Husband switch a platform pedal from his mountain bike onto my road bike. It took me almost as long to get ready as to ride but I got on my bike, logged into Zwift, and rode for ten minutes. The doctor didn’t actually tell me to start with ten minutes (“Don’t do too much at first”) but I have a good deal of experience with tendon injuries and ten minutes is usually a good place to start. It’s hard to overdo it too badly with ten minutes, and if you can’t handle ten minutes then it’s best not to do the activity at all. It was a little weird putting my foot down on the pedal and feeling solid pressure after all these weeks. It was awesome to ride but over too soon of course. I could tell there was some movement in my calf and ankle but nothing was hurting. I have a history of tendons issues though and I know the real test will be if it feels ok tomorrow when I wake up.

Husband has been trying to temper my enthusiasm a little. He advised that there would be a cool “I told you so” coming if I do something silly and mess up my progress. Yesterday we had a beautiful trip to Weedon Island, a nature preserve that is less than 20 minutes drive away. We saw a tortoise right after we got out of the car and then another one just as we were about to leave. In rather transparent use of my thought processes against me, he asked whether I thought we had seen the tortoise for a reason. Touche. Still, so long as I don’t screw things up, this time next week I’ll be able to engage in fully sanctioned if modified swimming, cycling, and aqua jogging. That’s basically a triathlon.

My slow and steady friend.

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