16 Weeks

Today at physical therapy, while balancing on my surgery leg on a squishy foam pad and catching a ball that someone threw from different angles, I realized that I’ve already surpassed general population levels of strength and stability on my surgery leg. (Seriously, you try and do that while catching and throwing a ball.) PT is at the point now where it is really quite a workout. It has become very light on the relaxing soft tissue work and very heavy on strength and stability. Lots and lots of calf raises followed by squats and lunges with a kettlebell on a squishy pad. Always on a squishy pad…I’m a sweaty mess by the time I get done with everything. Today my new PT mentioned running on the Alter G. It sounded like something that might happen in the next week or two which is of course terribly exciting. Apparently, I don’t have to be able to walk miles and miles to be able to handle this because my weight can be lowered to 50 percent on the Alter G.

I’m now walking what I consider to be 95 percent normally when I get out of bed every morning. Nothing hurts or even feels tight but as the day wears on and I walk around and do things my heel swells a bit. Even that has improved on a couple of weeks ago though. Around ten days ago I did my first outside bike ride since surgery. Husband and I dusted off our mountain bikes and rode on some trails that we normally walk on since a long walk wasn’t possible for me. It was wonderful to be out riding my bike in the woods although in retrospect perhaps I should have chosen a setting with less potential for accidents. In any case, no accidents occurred but my heel was a little sore after less than an hour of easy riding. This morning, I met a friend and one of her friends to ride the same trails. We ended up going much further and quite a bit faster than my ride ten days ago. It was a gorgeous morning and ridiculous fun to be zooming along on twisty trails through the woods. Needless to say, the fact that it was a Wednesday morning and I was not at the office considerably increased the fun factor too. Post trial life is rather great. We rode for nearly two hours. I shook some years-old rust off my very modest mountain biking skills. When we finished, I suddenly noticed that my heel wasn’t even a little sore despite significant amounts of standing on the pedals and steadying myself and the bike over roots and around corners.

So for now it’s still slow and steady improvement rather than noticeable milestones. I’m pretty happy with how things are progressing. While I’m obviously anxious to get back to walking and running like I used to, I haven’t had a single moment where I have regretted having this surgery. In fact, I wish I had done it sooner.

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