To help understand my journey I took to researching blogs of others who went before me – the message was similar in each case: “Four plus weeks into recovery now, and still, I fight to combat my feelings of frustration. I so look forward to the day where every little thing I do, or try to do, is not such a huge production.”
This similar thread runs through every blog, every patient. A non-weight bearing cast turns stairs into a trial by ordeal. Make no mistake steps and crutches are not easy to master. In almost every case I thought discretion was the better part of valour and went ungraciously down on my ass.
“What normally takes minutes takes hours, what normally takes very little energy now takes everything I’ve got. I am acutely aware of how wrong it is for me to complain, as my problems are so very slight in comparison to what others are forced to deal with, permanently, on a daily basis. How dare me, so enough of this selfish rant.” The words of a fellow replacement patient. I couldn’t have summed it up better. If anything I learnt for a brief period what it must be like to live with permanent physical challenges. With it came a growing understanding and a greater respect.
Finally, inevitably, cast-off day arrived. Yay. Showering had become more than just an inconvenient daily chore, it was hard work. The itching was unbearable, time to lose the cast. Gently, expertly the surgeon used a specialised cutter as I looked on apprehensively. “Ok – that’s it lets get an x-ray and have a look at what we’ve got.”
I felt a quiet sense of wonder as we both peered at the x-ray screen. “Good, very good.” The surgeon muttered. “But you are going to have to come back for another op, just to stabilise your foot.” More of the same in the future, but for now…check out my new ankle. I had enough and all I wanted to do was go away and be with my family over Christmas.