I am lucky, I heal quickly. By the time I got back from holiday I was managing reasonably well without crutches. I looked at the moonboot thinking its days were numbered. I even enjoyed putting my foot down once or twice when getting out of bed and feeling no pain, well relatively little anyway.
The surgeon was relaxed and tanned and he was expansive. The operation was 81 days ago and the plaster came off 40 days ago. I was feeling bouncy, the New Year was full of promise. “You’re walking well without your boot, Tom” he remarked. “In fact you are walking too well, let’s have some x-rays and see what is going on with you.”
He fussed and fumed as the radiographers struggled to get it right, but there was no denying it, I will have to have a second op. Corrective surgery to stabilise my ankle. The prosthesis went in well, no drama there and the risk of infection was long gone. Now the new x-rays and my ungainly ankle told a new story. I needed more surgery – but when? I had my daughter with me in the doctor’s rooms, she is a physiotherapist and understood the consequences. “See that Tom, see how your replacement sits at that ungainly ankle?” The surgeon tapped the screen. “If you don’t wear your moonboot there is a risk you can unseat it. You must be very careful, you have to take things very easy.”
“What’s involved?” I knew at this point I would have to adopt the mind and strategy of a long distance runner. An osteotomy is not for sissies and the surgeon was emphatic, it could take ten weeks of non-weight bearing regimen. Ten weeks!! Holy crap!! I looked at my daughter, her wedding was in mid-April. Well then, I’ll be moonbooting it down the aisle with my youngest and in May or June I’ll be reacquainting myself with the big black couch.
“No Dad, look at it,” my daughter said a few days later, ‘’it’s all skew, you must keep your moonboot on. You’re such a crap dancer anyway, so the moonboot won’t make any difference to your dance style when I get to waltz with you on the big day.”
Jeez – there is nothing for it but to keep a positive mind and to focus on the end result. If this was a Comrades, I have just gone through Drummond and Durban is miles away. The hardest part of the race is still to be run. When, oh when, will I ever be able to walk properly again?