I'm an impatient fellow who becomes easily agitated when I'm made to wait. And with my recovery from foot surgery, I haven't been able to contain my desire to rid myself of the cast that has protected me for nearly three months.
When I had my last appointment with my surgeon, we had x-rays of my foot taken and it was deemed that the operation was a success, that the bone fusions had gone smoothly. I was told that I was able to start using my left foot, that I no longer needed crutches or my peg leg.
I did, on the other hand, still require to keep my foot in the removable Aircast that I've been wearing since the end of November.
"One week before your next appointment," I was told, "you can try walking without the cast." I was to see how my foot felt, unprotected.
I'm an impatient fellow.
A week after I was able to walk with both feet, my left foot felt strange but there was no pain. As with most surgeries of this kind, there was some trauma to the nerves in my foot but no permanent damage. No major nerves had been severed.
And, indeed, the nerves are starting to heal. I'm regaining sensation in some areas, though I sense the occasional jolt between my big toe and the incisions, as though I'm receiving an electrical shock.
One week after that visit, I tried walking across my family room. My foot was numb but there was no pain. Each day, I ventured a greater and greater distance.
Two weeks after my last visit, I attempted a shower, standing in the stall in bare feet. Because I moved gingerly, the attempt was a success. I haven't taken a bath in the tub, since.
Three weeks in—a week before my next visit—I spent the entire day without my cast. I climbed stairs. I walked around the office. I carried the recycling bin to the garage.
This week, because of the snow storm, I was confined to the house. I haven't worn my cast since Sunday, when DW and I ran some errands and I was walking around Costco and the grocery stores. My Aircast allows me to walk more quickly (rather, I'm not as cautious with the cast).
On Wednesday, after DD17 and DW cleared the snow from our driveway, I decided to up the ante: I walked down our snowy street, to our mailbox, to retrieve its contents. It was the first time since November 15 that I had worn my left boot. It was a bit snug and I couldn't tighten the laces, as I could with the right boot, but I had it on.
Careful not to slip in the driveway and on the road, I slowly walked the 100 metres or so to our mailbox. So far so good.
At the mailbox, I was met with an obstacle that nearly had me turn straight around: the snow plow, which had cleared our road earlier in the morning, had left a sizable snowbank between the road and the mailbox. Even on two good feet, I would hesitate about stepping into deep snow in my boots, which only come up over my ankles.
Should I return home, change into my Sorels, which come up almost to my knees?
No. I'm an impatient fellow.
Slowly, carefully, I took my first step onto the snowbank. With any luck, the heavy snow would be packed so densely that I could walk atop it.
No such luck. Leading with my left foot, I sank almost to my knee. About as deep as my Sorels are high.
In for a penny...
I took another step. Sank. And another. Sank. And another. Sank.
If the mailbox had yielded no letters, I would have been disappointed, would have felt foolish. But I knew that this was the first visit in almost a week. At worst, I would have had to clear our box of mounting junk mail.
To turn around, I put one hand on the mailbox, to balance myself, lifted my left foot, and pivoted myself on my sturdy leg. I then planted my left foot in one of the holes I created and retraced my steps out of the snowbank.
There was no pain, no discomfort. I walked the 100 metres back to my house without any trouble.
Today (February 15) marks exactly three months since my surgery. Thirteen weeks and one day. At the time of writing this blog, I don't know the outcome of the x-ray that is to be captured, of the recommendation of my surgeon. But for the last three weeks, I've listened to my body, moved according to the signals it's given me.
It would seem that my foot is fit to return to normal usage, that I'm ready to begin physiotherapy. To that end, while I will bring my Aircast with me when I return to the Civic Hospital, I won't wear it to the appointment. It will remain in my car, just in case I've done something incredibly stupid and the doctor insists I return to wearing it.
But I'm optimistic. I'm certain that this time, being impatient has paid off.