Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Return from the Living Dead

On November 16, I had a subtalar joint fusion that led to nearly 4 months of bed rest due to severe complications and multiple subsequent surgeries. But that story is for me to tell another day. Today I want to share my first workout since the final surgery.

This morning (March 5th), I was cleared to do partial weight-bearing by my doctor. I had been standing on both feet for about a week for stability while in the kitchen cooking, doing dishes, etc. Whenever I try to walk without crutches, it is painful and I can't do it, so I'm just starting partial weight-bearing while using crutches. I hope to be off the crutches completely in another couple of weeks. I get way too many compliments from random people about my skill with using them. Time to put them into retirement.

Since my last surgery almost 3 weeks ago, I've been in tremendous pain. Both feet hurt for similar but different reasons. My right foot for healing from the surgical trauma and bones fusing, and my left foot for bearing all of my weight on top of the arthritis. I had a cortisone shot a week ago today in the left foot, and I was in a lot of pain from it all week. I still feel twinges but it's not overwhelming. My immune system is completely shot, so I can't even have a glass of wine with dinner to help take the edge off of the pain at the end of the day. I still take a vicodin almost every day, but it doesn't do much for the pain except take the edge off of my grumpiness from being in pain for so long. Pain is worst at night, so my sleep schedule has been altered badly. It doesn't help that I live with someone that works 7pm-7am night shifts, so the house has to stay pretty quiet during the day for sleeping. While the kids are in school and nobody is around to help me get food and my pain is low, I've gotten on a daily sleeping schedule. That works very well until I have a lot of things to do during the day! But I digress...

On top of the pain and getting 2 or 3 hours of sleep last night, I was dealing with some personal issues today. I knew it was a perfect time to get my frustrations out in the form of a workout. I've been going a bit crazy with the bed rest, because I've always relied on workouts to get me through the stress of whatever I'm dealing with at the time. Take that away, add surgery stress and pain, and I'm a mess. I headed to the school playground wearing workout clothes and my Chuck Taylors, knowing that if I went wearing the air cast boot, I'd end up taking it off anyway and continue in my socks. Due to the surgical incision in my heel, I won't be going barefoot for awhile. It felt great to wear two matching shoes. The last time I wore both shoes was the day I was taken off of a wound vacuum I'd been on for a month. My right foot was so swollen the shoe would hardly tie. My feet and ankles are close to the same size now so that wasn't a problem this time.

I took an 8 kg kettlebell with me. It was challenging crutching to the playground with the kettlebell in one hand and my water bottle in the other, but I managed. After a wonderful joint mobility warm-up, I did a little circuit. I wasn't sure what I could do, so I developed my workout in the moment. It went something like this:

1-2-3 OH press ladder
2-arm swings (5)
Bottoms-up clean (5+5)
Snatches (5+5)
Squat (5)
1-arm swing plus snatch, alternating (5 each side)

I repeated this circuit three times.

Because of my state of mind, I wanted to focus more on cardio than strength. I felt myself coming alive again for the first time in months. It was a perfect day, in the upper 70s, with Adele singing loudly in my ears, urging me to keep going. One challenge I found was not being able to walk to lower my heart rate after snatches. I did the best stationary fast and loose that I could manage. At the end of the workout, I did the kneeling hip flexor stretch, crutched over to the monkey bars to hang on them to stretch a bit more, and finished swinging with my daughter on the swings for the first time since I sprained my ankle in mid-October. Without the boot, I could clear the ground. It was fantastic to feel so weightless and carefree. I think more adults should play on play grounds. It really is quite fun!

Looking forward to what's to come, and hoping I'm not too sore to use my crutches tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Love it!! So funny that you mentioned how great it is to wear a pair of matching shoes. That was exciting for me as well. I went shopping that weekend and bought 4 pair!!

    Thank you for sharing. As soon as I figure out how to link to blogs from my blog, I will do that.