Monday, August 6, 2012

After the post-surgical euphoria wears off...

I felt great after surgery. Better than I had any right to feel, actually. I only took pain meds for the first 48 hours post-op. I started a very slight amount of crutch-assisted walking 4 days post-op. I'd taken my son to Downtown Disney for a new Lego set as a reward for helping me so much on bed rest, which probably wasn't the best excursion for the first day out of bed. We also went to Ra Sushi and Whole Foods beforehand and Bruxie after. The day out reminded me of how much I don't like being on crutches.
Bruxie's Liege waffle sundae with Belgian chocolate and caramel- SO good

I walked into my doctor's appointment without crutches 5 days after surgery. He was very happy to see that, and gave me the green light to do as much as I comfortably could. He removed the stitches to save me a trip from coming back the next week, so I took it a little easy and kept a butterfly bandage on the incision site to keep it together. I noticed there was some nerve damage, because every time I touched the site to put ointment or a bandage on, I would feel shock waves down to my toes. It's difficult for me to touch it (or let water in the shower hit it) because of the discomfort. It's getting a little better, and I know these things take time to heal. 

One week post-op, I went to Disney to celebrate my son's 11th birthday. We park-hopped for about six hours and I didn't use any narcotics, just an 800 mg motrin. By the end of the night, I knew I couldn't stand in the very long line to get back to the parking lot, so we hopped on the handicapped shuttle. I was hurting but still refused to medicate with anything strong. 

I did my first workout the next day, on July 19th.

Joint mobility

press/ pull-up ladder 1-2-3 with the 10 kg, 2 rounds

naked get-up, 1+1, successful! 
8 kg get-up, 1+1, 3 rounds

Swings- 16 kg, 5 rounds of 10

It was a nice, easy workout to transition back in, and I was still feeling great.

Next workout was July 21st.

Joint mobility

press/ pull-up ladder 1-2-3 with the 10 kg, 3 rounds

TGU- 1+1, then 2+2, both with overhead squats at the top

TRX circuit, two rounds:
Body saw (5)
Crunch (5)
Pendulum (5)
Pike (5)

All were low plank except I did the last round of pikes in high plank

1-arm alternating swings with the 12 kg, three rounds of 25

I felt great after that one. I was happy to be able to use the TRX at home, as my patio cover was just replaced. The wood had rotted to the point where I was afraid to try to hang anything from it, but it's perfect now. I have plans to hang a pull-up bar from it as well.

This is about the time I started having some real trouble with my recovery. The scar tissue is building back up in the joint after just having been freed from it, so walking is still difficult and painful. When I've been sitting for awhile, I get extremely stiff and the joint screams at me for putting weight on it. It takes a few minutes to be able to walk comfortably, though sometimes it's still with a limp. I have good days and bad days. On the bad days, it's hard to get out of bed at all. On the good days, I feel ok.

I didn't do another workout until July 26th.

Joint mobility

press/pull-up ladder 1-2-3-4 with the 10 kg, 3 rounds

Kettlebell circuit, two rounds:
goblet squat, 10 kg, 5+5
double windmills, 10 kg (top) and 12 kg (bottom), 5+5
1-leg deadlift, 12 kg, 5+5 (very difficult when standing on my right foot)
get-up sit-up, double 8 kgs, 5

Swings alternating with the 16kg and 24kg, 6 sets of 10 (30 total with each weight)

I think the issue with my left shoulder being weak in presses has more to do with my right foot being jacked up than doing anything wrong with the left shoulder. I'm going to stop focusing so much on presses until my right foot gets a little more mobile. 

I started having more bad days than good. I limit my vicodin intake to once a week, when I simply can't deal with the pain. I had a week where I overcompensated with sugar and pasta, and gained two pounds in the process. Sometimes I think it would be better to take the pain meds than medicating with sugar. I've had to go back on a steady diet of motrin to cope. I try to take 400 mg in the morning, 400 mg midday, and 200 mg in the evening. Some days I go without, and those are really, really bad days. I just can't win.

I did a TRX/ kettlebell circuit workout on July 28th.

Joint mobility

Three rounds:
Squat/ press, double 8 kg, 6
TRX side plank with hip drop, 6+6
Overhead squat, 10 kg, 6+6
TRX chest press, 6
Assisted pull-up, 6
TRX pike, 6

I am trying to include as much ankle mobility in my workouts as possible. I put my tennis shoes on for the TRX side plank and pike, knowing that it would put some different angles of pressure on the joint, without putting too much pressure on any particular part of my foot. It felt great.

Last week was a really bad week. I'm constantly craving vicodin just to get a break from the incessant pain, but am stubbornly refusing to give in (for now). Backing off the sugar isn't easy but I'm making it a priority. I know it makes me feel worse, past the initial instant gratification of whatever happens in my brain when I bite into some mint slice or tim tams

My most recent workout was another kettlebell/ TRX combination on August 4th.

Joint mobility

TGU 2+2, 8 kg (feeling super weak)

side press, 8 kg, 5+5
TRX cossack lunge, 5+5
bottoms-up clean, 10 kg, 5+5 (no chalk)
TRX suspended lunge, 5+5  (my son was holding my hands so I wouldn't fall, just to be safe)
double windmill, 8 kg on top and 10 kg on bottom, 5+5
TRX low row, 10

I had intended to do a swing/ snatch combination at the end but ran out of time and motivation. 

I know all the sugar I had really affected my strength. I'm also not sleeping well. It's very frustrating to be where I am right now. I started getting ultrasound treatments on my foot and ankle 15 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week. I've noticed a big improvement, and my ankle makes some interesting noises immediately following treatment. I'm also spending a few hours a day working on the soft tissue in my foot and lower leg. The tightness is progressively moving up my leg, which I think is a good thing. My ankle can barely get to 90 degrees, so going down stairs or slanted ground is still very challenging (especially when a shopping cart is pulling me down towards moving vehicles). It's easy to let the negative emotions overpower the positive ones, so that's my biggest battle at the moment. 

It's been 10 months since I sprained my ankle prior to the first surgery. Five surgeries later, waiting for my body to recover so I can get the left subtalar joint fused and get on with my life, and I'm having a lot of trouble staying positive. I found some interesting articles on chronic pain and its effect on mental health, and I'm not too surprised by what they say. Chronic pain really is a mindfuck.

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