Moving forward :)

Apologies in advance, I’ve disappeared for a while; I struggled, felt confused, frustrated and lacked motivation. But I recently changed my mindset – to try and focus more on the positives and to try to push myself as much as possible. I am now 4 months post op and although things aren’t exactly where I thought they would be; they certainly are on the up.

For the past few months I have been attending physiotherapy and hydrotherapy and I have to say it has been such a benefit to my recovery. I am now thinking about the future! I’ve never been that person who has a 5 year plan but I feel that I’m at that stage in my life where I can plan further ahead. I can consider my career – what sector I would love to work in, my style and aim to become more sociable and start to enjoy life.

Hydrotherapy (hydro) has been amazing – I have found the exercises much easier as the weeks go by. However, during my first appointment at 8 weeks post op – it was pointed out that I was very behind with recovery. At this time, I struggled to walk in the water, I was unable to weight-bare or bend my knee/leg/ankle etc. I was told it was a mental barrier that was preventing me to recover and was constantly reminded during the first 3 weeks that I was holding myself back. I genuinely felt no support during this time and I was belittled in front of other patients. I felt that none of my questions were being answered. I had expressed on the ward after my surgery (day 3 post op) that my leg felt stiff and was unable to walk on it correctly. I had hoped that attending hydro; I would have finally received some insight as to why I was unable to walk correctly and sadly I felt disappointed that this wasn’t the case.

However, after 3 weeks of hydro; I was finally seen by my physiotherapist. He explained within minutes why I found it difficult to walk. He explained that a person with no walking difficulties would walk by weight-baring and bending their knee and ankle at the same time. Sadly, the muscles in my leg and ankle haven’t been used for more than 13 years and therefore have shortened due to the chronic pain. I felt rather frustrated that this vital information had not been explained to me at hydrotherapy, as I felt that I had wasted 3 whole valuable weeks of recovery.

Thankfully, I was provided with daily exercises to do at home by my physiotherapist – to stretch my muscles and to allow me to have better movement. And I was able to understand what was expected of me whilst in the pool. I now attend weekly physio and hydro appointments and I have improved so well. I am no longer being told off in hydro for my terrible walking. I now receive positive feedback and my hip/ankle is much stronger. I am now at the point where I am able to bend down and touch my ankles – I’m able to put on my left sock after (multiple attempts!) and I can’t stop smiling about it, as it’s such a big improvement.

I have also found new ways of getting dressed – putting my trousers on etc. I still find it difficult to put on skirts, leggings, my compression stockings and there isn’t any aids to help – which is where my boyfriend thankfully helps. I have also recently worked out how to put my shoes on using a shoe horn and grabber; it’s never a smooth run and still takes many attempts but I am just as happy with the little progress that I see :)

Two weeks ago, my physiotherapist discussed only using 1 crutch within the next few weeks and i’m excited and a little worried. For almost 15 years – I have used crutches and I find it a little daunting, letting them go. I have also been set a challenge; to try and walk around the block with only 1 crutch, to see how i’ll manage. I have completed it once already and I have to admit; I do find it hard work and i’m ready for a long nap afterwards! I just can’t believe where I am at 17 weeks post op – it’s amazing!

I will leave it here and promise to update once I make any more progress :)

 

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