Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This Boot Is Made For Walking

This week presents us with another episode in the continuing saga of ankle adventures. I hope you're not tiring of this little fiasco; since I find myself unable to walk without assistance, drive a car, or do anything that would give me any other content about which to write, I have to go with what I know. And what I know right now is this: the term "walking boot" is grossly misleading. More like "torture boot" or "hobbling device."

Monday morning was the big day--I was emancipated from the bright orange cast after three weeks of confinement. We were up bright and early for our appointment at the Foot and Ankle Institute, and I got one more Driving Miss Daisy Susie ride in the backseat of the car.

The end of my chauffeur experience.

I was a little apprehensive about having the cast removed. I knew they wouldn't accidentally amputate my leg (right?), but I also enjoyed the protective covering that cast had provided for my ankle. It was orange, it was cheery, it was safe. It also weighed about 15 pounds and prevented me from washing my leg. Yes, I suppose it was time.

As easy as 1...



On the plus side, it's probably the skinniest my leg has ever been. I couldn't believe the tiny little chicken leg that was laying on the table before me. They gave me some gauze and rubbing alcohol to clean my stick leg up a bit, and then it was time to learn the wonders of the walking boot.

Any time a doctor or dentist tells you something is going to be "uncomfortable," you should drop everything and pray for mercy. I was told that walking on my still broken ankle would help promote healing, and that as long as I took it slow and "listened to your body," I would be in great shape. Listen to my body? The same one that feels like it's dying when I do more than three jumping jacks? The same body that wants to veto protein shakes in favor of Jimmy John's delivery (a recent example, as it happened yesterday for lunch)? Bless. What a long, strange trip it's already been.

For the record, I did ask for the most stylish boot option available. I find it impossible to believe this is it, but I was assured it was the best option for those with less-than-intact fibulas.

Straight out of the Herman Munster footwear collection, here it is.

When I said I was looking forward to cooler weather so I could wear boots, this was not what I had in mind. Following my general lifestyle mantra of more is more, I have to award it points based on sheer size alone. Or, as a lady in the veterinarian office waiting room so candidly put it, "That is the biggest boot I have ever seen--substantial!" I also have to laugh that Ortho Carolina wanted their logo on this thing. I'm not sure I would want myself as a brand ambassador at this point, but hey, they are the experts.

Channeling that very fabulous and innovate Reebok Pump, circa 1989, my air walk boot can also be inflated to provide more support. I've tried pumping that big boy full of air, I've tried it with virtually no air at all. The result is pretty much the same, with the comfort level hovering somewhere around being hit in the ankle with a sledgehammer every time I take a step. I'm sure my recovery is aided by the fact that I was already so athletic to begin with, so thank goodness for that (insert maniacal sarcastic laugh here).

I was happy when the doctor also recommended I keep my trusty scooter for another week as I adapt to walking on two legs again. Now, I have my choice of walking with crutches and my special shoe, lurching around in just the boot, or scootering to and from. I've amassed a lovely collection of mobility aids here beside my well-worn spot on the couch.

I still can't stand in the shower, so the shower seat lives to soak another day, and while I have to practice moving my foot as if pressing the gas pedal as part of my rehabilitation, I'm can't drive a car for a couple more weeks either. I'm a few days in, and while I can tell it's getting better by the day, it's going to be a while before I'm literally kicking up my heels again. Or jumping over that retaining wall in Clemson Memorial Stadium.

As always (or since this whole broken ankle situation began), I invite you to give thanks for the healthy bones in your life, and to have mercy on those who are not as fortunate. This walking boot may look cool, but I can promise you the struggle is real.

1 comment:

  1. I was the same way. I couldn't wait to get a boot, and when I did I hated that thing.


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