From March through early July, I worked on building up stamina. I went to the gym four or five times a week and mostly did the exercise bike. I started really only being able to go maybe 15 minutes on the bike, but built up so that I could go an hour without my foot becoming so swollen I couldn't go any further. I also walked. A lot. I wanted to do the recommended 10,000 steps every day. Early on, it was hit or miss. Sometimes I could barely get 2,000 in. Sometimes I could do the 10,000. I gradually introduced some elliptical and treadmill into my gym workout. I did high knees and very very slow kickups around the track. But every day was a struggle and every day I limped and crawled into bed with back pain AND pain in my leg.
|My ankle. My bionic ankle. Three plates and a dozen screws. More hardware than your local Ace.|
So since July I have been using a program on our Wii called EA Active Sports 2 four times a week. The program is essentially interval training, combining light weightlifting with cardio exercises. I started off doing a 9-week program at the Easy level, then did a 9-week program at the Medium level, and am now doing a 9-week program at the Hard level. Every workout is a killer for me. There are lots of lunges, squats, and jumps. LOTS. On the days I don't do this evil killer program, I do this Yoga for Athletes video. I am decidedly NOT an athlete, but I just go into child's pose whenever there's anything I can't do (yoga pushup, anyone?). I have to do something workout-like every day because otherwise I lose motivation and can easily convince myself that if I didn't do it yesterday, why bother today and then it ends up being weeks and I haven't done anything.
Since I've been doing these things, I am much stronger and flexible. I no longer limp unless I have been sitting in one spot for longer than a half an hour, have done a super hard workout, walked up or down a hill (hills suck!), or walked for longer than about 4 miles. I still do not have full range of motion in my left leg (which causes me no end of difficulties when I try to do the eagle pose in yoga), but I have more range than I deserve considering the shattering that happened to my leg. The doctor said it's possible that I won't regain anymore range of motion and I say to the doctor that he can go suck it.
I still can't really run on it, though. I "run" as part of my intervals with the EA Active Sports, but the "runs" are for 30-90 seconds and I'm doing it on our carpeted living room. I tried an actual run outside on the sidewalk in mid-November and every strike of my left foot on the hard sidewalk sent nerves flying up my leg, so I'm not sure when I'll be able to suck it up and just live with it, but I guarantee you that it won't be until next spring when all the snow has gone away.
There is nothing in my daily life that I can't do, though. I roll on the floor with my cat. I go for endless walks with my husband just like we did before it was broken. I do not like standing on the hard floor for a super long time which can be problematic in the kitchen, but I think I'm going to ask for a Gel Mat for that (Christmas present idea!!) and I think that problem will be solved. I've taken to wearing flip flops in the shower and it has eased some of my anxiety about falling and makes it less painful for me. I am actually going on a business trip next month and I'm not at all concerned that I won't be able to handle the travel portion of it by myself. Day to day activities are a thumbs up all around.
Anyway, I went back to my doctor yesterday and he said I was the best healer he'd ever seen. Okay, fine. He didn't say that. He did say that it was healing as well as could be expected and he should never have to hear from me again. Yay! They're going to leave all the hardware in there and I'm free and clear to do whatever I want to do.
Oh, yes. I have also lost the weight, but that's a whole separate post about eating and only being completely satiated four times since July.