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email: Mihal.Freinquel@gmail.com
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

follow up número 4

Ok, I'm doing a better. I just visited the doctor for my 4th check-up since surgery. I did my x-ray standing-up this time so he could see how things looked now that I'm weight-bearing (my bones look great, he said) and we chatted about my issues. He basically told me that I was being a big pussy about my ankle screw. Yes, he acknowledged, it sucks, but 2 things:

1- it's not ready to come out yet because when he takes out the hardware he wants to take out the entire plate on that side and all of the screws on it (including my ankle screw) - and he says that should happen in about 6 months.
2- the pain I'm feeling in the screw isn't what's preventing me from gaining range of motion, it's actually the tightness of the tendons and ligaments in the back of my ankle (like, achilles area). So the screw shouldn't stop me from moving forward in my strength and flexibility training.

He said my range of motion is coming along and it is where it should be. We also decided that PT isn't headed in the direction where I need it to be going (I've been feeling this way for a while), and I need a body worker who's more comprehensive and thorough and can give me some more focused time. PT has been making me feel like a body part in an assembly line lately - just going through the motions until my time is up.

So I canceled my next PT sessions and hopefully I'll start with this other woman soon.

So that's that. My brain feels a bit quieted now, I'm less anxious about this screw, though it's still super uncomfortable. Blah .

Monday, July 22, 2013

3 months post-op & feeling shitty

I feel low. I've got a lot of pain from this screw sticking out of my ankle bone - it's inhibiting me from stretching, getting more flexible, walking - I don't know if the pain is just part of the process or if this sucker needs to be taken out. I was supposed to have a follow-up with my doctor last Friday but my taxi never showed up and I missed it. Now I have to wait another 2 days to see him on Wednesday.

I start my new job in a week, which is a 20 minute freeway drive from home, so I practiced driving yesterday around town. It went ok, though I was really timid. I'm scared I'll need another surgery soon and it'll mess with my new job. I'm scared I won't be able to get the surgery soon because not enough time has passed for the bones to heal and I'll just have to keep living with this screw. I'm scared I won't get better and regain everything I've lost.

I'm in a funk, obviously.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

looking back to help me look forward

If you read my last post, you know I've been having a bit of trouble being positive. The progress is very hard to see now. But it hasn't always been like that, and I've compiled this video to remind myself. This video will show you my first month of weight-bearing, from June 15th to today, July 17th. It's truly astounding what the body is capable of.

That said, I still have such a long way to go - even though I'm walking by the end of the video, I'm still in quite a bit of pain. Hindered by tightness and very little range of motion, I can feel the hardware inside my skin, irritating everything around it. So there's a lot behind me, but the journey is far from over. On that note!!! This is where I've been...

hitting the wall of immesurable steps

I feel like I've hit a wall. I've made a lot of progress up until this point - the scooter is gone, the crutches are gone, the boot is gone...I take showers, I do cook and do dishes...I've become basically functional. Basically. And now it's time for the next steps.


The problem is, the next steps are nowhere near as measurable as the first ones. In order to walk fluidly and exercise and do normal people stuff, I have to gain strength, gain flexibility, agility...get all the stuff back that I've lost since the surgery. The progress on this stuff is not easily monitored. So I do my exercises every day, sometimes they make me feel flexible and sometimes they make me feel sore and swollen. That fucking screw is still sticking out of my ankle - perhaps even more so now - and I wonder if all of this hardware is going to have to come out...if I'm going to need ANOTHER surgery...that unknown puts me in a major funk.

I start a job in 2 weeks, am I gonna be able to drive? Am I gonna be able to walk from the parking lot to the building comfortably? How will I know when I can? What level of flexibility and strength and agility is NORMAL? WHAT THE FUCK IS NORMAL???? Am I making progress? WHAT THE FUCK DOES PROGRESS LOOK LIKE? And so on and so forth...

I'm sick of thinking about it, I'm sick of caring - I don't want to think about how bendy my ankle is today, if it's gonna hurt when I step out of bed or do I need to massage it first? I don't want to wonder if my compression sock is actually working or if it's bad that I didn't ice today. I want to think about fun normal people things - like white supremacy in the legal system and overdose and political/religious/economic turmoil and everything that's been in the news recently. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?? Does my ankle REALLY need to over-shadow that???!!!

In other news, I bought a car I can't drive yet.


But I CAN stand next to it without crutches, so I guess that's a step...


Friday, July 12, 2013

finding the balance

I'm trying to find the balance these days...in many respects. Pushing myself/listening to my body, going out and being social/staying inside and relaxing, and also quite literally learning how to balance again.

Check it out y'all...

Monday, July 8, 2013

updates and strides forward

Hi readers!! Oh jeez I have NOT been great at updating - but it hasn't been because I don't want to or don't have time, it's actually because I've felt that there's not much to report. Until today...I did my first crow pose since the surgery...


For those of you who don't know - I was getting pretty into yoga before I broke my ankle, and being unable to do it for so long really took it's toll on me. Over the past several weeks I've been doing what I can to work my way back into anything resembling a satisfying practice, but it's felt like a very tough, long road. Getting into - and holding - this crow pose was a huge feat for me and I'm really happy about it.

The pink sock is a compression sock (I got this kind, seems good) and goes all the way up to my knee. I'm wearing it because now that I'm weight-bearing more, my ankle has been getting all kinds of swollen - nothing that ice and elevation and massage can't soothe, but it's fucking annoying and uncomfortable.

Weight-bearing also brings all kinds of new aches and pains that I didn't have before - mostly sharp nerve pains in my heel and different parts of my ankle and calf - but they usually go away after massage and ice (the cure-alls, obviously).

This past weekend J and I took a little vacation to the Oregon Coast - maybe it was the smell of the ocean or the freedom of being away from my bed that I now know so intimately - but right before we got in the car to come home I put my crutches to the side and did this:


No, that doesn't mean I'm off my crutches, I still use one of them to get around, and the outside of my foot is so tight that it quite hurts to put pressure on...but STILL. It was awesome and weird. Also the house that we stayed in had a floor-level shower, meaning you just walked right into it - no tub to step over - so I took my first standing up shower...I made J come hang out in the bathroom with me while I did it in case I slipped. Not the sexiest naked time we've ever had, but a huge step up from right after surgery when he actually had to bathe me and floss my toes.

More updates when I've got em!
Peace out