How To Be Happy With A Broken Ankle – Not

As you may know, I broke my ankle Christmas eve. It was a beautiful sunny day. I was walking my dog before running my last holiday errands. Then I fell on some black ice. So much for the errands.

I’ve been on crutches for five weeks now. But I got some good news at the doctor this week. I can ditch the crutches. Annoyingly, I have to keep the walking boot for three more weeks.

Process

I’ve read a few other broken ankle blog posts and it seems the average no walking time is around 6-8 weeks. I’m lucky the break wasn’t bad and my no walking time has only been five weeks. It’s still a broken ankle and that takes time to heal. But it’s nice to see the healing progress.

No matter the severity the healing process goes like this

  • Phase 1: no walking
  • Phase 2: walking with assistance (the stage I’m in now)
  • Phase 3: walking without mobility aids
  • Phase 4: back to “normal”

The severity of your break and your healing progress determines how long each phase lasts. They also determine the procedures and aids you need. So the healing timeline is flexible, even if you weren’t.

Blessings

Walking in a boot without crutches is a blessing. I can now carry light things. I wouldn’t have to ask for help to carry my plate like I did at the A & S Revel. It’s blessing to feel so empowered for such a little thing.

I was glad to do things I’d put off for so long. Amazed to be happy about doing laundry and changing sheets on my bed. While I can only lift 10 pounds I was determined to get the job done. I devised a way to drag my laundry basket to and from the washroom. Mission accomplished.

I was glad to gather the accumulated trash to take to the garage because I could now carry things while using the stairs. The bags are huge but light since it’s mostly filled with single-serving meal packaging. The way I’d been feeding myself since I wasn’t allowed to walk.

I was glad to reposition and store all my pills, makeup and small bathroom items in my cabinet again since I now can walk and carry what I need. The same with the cat feeder that must reside on the long bathroom counter to keep the dog from eating the cat’s food.

The whole house looks much neater now. And when I went to bed those simple tasks made me feel I’d really accomplished something. I was pleased with myself. 👏🏻👏🏻

Backlash

The morning after I knew I had accomplished something. My back, and thighs ached. Not only had I been fairly immobile for five weeks the muscles I’d used were very different than those I used yesterday. While I’d built up my arms and shoulders using crutches walking without them uses my lower back and thigh muscles. Plus the walking boot is an inch or so thicker than my shoes so that throws my hip alignment off too.

I’ve changed shoes to one with a thicker sole. I also ordered a thing called an Even Up that I can put on to add depth to my one shoe. They should make my back feel better.

I will adjust and persevere happy I can do more stuff. Constantly pushing out of my comfort zone.

Next Phase

I’m looking forward to getting back to doing tai chi. Not exercising really sucks. The full monty won’t happen for another month. But weather permitting I will attend and do what I can seated in a chair. That sounds casual, but seated tai chi works my core more than when I do the same moves standing. So that’s actually a plus now. I’ve missed my tai chi friends and look forward to seeing them again. They are so welcoming.

Having a broken ankle has depressed me more than I realized until I went to Lonely Tower’s A & S Revel and visited with my long time friends. Chatting with them made all the difference in the world. I know my chi friends will be welcoming too.

“Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.”

Ed Cunningham

Categories: Musings

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