“If you believe in a God who controls the big things, you have to believe in a God who controls the little things.”
Welcome back, friends! Last week here at Single Yet Engaged, I started telling you all about my ankle saga, and today I will catch up to where I find myself in the recovery process today! If you missed it, you can read it here.
Now on to part two…
I had to be at St Vincent’s around 10 AM. They took me right on back and got me all prepped for surgery. Dr. Waldrop came in and said “you ready to do this?!” And of course I replied “yes!!” His next words would be my theme for the next 8-12 weeks…
“No weight! no weight! no weight!
Elevate! elevate! elevate!”
There would be a time of no weight bearing for 8-12 weeks so that the bones could fuse properly, so his little phrase stuck in my head. The surgery went well and the next thing I knew, I was in the car on my way to Georgia where I would spend the next few weeks.
I was sent home with crutches and a handy-dandy knee scooter to ride around everywhere! I only had a few wrecks and hit every wall in the house at least once with it…but that’s it. No big deal, right?
Snickers even liked the scooter!
The nurse told me not to even put my foot on the floor to balance – they were serious about this no weight bearing thing. I learned to hop on my left leg and got pretty good at it! I stayed in Cedartown for the first 2.5 weeks of my recovery and I was taken care of by my mom and grandmother. I know I was a lot of trouble because I really couldn’t do much for myself, but never once did they complain. They enjoyed being able to serve me…and I sure enjoyed all of the love and home cooked food!! There were a few days that I couldn’t get the pain under control, but for the most part, the majority of it subsided after about 1.5 weeks. And then low and behold, because of my lowered immune system, I got cold sores IN my eye. Not just around my eye, but IN it. It got so bad that I had to go to the optometrist because they wanted to rule out shingles. Bump in the road, but nothing major!
To pass the time, I took up cross stitching…and loved it! I also knew every single thing that happened in our world during those weeks, because I watched the news every morning and evening. I read a lot and got some of the best quality time with my mom and 86 year old grandmother. Nana taught me how to make her dressing, and my mom and I baked her delicious apple walnut cake one day. Looking back, I realize how precious this time truly was, because I may never get the opportunity to spend that much time with them again. My grandmother lives on a farm, so the scenery was always nice to wake up to…
…and so was the smell of a home cooked breakfast every morning! Needless to say, I got SPOILED.
I went for my 2 week post op appointment and recieved a great report! I saw the x-ray of my foot and I couldn’t believe that a plate and 7 screws could fit in my ankle! The splinted cast was taken off and in the true spirit of Christmas approaching, replaced it with a red one! I also got the “all clear” to return to work! By then, I was going stir crazy and was ready to get out of the house. So on December 7th, I returned to work.
I even made it back in time to attend my office Christmas party!
And I made quite an appearance…I was the only one who showed up on a knee scooter!
My job is an office job, so I figured it would be pretty easy to go back to work this soon. Surgery was on my right ankle, so that posed one problem: driving. The biggest inconvenience in returning to work was finding transportation, but I have such sweet friends that gladly sacrificed to help me out. They helped me get in and out of the office and unloaded and loaded my scooter with no complaints.
A few days after I returned to work, the white stuff came to Alabama. I have always loved snow and just because I had a cast on my leg didn’t mean I would miss out!
One day I needed to grab a few things on my lunch break, so I just took a taxi to the nearest Dollar General! A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!
The hardest decision I had to make through all of this was what color my cast would be next. After the red one, I decided to go with purple. We even gave it a little bling one evening!
After 3 weeks in the purple cast, it was FINALLY time to go into a walking boot and start putting a little weight on it. It was truly like learning to walk all over again. I remember putting my bare foot on the ground for the first time, and it was one of the scariest feelings I had ever experienced. At first in the boot, I used two crutches, then one, then the day finally came that I got to put those crutches in the closet. I started physical therapy and after 6 weeks in the boot, I finally got to hear the much anticipated phrase “you can wear two shoes again”. Those words were music to my ears!
I’m not gonna lie, this recovery has been much harder than I ever dreamed. There are days that the pain and swelling is so bad, I have to go home right after work to elevate and ice for the rest of the evening. But there are also days that aren’t as bad, and I have learned to embrace those. Full recovery can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months, so I still have a pretty long road ahead. But with each passing day, I am closer and closer to my new “normal’ with my ankle. Life has really had to slow down for me…there has been a lot of resting and waiting. It’s also been a season of simplicity – just learning to live more simple. It’s been a season of dependence and I’ve had to ask for help more times than I wanted. I’m learning that a slower pace and more rest are not bad things – it’s actually a very good place to be. It gives me the opportunity to live in the moment, engaged in the “now”.
Eventually I want to get back to box jumping, running, and yes…even burpees. Like I said in my last post, that’s where I thrive. But that’s not gonna happen today. And I have a choice – I can either live in the “I wish” and “what if’s” or I can choose to live in the “I can” and “I will”. I can bike. I can write, which I love. I can encourage others. I can seek the Lord. I will be faithful. And I will trust that God is using this recovery and this time in my life to do something that could’ve been done no other way. God is always at work, in our healthiest and strongest days and he’s also at work in our sickest and weakest days.
Thank you all for reading and commenting. And when I do get back to doing burpees and I start complaining, you have the open door to remind me that there was a day that I couldn’t wait to do them!
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”