The Calm Before the Storm

After months of trying to fix my foot on my own, it became clear that surgery is the only option to return to regular activity. I still cannot walk normally, only walking with the injured foot out Fred Flintstone style to make it even slightly tolerable. I miss being active; even kayaking hurt because it required resting my heel on the boat’s floor, which caused aching. Being active is a big part of my life; being unable to do so is disheartening. My awkward gait is causing strain on other parts of my body.

My awesome Fred Flintstone stance

I initially hurt my foot in March. I wore a boot for two weeks and did everything I could to get better. I attended physical therapy. I carried a resistance band with me and used it during virtual classes and my preps. I even earned my yoga instructor certification! I worked on getting stronger but re-injured it anyway. The weekend before the second injury, I ran twelve slow miles, getting back on track for 50K training. I did everything I was supposed to, only to begin right back where I started. An X-ray confirmed that there was no improvement. An MRI confirmed an Achilles debridement was my only chance of getting back to normal. I have to accept that I will not not be completing the Marine Corps 50K or the Boston Marathon (both virtually) this year.

So my surgery is scheduled for this Friday. My orthopedic offered to follow probable timeline:

  • Two weeks: no walking/ weight
  • Six weeks: boot/ begin PT
  • Eight weeks: no driving (mid-October)
  • Ten weeks: maybe start riding a bike (early November)
  • It will be six to nine months before I can even consider running, which brings me to next spring.

I learned that I would need surgery ten days before it was scheduled, which was perfect. This gives me enough time to get stuff done as I won’t be able to drive for eight weeks but not enough time to get nervous and freak out truly. Honestly, it hurts so much that I would have had it done the following day if that were an option. Having ten days to prep gave me time to take care of things I wouldn’t be able to do after the surgery.

  • Take the car in for maintenance and a recall
  • Get Michael school shoes, which was so much fun as he hasn’t had to wear dress shoes since March 13, 2020
  • Get Michael the last of his school supplies
  • Stop into my school to put away my materials and belongings
  • Stock up on household goods since I am unable to drive. (I did this as if we live in a world without online shopping, and everything would fall apart if we ran low on dish soap, but it makes me feel like I’m helping during a time when I will feel useless.)

This also gave me time to plan out modifications to my life that will be required while I cannot put any weight on my foot. Because we live in a cape, we live between three floors. Mike and I were able to figure out how to make this work:

  • Contact school and make sure I was okay to take time off and had everything submitted for approval
  • I will take a downstairs bedroom
  • I made myself a laundry basket of clothes to live out of so I don’t have to go upstairs or rely on the boys to bring me clothes
  • We put a folding chair in the outdoor shower, so I don’t have to try to and stand in our slippery bathtub.

This timeline also allowed eight days to get in the last of the doable summer activities. They include:

  • Taking Michael to Salem to visit Fun Chicken, only to discover that Kiddie Land is closed on Mondays
  • Going to see the Lake Monsters one last time
  • Last pizza on the beach trip
  • Visiting observatory during the meteor shower.

The window of time when Michael wants to do cool stuff with his mom is closing, so we want to do as much as possible

The Lake Monsters’ mascot is Champ, which allows for this cleaver wordplay!
At least we were able to play old school pinball!

The surgeon’s office called this morning as we were finishing breakfast at our favorite little diner- the one that still has RC Cola from the fountain. It’s pouring today, and Michael has baseball tryouts tonight, so this isn’t much more to do than wait around until things get hectic for a little while.

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