Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday Stroke Survival: Arise and Walk Without Pain

This week seemed to be forever getting here. I am actually able to walk without pain! Let me revise that statement. I was able to walk short distances without pain. At least not the twisting knife in the foot pain I was in. I still have twinges when I climb stairs and am up on my feet too long. But, I'm giddily happy to be able to move again without pain.

But my foot is healing! At least that's what the pain reduction means to me. Or, it might be the new rocker sole on my shoe that takes the pressure off the ball of my foot. Or, it could be my new AFO. This new one takes in account the atrophy in the calf muscle, supports my ankle better, it has a non articulating ankle now since I can't dorsiflex anymore and plus has a build up on one side that adjusts my stance in a more natural way. Don't worry if the neurosurgery works, they can put the hinge back in.

Walking with the rocker sole took some getting used to. It felt awkward at first because I was walking on my heel rather than the ball of my foot striking the surface first. But instantly, there was relief in each step. I had to learn a new balance point than the way I was walking with my old shoes. Instead of tripping over invisible lint on the carpet with the toe of my shoe, it's now at the arch of my foot. The dreaded invisible lint will trip me up for several months to come before it will be put to rest. Don't you just hate that? But to me, it's a small price to pay for being mobile on two legs.

You gotta love doctors that will work with you rather ones that are captains of the ship. I wouldn't have any other kind. I hire or fire them, right? My primary care physician is no different. Other than my required twice a year wellness checks, I don't bother him unless I really need something. Sometimes, he's easier to access than my specialists (*ologists). This was the case with the order and documentation for my new AFO. I made the appointment and showed up three days later. First thing out of his mouth after "Hello" was "What do you need, Jo?" I like that.

After I explained what I needed and why, he examined my leg and AFO, my leg in the AFO while standing and walking. He's thorough and straight business jotting down high points on his notepad as he went. "This won't do. You have to have a new one. I'll be right back."

He was gone twenty minutes. I could hear him outside at the nurse's station dictating. He came back in with four sheets (single spaced!) of documentation that was required. We chatted about my kidneys and the up coming aneurysm surgery for a few more minutes and like I said before about my kidneys...nothing can be changed was the general conclusion. He'll just monitor the progress of the failure. When it gets bad enough, he'll refer me the another specialist.

That was it. All done except for dropping the paperwork off at Hanger Orthotics. I'm not going through that mess again like with my shoes last year. My doctor did add, if they need more information for them to call him. He'd write another chapter for them. He said the last ending with a throaty chuckle. Can you tell he's been around the block a few times in battling insurance companies and Medicare? That's what I love about older doctors, they know the ropes. I'm not opposed to holding their hand through the process, but it's refreshing to not have to.

Not bad scurrying about for a month, is it? Usually, the hurry up and waits catch up to me. I'm just thankful, it all fell into place before I broke some more bones in my foot. Spring is coming and our busy time in the garden and orchard. The rabbits need to get their close haircuts (shearing) before the weather becomes unbearable for them and we've already got one hen showing signs of broodiness. Now, I just have to get my stamina built back up to handle it all. Don't worry, I will.

After all...
Nothing is impossible.


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