Two feet

I still can't ride a bike, but I see them all the time: BionX Mundo!

I still can’t ride a bike, but I see them all the time: BionX Mundo!

I was getting a little frustrated the other week. The stress of waiting for the x-rays scheduled for this week was starting to get to me. If they looked good, I’d have to wait one more week before I started partial weight bearing again (July 23rd!) If they didn’t, I’d have to wait seven weeks or more (I preferred not to know!) That kind of uncertainty can really eat away at a person’s composure.

Gas powered scooter: I can't ride this either, and I don't want to.

Gas powered scooter: I can’t ride this either, and I don’t want to.

I asked many times whether there was anything I could do to improve my odds. The answer was basically no. Sure, both smoking and taking NSAIDs reduce bone growth—now you know–but I am tobacco-free and I have plenty of narcotics for pain. My physical therapists were pretty straight-up about the fact that no amount of their suggested exercises would help. Those exercises were to improve my range of motion, and I was doing them so diligently that I got kicked out of physical therapy until I could bear weight again. I have always been the kind of person who does the homework. But bone regrowth, unfortunately, is not the kind of thing that rewards diligence.

On Tuesday, after a sleepless night, I went to the x-rays and my appointment with my surgeon. The x-rays took a long time. The plate in my leg is so large that the technicians couldn’t capture it in one shot, so they ended up taking twice as many x-rays as they had planned. For that kind of thing you get two lead aprons. Lead aprons are heavy.

Happily my surgeon is not the kind of guy to burlesque. He dashed in, checked my range of motion and said I could start partial weight bearing (25%) that very day. One week early! Yes!

It's okay to walk slowly. We get distracted.

It’s okay to walk slowly. We get distracted.

Learning to walk again after three months without my foot touching the ground is harder than I had hoped. After spending Tuesday afternoon limping around I was so tired I spent all of Wednesday passed out in bed. I was warned that my foot would be sensitive, and that was an understatement. At first, putting weight on my right foot felt like walking on shards of glass. I don’t really care. I can now move around at the pace of a distracted toddler, which is perfect, because I have kids. Yesterday I walked across the room carrying a glass of water for the first time in months. I can even go a few steps holding onto a wall. Sure, this is all totally pathetic, but I’m not proud. Next week I can go up to 50% weight bearing. And so on.

I CAN ride the bus by myself now. I'm a big girl!

I CAN ride the bus by myself now. I’m a big girl!

Unfortunately, I still can’t ride a bike. I was told this was a balance issue and I have to be fully-weight bearing.  But a stationary bike is supposedly fine, which whatever, how is a stationary bike going to get me anywhere? So mid-August it is. In the meantime, though, this walking thing? It’s really great.


Filed under injury, San Francisco

8 responses to “Two feet

  1. Zan

    So happy for you! Yeah bone growth!

  2. Good luck! I had a similar experience a few years ago where I shattered one of the bones in my foot getting hit by a right-turning car (while in a bike lane), followed by surgery and 3 months of no weight bearing. I started riding again about a month after I was allowed walk, and I quickly found that–with some irony–biking was easy and painless, while walking was agony. It’s been a long, slow road; but, as they say, it gets better.

    P.S., I envy your stable of family bikes

  3. You’re getting there! So wonderful! Keep growing those bones and being proud of yourself!

  4. Whitney

    I wonder if you could ask your doctor if you could ride an adult tricycle soon? We just spent the week in Davis, and the house we rented had several bikes for our use, including one of these. No balance required. I even saw a lady at least 90 years old slowly pedaling down the street on an adult tricycle.

  5. deanS

    I thought a stationary bike helps with flexibility, muscle strength and increase joint support, reduce your pain level, speed up the healing process and helping your leg return to a functioning level. It’s like cyclists that use trainers on they’re bikes in the winter. Stay positive and you should be proud, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
    Long time reader, first time commenter

  6. Warren

    bone broth?

    Make sure you’ve got plenty of bone and connective tissue parts to use, and you can heal up a little quicker. A proper bone broth will have all of them, or you can chase down your parts in supplement form, which is a hassle because not all of them are identified yet, AFAIK. If they were, I’d expect they would have given you a script for them ^_^

    It’s good to hear you’re up and about again.

  7. Ted

    Congratulations, Dorie. I hope the improvement continues and we’ll see you in a couple of weeks.


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