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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Stairs at last!!!!
 
 
At 15 weeks post lisfranc surgery, I can go downstairs without any banister support, if I take it slowly and carefully.  My physical therapist has had me practicing with different step heights during my PT sessions and it has paid off!
 
(note how hard my recovering foot’s toes have to work in order to maintain balance.  I guess there was a reason to the marble exercises after all!!  ;0)
 
 
My Physical therapist told me most of a person’s balance is through the big toe which is the last thing to heal after lisfranc surgery repair.
 
 
 
15 weeks post lisfranc surgery going down stairs!

 

15 weeks post lisfranc surgery image left side view

Below shows a fairly good view of what my lisfranc surgery scar looks like 15 weeks after surgery.
The scar still itches often and the whole top of my foot is tender to the touch. The good news it the top of my foot has stopped having the constant tingling sensation that had become very annoying, especially at night.

15 weeks post lisfranc surgery image right side view

I still do not have full sensation in my big toe but I can feel tingling and sharp twinges of pain as the nerves continue to heal. My big toe is very sore to the touch.

15 weeks post lisfranc surgery

 

15 weeks post lisfranc surgery scar image

I keep hoping the scar will continue to fade, but that has become far less important to me as the days roll by.

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14 Weeks post lisfranc surgery

 
 
 
14 Weeks post lisfranc surgery

Yes!  At 14 weeks post lisfranc surgery I can finally bend my upper foot and put half my weight on my recovering foot while standing on tip toes!!!

Here is a list of what else I CAN do at 14 weeks following lisfranc surgery:

My recovering foot can bear 100% of my body weight while standing one legged.

I can easily walk upstairs without pain and without holding on the the banister while in sneakers.

Every 3-4 footsteps are completely pain free, without using a cane and when walking in a sneaker.

I am completely pain free while walking in a boot.

I can stand pain free for up to 10 minutes in bare feet and even longer in sneakers.

I can manage walking around my living area in sneakers without a cane or a limp when my foot isn’t tired.

I rarely wake up at night with foot pain

My pain level rarely goes above a level 4 no matter what I do!!!

I am pain free all the time when sitting with my foot elevated.

I only ice 1-2 times a day now.  Sometimes I even forget!!!!!!!!

My recovering foot fits easily into my sneaker and I can tie the laces!!!

14 weeks post lisfranc surgery

Some things I still have not achieved at 14 weeks following lisfranc surgery:

I cannot walk downstairs normally without my cane and hanging on to the banister.

I still have trouble with balance on my recovering foot unless I walk slowly.

I cannot walk on uneven ground

I cannot walk down a hill

I cannot wear any other shoe other than a sneaker.

My foot itches where the incision is all the time.  (Which means the nerves are regenerating!!!!)

My big toe aches with activity.

I cannot walk any type of distance.

14 weeks post lisfranc surgery image
left side view 14 weeks post lisfranc surgery image
Right side view 14 weeks post lisfranc surgery

And best of all, today was the first day I could sit outside on the grass and get up without help!!

  After being pretty much homebound for the last 14 weeks (following my lisfranc surgery on May 10th) I took my first vacation this last week-end.   My husband and I decided to visit his senior partner who has a home on Lake Geneva.  It is a 45 minute flight from Minneapolis to Milwaukee, so it was the perfect flight to take for my first post lisfranc outing.  I was really excited to get out of town for a short week-end.

 

My physical therapist and I  agreed that I should wear my boot and use my cane to navigate all the walking I would need to do in the airport.  And even then, I still may need to use the handicap transportation at the airport.

 

I wondered how I was going to get through TSA with my boot and my cane!  As I approached the place where you take your shoes off, I was surrounded by 2 TSA agents who were more than willing to assist me.  They took my cane and gave me one of theirs.  (Mine had to be X-Rayed.)  And then I took off my one shoe and placed it in the X-ray along with my carry on.  Next I was helped up the ramp into the full body scan.  I never noticed before that there is a a definite sharp decline to walk out of the body scan, so I needed help there as well.  

After the body scan I was put in a roped off area where I offered to take off my boot.  This suggestion was met with a lot of emphatic “NO’s” from more than one agent.  Instead, the TSA agent scanned my boot!

TSA Scanning of my boot

 
Getting through TSA airport security with my boot

Getting through airport security was really easy and all the agents were helpful.  I was surprised they let me take pictures for my blog!

Being able to travel once again was a huge boost, psychologically, for me in my lisfranc recovery journey. It felt wonderful to be one step closer to living a normal life once again.

 
 
When my surgeon promised me cute shoes by September, I think we differed on our ideas of what I meant by cute shoes!  I was thinking cute shoes meant being able to wear some of the sandles collecting dust in my closet or maybe even maybe even slipping on a  pair of low heels! 
 
 After my appointment with my surgeon last week, it was clear that I will be wearing sneakers for 3 more months.  After I got through my disappointment, I turned on my computer and headed to the Zappos website for some shopping therapy.  I ordered these Saucony sneakers in a  half a size larger than I normally wear and guess what?  My recovering foot not only fits into the sneaker perfectly, I can even tie the laces!!!!
Sneakers that fit after lisfranc surgery
I am hoping my physical therapist will soon be taking away my beloved boot and upgrading me to sneakers all the time!
 
 

These new sneakers will now join my cherished pink sneakers in my closet. A girl needs choices, especially when it comes to shoes!   Both pairs have the added benefit of screaming to the world              “Back away from my feet!”  

I won’t have to worry about my recovering foot getting accidentally stepped on!!!
 

These are my newest and more challenging exercises given to me by my physical therapist. (12 weeks after lisfranc surgery repair.) All of them are a HUGE challenge for me which is fantastic.   I am not able to do the heel raises yet because it is still too painful.

I am posting these exercises, because some of you have expressed an interest in them.  These exercises were tailored made for my current recovery needs. Please check with your own physical therapist, physician or surgeon before doing any of these exercises  as your limitations my be different from mine.

12 weeks post lisfranc surgery physical therapy land exercises. 
Please check with your own surgeon, therapist or physician before doing any of these exercises.
I am now 13 weeks post lisfranc surgery and looking back, I have made huge progress!
  
I need to ice only 1 – 2 times per day now. 
 
I am navigating fairly well around our house with sneakers on and am only dependent upon my cane for longer distances within our home. 
 
I walk up our stairs effortlessly
 
I am starting to learn to walk down our stairs normally, although this is much more difficult for me and I can only do this with partial weight bearing. (Leaning on my cane and the banister.)
 
When outside of our house, I still used my boot and a cane. 
 
My pain level is zero when walking in my boot and 2-3 when walking in a sneaker. 
 
I rarely have to elevate when at a restaurant or church
 
My nighttime cramping in my leg and foot have stopped.
 
I sleep all night pain free.  In fact, I cannot remember the last time I took extra strength tylenol!!
 
 
 
13 weeks following lisranc surgery  my recovering foot is very similar to my “normal” foot now!
13 weeks following lisfranc surgery.  Not much swelling anymore

13 weeks following lisfranc surgery, right side view.  My ankle is almost normal
13 weeks following lisfranc sugary, left side view. At this angle, my scar is not very noticeable 

There is hope for pain free walking at the end of this journey!

 
 

Yesterday, my husband and I attended the Global Leadership Summit and one of the speakers we heard was Dr. Henry Cloud.  Dr. Cloud is a famous  psychologist who wrote the 4 million best seller “Boundaries.” 

 http://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-When-Take-Control-Your/dp/0310247454  

His topic yesterday was taken from his newest book, “Boundaries for Leaders.”  While the topic specifically targeted C level people (CEO’s, CFO’s etc) I couldn’t help but apply his ideas to my lisfranc recovery situation.  

I realized that after hearing my surgeon tell me I still had 3 more months of recovery in front of me my sadness and grief came from a sense of loss of control.  After all, I was taught that A + B = C.  In my reality, that would mean therapy plus ice/elevation = healing.  My thought was the harder I worked, the better outcome I would have.  I never considered the one thing I couldn’t control……healing.  Bones take time to heal.  That is something I cannot speed up, no matter how much therapy I do.  And I cannot control the amount of pain I have either as my foot continues to adjust to the titanium plate drilled into my foot. 

The loss of control is what started my downward spiral in attitude on Tuesday.  Did you know that when you start the attitude spiral decent that your actual brain starts to change?  Dr. Cloud explained his theory of the 3 P’s:

Personal:  A negative attitude causes the brain to interpret the situation in a personal way.  In my case my negative thoughts started telling me I’m not good enough or that I haven’t worked hard enough to “earn” pain free walking.

Pervasive: A negative attitude causes the brain to interpret the situation as all encompassing.  In my case my negative thoughts include saying my whole life sucks, not just the pain when walking, but every area of my life is terrible.

Permanent:  A negative attitude causes the brain to interpret the situation is never going to change and is permanent.  In my case, my negative thoughts included starting to doubt if my foot was ever going to heal.  Will I always walk with pain?

So now it is time to reverse the 3 P’s!

To dispute the Personal I have to tell myself that 99% of my negative thoughts are false.  I know I have worked hard trying to rehab my foot!  In my case, I have worked too hard at rehab and haven’t let my foot rest and heal enough in-between therapy sessions.

To dispute the Pervasive I have to realize that everyone’s life has injury and pain and just because I still have 3 more months of serious re-hab doesn’t mean I still can’t enjoy the parts of my life that are working well.  It is time to count my blessings once again

To dispute the Permanent I decided to Dr. Clouds’s suggestion and make a list of things I can’t control and compare it to the list of what I can control and then focus on the things I can control.  I mean, I do have control of some things, even if I have limited mobility. According to Dr. Cloud,  It’s all about disputing the negative brain noise.

What I can’t control
Bone healing
Amount of pain during healing
Amount of swelling
My sneaker not being able to fit
Walking with a limp
Walking with a cane
Using a handicap motorized cart while shopping at Target
Not being able to walk downstairs
Not being able to walk 1 block

What I can control
The amount of therapy I do each week
The amount of walking I endure
Stopping my activities and icing when I am in pain
My attitude
Finding activities that don’t require mobility
Making someone smile at least once each day
Being grateful for all I do have and not focusing on what I don’t have.

These lists are far from complete, but you get the general idea.  Thanks to Dr. Cloud, I have a brand new attitude and am now ready for the 2nd half of my lisfranc recovery period.

The above ideas were taken from Dr. Henry Cloud’s talk at the Global Leadership Summit 2013 and were meant to explain the downward spirals of people in leadership and to provide a solution to get back on track.  If you would like to read Dr. Cloud’s ideas without my interpretation for my personal journey they are included in his newest book:
“Boundaries for Leaders.”  http://www.drcloud.com      http://www.drcloud.com/resources

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