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I'm Recovering from Surgery and About to Lose it!

thecrossbarthecrossbar Member Posts: 53 Member Member Posts: 53 Member
I need advice. I had surgery to repair 3 torn ligaments in my ankle 7 weeks ago. I have a walking boot but am technically supposed to only be 50% weight bearing with crutches.

I have been losing my mind. Nevermind the fact I've spent 3 years barely able to walk, let alone excercise while we figured out the problem... I just so desperately want to run, and at best, that wont be until October.

Exercise was a great stress reliever for me. After being essentially bedridden for a few weeks (my right calf lost 1.5 inches! Ugh!), I have been glad to "walk" around, but I can't even walk. I need advice on how to make it through this recovery period. I know once it's over, things will be better than ever, but I feel like I'm wasting away.

Replies

  • aokoyeaokoye Member Posts: 3,494 Member Member Posts: 3,494 Member
    Focus on your physical therapy, find things that can help keep your mind off of your being 50% weight bearing, keep your mind on the fact that you're going for the long game, remind yourself that people can and do come back from similar surgeries...I could probably go on.

    And with that last piece, I am not saying to do the, "others have it worse than I do so I shouldn't sulk/feel bad" or "i should feel grateful that I'm not dealing with XYZ thing that's worse than my surgery". That, for me, is beyond unuseful. It's more a, "ok so this person was able to do this, I should be able to as well." In the same way that it sucks to be in a rut when you're writing a thesis or a book but it is doable. Also that atrophy? Totally normal and to be expected. You'll regain the strength (and muscle).
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 2,084 Member Member Posts: 2,084 Member
    Time to start (or continue) some upper body work at the gym. Just make sure anything you do is okay with your PT.

    Best of luck.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 9,010 Member Member Posts: 9,010 Member
    See what limits your surgeon/doctor has put on you for strength training if you haven't already. There is a wide variety of lifts that can be done to combat atrophy as well as relieve stress in the meantime. Not to mention make you stronger.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,646 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,646 Member
    It's hard when you're accustomed to (and realistically striving toward) being 100% able-bodied.

    But this is a time to focus not on what's off limits, but rather on what you can do: Might be upper body weights, maybe arm bike, possible some types of pool exercise, there are lots of modalities out there. Talk to your doctor, see what you're permitted, and what is super-risky. Tell them you're an athlete, and ask if a PT referral is possible to help you maintain conditioning while recovering. If not, do research, or hire an appropriately skilled trainer.

    Focus your energy on what's possible, not on what you're temporarily needing to give up.

    (Yes, I've lived in that neighborhood a few times, so I'm not just speculating. After breast cancer surgery, it was yoga, for me, at first. With a broken ankle, it was upper body weights. For almost a month after gallbladder surgery, it was walking - just walking. There's something.)
  • JthanmyfitnesspalJthanmyfitnesspal Member, Premium Posts: 2,949 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,949 Member
    I was in a knee brace for 6 months a few years ago. I went back to the pool and really improved my swimming (no kicking, i used a "pool buoy." I also went kayaking at a rental place that helped me in and out of the boat (on a river, low probability of capsize). I also did upper body weights and lots of core. Man, I got ripped!

    When the brace came off, I went back to the elliptical for a while. The great news is that now I can run, ride, and my swimming is better than ever.
  • aokoyeaokoye Member Posts: 3,494 Member Member Posts: 3,494 Member
    Be really careful about how you get into the lake. The one and only matra that I've had was after my two most recent knee surgeries - "do not fall". Also the barstool is a good idea. I used one for my first three knee surgeries but was too tired for the last one. I ended up skipping the bar stool all together (it's awkward when you can't bend your knee) and went directly to managing to use the counters as crutches of sorts.

    Good luck though, you'll get through it. It'll probably suck, but you'll get through it. Don't beat yourself up for not feeling especially chipper ;) I've posted about my experiences pretty extensively here (including in the thread that was linked above) so feel free to search through my posts.
  • oceanvixen79oceanvixen79 Member Posts: 38 Member Member Posts: 38 Member
    I hear you. I am NWB after my ankle was shattered in a car accident for an estimated 2 months except my 6 week xrays did not look promising. I joined 2 support groups on FB because most people around me have never been truly non-weight bearing for weeks on end and just don't understand how soul crushing it is laying on your back staring at the ceiling for hours.

    Tomorrow I am going to attempt paddling around a pool (dr approved) if I can figure out to make my fibula stable enough so if someone accidentally kicks me I won't be right back in the emergency room. Currently I'm celebrating small victories like loading the dishwasher or cooking a meal or vacuuming...

    That being said...anyone here can message me or add me as a friend. I would love to see the posts of people who are recovering or have recovered.
    edited May 2019
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