Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fanklebot

(This is my fifth post in My Fankle Journey.)

I decided to write this post using dates so that people who are having (or have had) posterior tibial tendon surgery can see my timeline and get and an idea of what to expect with their recovery. We ankle-tendon-surgery peeps gotta stick together! :)

8/10—two days after my first post-op appointment; one week after surgery (8/03/16):
I was still absolutely using crutches 100% of the time to get anywhere, besides when I took a shower. Then I used my shower chair that Greg bought for me at Walmart. My whole body was sore from the crutches—especially my hands, shoulders and abdominal muscles. Fankle still hurt, but the pain was a little less intense, so I was up and about a lot more that day. I even taught piano lessons for the first time since my surgery! :)

8/11:
Despite being super excited to be more physically active (well, as active as one can be on crutches!), I sadly realized that I did too much the day before because I had new bruising and swelling in Fankle. Thus, I laid down a lot that day and felt pretty bummed out.

8/12:
From Monday, August 8th (after my post-op appointment), through Friday night, August 12th, I worked so hard to get my foot flatly in my boot. You see, my podiatrist said I must get my foot/leg to a 90° angle, or I would risk losing even more of my calf's muscle mass. Working to flatten my foot put me in pain every single day!

There were times when I just didn't think it was possible to get my foot flatly in my boot without washcloths/towels stuffed inside to protect Fankle. Thankfully, my tiring and painful work paid off! By 11:30 p.m. Friday night, I finally pushed my foot flatly into my boot! Yes, I was very close to my podiatrist's deadline, but I made it in time, so it totally counts! Yay me! I don't think it's possible to fully convey what this accomplishment meant to me. Just know that I felt like I ran a marathon and won first place! :)

This is mere moments after I pushed my foot flatly into my boot! I'd like to introduce you to Fanklebot!


*My oldest son couldn't figure out why on earth I nicknamed it Fanklebot, but there's a reason: my boot reminds me of a big robot leg—like in the movie "Spy Kids 3-D Game Over." So instead of calling it my robot leg, I just called it Fanklebot! It makes perfect sense to me! ;)

After accomplishing my boot-feat (so punny!), I was exhausted both physically and emotionally. I called it a night and gratefully went to sleep.

8/13:
That morning, I knew it was time to begin walking ever-so-gently with my crutches. I felt quite strange not putting all of my weight only on my left foot and crutches. Thus, my stomach muscles, shoulders and hands were happy to have a break! :) Even though I desperately wanted to speed things along, I knew I had to take it slowly and put very minimal weight on Fanklebot for the first little while.

Later that day, I did some more research on ankle tendon surgery recovery...I've spent a lot of time researching ankles throughout my Fankle ordeal! I found a blog, "Documenting My Posterior Tibial Tendon Surgery and Recovery," that made me super glad I had surgery as soon as I did after my injury!

You see, the woman blogger let her injury progress entirely too long. She said it was about 11 years from the time she was injured, to the time she was diagnosed with a longitudinal tear in her tendon—like my injury. Then she waited another six years to actually have posterior tibial tendon surgery. By the time she had surgery, she ended up having a major ankle reconstruction instead of just repairing her torn tendon!

Thus, I'm so happy I caught my tendon problem relatively quickly so my ankle issues didn't worsen! If you want to see photos of the other blogger's ankles before and after, click here and here—but be warned, the images look very painful! Here are both of her feet before surgery, and after surgery.

8/16:
I was extremely happy to be able to go to breakfast with some very dear friends of mine! Being that I was a legit cripple, my friend who lives not too far away came and picked me up. I was so grateful for her service to me! Oh, I was a sad sight as I walked with my crutches and boot out to the car, and from the car into the restaurant! It was the first time I'd been out of the house without my Gregor, so I felt self conscious. You see, Greg just has this magical effect on me. Whenever we're together, nothing else in this world matters! So, yeah, it was strange to be out and about without my main squeeze.

My friends and I spent a grand two-and-a-half hours talking, laughing, and giving each other free therapy! At the end of our breakfast, one of the employees came over to us and said, "Oh, please don't leave! I'll be bored now!" So apparently, the entire restaurant could hear our conversations! Ha ha.

We asked that darling older lady if she would take a photo of us, and she did. I had to balance between my friends and hold onto them because Fanklebot was very achy and heavy. I knew there was no way I could put any pressure on it without my crutches, so I held on to my friends for dear life! As I posted on my Instagram photo that day, "We all need good friends in our lives to help balance and support us!" It's so true!

8/19:
I started walking very short distances—in my house—using only one crutch! I was a total gimp, but it felt so amazing to have one free arm while I was walking—even if it was for a very short period of time!

8/20:
I became the One-Crutch Wonder! I was super excited because Fanklebot allowed me to do some very minimal housework! I actually moved laundry baskets all by myself(!), without having to ask for help from my family! Of course I had to lay down on my bed again after all of that activity, but at least I wasn't "Queen of the Bed" anymore! Yes, I think the hashtag #AbdicatedAdrie is quite appropriate!

8/21:
I cannot express how happy I was to finally be able to return to my beloved church again! I was still hobbling on one crutch—it wasn't pretty, but at least I made it! Church lasted three hours and I barely endured. Fanklebot began throbbing, so I put it up on the chairs next to me. When I got home from church, I felt like I had climbed a mountain. I took a nap for two hours! It's just amazing to me how much energy is required for recovering from surgery.

8/22 was a huge day! I walked across my kitchen for the very first time withOUT the help of crutches! I was actually walking on my very own for the first time in 19 days! I couldn't help but yell, "I'm walking!"—reminiscent of Bob in "What About Bob"! :)



I rewrote Bob's script to match my situation!
"Guess what?! Ahoy! I walk! I'm a walker! I walk! Isn't this a breakthrough?! That I'm a walker?! I walk! I walk now! I'm walking in my boot...in my kitchen...across the floor...without crutches! All by myself, and I didn't fall down...and everything!"
So if you're not laughing now, too bad for you because this scene in my head is hilarious! :) Yes, I was very excited to be walking Fanklebot all by me'self! But I must clarify that I was walking very gingerly for the first little while. I was definitely not hip-hopping it all over the place like I wanted.

A major discovery was made that day: I realized just how skinny my leg had become because of a lack of physical activity. When I laid out my legs next to each other, my left leg was very muscly and my right leg was seriously withered. My right shin bone was so pronounced and sharp, I could actually feel some of its circumference! I measured my calf muscles and was astounded with the results: my right leg was an entire inch smaller than my left leg! I began referring to my right leg as chicken leg and my left leg as beef leg. Oh, it was so funny to me! I'll never get over my chicken leg and beef leg! :)

8/23:
I went to my three-week post-op appointment and finally had my sutures removed! I was greatly surprised that they actually hurt a little bit to remove. Granted, it wasn't horrible, but it didn't feel good at all. When Fankle was finally free of its restraints, my podiatrist sprayed my foot with adhesive (not on my incision) and put Steri-Strips on to prevent my incision from opening back up.

Here's a photo mere moments before my podiatrist snipped out my sutures!

That's my husband's wonderful foot next to me! We love Nike! :)

Here is Fankle without stitches!


I was also cleared for driving! Yay! I think my podiatrist thought I should have been driving sooner, but I didn't ever remember him saying it previously in my other appointments. Plus, I didn't want to mess up any work he had done in my surgery, so I was perfectly okay waiting three weeks to drive.

That night, I happily wore my boot and did a few things a mother must do to keep a household running. My oldest son wanted a haircut, so I brought out our supplies and started cutting his hair. It was a hot night so my foot began sweating. Toward the end of my son's haircut, Fanklebot was pretty uncomfortable, but I finished anyway.

When I sat down to ice my foot, I gasped after I pulled my sock off. The men's sock I bought—to keep the boot's lining from irritating my leg—was nylon, so it didn't absorb sweat at all. Because I was so hot and sweaty while cutting my son's hair, the front-end Steri-Strip on Fankle actually came off and my incision popped open slightly at the end! It was bleeding a bit and didn't look good. Yay not me. :'(

I panicked slightly and asked my husband what I should do—even though I'm much more medically minded than he is. Like I said before, Greg calms me down when I'm in a scary spot—thank goodness for him! :) We decided I would call the doctor the next morning and ask him what to do. I put povidone iodine (Betadine) on/around my incision, put the Steri-Strip back on and covered it tightly with a small bandage. I tried to stay calm, but I was totally nervous because I've never had an incision open up after having sutures removed!

8/24:
I went back to my podiatrist and showed him the damage at the end of my incision near my arch. He cleaned out my wound quite vigorously with a povidone-iodine-dipped gauze pad...it didn't feel good! Yet I was happy to see him rub my wound in that way because it helped me know my incision was healing well. Based on his actions, I knew my incision wasn't going to pop completely apart like I feared it would the night before! I know, my imagination totally got the better of me again! My podiatrist sprayed adhesive on my foot again and strongly applied the longest Steri-Strip to help it stay in place.

Here is Fankle re-Steri-Stripped! I know it's not the best photo, and please ignore my hairy leg!


Dr. _____ told me that in order for my incision to heal properly, I shouldn't take long showers and I had to keep my foot dry—when I wasn't showering, of course. He then gave me a bunch of gauze pads and told me to put those over the top of my incision and the Steri-Strips to help keep the moisture from accumulating.

I changed my socks as soon as I got home. I started wearing an absorbent cotton ankle sock underneath my nylon sock. That way, I knew the ankle sock would absorb the moisture, and the nylon sock would help protect my calf/shin from being rubbed raw.

Because I paid such close attention to my podiatrist when he fixed my incision, I knew I could do exactly what he did if my Steri-Strips peeled off again. Most people wouldn't worry a thing about their incision at this point in their recovery, but I'm assuming most people don't have a sweaty-hands-and-feet problem like I do! Ha ha. Thus, I ordered a box of long Steri-Strips from Amazon! (Have I mentioned before how much I adore Amazon?! They are awesome!) I hoped my incision would heal as my podiatrist said it would, but I felt so much more relaxed knowing I had backup Steri-Strips if anything went wrong. :)

While I was so grateful to be able to drive anywhere I wanted, I was frustrated with the fact that I had to put on my boot to walk to my car, then I had to remove my boot so I could drive! Then every time I went into our house, I had to put on my boot in the car again, walk inside, and then clean off the bottom of it with a couple of baby wipes. I know that sounds excessive, but we have a shoes-off house because I love sitting/laying on the floor, and I don't want to hang out on dirty carpet! So yeah, I was tired of putting on/removing my boot so many times each day.

8/24–8/26:
I continued working on walking Fanklebot and tried not to get sweaty at all. I began showering every other day—which about killed me! I became very frustrated because my incision's healing time seemed to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r. and the Steri-Strips kept peeling off every couple of days. I reapplied my Steri-Strips, but I was concerned about my incision...the whole thing was so annoying!

8/25:
That night I went shopping with my daughter at Sam's Club and Walmart. I walked pretty okay for a while, but then we ended up in the middle of Walmart and Fanklebot began hurting. I felt such pain, I wanted to cry! I suddenly felt like I was stranded in a deadly desert with no available rescue...but we were in the middle of Walmart! Ha ha. I didn't know if I would make it out of there okay, but I survived. I took it very easy after that Fanklebot episode. ;)

8/29:
I began walking up and down my stairs with both legs doing their part! That was exciting for me because, previously, I had walked our stairs very cautiously and had a weird gimp. Sadly, I did too much physical activity that day again.

I was shocked later that night to find some yellowish goo oozing out from under my Steri-Strip. Hi! Panic mode activated! I immediately took a shower and afterward redid my Steri-Strip with povidone-iodine. I was totally bummed that my incision took a few more days to heal—read: resting in bed with minimal activity again. I was beyond frustrated at my situation! I just wanted to be the mother I've always been! I was so done feeling physically useless.

8/30:
I put myself on bed-rest and only walked when I needed to drive my children to/from school.

8/31:
I finally slept well because my incision got a smidgen better. Yay!

9/03:
I was very tired of laying in bed most of the time so I wouldn't get sweaty—you know, so my incision could actually close. I desperately wanted out of my Fankle Jail! After one month of frustrating recovery, I decided that all criminals should have tendon surgery as punishment for their crimes—and as a deterrent for future criminals! Ha ha. Just kidding. I wouldn't wish this pain on anybody.

That night, I prayed and cried in my shower. I've prayed throughout my entire recovery, but that was the first time I was so emotional with my prayers. I had finally hit my true breaking point. I was beyond done with my incision taking its own sweet time to heal that last, final, dinky little piece of skin that I so foolishly split open (the night I gave my oldest son a haircut.)

It felt so good to pray and cry like that! I pleaded with our Heavenly Father to please help me. I explained that I had literally done everything I possibly could to ensure a good outcome for my surgery. I told Him that I knew He could heal me, so would he please just do it?!!!

9/04:
During my shower that night, my Steri-Strip peeled off again and I was like, "No! Not again!" I shouldn't have been surprised as I had had that strip on for a couple of days. I decided to let my incision be until after I finished showering. I dreaded looking at my incision. Thus, I was happily surprised when I looked at my incision and realized it was down to mere millimeters left to be healed! I had such happy tears! I finally felt a peace I hadn't felt in weeks. :)

9/11:
While walking out of my church's regional conference, I held onto Greg's elbow for balance. We ended up behind the most adorable old couple. They were holding each other's hands and walking very slowly as well—I think one of them had a cane. My heart burst with happiness as I watched that darling old couple walk together! I said to Greg, "I found my people!" Oh, yes, it was such a happy day to finally be walking with people who were actually going my exact pace—and they weren't doing it to help me! Ha ha.

As a side note, I absolutely loved Elder Ballard's talk from our regional talk. I highly recommend reading, "To the Saints of the Utah Salt Lake Area."

9/12:
You can see from the gap between the 4th and 11th that I relaxed a little. :) I also finally quit using Steri-Strips on the 12th. That was a very triumphant moment for me! I still had a weird little nubbin to heal that stuck out of my incision, but I was so grateful everything else had healed together that I did not care if I had a nubbin for the rest of my life! Hey, if Chandler Bing (from "Friends") can go through life with a nubbin in an awkward place, I could certainly have a Fanklenubbin for the rest of my life!

Interestingly, my eye had been twitching for several weeks after I acquired Fankle because of pain and worries. Thus, I was very happy not to be worried about my incision anymore. Yes, I was completely fascinated that my eye finally quit twitching after my incision healed!

*Let that be a lesson to everyone: when someone has an eye twitch, it most likely means something is really bothering them, and you should probably be extra kind to them! :)

9/14:
I was terrified to go to my six-week post-op appointment! I simply couldn't fathom the fact that my podiatrist was going to tell me it was time to start walking without a boot! My chicken leg didn't seem like it could remotely handle walking without my boot. Thankfully, Dr. _____ relieved my mind of any worries! :) During my appointment, he explained how I would build up my strength:
  1. Start off each day by wearing sturdy arch supports in my athletic shoes. He gave me Powerstep Slim-Tech orthotics—they are awesome! I like them so much, I thought about buying another pair—but they're a little on the pricey side, so instead, I decided to switch my orthotics when I wear different athletic shoes.
  2. Walk just until my ankle begins to hurt, then put my boot on for the rest of the day.
  3. Move my foot in circular motions—both directions.
  4. Towel stretch: sit down, put my leg out in front of me, pull the ball of my foot toward me with a hand towel, hold in place for 30 seconds, work up to one minute.
  5. Stork-stand on my right foot each night for two minutes while brushing my teeth. He explained that he didn't care how many times my left foot touched the ground, as long as I tried to hold my position for two full minutes. At the beginning of my stork-standing efforts, my near-constant left-foot tapping sounded like I was weakly trying to tap dance!
I was also concerned about one area of my inside ankle bone and partway up my calf next to my shin bone that was still really stiff and sore. He explained it was my tendon that was attached to the tibialis posterior muscle, and it would be sore as I was building up my muscle again. I've tried massaging and gently stretching that area a lot, but it's still pretty achy. I hope it clears up soon! Click here to see what the tibialis posterior muscle looks like in our calves. 

Even though I was cleared for walking without my boot, I happily continued wearing it for the remainder of that day. I wanted to give Fanklebot exactly six weeks of serious recovery before setting it free!

9/15:
I nervously started out my day with arch supports in my new bluish/purplish Nikes I bought before my Fankle tragedy happened. I walked soooo tenderly, timidly and slowly! My ankle felt strangely stiff and flimsy all at once! I was pleasantly surprised that I made it without my boot until 12:00 p.m. on my very first walking day! But when my foot started throbbing, I happily put my boot back on.

Can you even believe my beef leg and chicken leg?! I was able to flex my left leg, but my right leg was utterly hopeless—there was absolutely zero flexing going on because of my significantly decreased muscle mass!

9/16:
I was amazed at how quickly Fankle was progressing. I walked without my boot until 3:00 p.m. that day! I was also amazed that I could love my boot so much. You laugh, but for the longest time, I hated Fanklebot! I was so tired of having to "put my leg on" in order to go do anything. I was very frustrated with the amount of time it took to put my boot on and take it off—I couldn't wait to just walk out the door and go back inside without having to go through a huge procedure! So when I actually looked forward to putting my boot back on, well, it was pretty hilarious! Long live Fanklebot! ;)

9/17:
I awoke and went about my Saturday as usual, but then my sweet mom sent a text to all of her children that scared us: she was in the hospital because her world was spinning and she couldn't stop vomiting. After many tests and exams, her doctors determined she had a severe case of vertigo.

The hospital staff eventually decided my mom would be okay to send home, but she needed someone to stay with her overnight. She also needed someone to teach her Relief Society lesson on Sunday, so I volunteered to do both! :) I love helping my mama! I was nervous about driving 45 minutes to my mom's house, as Fankle was still recovering, but I prayed and knew I would be fine. I did the quickest packing job of my life(!) and drove to be with my mom.

*Speaking of my amazing mama, I forgot to share that, on August 8th, I received a card in the mail from her! :) My dearest mom sent me a substantial check to help pay for Fankle's medical expenses! I didn't ask her for help at all, but she said helping me pay for my surgery felt like the right thing to do. As you can imagine, I totally cried at her generosity. Is there anything that compares to grateful, happy tears?!

While I'd love to explain more about my mom and our hospital experiences, this post is about my ankle surgery recovery! Suffice it to say, my mom and I were quite the sight: me with Fanklebot, and my mom as tipsy and unstable as a drunkard! *I'm not making fun—it's just that my mom and I laughed a lot about our conditions! :) I'm sure the hospital staff and security camera operators had quite a laugh when gimpy me walked my woozy mom out to my car!

9/18:
I taught my mom's Relief Society lesson and I think I did a pretty good job! Although, the topic was about eternal marriage which is one of my all-time favorite topics! Thus, it was a pretty easy lesson for me to give. :)

I'm happy I wore my boot to church that day so Fanklebot wouldn't hurt from standing for 35 minutes straight. I took off my boot after I arrived back at my mom's house.

One more thing, then I promise I'll get back to Fanklebot!

I found out from my mom a couple of days ago (10/04) that one of the older ladies in her ward (church congregation) announced on Facebook that she just got married! And to an 80-year-old man, nonetheless! I'm sorry, but I can't help wondering if my lesson had anything to do with her decision to get married at such an advanced age! The only reason I say that is because my mom said that very same lady told my mom how much she loved my lesson! :) Even if I had only the teensiest part to do with her decision to get married, I'll totally take it! I want everyone to be happily married for eternity! :)

9/19:
I awoke and was surprised to find that I actually wanted to walk without my boot on! I was truly happy to feel that I wanted to wear my athletic shoes and orthotics! I also finally put my crutches away for good, which felt unbelievably amazing! I could have put them away sooner, but I kept them out just in case I had a bad day and needed them.

Sadly, my excitement got the better of me and I did too much that day again! I went on my first huge shopping run in nearly seven weeks and way over-did it. I wore my boot, but Fanklebot was extremely mad at me. I was swollen and in pain for days afterward. I ended up wearing my boot every late-afternoon and evening for the next five days.

9/23:
I decided it was time to watch posterior tibial tendon surgeries on YouTube to help me understand Fankle. Watching what the podiatrists and orthopedists did to their patients really helped me understand my pain level.

One lady had extreme ankle reconstruction surgery with incisions in three places. She filmed her entire first post-op visit. I found it utterly fascinating that even though the woman had three large incisions and major work done on her entire ankle, her main source of pain was where her posterior tibial tendon repair was done! Her experience showed me that my surgery results and pain levels are not abnormal! Posterior tibial tendon surgery is a major ordeal!

I also watched interviews with two other ladies who had similar surgeries as mine. They were finally feeling good at four months post-op, which made me feel so much better about my recovery! I relaxed, realizing I have a long way to go before I feel close-to-normal again, and that's okay! :)

9/26:
I happily thought that was the very last day I'd wear my boot! But it wasn't.

9/27:
Seven weeks and six days after my surgery, I didn't need to wear my boot at all that day—which was super way exciting! My ankle was still swollen and a bit sore, but it didn't hurt as much. I loved walking up and down my stairs with less pain. :)

9/28:
I was thrilled to realize it had been eight full weeks since my surgery! My podiatrist was right on for my recovery-time estimate!

9/29 was my first day venturing outside, away from home, without my boot on! I literally cried tiny happy tears! On my way to my ophthalmologist's office (to pick up Greg's glasses, and my daughter's and my contacts), I drove slowly through some road construction. I suddenly saw a veteran walking slowly in the crosswalk. No construction people were manning that spot, so I'm grateful I actually saw him with all the commotion going on.

As I waited for the veteran to cross, I realized he had a slight balance issue and held his arm in an odd way. Understanding he was injured, I felt so badly for him. After watching him for a few seconds, I could tell he was wearing an above-the-knee prosthetic leg. My respect and love for him grew by leaps and bounds in that moment.

As much as I've struggled with my tendon recovery, I know it's nowhere near what that veteran has endured. Plus, I have the hope that my tendon will heal completely, and, one day, I'll be able to return to my active lifestyle. Sadly, that wonderful, young veteran will never have his leg again. That is a very heavy thought to me because I simply can't imagine not having full use of my leg again! I smiled at the veteran as he walked down the road next to my car. I wished I could help him in some way, but I couldn't think of anything I could do right then besides smile...

9/30:
Fankle was very sore again—I must have overdone it on the 29th. Back in the boot I went for the entire morning! Thankfully, after a few hours in the boot, Fanklebot felt better! I removed my boot and that, my friends, was literally the last time I wore my boot!!!

10/01:
I went on my first shopping trip without wearing my boot! I was nervous about going because of what happened during and after my previous shopping run on 9/19. I took two ibuprofen to help me through my spree. :) I walked extremely slowly and I didn't care what anyone else thought of my speed or gait. I simply tried my best not to overdo it, and I accomplished my goal! While Fankle was a little tender the next day, I was pleased with the outcome of my endeavor! :)

10/6:
Today! I still have random Fankle soreness that pops up now and then. I also have swelling by the end of each day, but overall, I feel better! I've been trying to walk normally everywhere I go—you know, using my full foot every time I take a step. Previously, my gait had been pretty off, so it feels good using my foot's full range of motion.

Part of my problem is this: I know I need to really move my foot to strengthen and stretch my muscles, and to fully progress to where I want to be, but I struggle with knowing when I've moved too much. My podiatrist has told me to not do anything if Fankle becomes painful, yet I have a really high pain tolerance!

Remember? I did a 23-mile pioneer trek through Wyoming with a partially-torn ligament, two bone bruises, and a torn posterior tibial tendon! I know I've said that too many times, but it never ceases to astound me that I actually did all of that with my severe injury! I also know that my right foot and leg will probably feel slightly uncomfortable as I continue moving because I'm working them in ways I haven't previously for nine weeks. Hence, my chicken leg problem!

I had my nine-week post-op appointment this morning! I was shocked at how short it was, but I know it was technically (hopefully) my last appointment with my podiatrist, so there's probably not much more he could say to me. :) Dr. _____ examined Fankle and prescribed the following:
  • Wear an elastic ankle brace to help reduce swelling. I need to wear the ankle brace until I have minimal-to-zero swelling at the end of the day.
  • Ice my ankle at the end of the day if I'm still in pain. My podiatrist doesn't recommend usage of ibuprofen long-term and I wholeheartedly agree with him!
  • Physical therapy: two times a week for three weeks. He clarified I might need to go only three or four times total, not six. He also made sure I understood that it will most likely take me two more months (from now) to get back my full mobility and strength because I didn't use my foot/leg for two months—which makes perfect sense.
While I'm bummed Fankle didn't get a clean bill of health today, I'm not surprised with the results of my appointment. As I said before, I've been struggling with knowing how much activity is too much. Dr. _____ clarified that my brain is still treating my ankle carefully/cautiously because I endured a trauma. My brain is trying to figure out how to deal with not only what happened to my ankle (severe sprain; tendon surgery), but also how to use my ankle again—so I'm probably being too cautious at this point.

Yet after my experience of having done too much previously, I'm glad I've been on the conservative side this time around. Hopefully that means that I've protected my ankle so it had the opportunity to heal properly and completely. In my heart, I know I've literally done everything my podiatrist told me to do with exactness and determination...and that feels really good! :)

Dr. _____ said if I don't improve after three weeks of physical therapy, I should go back and see him again. I'm hoping and praying (like crazy!) that I don't have to see my podiatrist ever again—unless it's randomly at the grocery store, or at a sporting event! Ha ha.

I must say, when I saw the words "traumatic injury" written in my chart (I peeked at my file on their computer screen), it made me feel better. It sounds strange, but it made me happy knowing that I totally wasn't overreacting to my Fankle experience! I have endured so much over these past four months! I've done my very best, but let me tell you, it has been more than difficult at times. I have been utterly changed forever because of my Fankle journey.

Here's my Fankle scar today—it looks and feels so much better! You might be grossed out by this, or wonder why I'm posting a photo of my scar again, but I'm very pleased with my accomplishment! This scar represents so much mental and physical toughness—you have no idea what it's taken for me to get to this point! Plus, I wanted to show how funny it is when I flex my foot up: Fankle "smiles"! (The far right photo.)

I'd like to point out that my incision healed perfectly! Fanklenubbin has disappeared! And there's only one small little visual reminder that Fanklenubbin ever existed in the first place! I'm overjoyed with how well it healed!


I probably have one or two more Fankle posts in me, but for now...Fanklebot out!

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