You’ll probably recall that this summer I broke my fibula playing ice hockey, which necessitated surgery to insert a plate and eight screws. The surgery was successful, which means that the bone healed properly. However, the bone healing is really about ¼ of the way there when it comes to recovering.
What you don’t understand about surgery before it occurs is a saying we massage therapists use—the issue is in the tissues. Putting your lower leg and foot in a cast for 6 weeks doesn’t do good things for the condition of:
- Your flexibility;
- Your skin;
- Your psyche; and
- Your waistline.
Life doesn’t wait, and my appetite hasn’t slowed down, so I have some fitness to recover.
Fast forward to the last few weeks: I am 3+ months removed from surgery, but my ankle is not as good as new. There’s occasional nerve zapping, still some swelling, and a reduced range of motion. It’s easy to get frustrated because things aren’t “normal.” Part of the recovery process is adjusting your mind as to just what “normal” is. My wife Sarah went through a similar experience a couple years ago—but worse—thanks to a dislocation as well. I like to say that most couples married for a long time start to dress alike—in our case, we have matching plates and screws in our left ankles.
Back in July I said I’d be back on the ice by Christmas. Instead, I made it by Halloween. Not without some rust, mind you, and some cautionary talk from my great physical therapist, Mary, but I am back skating. After skating I told Sarah, “Well, my ankle’s sore.” Her answer was, “Yeah, mine is every time I play.” Welcome to the new normal.
The 2014 Boston Marathon isn’t waiting either. I am a little over five months away, and have started out on the roads again, albeit slowly. I have some fitness to recover. (Did I mention I’m out of shape?)
What’s your big challenge you’re facing right now? Are you motivated to take it on? I'll keep you posted on how my challenge is faring.