Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Walking in the Sand

I went to Cape May, NJ Sunday eve to Monday eve. with my mom and two sister. We went to see my Aunt Mary who is a cook at a church 'camp-type' ministry. It is an old hotel and dining room only two blocks from the beach. This ministry allows single moms and their children to spend a week at the beach for a very low cost.

I had a good time ... though there were some times of being frustrated at my ankle/limitations/pain.

We went out on the beach Sunday evening when we got there and I went for a walk, I had visions of walking for maybe 30 minutes or so. Well, after 10 minutes, my Achilles tendon started to talk back to me. so I readjusted my step/gait/stride, but it didn't really help, so I had to stop. I was disappointed, but yet had tried to prepare myself for that.
Then on Monday, the tendon was still too stressed to do much walking on the sand. I just sat and enjoyed the beach. And we spent 3 hours of the afternoon on a whale watching boat tour, (no whales, but a lot of dolphins) so there was not much walking on there.

Now today, the tendon is quiet and my ankle feels better again and even does feel stronger, so I think walking in the sand was helpful, but the tendon can just tolerate a little at a time.

I go to physical therapy this afternoon, my regular therapist has been on vacation for 2 weeks, so I am curious to see what he thinks of the progress when he sees it again today.

I think I made a step forward yesterday in another area, I wore a swimsuit on the beach for the first time since the accident ... I wrapped my left calf with an ace wrap and the rest of the scars are fading slightly, so I am not as self-conscious of them as I had previously been, plus I guess I am learning to just accept the way my legs look and live with it. It felt good to be in a bathing suit instead of long pants.

I am choosing to focus on what I have, not on what I lost. I thank God for the peace and comfort He gives through His spirit.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

kayak picture

Since the cast is off my ankle, this is where I spend time almost every day ... Hopewell Lake at French Creek State Park. We have two kayaks, so I enjoy the company of one of several friends most days. I love being out in nature, plus I like the exercise. Depending on the mood of the day, it take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to paddle around the perimeter of the lake. My regular companions on the lake ... a blue heron, geese and fishermen/women.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Celebrating Walking

This morning I walked down the hallway in my house to the kitchen. I live in a small ranch style house, so it is not a long hallway, probably not even 20 feet. As I walked I was celebrating the fact that I was walking without assistance (no cast, crutches or cane) and my ankle was moving freely without pain. Yes! I thank God for healing!

Physical therapy has been amped up considerably with 15 minute rides on the stationary bike and many more foot and leg exercises. I am enjoying most of it :) I was able to stop using the walking cast a few days ago, but I do still use the cane for all walking except in the house.

I went camping in our small travel trailer this past weekend with my husband and three boys, along with 12 other families from the area. This is an annual event at Poe Paddy State Park, near State College, Pa. Last year I only went because this is something we have done as a family for years and the boys love it. The weather matched my mood last year, with rainy nights and dreary days.

This year, even though I have limitations, I looked forward to going. I love being outdoors in nature. I enjoyed the shopping and getting ready process (though it was exhausting) The 3 days we were there it was gorgeous, not a drop of rain until we were pulling out of the campground. I had fun with the boys, with Jerry and with friends. One treat of camping is eating many roasted marshmallows, alone and in s'mores. I also had grilled shrimp and pork, fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, blueberries and mountain pies (a campfire tradition for us)

With the walking cast, I went on a short walk and a bike ride :) I did Sudoku puzzles, read a good book (Rumors of Another World, Philip Yancey) had late night conversations around the campfire, was mesmerized as I watch the needles of a friend's knitting hobby move rapidly in and out of the yarn, watched a raccoon scamper back and forth in the edges of the darkness from our tiki lights and listened to the river for hours. Penns Creek, misnamed because it is actually a fairly large river, runs right next to the campground and we had the site closes to it. The water was higher than normal for July due to recent rains, so the sound was vigorous.

As you can tell, it was a good weekend and I am thrilled with the progress of my ankle. Walking on the gravel of the campsite was great exercise for my ankle ... I used my walking cast in the evenings when my ankle was tired. Also, I am continuing to benefit more and more from the surgery to decompress the damaged nerve in my upper leg, as the pain is steadily decreasing. Yes! I am now midway in the 6 month recovery the doctor had assumed I would have. It will be wonderful if the pain continues to decrease in the next 3 months as it has so far ... that means I could be relatively painfree. I will be thrilled when that happens!

The next time you walk to the bathroom, the kitchen, the store or the neighbor, look at your feet and thank God that they can carry you where ever you wish to go.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Check up

I had a check-up with my doctor on Friday ... it was a good report. I can now walk a hour or two a day without my cast. At first my ankle felt so 'wobbly' and weak, but now after a few days it is already feeling stronger. I walk very slowly and with a cane for support. The exercise at physical therapy have changed slightly, due to this advancement, but they still need to be done daily.
I am thrilled to walk without the cast, but when my ankle tires and I put the walking cast back on ... it feels so comfortable and secure. Though it is heavy and confining, it is security.