Tag Archives: broken ankle

I’m Using It, So I Won’t Lose It!

The ‘it’ I’m talking about here is my mobility. I know I’m mentioned it here before, sometime, that when my Neurologist told me I had MS, he told me to keep on walking, while I could. ‘Use it, or lose it’, were his very words.

It’s been over ten years since then, and at the moment, I’m certainly being mobile. I’m walking extra steps almost every day, and have worked up to 2000 extra steps, which amounts to 1 kilometre. Not a bad effort, when I remember back to the time when MS came along, and walking 50 metres without a walking stick would have been almost impossible.

Things sure have change now, the walking is a great help, and the more of it I do, the more of it I can do. I am certainly aware of how much more difficult life would become if I was unable to walk, for me, and for my family and friends. Having the ability to walk is something we learn as toddlers, and if we are lucky, that ability stays with us for the rest of our lives.

I’ve seen a loss of that ability, and while it wasn’t a long term disaster , it did change things for the family and friends I mentioned. Sitting on the sofa, or in a wheelchair had to happen, or using a nifty gadget called a Knee Walker. That was when I broke my ankle over a year ago. What a tedious time that could have been.

I was having to sit on our sofa almost non stop during the day, with my husband getting my food and drinks, as needed. It wasn’t tedious for me though, but probably was for my husband. He was a star, and I definitely made sure I told him I appreciated all he’d done for me.

My writing group had had to meet up online instead of in person, at our usual spot, while I was getting over my broken ankle, which ended up going OK, and we realised an online/in person hybrid group could work, and so that’s what we do now – from accidents can come different and sometimes better ways of doing things.

And the really awesome thing was that I ended up putting together a little chapbook of poems about my broken ankle, called Angles on Ankles! I could have been bored, but wasn’t, I was having a great time being creative with words! And I had ample opportunity to keep an eye on the birds in our front yard, looking out of the window that is right there near me, when seated, or reclining on the sofa, as I had to back then.

This sofa is where I do most of my writing at home still, sitting with my laptop on my lap is where I am writing right now. I’ll get up and do some of my extra steps soon though. Sitting is fine, getting up and walking is also fine, a combo of both? Perfect! I haven’t done any ‘extra steps’ at all today. I have done a different exercise though, step ups using the steps into and out of our pool, holding onto the safety rail we had installed to make it possible for me to easily to use the pool.

That exercise sure gets my heart pumping in a way merely walking never does, so I’m glad my support worker who was here today came outside with me and counted the steps I did. 25 holding on with rail on my left side, and then moved around the rail and 25 more holding on with rail on right side. Bang, bang, bang went me heart, and then stop and rest, then go back inside. An excellent exercise done, safely.

The more I do, the more I can do, Multiple Sclerosis, having a disability might slow me down sometimes, but it also gives me new ideas and possibilities! Life can be like that, can’t it?

Exercising My Way to Wellness!

OK, so exercise is not going to cure me of Multiple Sclerosis, I acknowledge the truth of that. But keeping active, as well as taking the medication that seems to be working well for me, they can both help me to live a near ‘normal’ life.

I’ve recently broken my ankle, and getting over that hasĀ  been an interesting time. I was told by the surgeon who operated on my ankle, to do some simple physio exercises, to work on improving the ROM (range of movement) of my broken ankle. These exercises seem to have worked, and the ROM is OK – certainly not as good as the other ankle, but not too bad.

I wrote some poetry about my broken ankle, as a way to maintain some kind of sanity, as I spent so many hours, resting, and then rehabilitating! The poetry has now been published in a little chap book, I called “Angles on Ankles”, clever, hey? šŸ˜‰

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Then once I was up on my feet again, putting full weight on my right foot again, I saw a physio, and he gave me some more exercises, standing up and doing active things, not just twiddling my foot … So today, I’m proud to say I’ve been doing these physio exercises, plus some more that I gave to myself to do, and I’ve kept that up for over a fortnight.

My intention is to continue with these exercises, for as long as I can, maybe doing these or at least some kind of exercise, every day, for the rest of my life! I’m trying to make it a habit, and the only way to make habits, is to consistently keeping on doing things.

I’m feeling good, remembering to rest when I need to, but trying not to just laze around, flicking from one Social Media platform to another! The exercise works my body, and it keeps my brain ticking over too, I feel. Ideas are jumping into my head, and I’m working on two novel projects at the moment.

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I have the first draft of one novel that needs work, and I have a whole series of Cozy Murder Mysteries to write too, I can do this, my toning up body and my interested mind want this to work, so it will work! I’m feeling good, and even though I’m sad about the terrible fires happening around Australia at the moment, I’m glad I have positive things happening, personally.

Being sad is a natural thing, wanting to help is natural too, and I know I will be helping out financially as soon as I can. Giving to people in so much need, and those who’ve lost their homes are, that is the good thing to do, so that’s what I’ll do. Doing good for myself, for others, and for the planet are my tactics to work on total Wellness!

Since becoming a Stoic, or trying to, anyway, this idea of doing good for all, myself included, is feeling more and more important to me. Doing more with less, thinking of others, helping when I can, these are all tools in my Stoic toolbox. Life is good, as long as we work on making it good.

If you do good, well done, I’d love to here about it, why not leave a message here? I’d love to read it!

On Being Kind To Myself

At the moment, I am on an exercise program, an at home thing, with input from both the surgeon who operated (and fixed) my broken ankle, and from the physio I have seen twice since getting the OK to get moving again, and going to the ‘full weight bear’ stage of rehabilitation.

I am very grateful to both Dr Gayle, and Mark for their input into my vast improvement in ability regarding movement. The ankle I broke (right ankle), has a reasonable range of movement now, although it isn’t as good as my left one (unbroken ankle). But my ankle twists and turns how and if I want it to, and there is absolutely no pain, just a little discomfort, which stops as soon as I cease the movement the ankle had to work at.

I also thank the podiatrist I see regularly, and much appreciated their concern, and also the gift of some moisturising cream that seems to have helped to keep my ankle moist and the scars on both sides on my ankle reduced on what they may otherwise have been. Life with experts who do their job well, and offer more than just the basics? They are treasures!

But to the point of this blog post. I wish to make exercise a regular part of my life now, working on increasing my muscle strength, and my balance. My concern, obviously, is that both of these issues quite likely are to blame for the accident that led to my broken ankle, and other falls I’ve had in the past.

I’ve done some training in falls prevention, and after the Christmas Season silliness is all over, I’m going to take a good look at the details I still have from that training, and I’ll look into incorporating some of it into the rest of my program. Doing all of these things is being kind to my body, even if my head would much rather I sat around writing creatively …

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But it’s one of those cruel to be kind things – cruel to my mind perhaps, but definitely kind to my body! And another being kind things is that while I want to make this exercising regularly thing a habit, I’m not going to blame myself too much if I slacken off a little, if I feel I have to. Yesterday was one of those slacking off days, I have to admit. I did some of the exercises I’ve been doing, but only half, completely leaving off one part of my exercises.

That’s OK though. Yesterday was a stinking hot day, and even though we had our air conditioner on, until our electricity was cut, I just couldn’t convince myself to do the Wii Fit part of my program. This exercise program is new to me, although I’ve done Wii Fit at various times, since we got the game, many years ago. Incorporating exercises given to me by a physiotherapist is definitely new.

Habits take time to make, some say ten days, others say 21 days, but I suspect it differs for everyone, and depends on what the habit is. If I was to try to get a habit of patting my dog every day, that would be simple. Missy is here in the house, I talk to her, and give her medicine, it would be simple to make sure I give her a pat every day. Exercise is definitely more difficult than that one.

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I was able to both do simple gentle movement exercises, and write creatively, while I was laid up with this broken ankle, and the book above “Angles on Ankles” was written, submitted and published in record time. It is a chapbook with poems written all about my broken ankle, doing it, having one, dealing with it, thinking about it, and so on. I think it’s a great little book, only $5 plus postage – if you think you’d like a copy, leave a comment and we can sort out the details!

Anyway, back to exercises – I know why I didn’t do the full range of exercises yesterday, I also know, because I looked into these things, that habits take time to set in place, and missing doing that thing you want to become a habit, works better if you stick at it totally in the beginning stages. I’m not stressing myself out about this though, I’m being kind, and both rational and reasonable.

Today I have completed half an hour of Wii Fit exercises, including some that gave me a harder workout than usual, and I will complete all of the rest of the exercises before I head off to watch some of the lawn bowls being played today in Mallala, where my husband and son both are members, and I’ve been a member there too, in the past. When I’m watching lawn bowls, it’s like I’m working out a bit too, because I’m sending down those bowls in my head, and my muscles get an invisible workout, for sure!

So tomorrow is Sunday, and I expect the whole exercise program will happen, and again the day after that. But on the Wednesday, hey, there may not be any exercises because Wednesday is Christmas Day, and the only exercise will be giving presents and hugs to people! So I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Things Repeated Become Habits

Yes, if we do the same thing over and over again that thing can definitely become a habit. Both good habits or bad habits can go like this, so it’s probably a good idea to work at making our habits good ones, because those bad habits, can lead to unwanted circumstances.

For me, one of my habits is to have a cup of coffee with my breakfast, every day. That’s not a good or bad habit, but simply a thing, so I’m OK with that habit being there in my life. The caffeine helps get my brain going, or at least that’s what I tell myself.

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Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

A bad habit might be to begin a day with a shot of whisky, and that is definitely not a habit I’m ever likely to get, I don’t like the taste of it, and I know it will do bad things to my brain, not good things!

The habit I most want to get is something I did again this morning – exercise! I broke my ankle a few months ago, and have been given some exercises by the surgeon who operated on my right ankle, to help fix it up. It’s going well, and part of the reason, apart from the surgeons good work, is because I worked on doing the range of movement (ROM) exercises regularly as I was lying, or sitting around, unable to put my foot down, because I was at the no weight bearing stage of my recovery.

It was tedious, but the exercises gave me something to do, so I was happy enough to do them. I hoped they would indeed help me to increase my range of movement, and it seems like it has indeed done that.

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I’m in the full weight bear stage now, so back to my new normal, walking, with or without a mobility aid, when outside (usually without from now on, I hope). Things are looking good. I’ve seen a physio, and he told gave me some standing up exercises to do now, standing on one foot, then the other, stepping sideways up and down the passageway, standing up on my tippy toes, doing lunges, and sit up/stand down exercises to work on my abs and leg muscles.

I spoke with that physio about Wii Fit exercises and he said yes, for sure, to Balance exercises, for sure. I like Wii Fit exercises, so I started doing them again, after seeing the physio. I’ve been a bit slack lately though, and not done any exercises really, but I’ve decided to get over that, and try to make doing all of my exercises aĀ  daily habit. This is what I wrote on mt Facebook page today:

“Have completed half of my exercise program, will turn off computer and complete the rest of it next. Exercise helps my poor ankle become stronger and better, and it helps my muscles and my balance, and so reduces the likelihood I will fall over and damage myself again.
That’s the theory anyway, and it’s unlikely to hurt me, but help me instead, so I’m really, really going to work at making this a daily habit, no matter what …”

So that’s it, I’ve done the first half of my exercise program, and yes, I will turn off the computer and switch on the Wii Fit machine to complete the program for today, and be back to it again tomorrow, over and over until it is a good habit that I do daily!

Doing Balance Exercises

Human Beings are creatures that predominantly stand on two feet, rather than four, as animals do. Humans have hands and feet, two of each, while animals have four paws. This isn’t all animals, but lots of them.

We’re born, learn to crawl and then to get up and walk on our two feet. But sometimes things can go wrong, and you call, strain or break a leg, and you need to heal and get back to getting up and walking again.

Walking is a matter of balancing on on foot, then the other, lift foot, balance on that foot, step with other foot, place in down, repeat with other foot, lift, balance, step, one foot after the other. So, for some of that time, you are balancing on one foot, followed by balancing on the other.

After you’ve been damaged by having a fall or other kind of accident, you may need to go through some form of relearning regarding how to walk, and regaining your balance. I’ve been through this, after breaking my ankle in September, and through physio, and walking again, and working to improve my balance.

Falling over is what caused me to fall and break my ankle, and I don’t ever want to do that again, so obviously, I have a good reason to work at better balance, and no more falls! The surgeon who operated on my ankle gave me some ROM (range of movement) exercises, which I did a lot. I want as full a range of movement for my ankle as possible!

I’ve seen a physio, since who gave me some exercises to continue improving my ROM for my ankle.. Since that initial appointment, I’ve see the physio, and now have some balance exercises. On consultation with the physio, I’ve added a few Wii Fit balance exercises too, and I try to do at least some of these exercises every day.

Balance is so important in life, falling over is never a good thing to do! The surgeon, as well has giving me exercises to help to keep from falling, has also told me to wear lace up shoes, whenever I am up and going. This is inside and outside, and even though it makes sitting on the sofa less comfortable, it will help me keep upright.

I had to buy a new pair of shoes for this, and I’m very happy to have a great new pair of running shoes, which offer support to my ankle, and which help me to keep on moving! The shoes I bought have been approved by my physio too, so it both of my ‘experts’ are happy with the shoes, I am too!

Having to put on and take off my shoes a couple of times a day only takes a minute of so, so I’m OK with that. For the Wii Fit exercises, it’s no shoes, but I take my shoes off close to where I do the Wii Fit, so safe as houses! I’m not an overly ‘physical fitness’ kind of person, but I find Wii Fit exercises are a fun way to exercise, and I like the way the machine keep a track on how I’m doing.

This morning I wanted to make over 100 points for the exercise the Physio had suggested, Penguin Slide. It took me a few goes at getting there, but I eventually actually made 104 points, so I could stop that exercise, and move on to another balance game. The top score for our household for this exercise is 114 or something like that, so I still have a fair way to go.

I can’t remember whether it was me or my husband who made the top score for this game, but every time I do Wii Fit games, I’m trying to get a new top score! It brings interest to the game, and having fun as you exercise, well that has to be a good thing, doesn’t it?!

Balance in life comes in many forms, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and surely a balanced life is a good life! I’m laced up, balanced, and ready for whatever is next!

First Day, New Physio Program

I am working to help my body mend, after breaking my ankle, and having surgery to fix it. I have had a period of resting, to help the swelling in my ankle lessen, and to rest and rehabilitate. Now I am at another stage of my recovery from breaking my ankle, a more active stage, and it feels like the time is right for this.

I have seen a physio, Mark,Ā  at my most recent visit, after having seen advice from the surgeon who operated on my ankle, that I could so more exercises now, now that I have advanced to full weight bearing, with less of a need for mobility aids. So Mark gave me five new exercises, which involve me standing, and working at strengthening my muscles.

When I saw him, I asked about whether he thought doing Wii Fit exercises might be a good idea. I very much enjoy doing Wii Fit exercises, but I get slack and stop doing them, even though I like them, and know they help me with my fatigue from Multiple Sclerosis. Mark said yes, do them for sure, focusing on the one where you have to catch fish, it’s a good balance exercise.

So today, my first day of this new exercise program, I didĀ  most recent the most recent exercises, plus 15 minutes of Wii Fit balance exercises. It was more exercise than I’ve done for a long time, and I’m happy with my efforts! I focused the most on the penguin exercise, and did it I think three times, maybe four, my highest score was 91, and I want to beat that! I also did heading ball, tightrope walk, the leaning/sending ball down holes game, and the floating bubble game.

When I started the Wii Fit game, it told me it had been 100 and something days since I had logged on. That’s OK, but it would be better if I did it more often. Who knows, maybe if I were more Wii Fit fit, I might not have fallen over and broken my ankle? It’s definitely a thought worth thing on, for sure, because I certainly don’t want to ever do it again!

I didn’t come close to breaking records in any of these games, but given the circumstances, that’s not surprising. If I keep in with doing this program, as often as possible, both physio’s exercises and Wii Fit, that should definitely help me, with both strength and balance. While I was talking to Mark, the physio, I gave him a copy of my new poetry book all about my breaking my ankle, and he was thrilled with his signed copy!

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This afternoon, I also walked a lot further than I have for a while, perhaps 500 metres, I’m not really sure about the distance. I was glad I had my walking stick to help me do it, Mark has told me I don’t need the walking stick inside any more, but should use it outside, for at least 2-4 weeks longer. By that time it will be nearly time to see my surgeon again, and find out how my ankle is going now. (I’m getting an x ray the day before I see her again in mid January)

So with all of this moving around (comparatively speaking), I feel very tired right now, and I’m glad of this sit down on the sofa. I may stay here for quite some time!

And So The Healing Goes

My broken ankle is now going into a new stage again, with rehabilitation becoming much more ‘active’. I saw my physio again today, and he has given me a new program to follow, with 5 exercises that involve me actually getting up and doing things, instead of twiddling my ankle in a seated position …

I now have to do squats, walk sideways, rise up on my toes (calf raises), do lunges, and stand on one leg then the other for 10 seconds each leg (aiming for no hand to do it). Some of these exercises aren’t too onerous, the standing on one leg one though, without touching anything, that might take some time.

I’m happy to be actively working to make my ankle better, and my leg muscles stronger, in the interests of making myself more able to not fall over again! Falling over is never a good thing, and this most recent time I’m been dealing with has been my worst fall yet.

I fell and broke my right ankle nine weeks ago, and from what I understand, my recovery so far has gone well. Some people in similar circumstances are still in a moon boot, and unable to bear weight. I am walking normally, except for a limp, and I no longer need to use any mobility when inside the house.

If I go outside though, I will need to use my stick, and I’m not upset about that, my walking cane, Jane the Cane, is beautiful! I’ve had Jane the Cane, and her partner, Mick the Stick, ever since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, nearly ten years ago. I haven’t needed either of them for some years now, but I’m happy now they were available for me when I needed them!

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I’ve had a good team of helpers since I broke my ankle, family, friends, and medical people, as well as the providers of the various aids I’ve required since I came home from the hospital. I’m glad that soon these things will be returned to the businesses we have hired them from, and I hope I never need any of them again!

It’s been an interesting time though, a new experience, and as a writer, any new thing happening in my life gives me new insights and ideas for my writing. My blog posting rate has certainly increased, and I’ve written and had published a new poetry collection, “Angles on Ankles”, all about my time with this broken ankle.

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So even though a broken ankle isn’t a thing I wold recommend to anyone, well, it could have been worse, and I’m eternally grateful for the people who have helped my healing process go so well!

Current Infirmity

I’ve been thinking about the incongruity of my current health-related problem, and further, about the various ways our bodies can help or hinder us. Yes, I have a chronic illness, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which is what I first began this blog to look further into, but right now I am suffering far more from an acute health problem a broken ankle.

I have been in hospital to have it treated – put in a cast first, then operated on, and encased in bandaging of sorts. Now, a month and a half (approximately) later I am finally able to walk again, in a lame way, using a walking frame … It is a far from elegant way to get about, but it works, more or less.

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I can get from place to place inside the house, carrying empty cups and plates, and other small enough items, as wished. If those cups and things have anything inside of them though, the process is a much more tedious system of moving them slowly from place to place, but picking them up and reaching further, to put them down again, move along, pick up, reach, put down, ans so on. I am so grateful to my husband/carer, who is now my deliverer of food and drink, in a much more efficient way!

But this time has certainly enabled me to think about things, and I have been writing about my thoughts, many of which, not surprisingly, have tended to be about my broken ankle. The poem I am going to put here is yet another poem regarding my fractured ankle, and I make no apology for that, because this is the most important thing in my life right now …

If you have ever suffered from such a thing, you will certainly understand how it is, when even if you want to get out and about, doing things, you will need assistance, in different ways. I can’t walk very far, nor can I drive. My walking, and my ankle are getting better and better, and while there might be some slight discomfort, there is no actual pain, not now.

The driving will have to wait on the OK from my medical team, GP or surgeon, I’m not sure which. Certainly, driving won’t be allowed while I am still wearing this moon boot, I put on every morning and take off every evening. And until my ankle is strong enough that I would be able to use my foot to jam on the brakes in an emergence, I doubt I’ll be allowed to drive …

Anyway, here is my most recent poem I have written about my ankle. I suspect I will probably put all of these short poems together in a chapbook, and either submit it for publication, or self-publish it. I don’t know how much interest there might be in such a volume, but it interests some others, for sure. Those who have suffered in similar fashion, or cared for someone so affected.

And so the poem, which may bear the name of that poetry collection, if it happens …

 

Angles on ankles ā€¦

The ankle, a simple thing –

a movable hinge, where

foot and leg meet, moving

us, as wanted – forward,Ā 

backward, or sideways,

until, suddenly, crash!

You fall, and the angleĀ 

of the ankle, and the pain,

indicate something gone

terribly wrong. Fractured

a word, never wanted

in terms of ankles, butĀ 

happening nonetheless.

Angle fixed, ankle in cast –

under the skin, attached

to bone, a post and screws.

Bad news, or not? Fixed

but still moveable, painless,

mending, trending toward

healed, my soul rejoices

even though my leg looks

less than lovely, a new boot

encasing and enhancingĀ 

my leg, strengthening

what I have, so walking,

though slow and halting,

can occur, and I can stir,

arise from seated on sofa,

move from here to there,

and am glad to do so – free

up to a point, but reliant

and grateful, that the angle

family and friends have taken

is to step in, step up, goĀ 

the distance, and so helpĀ 

to keep me on track!

 

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If you’ve had to wear a moon boot too, feel free to leave a message here about it! I’m glad to have my moon boot It helps me a lot, but I wish I didn’t have to wear it!