Image of foot with bones

2 Years After Foot Surgery – Slow But Steady Progress!

Two years ago was Feb 4, 2020. The “before-COVID” times. It was also the day I had foot surgery, specifically an osteotomy, to address my inflamed posterior tibial tendon (aka. my flat arches were causing issues). I had to have three large incisions on my left foot, and one on my calf to “lengthen my calf muscle.”

Afterwards I had to be non-weight bearing on my left foot for four weeks, and I was riding around on a knee scooter like a pro! Then I used crutches for four weeks, and after that did three months of physical therapy. You can read more about the details here, and even see gross post-surgery foot pictures if you want to!

The healing process felt never-ending. Even after I was discharged from physical therapy, I wasn’t back to normal. I still had a bit of a limp sometimes. When I first got up in the morning, my left foot was stiff and I would hobble around for a while until it loosened up. I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to go running again, and honestly I was kind of afraid to, since that was the catalyst for my injury.

Even one year later, I was still keenly aware of some of my limitations that I hadn’t had before my foot injury – like experiencing some residual foot pain and always needing to wear supportive/orthotic shoes.

I think it’s valuable to take a moment today to look back and remember where I was two years ago, so that I can fully appreciate just how far I’ve come in terms of recovery. In my post from May of 2020 (four months after the surgery) I had written:

My foot is not perfect, I’m still waiting for that glorious day when I can do a heel raise while standing only on my left foot, but I’m not there yet. I’m longing for when I can go on a walk around the block without limping or feeling sore, and I’m dreaming about a day when I might be able to go for a jog again.

May 2020

Later that year in October, five months after writing those words, I went for my first post-surgery jog. It had been 17 months since I had been able to run. I couldn’t run as far or as fast, and my foot was really sore after, but I did it.

How often do we get to receive the things our hearts are so desperately longing for? Honestly, it may be more often than we think. If you do any sort of journaling – whether it’s personal writing, blogging, or even photo journaling – it makes it easy to see where you were and how far you’ve come.

Many times we get the exact things we’re hoping for, and we’re happy for a little while, but then we move on to hoping for the next thing, and then the thing after that. It’s easy to feel like we haven’t “made it” yet because there’s always something we are looking to accomplish next.

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Long-Awaited Moments Vs. the Unexpected

Some things you wait a long time for, and you have years and years to mentally prepare for them to happen. Other things happen in an instant, with no warning, and you have to act in the moment on instinct. I recently had both of these experiences within two days of each other. 

THURSDAY – AUGUST 19TH

My son started Kindergarten on a Thursday. 5 years ago when he was born, I knew that one day I would be dropping him off for his first day of school. But it seemed so far away. (And it was!) But as he turned 2, and then 3, it started hitting me that it was coming faster than I thought it would. When people asked me where he was going to go to school, I always just kind of shrugged my shoulders and said he’d probably go to the public school nearest us. I wasn’t really ready to wrap my mind around it yet.

Once he was 4, I admitted I really needed to begin thinking about it seriously. Did I want him to go to public school or private school? I work for a private Christian university, and they also have a K-12 private school that I could get a large discount at if I sent him there. 

My husband and I both went to public schools, so it seemed like a logical decision to have Calvin go to public school as well. And the public school near us was said to be one of the best elementary schools in Abilene. I hadn’t heard anything negative about it (except for the drop-off and pick-up lines!) 

I weighed the pros and cons of public vs. private school. I thought about class size, curriculum, teachers, demographics, and location. Ultimately, we decided that public school was going to be the right choice for our son and our family. 

My son has a summer birthday (late June), so people also began asking me if I planned to hold him back a year before sending him on to Kindergarten. I didn’t see a reason to do it unless his Pre-K teachers felt like he was really struggling or that he seemed to lack certain skills needed for Kindergarten. Since they didn’t, we were ready to send him on. Would he be one of the youngest in his class? Yes – but that is okay. I knew moving Calvin forward would be the best thing for him. He was ready to learn and go to school. 

Thursday morning arrived: the first day of school. A moment that had seemed so far off when my son was born, and yet here we were. I had played out this scenario many times in my head. Would Calvin cry? (He did not.) Would I? (Yes indeed.) Would he like his teacher? Would he make friends in his new class? 

The transition to Kindergarten felt like a big milestone. Before having a child of my own, I had always kind of rolled my eyes at things like preschool or Kindergarten graduation ceremonies. I didn’t understand why “every grade” (an exaggeration on my part) needed to have their own celebration or festivities. Well, the reason is (I have now learned) because they are actually a big deal. When Calvin dressed up in his graduation cap and outfit for Pre-K, and his class put on a little program of songs for all the parents, I got emotional. And I was so proud of him. 

Going to Kindergarten is a big deal. And the moment I knew was coming one day, had finally arrived.

SATURDAY – AUGUST 21ST

Two days later, something happened to me that I could never have imagined would even be possible. I guess if I had thought about it, I could have determined that it would technically be possible, like by the laws of physics, but the chances of it actually happening had to be miniscule. 

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Focus on What You CAN Do

Back in April, I wrote a post about how I had been consistently running for an entire year.

Today, I’m sharing a post explaining why I may not be running anymore at all.

First, a little history. If you read my blog, you know that my husband and I recently got to go to Japan for 11 days to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We left May 11 and returned May 21. Among the many other things we did there, we also did a ton of walking! I don’t remember a specific instance of injuring my foot, but about halfway through our trip my left foot was hurting pretty badly. So much so, that I opted out of doing some of the things we had originally planned to do on our trip.

I hadn’t been running or exercising on our trip, so after we got back I decided I’d wait a few days and then try going for a run. My foot still hurt, but I pushed through the pain (being stubborn comes in handy sometimes.) I ran two more times that week, and then decided that the pain was getting worse. I told myself I’d take a week off of running to let my foot heal. I wasn’t too happy about this, but I had done this before in the past for injuries, and figured this was just another one of those times. No big deal, I’d just wait a week or so and then get back into it.

I actually ended up waiting a week and a half before I got back out to go running one morning. I had not been having any pain for 4 or 5 days, so I was optimistic as I headed out on my 2.7 mile route. I think about halfway through my run was when I could tell that left foot was beginning to hurt again. By the time I made it home, the pain was bad. And this time, my ankle was swollen too.

Some people might have chosen that day to make an appointment to go to the doctor, but not me (remember, stubborn!) I thought I’d rest it, ice it, etc. and see if it got better. After an entire week of having a swollen ankle, I made the appointment.

“If I had your feet, I think I’d cry every day I had to walk on them.” 

Not exactly what you want to hear from your doctor, or anyone for that matter. He told me that I had most likely sprained a muscle or ligament and wanted me to wear a boot for a few weeks. He told me that I should never wear flip-flops or cute shoes again – I needed to go for the “ugly old lady shoes.” He also told me, that because of the way my feet are designed, my left foot bends too far to one side, which means I overcompensate and put all my weight on one spot on the other side of my foot – which is what caused my injury. He told me I was not built (literally, my feet were not designed) to be a runner, and that I should look for a new sport.

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