One of the things that came along with my running timeline on Wednesday was the importance of getting my swelling under control.
I’d never really thought too much about swelling. Other than puffiness in fingers or general body bloating around my period or my face swelling with an allergic reaction, I’ve never really had anything swell. However, ankle surgery brought a lot of swelling. It was amazing how big my foot and ankle got. I was ‘way beyond cankles, and I still have a network of broken blood vessels where the giant bruises were.
While my ankle gets puffy toward the end of the day, it hadn’t seemed like that big of a deal. On days when I overdid it, I appeared to have a donut instead of an ankle, with the pinned-down scar as the “hole.” At the beginning of treatment, my PT prescribed some compression socks and an ankle wrap for me to wear, stressing that I needed to make constant use of these things.
Wearing Compression Socks
So I wore them…a lot…kind of…well, most of the time, when it worked with whatever shoes I was wearing, and more so at night. But the compression sock bit into the skin underneath my knee, and the ankle wrap squeezed off circulation to my heel.
And then there was the whole thing about what shoes to wear…in all honesty, my follow-through on this directive was kind of hit or miss.
Until Christine explained to me what swelling did to me.
Swelling destroys cartilage, limits my range of motion, and inhibits my recovery. Until the swelling is gone, I’m not getting back my full capacity. It’s a large part of why my time table is what it is. And what looked like just a little bit of swelling to me was, when put in context of its location and just how bony an ankle actually is, a significant amount.
So as of Wednesday, if I’m not elevating my foot and it’s daylight, I’m wearing the compression sock.
Yesterday I walked my farthest, the 4-mile loop at Lady Bird Lake. It felt good. The recovery week has been a good thing, even though it initially felt like a set-back. And I can tell that wearing the compression sock is making a big difference for the better.
Feeling Better about Feeling Sad
I’ve really appreciated all the compassion I got with my last post. Those pats on the back (verbal, written, physical) were what I needed; the confirmation that it was okay for me to be sad was priceless. My friend, Dr. Stephanie, was excited that I could get ready for a February half with her — at the very least, I’d be able to jump in somewhere along the course for whatever I could do, something we both love. I may be picking up a few new aqua jogging buddies. And I realized that I’ll be back doing some running in my favorite part of the year, the cool part.
Next Wednesday, I have my third evaluation. My goal is to see a reduction in my swelling. I think I’ll see if I can’t make my compression sock a fashion accessory :0)