365 days – 12 months – That’s a long time…
A year ago exactly, I started out my day at 6 am with a 1 km swim in front of my astounded mummy.
The last kilometer before long.
At 7 am I was in the hospital to undergo a very tricky operation to remove a bone too many I had in my right ankle. I had my Hello Kitty with me of course (I was told it wasn’t allowed, but with the help of my inner diva – if I don’t have it with me I won’t wake up – Hello Kitty was safely tucked under the covers with me).
After 4 anesthetists (no less), blood flow to my leg blocked for 30 minutes, 7 hours sleep, with a big cast and a few grams lighter, I regain consciousness at 4pm. Discharged at 6pm. I couldn’t keep myself upright and was still feeling queasy but this is how it works here: “It you can stand up with some help, you go home”.
So I went home, very immobilized… a heavy cast over the where the surgery was done, a wire sticking out of my thigh to keep my leg anesthetized for another 4 days. The instructions were clear: a “cast for 4 months”, a “you will most likely be better within 1 to 2 years from now” and, to my horror, a “never any heels again”!
Holy Cow… as papa would say. A Tigger like me? Always in motion… lie around for weeks on end? That won’t do at all!
Thanks to my medical and scientific board, I was well surrounded and knew that, despite what I was told, I had to move to preserve the strength, mobility and muscle mass in the rest of my body.
The next day I was already doing yoga (easy does it, just relaxed lying down yoga, nothing spectacular!) … A week before the surgery I had invested in a special scooter with a knee rest to support the operated leg and zoom around at speed.
So cardio is taken care of. Streets of San Fran and hospital corridors, here I come!
My only gauge was pain: if it hurts = stop, otherwise, keep going.
Then I hired a car for the disabled with commands on the steering wheel so I could be independent.
I took advantage of the situation to work on other areas of my body: abs, glutes, dorsals, arms, etc. I even shot a few videos for those who would be wondering how to exercise with a leg in a cast. Ok, I admit I also took advantage of the situation to get handsome muscled guys to carry me, why not indeed?
A week later, I received my special waterproof cast cover to swim without wetting the thing. Swimming pool and salutary laps, here I come!
Also, I smiled a lot. Why? Because the studies are positive about this: when we smile, we convey happiness to those around us, their smile back helps us feel better, we produce more endorphins as a result… In short, it helps us deal with the pain and feel it less. Not to mention a rather important side effect, being that smiling causes fewer lines than frowning!
4 weeks later, at my request and strenuous insistence of a doctor friend, my cast was removed… On this occasion, I discovered a physical rehabilitation centre with a special treadmill that lightens the body to up to 10% of its weight to relearn walking and running without hurting oneself. I needn’t anymore incentive, off I was training 3 times a week to strengthen my slackened muscles.
3 months later, I was stumbling around and swimming with turtles in Hawaï. 4 months later, I took my “first steps” on skis.
My body still wasn’t back to where it was before, some cellulite has taken hold along with 2 extra kg. But I had avoided what I dreaded the most: depression and frustration from not moving, a slack body and much gained weight.
How did I eat? I stuck to the LeBootCamp DETOX phase to support my self-healing capacities, flush out toxins caused by the stress of pain (yes, it was extremely painful!) and preserve my vitality.
A good diet makes a great difference! Plenty of Sobacha of course and lots of homemade delights.
I am visiting my surgeon this week.
And, unlike others I see arrive at his practice wearing trainers because they cannot wear anything else, I will adorn my darling killer heels and proudly announce that, a year on, thanks to intense rehabilitation, I can:
– climb via ferratas
– run for 30 minutes without any pain
– wear high heels
– ski (snowblade, in fact)
– and play golf
So yes, my ankle occasionally hurts but I am far from suffering as much as I did before the op! And I am sure of it, by next year I won’t be feeling it at all.
So, like everything else, one needs patience, energy, grit, self confidence a bit of sweat and yes a few tears as well, but dammit… how great it is to be in version 3.0, pain free and proud of the achieved results.
So, if you too are battling with a body that resists, I know that we sometimes lose faith, sometimes feel like hiding in bed with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s or other silly things… In those moments, come and find me. I am only a click on FB, Twitter or Instagram away
From this year of physical rehabilitation I retain two exercises we should all do every day to strengthen our ankles and avoid injuries. I promise to write more about this in the next few days.
To your health!