PT, OTR, and Life update

So I have been glaring horribly at my walking boot. I’ve hated it since they strapped me in right after my surgery. It’s heavy, has a thick sole, cumbersome, and very unattractive. I have always been so ready to be free of it, except when I was asked by my Dr. how I’ve been getting to the bathroom after the first week or so, (I didn’t wear my boot to the 10ft. it takes to get to the bathroom) he threw a hissy. Not really, just was very exaggerated that I needed to wear it so that I don’t ruin my surgery yadda yadda yadda…safe stuff. Well he insisted I wear it in the bath, to bed, and everything in between. I cursed the ballet gods.

Except I sure didn’t adhere to it. I only wore the boot when I left the house. I healed just fine and was lucky I had no accidents because I’ve literally been in bed for a month.

SO, I go and see him again for a post op to see how I’m doing. I’m now able to put 50-60 lbs of weight on my foot for the most part comfortably. No pain on my incision, it just hurts where it’s still numb on my heel. When the pain receptors/nerves reconnect they have a tendency to register pain first. So instead of just pressure, it’s like ‘YOU’RE IN PAIN FOOL!”. It is not a comfortable pain but it’s not unbearable pain. It’s just you’re mentally fighting with yourself that you’re NOT in super pain and to keep applying pressure – ENDURE. I think that’s a major hurtle for a lot of people getting over surgery. For the first 3 weeks you’re told to baby wherever was cut up. Then the doctors act all shocked that you haven’t been practicing treating it like normal! Sure docs, thanks! So when he saw I was able to put more weight on my foot, he started informing me that some of his Dancers with the surgery DIDN’T EVEN USE THE BOOT AFTER THE SURGERY. They walked in wedged mules.

Open backed wedged shoes.

My Husband and I exchanged looks that could kill. I have been known to get free drinks and food for this look, so no one wants to serve me when I’m tired or peeved.

So anyways, I am now free to walk in my favorite signature bright pink sneakers! I hobble and am easily exhausted, but I am re-learing to walk. When my PT learned of my new found freedom she was like “I wondered why you were still in a boot!” UGH. So she worked with me on gait training- except I know it’s heel, ball, toe, transfer weight, then lift and swing. Like every human, and I didn’t forget. I’m still on crutches doing this, it’s just a lot of people returning from surgery continue to hold themselves back. Like working your knee will ruin everything! Poor things, I feel for them. I’m just ready to be on my feet again.

I have a lot of practice this week which will now fill my time. I’m to work on doing very slow grape vines, “tight rope” or the drunk driving straight line walking test helped by a wall, gait walking with my crutches, and shifting my weight from one foot to the other. While also reconditioning my tight achilles, re-establishing my core, LOTS of stretching as my body is often wonky and tight from re-transitioning my weight to the other side of my body, and doing tendus with a thera band to restrengthen all that I’ve lost. So now I have to be my own trainer and motivater. After being a slug for a month. Just gotta do a mind chant “you can do this! You can do this! Wanna dance? You gotta do this!”

While I have this new freedom, I’m still otherwise fairly lame. I was able to wear a sock for the first time in a long time and a normal pair of shoes! I opted for my cool biker looking boots. We went out and had a date night, Husband and I. We went and saw Mocking Jay at iPic. If you’re not familiar with the theater you can select your seating, which half the theater is decent leather seating. Since I was handicap still We get to have premium seats that are leather recliners! Despite this comfort my right foot felt as though I was still in a boot just not cumbersome and heavy. So I started getting fidgety by the end of the movie. Not as fidgety as the girl in the seat over from me, but fidgety. I’ve already come to terms with stares from my crutches. I just never realized there’d be so many blatant staring. Like- a quick look okay. Except these people are like STARING. It’s weird; like I should have a card that explains my surgery and hand it to them. Crutches are TIRING and dangerous, and hurt my hands. So it’s another form of motivation to get working on my walking and reconditioning.

In other news. I’ve been to two Nutcrackers this year! Last Friday and the Friday before that. The first Friday was where I used to dance and do Nutcracker. Since my Mentor retired they changed up the whole thing and it was very hard to not ask for a drink after watching that train wreck. The only thing I remember most clearly now is a poor girl who was in a pair of pointe shoes she wasn’t ready for. The look on her face was “FEAR” and her bourres made her bobble around, and she seemed so unsure of herself her shoulders were up around her ears. I could spot her instantly in any number she was in. It’s all I remember very clearly as I was scared for her. Otherwise the choreography and the music was cut and butchered so bad it was “I need a drink” worthy.

The other performance was at the old performance center I used to dance at when I was a kid. After the last 20+ years it’s been renovated in an arts center and is very nice! I don’t remember too much of the theater because when I looked out into the audience it was always dark! I do remember the outside which was very art deco, originally a High School it was built in 1909 but was given an art grant in the 1939 and renovated to the art deco look.

We were supposed to watch one of my favorite students I TA’d for, she admired me and She’s such a lovely dancer! Unfortunately she came down with a bad respiratory infection and was unable to finish dancing the show. We watched it despite this, my Mentor and I. It was lovely and charming. Very well done. There was one girl though, who had the body image of a vaganova student. Tall and lithe. Except she was KNUCKLING so bad in her shoes. She wasn’t altering her shoes, or buying shoes that supported her arch. At first I thought she had dead shoes already, it just turns out she has bad pointe technique. She was cast as the main flower soloist… and had her do fouettes. While the crowd was very jovial and clapping for everyone doing something impressive. Very few clapped at her performance. I was literally drawing in breath in fear. It was SO scary to watch her. There was also one girl who had “dead face”. Everyone was so bright and cheery and she had NO expression, no smile, and was staring at the floor. She wasn’t a bad dancer, she just had “dead face”. So it was a little bit of a bummer. OTHERWISE, it wasn’t a bad production. They had ex pros dance the Sugar Plum, Adult Clara and Cavalier. So they were nice, I just like watching students though interpret the rolls more I think.

Well that’s been my week, I’m now going to do my stretches and exercises and get ready for the Seahawks gaaaaaaaame! WOOOO!!!!

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