Feeling a post-leg day feel

My body’s back — hey ya my body’s back

The Monday work-day felt long enough that as I headed to Starbucks for reinforcements after, I thought it was Wednesday. Even more shocking was my realization that I hadn’t written anything to post here in another week — which was an entirely different world way back then. But here we are from Valentines to war in what feels like another surreal passage of time. My reminders to just simply breathe result in a weird spasm in my chest that I need to remind myself there is no need to check WebMD to find out if pectoral and shoulder spasm is a sign of heart attack.

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

This last week did find me losing the brace, officially. As the doctor scolded me for not recalling (while on morphine in the hospital after a night of no sleep) that he didn’t believe in bracing and only wear it if I got comfort in doing so. Say whhhaaaaat? But, I did it. And I can drive, again. And I can bend, lift, and twist, again. I can start PT, again. I have my body back, no longer hostage to the first phase of healing.

Yesterday, I set out in the morning to start cleaning my office and making the space for my art studio. This will free up the needed space in the spare room (aka the unofficial gym) for PT and general working out. I got about halfway done before I needed a break and spent an hour coloring and playing school with Winter. Playing school is a new one — but I’m going with it even if she informed me I was going to hell for swearing on a Sunday.

Waking up today I had a familiar feeling in my quads: post leg day soreness. It became more apparent as I descended the stairs in the morning pathway to coffee. Standing up from my desk — ouch-y. Climbing the stairs? What the hell was I thinking? And I’m only halfway through with the office. Worse still, I’m actually proud of the soreness, though I’d have preferred if I was leg pressing 700 pounds and squatting a solid 150 pounds rather than just picking things up from the floor. And when I say picking up things, I mean like stuff that was no more than 5–7 pounds.

Photo by Jelmer Assink on Unsplash

So maybe I’m not ready for yoga for another week, but I will start PT this week and I truly cannot wait. The evening after the doctor appointment, Winter and I had a dance party via video chat. She was just as excited as I was that I could dance with her, she gave me detailed instructions on exactly I could simply put my foot behind my head in three easy steps. I think I was laughing too hard on the inside to explain adequately that I couldn’t do that before surgery. Fortunately, she’s not easily deterred and was happy to demonstrate all manners of flexibility that I would have envied even at seven years.

It is nice, despite a serious lack of flexibility to be able to put on lace up shoes, wear clothes that don’t have to fit with a brace on, and generally, be able to pick up a cat or my phone when I drop it on my foot. Being able to shave my legs properly has also been a huge perk. Of course, the job of litter landed back to me days before the brace came off, so everything with balance.

When I’m asked, and I often am, would I do this surgery again, I don’t even pause when I say yes. For all my complaints about restrictions and braces, I woke up from surgery with no back pain (surgery pain, yes). My upper back has been stiff and sore in compensation but is starting to loosen up. I still need muscle relaxers as I will get some cramping and nerve pain as things are still healing, but after getting to see the x-rays with the hardware holding me up I’m amazed that’s the extent of it just two months out.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

So, I guess when I fill out the PT paperwork this week, and I get to the line about my desired outcomes with therapy, I shall list the ability to put my foot behind my head, but I’ll settle for the ability to sit comfortably cross-legged, reach the floor again when I bend down, and not feel like I had a full leg day after working in the office for an hour and half.

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