So, it’s been over two-and-a-half months now since my heel got shattered like a wine glass in a Memorex commercial. There have been a handful (footful?) of positive developments over the last few weeks, so I figure I should update y’all. Also, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve done the potpourri thing. So, here I go, although I warn you, this potpourri will smell of nothing but feet.
Giving Me the Boot
At this point, I am done with both the “soft cast” and “hard cast” stages of recovery and have moved on to the “walking boot.” Compared to the previous casts, the walking boot is a podiatric behemoth. The perk is, I can now begin to actually walk. I mean, like sort of kind of really walk. In fact, that is the sole (no pun intended) purpose of the walking boot, to once again start walking (cue Nancy Sinatra--bad quasi-pun fully intended). While I am currently only supposed to put half of my weight down on my left foot (and although I sometimes stumble a bit and put down at least 52 or 53% of my weight), this makes a world of difference, ambulatorily speaking. I can now walk a whole block without wanting to keel over. And even though the walking boot does not yet prevent me from using crutches, I sometimes feel like I’m almost walking like a “normal” human being. It’s exciting. Over the next few weeks, I am supposed to gradually increase the amount of weight I am putting on my foot, and I am also supposed to work my way to abandoning one crutch, then the other. The thought of walking crutchless, even within the confines of the walking boot, is inspiring. I’ve even gotten quite used to the walking boot’s dramatically curved base, which causes me to feel as though I am somehow walking on a basketball. It’s exciting times for me. But just so you understand how stormtrooper-like I feel when I strap myself into the boot on a daily basis, I have inserted the preceding picture. The blue bump near the top of the boot’s left side is there to pump air into the boot and make it more cushiony. Honestly, I’m not sure I notice much of a difference – well, aside from getting the urge to sing “Pump Up the Jam” even more frequently than I used to.
Another reason I am so excited to have been upgraded to the walking boot is that I can now take showers. In casts past, I had to take baths, with my left foot dangling over the edge of the tub. Because the walking boot is removable, I am allowed to shower. Of course, this does not automatically make me a very skilled showerer. Standing on one foot for the entire duration of even a quick shower can be a challenge, and turning around to ensure my body gets thoroughly and completely rinsed always makes me feel as though I am participating in some highly dangerous stunt. I am, after all, hopping on a wet foundation in order to get my body to turn. It can be unsettling, but so far no further injuries have been incurred. Showering is also helping my foot shed itself of the disgustingly marred skin that was the feature of my most recent post. It amazes me just how similar wet, dead skin is to wet, dead paper. It possesses a silky-like quality and is apt to disintegrate if you rub it briskly between your forefinger and your thumb. One flap of browned, dead skin that dropped off of me during my first post-injury shower actually reminded me of a scrap of potato peeling. I almost convinced myself that it was a scrap of potato skin, perhaps from an old Russet potato peeled by our upstairs neighbor as he or she prepared the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner, put down the garbage disposal and, the metal teeth of the disposal somehow failing to properly masticate the potato-flap but hungrily swallowing the peeling nonetheless, eventually regurgitated by my shower drain a good 7-10 business days later. But nope, it was really just my skin. Kind of creepy, eh? But kind of fascinating.
I’m in with the In(valid) Crowd
Even though I’m more mobile than I’ve been in a couple of months now, I just recently was granted a handicap parking permit. My doctor gave me the form a few weeks prior to my going to the tag office and actually getting the permit, and at that time I felt I could truly benefit from having the permit. Of course, I still think I can benefit from having it, it’s just that it doesn’t always seem quite as necessary to benefit from having it now as it did then. For the record, Melanie and I avoid parking in handicap parking spots if another spot is available nearby. And if I’m not getting out of the car, which I quite often avoid nowadays, we don’t park in a handicap spot. But it’s nice to have the permit for those times when I do happen to need to get out of the car. This is especially true here in