Monday, January 29, 2007

Update on My Foot
By Phyllis
  • I’m slowing improving and slowly getting more and more mobility and strength back into my foot. If you are not a detail person, that’s all you need to know.
  • I've started physio therapy again with the same doctor as before. This time when I came in after weeks of being away, she said she was "one million percent sure" that I would walk normally again. This is the same woman who said after the first surgery in October "Who did this to you? I want to kill him!" -- so I am inclined to believe her.
  • A week ago I tried using a cane to get around but after a few hours reverted back to the one crutch mode of mobility. I find the cane good for balance but not as good as a crutch for weight bearing. I’ll try again next week.
  • The orthopaedic surgeon in Bangkok told me at my last appointment that I could start putting 50% of my weight on my foot. I was unsure what he meant (how can you walk with only ½ your weight on your foot?) but he explained that I should put most of the weight on the heel and slowly start putting weight on the plantar region.
  • My physio doctor was trying to explain the "50% of my weight on my foot" thinking. She says it's like this: a person who weighs 60 kg has 30 kg on each foot when she is standing. So 50% of 30kg is 15 kg per foot. That's how much weight I am allowed to put on my plantar region for now. So she suggested I practice with some scales and put 5 kg down, 10, and gradually 15. I'm still confused because when a person walks, there is more than half their weight on their foot part of the time. She was explaining that the speed one walks makes a difference but I'm still not clear. Bottom line: I'm mainly putting weight on my heel.
  • On the advice of the physio therapist I have bought some good Scholl sandals for wearing inside. She says I need the support inside and out. Even though it is against Lao culture to wear shoes inside, I am doing so. I leave my street shoes at the door and put on my inside shoes when I get inside. The first day was quite painful but after that I’ve noticed an improvement especially in the arch support.
  • I haven’t used my left foot in over 5 months so it’s gotten very sensitive and soft. Wearing real shoes is going to be an adjustment plus it’s going to take a long time to get a tough sole for barefoot walking again.