To go forward, a few backwards steps needed

As I enter my second week of recovery from surgery I tend to ponder a bit.

It really is hard the whole surgery thing, it’s not a decision one enters into lightly.
Especially when you’ve been here several times before.

Really is an interesting situation when you make a decision that will impact your short term ability in so many ways. For me having foot surgery means some fairly brutal treatment to my body and heavy impact on what can be done day-to-day. Not to mention various activity restrictions placed on me.

I saw an ad on the back of a bus recently that said “getting you back up the stairs” and it caused me to ponder my current situation.

It’s very easy to get caught in a negative headspace, of what one can’t do or what limitations one has. Sure, you have to be reasonable about just how much you can do, but part of challenge is working out just how much you can do.

Knowing that I was able to walk into hospital was great, knowing full well that when being discharged that wouldn’t be an option.

Over the past few weeks, prior to surgery, I spent a lot of time getting out and about, having dinner while the sunset in the background, going to the footy. Lots of lovely normal things.

In the past week I’ve actually managed to get out far more than I would have expected. That said they have always been very quick and short trips near to home.

I’m finding that I have to keep my leg elevated a lot which helps ease the discomfort I’m in.

The start of rehab is still 3 weeks away and I’m just a little bit keen for that to come so I can literally get moving again. I know that it is going to be a very challenging time and won’t be easy but then again anything worth doing isn’t generally easy.

One of the hardest things is all of this is how weak and frail I feel. I know that my rehab will start of very simple and basic.

I already have some basic exercises for my toe to do and it seems really stupidly simple, yet right now they are actually very hard to do. It’s just where I’m at, it’s what’s needed, I still struggle with that.

That’s where the thought of to go forward a few steps back needed rings sadly true.

Round Three – Third Foot Surgery in 3 years in May

There must me something about the month of May, this year will mark the third year in a row I’ve headed into hospital and under the surgeons’ knife.

This will be my second hospital admission this year and 8th in 4 years.

So I’ve skipped a lot of updates so let me fill in some blanks.

In May 2012 I had both the sesamoid bones in my right foot removed as they were very badly inflamed. What I didn’t quite realise at the time is the way the bones have to be removed they essentially destroy a large part of the structure around the ball of you foot.

In my case I also had a significant bone spur in the big toe. What was meant to be a straight forward surgery wasn’t.

I had the surprise of having to wear a post OP shoe for 6 weeks which meant anytime my operated foot was on the ground it had to be in the specialist shoe.

It’s not a nice looking shoe and the sole is rigid to stop any flexing of the foot. Which is fine, but it altered my ability to walk so badly I elected to wear two so I had some chance of walking evenly.

Things weren’t going well and I attended the foot and ankle clinic for “complex cases” it’s the place where the primary practitioners meet and review your case. It’s a room full of about 10 people Physio’s, Podiatrist’s and surgical interns, chaired by my specialist food and ankle surgeon. Think of an episode of House M.D. but the patient is there too.

Attended this clinic twice and both times the suggestion was to modify my already specialist rocker bottom shoe to be more like a moon boot and off load pressure off the ball of my foot and what is known as the 1st MTPJ.

Rocker shoes off load the forefoot and as a result the wear on them is quite different. Normally shoes last me a couple of years, right now they are lasting only a few months. It’s hard because the shoes to start with are around the $250 mark and then require a further modification which is around $100.

Anyhow I reached the 10 month post OP mark and I couldn’t cope with the pain and discomfort anymore. I headed back to my surgeon to review my options.

My surgeon told me initially that I’d make a full recovery from the sesamoidectomy, but it was obvious this wasn’t the case. In the foot and ankle clinic my surgeon said his approach would be to fuse the toe. I was and am still not convinced that was the way to go.

When I apply pressure to the toe/foot I get a pain response, it’s not as bad as it was, but it means I often limp or alter the way I walk. This isn’t a good thing, it impacts my ability to do virtually anything physical. The simple task of going for a walk around the block or the beach or even getting down to the floor isn’t good.

In trying to off load pressure on one foot I managed to sprain the ankle on my other foot several times and in the end resorted to wearing an ankle brace on “the good ankle”

The surgeon wanted to fuse my toe and I wanted that to be the absolute last resort surgery (surgery is and always will be a last resort)

I said to the surgeon that it felt like a tendon or something was grabbing when I was flexing my toe. The surgeon said this could be a number of things and it warranted investigation. However he warned me that there was a good chance that if this came up blank a formal fusion of the joint was the way to go. I mentioned the above to my GP and he could see both my point and that of the surgeon.

My GP did make the point that my situation was like someone that needed a knee replacement but kept putting it off and getting a scope (clean out done) I pointed out that a knee replacement had a clear result where fusion of my toe was still an unknown. I was happy to hear my GP make the comment that if he were in my situation he would have done the same.

So anyway my surgeon agreed that a clean out and investigation on the restriction/painful movement was warranted.

I was sad that I had no choice but to head to surgery again, but the impact on my daily life was taking its toll. I’ve been very lucky with work they have been very understanding and supportive where they can.

So I approached work and we worked out that I would take a decent block of time off to get on top of my situation.

My last surgery was horrific, I like to think I have fairly high pain tolerance but last year I suffered both severe and sudden pain when my nerve block wore off within 10 hours of surgery then a heavy fall at home on the day of discharge didn’t help.

I knew this time around things had to be different, I can’t keep having surgery upon surgery and I need my health to be stable.

There are times when you have to trust the experts in your medical team and there are times you have to challenge then. The trick is getting the balance right, there is a time to shut up and do as your told and a time to question.

I questioned the surgeon, the next person I had to question was the anaesthetist. Last year I went into shock in hospital and the resulting mental fall out took me months to get over.

My surgeon asked for a pre surgery phone consult to take place, sadly this only occurred the day before surgery. Thankfully as it turns out the anaesthetist I had this year was the same as last year, which meant they had all my medical records and could review what was done last year.

Having three foot surgeries in as many years means you get used the challenges you face Post OP. I’ve done mountains of research and learnt from my past two experiences what to do.

It was weird heading into hospital the day of surgery as it didn’t feel anything strange or different, a little all to familiar for my liking. I had made a checklist and it was complete. I remember laying in my hospital bed in the few hours I had before I headed to theatre thinking I’d missed something very obviously. Sadly the more often you do something like this the more easily prepared you can be. I hadn’t missed anything, I just instinctively knew what had to be done.

In the past I have been very nervous around the admission and pre surgery process. This time I was at peace with the process. I’d been watching a couple of medical dramas on TV to both desensitise me and also remind myself that things weren’t that bad. Plus I had some new support in ways I’ve not experienced before that helped me consolidate and accept where I was at.

When I was wheeled down to the waiting area I actually told the anaesthetist that I was happy to be a wake when going into theatre (I had asked for a pre-med which the anaesthetist wasn’t keen to do) I agreed to forego the premed on the understanding that I would be asleep before entering theatre.

It turns out the type of nerve block I had it is safest for me to be asleep when its done.

My surgery was booked for what I’d consider early to – mid afternoon, which in the end meant I missed having a major evening meal, the theatre area was a lot quieter and not the rush it was on previously occasions. So much so day surgery patients were being discharged as I was being admitted.

So I had my pre surgery consult with my surgeon and anaesthetist and everything was in place.

I went off to sleep without issue and woke up without concern.

Surgery had gone well, better than expected and I will write more on that in the future.

One thing I love about Sportsmed Hopsital is you are taken down in your ward bead and met in recovery by your ward nurse. This nurse will be on afternoon shift and with you until 10pm.

Back on the ward I discovered some flowers had arrived. I had a call from a florist before going to theatre querying which hospital I was in which spoilt the surprise a bit, but what had me curious was who the sender was.

I was only scheduled to be in hospital overnight so it really had me thinking. I was both surprised and delighted to read the enclosed card. The flowers were from the Physio practice I have worked with.

I can’t being to explain what I felt when I realised they had the sense of mind and thought to send through some flowers to cheer me up. I’ve really struggled with my foot problems and the pressure of work and home life and getting everything ready for me to go into hospital was getting on top of me.

It really is an outstanding example of the care and compassion of my medical team, especially the team of people at my Physio.

Apart from my foot issues I have other health issues as well and Sportsmed have had some problems with similar patients in recent times. As a result I had to be very closely monitored, well above and beyond the hourly post OP obs.

The nurse who was looking after me apologised for how intrusive some of this was, but I said that I knew that she was just doing her job and I in turn had to be a compliant patient.

In the end I ended up on oxygen, a pulse and oxygen saturation probe, BP cuff constantly attached and 3 lead ECG. Plus I had a drip in until midnight.

At the end of the day as annoying as some of that was, particularly when trying to turn over they had my best interests at hand and that’s all you can hope for.

The nursing staff were amazing, the afternoon shift nurse gave me a quick wash when I was back on the ward and made me comfortable.

I was on hourly obs until 11pm then I had IV fluid removal at Midnight then OBS a 2am then anti-biotic injection at 3am then OBS at 6am.

It was just after midnight I had to almost pinch myself to check that this was all real. So far it was so good, I wasn’t in any real pain and things had all gone like clock work. My concern was being able to rest overnight.

My nurse came in at 2am and I was sort of awake, he apologised for waking me and introduced himself and went about his job. I decided I wasn’t going to try and sleep for the hour between and stayed awake. Due to the monitoring I had to have my door open so I had to keep things quiet as I wanted to make sure I didn’t disturb anyone else.

At 3am the nurse came back and I mentioned that I was hungry, I was offered sandwiches and a hot drink,
I gladly accepted.

The nurse who is the first male nurse to care for me as an inpatient did an amazing job and I made sure I let him know.

I was visited by my surgeon around 7:15am and I had a list of questions already for him with some new ones.

That went really well then it was time to tuck into breakfast my first real meal in about a day and a half.

Then it was a matter of waiting for the hospital Physio to attend to talk to me and get me out of bed. Until he arrived I’d be restricted to bed post OP.

To my surprise I was encouraged to walk full weight bearing on my operated foot, even though it was completely numb. Now it’s one thing to have pins and needles and a loss of sensation when you foot “goes to sleep” but I had no feeling in my lower leg, no sensation, no feedback, nothing.

The only saving grace is I have to wear a moon boot anytime my foot is on the ground, so I had to have help to put my foot in the boot as I could not feel where it was. The boot does a lot of normal range of movement for you and takes pressure off the forefoot.

Once we got that on I was brought up into sitting which caused me to feel light headed. We paused as I had an injection which was well timed as by the time the nurse was done it was time to get me up.

I was surprised that I was encouraged to just have the Physio on his own for support, no nurse back-up or crutches. I explained I had a real fear of falling but I took him at his word that I could do it and I did.

I was very unsure on my feet to start with, but I completed the test of a walk out of my room and up to the start of the nurses station and back.

It was then I had the task to shower and get ready for discharge. I had help to bag my foot, but apart from that I managed totally unaided.

Once I got dressed, it was only a few minutes then my nurse came in and advised me that my ride was here.

A quick ride home in what was a lovely warm sunny day and I was home, after spending the one night as planned in hospital.

The past week has been hard, I’m still lacking energy and the physical strain of my limited mobility greatly impacts on what I can do.

Thankfully the pain has been well managed and I have already begun reducing my pain killer usage.

I’m spending my days dosing and watching a fair bit of online content, Netflix has been really good.

Also I’ve finally managed to find a comfortable way to prop myself up in bed and elevate my leg so thus far I’ve managed to avoid a sore back!

As previously mentioned I am currently unable to walk barefoot at all on the operated foot which makes showering a seated experience and I’m holding on to my knee walker for the moment. Wearing the boot is causing significant discomfort not only from the bulk of the boot but also pressure against the incision.

Even with additional padding the discomfort is hard to tolerate. For the moment I’m spending most of my time laying down with my foot elevated with just the bandage on and using the knee walker to get around, therefore negating the use of the boot.

I can’t avoid the boot all together though.

I don’t see the surgery until two weeks post op and because of the driving and moon boot restriction I’m unable to start any form of meaningful rehab until the 4 week mark.

I’m still in the early stages of recovery and not up to doing a lot, over the next week I look forward to that gradually improving as the days go on.

What I know from previous experience is I need to do as I’m told (which I actually am doing) and to take it slowly.

My recovery is going to be a long and hard fort one and to achieve it I have to take it literally one step at a time.

But all things considered a week in, I’m doing well and it won’t be until I start rehab will I get an idea where things are headed. I’m focussed on the positive and that’s all that really matters.

Learning to walk again – “within limits”

Having had two ankle/foot surgeries in just over a year, one thing I’ve had to do more times than I care to count
is learn how to walk again.

It might sound a bit melodramatic but as a fit and healthy person you wouldn’t normally give walking a second thought, you just do it. You might sprain your ankle or have a short term pain in your foot, but largely you might be a bit ginger for a few days but it clears.

For me this hasn’t been the case.

In my case I’ve had my anatomy permanently changed twice and this has and will continue to affect how I mobilise.

Some days I do ok and get around fairly well, other days something might be a bit sore or something will happen and I’ll throw out some other part of my body.

The term that is often used in medicine particularly when it comes to physical movement is “within limits”

Sometimes you’ll know yourself what your limits are, but there are other times you’ll need someone to either tell you to push it a bit or to ease off a bit.

Now in having said that, you do need to push yourself regally otherwise you just won’t progress. Sometimes this can be some fairly easy, like taking the stairs instead of the lift, but “listening to your body” is key. However in a true contradiction sometimes pushing yourself is a matter of two steps forward one step back. What I’m saying is while you might be frustrated that an exercise that you did yesterday fine, hurts today (in a bad way) to progress you may have to reduce the reps or take a day off!

Haven’t not regularly played sport or been all that active since leaving school (until I started regular exercise about 2 years ago) I had to re-learn the difference between stretching a muscle (fatigue) or doing an injury.

There is a very fine line here and while it’s not good to rely solely on others for feedback, it can be helpful.

This is where having your Team in my case “Team Pilko” to support me, in my case Podiatrist & Physio are key. A key example is my podiatrist would make a change to my orthodics which would alter how I move. Sometimes the change would be good, sometimes it would require a time of adjustment (getting used to it) in rare occasions a rushed return to have the change removed is also required.

At the end of the day you have to make a judgement call and in this Internet age just be careful what your source is.

I’m a big fan of public forums, we can all learn a lot from each other, but at the same time a lot of harm can be done with mis-information.

It really is a case of buyer or “surfer” beware!

The long and winding road

So here I am, around 9 months Post OP, it still hurts when I put my foot to the ground
and I’m still limited in what I can do.

It’s frustrating as hell, but there are signs of improvement and this is where having regular appointments
with the likes of your Physio and in particular my Podiatrist.

An indépendant person, an expert in their field can monitor your recovery and help you along the way.

I’ve gone through some really intense moments over the past few months and I’ve decided not to blog about most of them.

I have total faith in my medical team and I’m so lucky to have such a bunch of skilled and dedicated people managing my case.

In the orthopaedic centre I go, for “complex cases” they hold a foot and ankle clinic once a month, where the primary practitioners of Physio, Podiatry and the Surgeon and a few others
convene and do a panel review of your case with you there.

I’ve been to two so far, and to have between 10-15 people all looking over your case notes and reviewing you at once is a bit intimidating, but knowing that everyone is there
trying to find a why to aid your recovery and improve your situation is just amazing.

So while it has ben touch, progress is being made, although some days it dosn’t feel like it.

Hopefully with the latest round of changes to my orthodics and footwear I can get back to a closer “normal” walking style and get more mobile.


Not like last time, at all

So I’m a little bit past the 3 month mark and things are progressing but not quite as I’d like.

I’ve not been in a situation where I’ve felt sharing on my blog what has been going on. There has be quite a few developments and a lot of different options put to me about what lays ahead.

At the moment I have severe pain in the operated foot, there is still significant swelling. Thankfully a cortisone injection reduced some of the swelling. The remaining swelling will just be a matter of rest and time.

I’ve transisitioned  out bunion style post op shoes initially into runners then into a specialised rocker bottom shoe. We have not seen sufficient progress so for the moment a set back of sorts will see me in dual moon boots for about the next two weeks.

Hopefully in this time the foot will rest enough to allow me to go back into normal shoes and get back literally onto my feet.

While it looks terrible (two moon boots) i’m now able to walk almost normally, something I’ve not been able to do since surgery.

i’m also heavily strapped with ridged strapping tape which I’ve been asked to keep dry. That means that i’m unable to get into the pool at all.

While it’s a disappointment, it’s only for a few weeks and ultimately if the rest now means I get back to “normal” in the near future so be it.

Something that was a big downer for me initially was having to accept that I would miss my major recovery goal of the Adelaide, City – Bay Fun Run this year.

As we get closer to the event it is clear that there is no physical way I could complete the course and it would be a waste of money to register. There will always be next year and when I do cross that finish line it will make the victory all that much sweeter 🙂

I continue to be amazed at the dedication of those in my health care team who work so closely with me to support me through this time.

Let’s create a garden

This post has been well and truly overdue.

I’m a big fan or social media, it has it place and sometimes it’s used well and sometimes it’s not. One example of social media working well is the Adelaide City Council’s

Splash Adelaide pop up events program. Marketed as a creating a vibrant city.

I’ve been a follower of Sprout Cooking for a while now and also of Splash Adelaide

Picnic Lane came up on my feed as a pop up event which turned the lane way aside of the new Harris Scarf building into a lane-way with fake grass and a place to sit and eat lunch with produce from the Adelaide Central Market.

The Sprout team hand picked the two lunch box choices which at $10 including juice was a bargain.


As part of the setup I noticed some Apple Crates with a sort of boxed garden setup. We’d always planned to put in raised (boxed) garden beds in the house when it was built an established nearly 5 years ago but never got around to it. The apple creates do look a bit different and “funky” and they caught my eye.

Picnic Lane - photo via @TPGCo

Picnic Lane – photo via @TPGCo

Looked up the company behind the apple crates which is The Productive Garden Co a local family business. Nick came out within a couple of days to quote and I shared my history and vision for what I wanted to achieve.

Within a week Nick came in and created what was a ready to plant garden. I was off work initially but was at work when the garden was created. At the last minute I asked Nick to take some photos which is did quite willingly. Was great to get some “before, during and hey presto! all finished” pics.

I hadn’t actually given much thought about what we’d actually plant, I just wanted to make sure I had plenty of options. With 4 apple crates there was plenty of options. Nick referred me to Bickleigh Vale Farm at the Adelaide Showground Farmers Market, they carry Greenseed organic seedlings.

Diana is the lady behind Bickleigh and she was just brilliant. Could’t meet a nicer person, so helpful with advise and obviously passionate and loves what she does.

Picked up quite a variety of seedlings:- Green Pearl Parsley, Sugar Bon Snap Peas, Rocket, Bay Meadows Broccoli, Asian Green Mix (BOK CHOY green & pruple MIZUNA green & red Asian Mustard) well that’s what the tag says and I’m sticking to it!

Planting was a bit interesting, I’ve not planted anything for over 20 years so there is an element of being careful and suck it and see. Thankfully almost every planting took really well. I’ve somehow ended up with some snow peas on the ground (I didn’t drop any) so not sure what the deal is there.

Within a week things were looking good, week two we had some flowering and now week three, wow it’s really starting to take shape.

Looking forward to the first harvest!



R20130720-183405.jpgIn and ready to plant

20130720-183416.jpgReady to plant


20130720-183441.jpgWe have flowering!

20130720-183450.jpgEven More 🙂

20130720-183500.jpgSalad box off to a strong start!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this project. Nick from TPGC was excellent in helping me design and implement my concept and Diane for helping me pick an amazing variety of seedlings. My father was astounded at the quality and variety I ended out planting. The finished product looks amazing, the creates look brilliant and every seedling has taken.

It’s amazing how catching up for lunch in a lane way off Rundle Mall can have a lasting impact.


The informed patient

it’s amazing what taking control of your health care can do for you.

I’m battling a number of issues on the health front and despite that I pride myself in being an informed consumer or in this case informed patient.

It’s natural and healthy to be curious about things, but as a good friend once pointed out you also don’t want to over analyse things! It’s getting the balance right which is the trick.

My Physio is a great one for promoting evidence bases therapy/ approach / treatment.

Turns out it’s a really great way to investigate the situation and it’s good to know particularly when I fact check that I know people have been here before.

Had a comment made to me today by one of my health care team that another member of that team is getting better in sending letters more timely as they are aware that there is close followup done by others and well as me.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m really fortunate to have access to some of the most amazing, skilled,  dedicated people in helping support me as my life journey continues.

The collaboration between them all is awesome, a “synergy” if you like.

While ultimately it’s up to me and my determination and dedication in how I comply with directives. This journey is one that can’t be done alone on many levels.


Getup, put your foot on the ground, no second thought

So yesterday was kind of a big deal for me.

Surgery was a  little over 6 weeks ago and the requirement to be in a post op shoe when weight bearing was lifted.

I no longer had to think about getting up and putting my foot on the ground. I didn’t have to put a shoe on to go anywhere. I could just stand on my two feet and start to walk.

Well that was the idea anyway!

Caught up with my podiatrist and I’ve started gait training, gait is basically what you do when you walk. It’s how you step/move.

For the second time in just over a year i’m having to learn to walk again. It might not sound like a really simple thing to do, but for me ,my anatomy has changed and so my body has to lean how to cope with the change (one that will be permanent) and I have to make sure I teach by body good habits so that in time I actually walk like I should.

Right now that’s actually really hard to do as when I push off on my right foot I generally get a fairly severe pain response.

This brings me back to the pool where I can literally take most of the weight off, slow it down, break it down and nit pick like hell. Take a moment to focus on what I’ve been shown and learn how to develop that over time.

Progress is slow and at times very frustrating. When you consider a week ago I hadn’t been in a pool for 5 weeks I’m actually doing quite well. the trick is to push enough but not over do it.

This week I’ve spent roughly about 4 hours in the pool. I’m really lucky to have a great pool at work and it does make rehab a lot more easily accessible.

At the end of the day I have to focus on these basic things as sadly I’ve learnt again how reliant we are on out feet and if you don’t have “happy feet” then quite literally it can throw out the rest of your body.

This hopefully will only be a short term thing, but while still focused and determined I must admit there is still a lot of frustration.


Daily Hydro Rehab

The pool at work is proving to be a great bonus for me right now.

It’s not open on Sunday but so far I’ve been every other day since Saturday and the aim is to continue that.

On Thursday this week I get cleared to walk without the post OP shoes, first time in 6 weeks.

In preparing for this, each day I’m trying to walk in the pool.

Again it sounds simple but in recovery it’s quite a challenge. For me balance, stability and RH forefront push off are real issues. The pool gives you the benefit of reduced load bearing and to some degree some safety (if you fall in the pool the only thing your going to hurt is your pride)

I’m well accessorised for this little adventure! 3 pool noodles (one is cut into quarters ) kick board, pool buoy, prescription swim goggles, fins (currently not in use) ear & nose plugs. Snorkle (again not currently in use) and a water running belt.

I personal train tomorrow night so i needed to give my upper body a bit of a rest today.

For me to stabilise in the pool to walk I had the water running belt on and a noodle out in front. The trick with most things is to start of small and slow.

The pool I’m using has three depth’s the shallow end at around 1.1m the middle deep section at 2M (perfect for full leg extension water running) and the “shallow  {deep}) ” end at 1.4M.

Over all it’s a brilliant facility to have access to onsite at work.

The water is a little cool for rehab but for lap swimming ( I’ve actually managed to pump out about 200M in arms only swimming) it’s almost spot on (could be a couple of degrees warmer)

Challenge for me tonight is to get to bed early and rise early enough to rehab tomorrow am and PT in the afternoon.

I’m really keen to do as much “walking” practice in the pool I can. Thursday afternoon is going to be quite the challenge and the better developed I am in water, the better I will cope on land.

Still got a few muscle cramp issues going on, the frozen golf ball is doing wonders!

What impressed me so much tonight, is for the first time post OP I’ve come away with muscular soreness in my legs for the right reasons!

First session water running, but even with almost no resistance and literally no impact it’s great for cardio!

Was brilliant tonight, worked well within my exercise limits (although I did push them) and I can feel the benefits already both physical and mental!

It’s the small things that you miss

So I’ve had quite the time these past few days.

Caught up with the surgeon and podiatrist this past Thursday.

I was feeling quite down when I consulted with the surgeon, I knew I was making progress but I really couldn’t see it.

He confirmed for me that the joint had more movement that he expected and did confirm that the wounds were looking largely ok. I’m really concerned about how I’m walking (or more to the point of wobling) The way I walk/wobble is a heel strike, flat footed gait which means I’m doing horrible things to my body and putting additional load/stress on other parts of the body to cope.

I think it’s the post op shoes actually doing what they are meant to do, in slowing me down and preventing from my foot to flex.

I get out of the post op shoes on Thursday and really looking forward to that!

Being told I couldn’t weight bare without the post op shoe on meant that I had to bag my foot and sit when showering. This presents all sorts of problems, while the surgeon maintains I’m to wear the shoe while weight bearing I am allowed now to shower without it on. Just need to keep it on when arriving and departing the bathroom! Now why would I share that you ask? Well just think how awesome but basic it is, when you stand in the shower on a cold winter’s morning and have hot water drip over your body and have it run down your legs and between your toes. Yeah! I missed doing that for 5 weeks, it’s just one really small thing that you’d normally take for granted that is a really nice part of waking up in the morning!

The other thing which is big for me this week is pool clearance. There obviously are still somethings I’m unable to do, but this morning I headed into work to use their pool. Caught up with the lifeguard who has to be on duty when you swim. Touched based and handed over my membership form.

Went through with him what I planned to do and got my gear poolside (see photo below)


Being the first time in the pool after surgery and first time in the pool at work I picked a time when I knew there would be few people around (8am on a Saturday morning) the swim school hasn’t started yet and it’s the first day of the term 2-3 holidays) I couldn’t see too many people coming in that early! Little did I know I’d have the entire aquatic area in work’s new $15M sports centre to myself!

Never had that happen before and as you can see i got all my gear right to the pool edge.

I was a little concerned about how today would go. The requirement to wear post OP shoe was going to make getting in and out of the pool hard. Sure I could risk walking, but I’m making such good progress why risk it?!

Using my chair transfer technique I got down to the pool deck and lowered myself in. There is a wheelchair hoist, but my pride and determination was not going to let that happen!

When I caught up with the podiatrist on Thursday I had her review my hydro rehab program from last year and we modified it a bit.

Was great to be back in the pool, at one point I go back into “cycling” which is a couple of noodles under the arms and the legs were going crazy.

The pool has three depths, the best part being the 2M middle deep section, great for leg extensions and full ROM cycling. at 179cm I ain’t going to hit the pool floor.

Even managed some arms only swiming!

In true form at around the 40 minute mark I was cramping like hell in my feet so it was time to get out.

So I had to figure out a way to lift myself back onto the pool deck. Worked out I could hop onto the landing of the stairs and then do a seated twist up.

Worked really well. concerned about the foot cramping, but that’s to be expected.

Suspect next week it will be 3 to 4 pool visits, after Thursday it will really be on as I will be cleared for full weight bearing.

The pool is going to be amazing for me to build strength and get my cardio fitness back.

In the words of “big kev” I’m excited!