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Monday, February 23, 2015

My ankle fracture-dislocation: week seven - getting moving

Its Monday morning, just coming into five days after having the plaster removed, and I must admit to feeling shattered right now.  This is because of the chronic lack of sleep, constant pain and possibly because I have been shifting a lot of stagnant fluid about and this can cause flu-like symptoms.

The foot hurts constantly, the skin is very sensitive and any pressure on the ankle is almost unbearable, especially when trying to sleep.  I have not had a full night of sleep for seven weeks now.  It makes no difference whether I take painkillers or not.  The best I can do is put the headphones on and listen to some music while I lie in bed tossing and turning.  Having said this, rest assured that I am in good spirits and delighted with the progress being made.

This is my foot three days after having the plaster off.  Very stiff, weak, sore and swollen - bearing in mind that I my ankles are normally very skinny.

Now, how's that for a spectacular and delightful reduction in swelling!  You will note, as well, that there is a little muscle coming back already.  This photo was taken yesterday. This spectacular improvement has been achieved by:
  • Effleurage massage with coconut oil once a day.  The body's tissues are very sponge-like and it is astonishing how easily fluid can be shifted/drained with the aid of an expert therapist (in this case my partner, Alofa).
  • Massaging in a non-drugs form of anti-inflammatory cream.  This settles and soothes any inflammation while not in any way interfering with the healing processes.  NSAID drugs interfere with healing and should not be used in all but the most exceptional cases of inflammation.
  • Hot bath once a day soaking in Epsom Salts.  Epsom Salts are Magnesium Sulphate which aid with tissue circulation and detoxification.  Sweating in a hot bath is also an excellent way to remove water and toxins directly from the leg while giving the liver and kidneys a well-earned rest.
  • Keeping the leg elevated all the time, other than when shuffling about the house (movement encourages blood and lymphatic flow; whereas standing and sitting does the opposite).

Today is definitely a rest day, keeping the leg elevated and compressed.  I'm going to avoid any stress on it.  It is telling me that it needs a break from any weight bearing and other stresses today.  Hot bath and gentle massage will be about the lot.  

The leg still hurts and the constant lack of sleep means I still need to rest and nap often during the day. While this may seem an idyllic way to spend one's time, I can tell you that I am well and truly over it.  I have been hanging around the house for seven weeks apart from a couple of excursions downtown and the occasional hop around the suburbs on crutches.

All that aside, it was a nasty injury and I am truly delighted with my progress; but still eager to get back on my bike - oh - and back to full and unimpeded work.  Those are not far off.
I think my next update will be about resuming exercise and improving strength and mobility of the leg.
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