Saturday 18th February
Today I ventured into Manchester and felt like a normal person for most the day. Before I headed back to work I wanted to see if I was strong enough to climb on and off a train by myself. The doctor advised me that when travelling into Manchester I should use my crutch and boot as support and considering it’s quite a jump on and off the train I knew it would be necessary.
Getting on the train was relatively easy. I just grabbed hold of the handle on the train and pull myself good leg first follow by the bad leg. Getting off the train was a little trickier. I held onto the handle on the train for support and then placed my crutch on the platform and lowered myself bad foot first onto the platform. Tricky, but I was proud I was able to do it.
Sunday 19th February
I spent most of the day walking around in my boot and even took my dog for a walk, well I joined Matt while he walked the dog. I don’t yet have the strength to hold myself steady while walking my dog. But it was lovely to be able to walk slowly round my village for 30 minutes.
Sunday evening I applied fake tan for the first time since Christmas. I placed myself between my bed and dressing table for support and started to apply my tan. While tanning my legs I stepped around to one side without even thinking about it. I shouted Matt who came running upstairs and I told him I took my first un-aided steps this year. He told me to try again and I walked the length of my bed without any boot, crutch or kitchen top. I was so proud of myself and even shed a little tear at this big stage in my recovery.
Monday 20th February
Now I was getting used to walking in my boot I changed the setting on my Fitbit to a target of 5,000 steps a day. And try to do as many of these without the support of my boot to try and build up my strength and confidence.
Feeling more confident with my ability to support myself without aids I enjoyed my first standup shower since Christmas Eve. A simple pleasure that I have missed over the past 2 months.
Tuesday 21st February
I woke in the morning with a huge amount of pain. I went to get out of bed and put weight on my ankle and knew I wouldn’t be able to do this. My ankle had swollen up so much that if I attempted to walk it felt like it would just snap clean off. So I’ve learnt that each morning I have to warm up my ankle before stepping on it.
Wednesday 22nd February
The day had finally came! My first day back in the office since the 19th December. I packed my backpack up, strapped on my boot and armed myself with my crutch and headed for the train station. I climbed onto the train with ease and managed to get a seat. I had a few funny looks from fellow commuters who clearly have no idea what my boot is for. I arrived in Manchester and waited for others to get off the train before I attempted. I managed ok, no slips, so I was happy. It takes me twice as long to walk from the station to my office but I have to remember that just a few weeks ago I couldn’t walk anywhere.
The rest of the day was filled with explaining my injury and recovery with my colleagues and making fun of my new sexy hop-a-long walk.
After work my colleagues and I headed out for celebratory drinks to toast my return to work.
Thursday 23rd February
I woke in the morning with a stiffer than usual ankle, but that was to be expected after walking on it for longer than I had before. I felt 100% more confident in the morning after managing my commute with no issues the day before. The day went ahead with no issues, just more explaining my injury to those who look at my boot with confusion. However my commute home was a lot more eventful.
While at work Storm Doris had hit with torrential rain and winds of up to 80MPH. Manchester Victoria train station had been closed through the afternoon and all trains were delayed or cancelled. I left work not thinking the wind would effect me, but boy, was I wrong. The strong winds really pushed me around and while balancing on a boot and crutch it was a little scary. I managed to walk slowly and held onto walls where I could to keep myself stable.
Once at the train station, all trains were cancelled. I waited an hour and managed to get on a train which headed in my direction home. I reached a station close to home and waited again for another train. Two trains came and went as I was unable to run for trains which kept changing platforms and then once there the crowds were too big for me to fight my way through with my crutch. 30 minutes later I managed to get on a train which stopped near by home. Matt came and picked me up and I burst into tears. I was frustrated that I hadn’t been able to manage the commute and was in a lot of pain as I had spent the past two hours on my foot which was the longest I had since the break. Matt reminded me that I had managed it fine and to remember that last week I struggled to walk so I was doing really well.
Friday 24th February
I had a busy weekend ahead of me as it was my friend’s hen party. My goal for the hen party was to be able to walk unaided and I was pleased I had reached this goal. I set off in the morning and walked to her house a mile away. I still had my goal of 5,000 steps and was challenging myself to walk my first mile by myself with boot and crutch. I managed fine.
We arrived at the gorgeous venue in the afternoon and explored. The house had around 10 bedrooms and was a stunning victorian mansion. I spent the evening drinking and playing games while keeping my leg elevated. Come late in the night we headed into the garden and to the hot-tub. With the assistance of the girls I was able to climb in and out of the hottub (very ungraciously) but with ease.
Diary of a broken ankle:
Week 1 – The accident and cancelling Australia
Week 2 – Down days and mini wins
Week 3 – Mental health and finally some good news
Week 4 – Returning home and finding support
Week 5 – The cast is off
Week 6 – Returning to work and ankle rehab
Visiting Paris with a broken ankle
Week 7 – Cycling and a half marathon surprise
Week 8 – First unassisted step and last hospital checkup