The end of my last post a month ago ended on quite an optimistic note with what I thought was a conservative aim of jogging for 20mins on nearby Clapham Common. A visit to the physio a couple of days later was a reality check and led to a readjustment of my goals.
The physio visit initially was going well and she said I had good mobility in my ankle and feet. She asked me to stand on one leg which I could do (although wobbly) and stand up down on tip toes which I have been able to do with ease for ages.
She then asked me to try going up on tip toes but just on my bad leg. My cockiness went as I thought, oh, I’ve not tried that. I couldn’t do it at all.
She said that I should stop running on the treadmill as if I couldn’t go up on tip toes on just my bad leg (the left) I would be significantly over-compensating on my right leg and this would cause problems. She also suggested that when I practice going up on tip toes that I try to do it more on my bad leg as I had been relying, without realising, on my right leg too much.
I left gutted and annoyed that I wasn’t able to do this and for the next week I practiced a lot every day and it was so frustrating I couldn’t do it. Then, whilst at a work event where 2012 Games chairman Lord Sebastian Coe was visiting my client, I suddenly realised I could do it! Not very well, but I could definitely do it.
I really felt quite happy as I had worked hard for just over a week to be able to do this and also noticed that my limp seemed even less pronounced and was virtually gone.
The next physio appointment was 2 weeks later and felt I had improved although I had noticed in the week leading up to it that I was getting a shin splints pain in my good leg when I did the 15mins walk to my local London Underground tube station.
She came out to the waiting room and called my name and I walked with her to her treatment room. As I sat down I felt good that I had walked well. She had a very different view. She thought my limp had got worse! Whereas I didn’t think I had a limp at all?
Basically I had subconsciously got so used to walking with a slight limp that I had stopped noticing it. She asked me to walk slowly up and down the corridor and describe what pain/soreness I had that was preventing me from walking normally.
She identified some joints in the front part of the ankle that were rather stiff and tried to massage them a little without any effect. She stressed that I should try staying on my left longer as I would put my right leg down too quickly. She also suggested holding off from jogging on the treadmill until this was sorted.
This was also very frustrating as I felt I had been impeding my own development by not realising I was still limping. So since then when I walk I really try to stay on the left longer. This means it feels sore but it is necessary to loosen up the stiff joints that are causing the limp. It really means concentrating as it so easy to slip back into limping.
I thought I had been doing well but my neighbour last week said she saw me limp back from the local shop whereas I thought I had been walking well.
In spite of these setbacks, just over a week ago I went for a 9 mile ramble (4hrs) with friends near Windsor. A ramble, for those unaware, is a fancy term to make walking in the countryside seem more interesting and dynamic.
The first two hours went very well and I coped with it fine and my friends said I seemed to be walking normally. Stopping halfway for lunch caused my ankle to seize up a bit so when resumed I started to limp again, but this went (I think) the more I walked. As we got towards the end of the ramble, we walked down the aptly named Long Walk to Windsor Castle and I was starting to suffer a bit.
We got the train back into London and when I got off at Vauxhall station I realised I had a massive pain in my right foot (the good one), on the right hand side almost at the heel. It wasn’t a blister/skin type pain, but felt like a metal bar was digging into the bone every time I put weight on it. So I was in the odd position of now limping on my right leg and the left one was the good one!
It took a good 3 days of rest for the pain to go away on the right foot, but all is fine now. I have another physio appointment next week and hope to be given the all clear to run on the treadmill again.
So it is slow progress, but it is progress and my leg is starting to feel like a proper leg again.