Thursday, July 2, 2009

Leg Massage Leaves Me Shaken

As my reader knows, my old war-wound ankle blew out at the beginning of May and I had surgery on it at the beginning of June. The overall pain level is beginning to drop and I'm feeling more human these days, although it won't be before September that I'll be allowed to put even the slightest amount of weight on it.

It saddens me to know how long this recovery is going to be.

After so much trauma I felt that my poor leg and foot needed some TLC. For a couple of weeks now I've been running my fingers over my foot and ankle, and lightly pressing in, finding the most amazing knots and bumps and tender spots, ligaments stretched as thin and tight as piano strings, and other neglected or shocky areas. Quite spooky, actually.

So yesterday, while Mrs Elliott was shopping banks (her former bank, WaMu, with whom she has enjoyed a long and adequate banking relationship, was acquired by Chase and has turned to crap), I was dropped off at a local physical therapy shop to pay someone who knows their onions when it comes to legs and feet to give my right leg and foot a half hour of expert massage.

It was an unexpectedly difficult experience. Because of the intense pain caused by the slightest jar or bump, I've been protecting the area for two months. I've babied it and guarded it from the slightest insult. To let someone handle it felt very dangerous! I was nearly unable to relax, I kept tensing up, expecting pain.

For 30 minutes I had to let someone into the Don't Touch zone.

And there was a little pain, especially when she was working on muscle and ligament knots, but she was very careful and gentle with the surgery site itself. She worked only as hard as she felt my sore bits could tolerate.

When she was done I was shaken. I mean, physically shaking, sweat beaded on my forehead -- rattled is the word my father would have used.

I'm going back, though. I reckon that anything I can do to send "healing vibes" to my abused limb is going to make the overall recovery process more tolerable.

"Keep clenching your toes," the therapist said. "Because of the ankle fusion, your calf muscles have no work to do and they will atrophy. When those muscles work normally, they help pump blood through your leg and foot and keep them from swelling. Clenching your toes works some of the smaller muscles in your calf, and they will have to do the work."

Afterward, we had originally planned to go to the farmer's market at Drake park, but I was so drained that going home and eating some nice cool watermelon sounded more appealing.

In related homebound news, I wish we had a view from our house of Pilot Butte for this 4th. I loves the fireworks.

And, on the cookie front, I received a personal comment about my mention of Hydrox cookies in my last post from someone who I consider a friend and teacher. She, too, remembers Hydrox cookies fondly. Hydrox have been off the market for years and I've been trying to find a suitable replacement. I have tried Tuxedos and the supermarket's "O" (organics) brand, and have found them to be too sweet, the cookie parts too soft -- like Oreos, a cookie more suitable for children than for a grown man.

When I was a kid, my mother asked the family if anyone wanted milk and Oreos. My uncle (her brother) cattily responded, "Oreos? Oh, you mean the ones that are almost as good as Hydrox?"

An interesting article about the demise of the cookie that I, and others, consider to be superior to Oreos is here.

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