The Shoe That Fits

I for one is not a fan of fashion but I know a good brand when I wear one, and I am willing to spend if I know I can use it for years.

Since I can now walk without any assistance, I try very hard to get back to my normal self maybe even more. Well, walking and I are not very good friends, people that know me can attest to that, but I like to wear nice shoes like every woman does (do I need to elaborate?).

After my doctor consults last week, I was out trying to find good therabands or similar products that I can use at home. Unlike in my projects, we don’t get take-home therabands from my rehabilitation center even if I have to shelve $ 20 per session. In my last project, we allowed the partners to give away at least 1 meter of bands depending on the color they need, and our services are for free, thanks to our donors!

Anyway, so I went to this sports shop and inquired about what I wanted to buy. All around me are sports gears including shoes, and it got me thinking about the different shoes I have at home — I have lots, but all are not made for my current condition.

  • My hiking boots and sneakers are out of commision at the moment because it feels tight even with loose shoelaces, my feet still swell when I stand for a long time 
  • My canvas sneakers don’t have the arch support I needed and will be too tight if I added an insole. 
  • My flats and of course my heels even with peep toe design doesn’t feel snug when worn, I have to crawl my toes all the time I am wearing them and of course balance. 

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  • And ballet flats don’t really look nice on me right now although they are my staple when overseas., next to my Birkenstocks of course. 
  • My Birks are nice, I swear by it, but I am not comfortable walking in it for a long time. My heel and the ball of my foot would have pain at different stages of my gait. 
  • Last, I am avoiding flipflops unless I am on the beach and I will only use one brand (Beach Walk) — I slipped using (Bench brand) in my bathroom. 

Until I found my (shoe) match last week. I was trying different brands and model, in fact, I only have VANS in my mind because I only want something that fits but after trying several I decided to have a better objective to what kind of shoes I will buy.

I want to believe that these new slip-on Skechers Women GO Flex Walking Shoe were designed for me. Although I am not a fan of the style and design but this time I am choosing comfort over aesthetics.

I am not promoting the brand, this is the first time I am wearing this brand and this style, but I have to say, I am happy to have bought it. The moment I tried it on and walked, my stance and steps felt different. (I should know I am the one walking right?)

(Dhidhak Collections / Philippines 2018)
My new ride … Sketcher Go Flex Walking (Dhidhak Collections / Philippines 2018)

Not to sound too technical but when I do the heel strike (putting weight on my heels), the materials of the shoes accept the load with ease allowing good balance. And the loading on the ball of my foot when pushing off was comfortable, no feeling of pain even when I still have some limitations in my ankle. The cushioned footbed and the flexible outsole allowed for that comfort it makes walking easy.

I also feel comfortable standing for a long time even if I still have swelling from time to time, it means I can do my stretching and some standing exercises without getting tired quickly. Even standing from sitting too long writing blogs, I don’t feel pain on my ankles and knees. The shoes absorb the weight and provide good contact on the floor and balance is not compromised.

(Dhidhak Collections / Philippines 2018)
Even my scar is happy … me resting after my morning walk (Dhidhak Collections / Philippines 2018)

Must be wondering about the heat. especially now that we’re in the 40 degrees. Well, the material is water resistant, it has mesh upper that allows the foot to breath (you know what I mean!) so there’s good airflow depending on the amount of activity you do, your location (indoor or outdoor) and condition of your foot. If your feet sweat a lot, maybe it’s good to wear cotton heel socks both for hygiene and comfort and make sure to air dry them when not in use (and make it a habit to throw your shoes in the washer when you can).

So for now, I am walking around the house in these shoes (also keeps my soles baby soft). And in the future, if I am allowed to prescribe footwear, I will do it, because these shoes are made for walking.

It’s Time to Get Those Feet on the Sand

Yesterday I talked to my so-called boyfriend and revealed to him my emotional state. He told me that I would feel much better if my leg completely healed and I completely recovered. I cannot complain on his answers or what was lacking in the way he said it. But he is telling the truth because I am slowly getting out of the rut every time I notice something different, focusing on the positive.

He didn’t reveal anything similar happening to him when he had his ankle accident. He very much knew my physical condition; he also had ankle injury when he was serving in the Turkish military back in the days. But I guess that’s where the similarity of our condition ends. His accident happened when he was very young, and from what he told me when he got better he continues to be sporty and changed careers. He used to be a boxing champion for his weight division until ten years ago, and he kept his form up to this day while honing his creative genius in fashion design.

Similar advise given to me by my sister. She also broke her ankle bone (medial malleolus), and a wire was also used to fix it.  It was from climbing Mt. Banahaw* with her students. I was out of the country when it happened so I didn’t know what happened during her recovery. It took her three months to 6 months to fully recover.

She told me she was using the wheelchair all the time and wheeled herself to her classroom. She didn’t use a walker, crutches, and cane nor wore plaster or used a boot to keep the ankle stable – she didn’t get out of her chair unless she needed to, like showering and going to bed. But I guess she was occupied, busy and had a purpose – which was teaching that there was no space to be emotional. I am also sure; she offered her pain and any problem she had with God and continued to be her good natured self.

But my disability journey was different.

When I thought I was recovering faster than usual, I was pulled back by pain in my foot, and my emotion went down with it (My Road to Recovery Is Bumpy, Now that I Am Thinking of It). Hearing what Hajj has to say about it made me realized that there is truth to what he told me. And since I am not my sister, my take on my emotion is very different but knowing she’s there ready to catch me gave me assurance enough to stop whining and complaining.

**

Right now I busy myself with writing and catching up on some online courses that I can use when I am ready to find work again.

I am reaching out to more friends whom I haven’t heard for years. I am sorting my photos and trying to see which ones good to showcase here and which ones worth keeping. With all the travels I’ve made and all the parties I attended imagine how much digital photos I had accumulated in my hard disk and sorting them out requires full attention.

Looking at my photos made me laugh out loud, made me remember people and places and good old times. Of course the array of food photos dictates that I entered a new decade, it means the millennials had all grown up and dictated a new trend that I was happily subscribing to.

**

I guess there’s no more room for drama in my life now. I am almost ready to go back out there. Find new adventures with my new scars.

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It’s time to get up now and see the bigger picture (I am with my friend in the balloon overlooking Goreme Valley at sunrise in Cappadocia, Turkey/2017)

I am not wearing a boot around the house and not anymore using any of the assistive devices I accumulated over the 3-months and if you didn’t know you will not anymore notice the swelling that accumulates in my foot when I sit here too long.

I’ve repeated this track of post for a while now, and I think its time to let go and see what this month would bring me … a looser ankle, a sexier ankle, a better gait or all of the above.

The Heat is On

Ah, the end of the month … it means that in two weeks it would be the fourth month since I broke my bones and third month since I started my physical rehabilitation treatments.

**

My bones had set well and good. I was already given a full-weight bearing go signal by my doctor, and my therapist had been wearing me out trying to work more on my gait quality and endurance. Strength is not a problem for me, but I still have residual tightness and numbness which as I was told is usual with ankle injuries.

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Although, my therapists been telling me that I recover fast and is able to do active exercises faster than most patients they see in similar condition. And my doctor also said the same and mentioned that some patients love their injuries so much they don’t want to be moving on their own, I am the opposite.

I challenged the norm pushing myself hard before it’s time, and it fought back putting me in my place by letting me feel pain.

**

The weather in the Philippines been rising. I was still happy until the summer officially kicked in because the heat is also kicking us all indoors.

My doctor was right when he said “let’s not put you on full leg cast” when he saw me the first time in January. Instead, he prescribed for me to use an Air Cast, a type of boots that I put on myself with help at first, and adjust the pressure on both sides to control the movement of the ankle as I start putting weight on my foot while keeping the ankle secured and stable.

 

He said I will thank him come March knowing that the temperature will continue to rise, and I am thankful indeed. Since 4 weeks, after wearing the boots at least 12 hours per day, I am almost not wearing it at all. I walk around the compound in shorts, without an appendage and only has one when I go to the hospital or attend a meeting like I did last week.

Wearing the boots outdoors now is more a precaution and protection from bumps in high traffic area like hospitals and malls. Otherwise, I almost don’t need it anymore, soon it will have to be shelved until I need it when my wires are removed.

**
In spite of the positive remarks from my treatment team, I still feel I am not doing enough, and I still feel sad and depressed sometimes with my condition. That was one of the reasons I had by set-back that I wrote all about here Happy Scar, trying hard to fast track my recovery that I almost re-injured myself, at least in my mind.
I am counting the days within the time frame I set for myself which is by mid-June to see if my physical and emotional self will be attuned. For the meantime, I am trying to fight off the heat playing in the garden with my niece and the garden hose.

Cooling Off
Cooling Off

Battle Marks … Scars Define How We Lived Our Lives

“Give credit where credit is due”

The words my doctor, let’s call him Dr. G, told me praising my perfectly healed surgical wounds. According to him because he took my crazy stitches out early, the wound healed according to how he wants it. Since he didn’t do my surgery, it was done in another place by another doctor; he had no control how my wounds were closed. That was the best he could do so I don’t end up with ugly scars.

Just so you know …

The one I showed you in the Happy Scar post is found on the inner side of my ankle. I had pins and wires inside used to attach my bones, and I have a smiling scar to remind me of that. The other one is on the outer side of my leg; it’s as straight as it could be. My therapist even said it looks like a vein only it is outside. I had a metal plate inside to attach them securely and take up some of the load when I started putting weight on my leg. I plan to have it tattooed with leaves and sunflower to match my smiley one.

I arrived home one week after I had my surgery in Tunisia. The doctors there did a wonderful job of fixing my bones and closing my wound with very tight stitches according to Dr. G.

I had extra wounds too, but they didn’t need stitching and again not necessary according to Dr. G. Those extra wounds were from the drain tubes they attached and kept for several days after the surgery, that’s why I had the dimples in my smiley scar.

So after I was seen by Dr. G, in the emergency room two days after I arrived from my 24-hour journey, he declared he would take out my stitches in one week or two the most to promote faster healing and for me to end up with nice looking scars.

Stitches Out
Dr. G taking my stitches out

Two weeks later, I am out of it, and with little TLC, the wound finally closed, the last dead skin fell off, and I am left with shiny new scars — my new battle marks!

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I am not new to accidents while away for work. I guess it’s part of the deal when you accept to live alone and do everything yourself. But most of my accidents were injuries from the kitchen — nothing traumatic and obviously not life-threatening. Like when one time I was baking and the hot baking dish landed on my thigh, and I developed an unsightly and very painful second-degree burn. Or when I accidentally cut off the top part of my nail because I was pretending, I can do what professional chefs do when cutting onions. I thought I lost part of my finger when I saw the blood. Good thing the nail grew back.

Whatever happen scar doesn’t just appear. All wounds heal if we take care of it and it can leave a beautiful mark. But if we don’t, it will fester until it gets out of control, it will leave an ugly mark.

Whatever mark was left, it is there because something significant happened, a mark giving us a choice to not do it again or to continue to be strong. It is there as a reminder that we are vulnerable, that anything can happen and we will have something to show for it.

Like in life.

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Happy Scar

Must be wondering what happened to me since my last post Am I Lucky at 7?.

Well, my doctor gave me more thumbs up.👍👍👍👍👍👌 It means my bones have completely healed and I graduated from partial weight to full weight bearing when standing, walking and even climbing stairs. It was a natural high, I was elated until I crawled back under the rock and stopped doing exercises at home.

While my physical healing is improving every day, my emotions are like a roller coaster. Most of the time I stay at the base than up there looking at the blue skies and happily shouting coming down.

I am still trying to figure out why I am having delayed psychological reaction to my accident … maybe it’s not even delayed, it is just manifesting now. I have no answers yet.

When I do I will let you in my discoveries … watch out!

For the meantime, I am taking advantage of the high and blogging and taking a cue from my smiley scar.

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At least my scar is always smiling