Saturday, September 20, 2008

When Picking Up a Peanut With Your Toes Can Make You Cry

My first physical therapy appointment was Friday afternoon. My therapist, a nice lady named Lara, first showed me some exercises -- stretching, trying to flex my ankle and foot, and the like -- then gave me a foot massage and iced my ankle for 15 minutes. The worst pain was, oddly, during the foot massage when Lara flexed my big toe, a toe that really didn't want to be flexed at all -- as I discovered when she bent it at the joint, it objected, and I yelped.

One of my take-home exercises to increase flexibility is to pick up things from the floor with my toes -- ideally marbles, but I can start with a larger item, like a rock, and work my way down as my toes became more nimble. Much to my chagrin, in the therapy session I was unable to pick up anything regardless of the size. My toes just hovered, making what I sensed as clutching attempts, but in reality barely moving, and certainly not gripping.

I have done my home exercises a couple times today, and not having any marbles handy I had to improvise. What I found was peanuts in the shell -- a tad bigger, but reasonably sized with the added bonus that they contain a built-in snack for later! (please don't dwell on the fact that I am willing to eat something whose shell I have been moving around on the floor with my bare, now scaly, pale, and skin-peeling foot). At first, I couldn't do much other than wave my foot over the peanuts, making futile grasping motions and unsuccessfully willing them to levitate up to my toes. Then I got one! Some more frustrating attempts, and then another! All told, I grabbed 10 peanuts off that floor before I was done, and then started crying, relief and frustration both contending for top billing. I can see now that this recovery will be achieved by small victories -- but small victories are still victories!


Richard said...

That first set of X-rays looks really painful.

The final test (ultimate goal) is when you can pick up the peanuts with your toes and put them directly into your mouth. Once you do that -- I think you are cured.

Glad to hear of the great progress!

The Blond One said...

Am so glad to here of your victory over the peanuts. It's nice to know that humans still excell at basic tasks! Seriously, glad to hear you are doing better.