Well, I've been in school for a month. Since then I've developed a tender relationship with my amigo, the scooter I use to get around campus. While I was apprehensive at first, this scooter is small, trendy, and red. And honestly, there's no way I could manage to get around to my classes without it.
I've also started walking. Not like I'm about to participate in a 5K, but I can walk around my apartment and around short distances. I can even walk to the car and into a restaurant when I go out to eat, so it's been nice not having to lug my wheelchair around for shorter trips.
With all the excitement of new things, both campus and body-central, how has my body reacted? Well, my ankle is pretty swollen. And at the end of the day it's very achy after I've put pressure on it. My knee, surprisingly, never really aches... Though it does feel weird.
How can I explain this? In the car accident, the outside of my femur jammed into the outside of my tibia (image here). This impact dug out a centimeter to centimeter and a half of the lower bone, allegorically my knee was like "a marching band walked over a bag of potato chips" (as one surgeon so delicately put). While my knee was reconstructed in surgery, the fact of the matter is that the lower half of the joint is still uneven and won't grow back to the smooth, concave shell that it was. My knee still works, but there's more space in the joint on the outside than on the inside... and according to my doctor that might cause me problems for the rest of my life.
*MIGHT* - so there's a chance that it won't. However there's also a chance that I will always need to wear a leg brace everytime I walk. I know that is a small price to pay for surviving a cataclysmic car accident, but I still don't want to wear it. I want to be able to walk normal. I want to be able to dance! Not so much run, I don't care about running. But I want to heal and have everything get back to where it was.
So I have my ankle, which will heal back to normal but in the meantime is annoyingly painful, and my knee, which doesn't hurt but has an empty space in it that I can feel when I move. If it's just this hole in my knee feeling, perhaps I can get used to it and it won't be an issue for the rest of my life. My leg also has a lot of metal in it, and that feels weird too, but it doesn't prohibit me from doing anything (granted, I can only really feel the metal when I try to cross my legs... and since it's uncomfortable I haven't been crossing my legs).
I don't want these posts just to be me complaining about my body. I know that I am very lucky, and I'm very proud of everything I've accomplished thus far. In addition to walking, I can step into the shower on my own now (instead of sitting down and scooting in)! I can go up or down a flight of stairs (very carefully, and only using one foot per step)! And just last night I was able to sleep without a pillow between my knees for support. I am making a lot of progress. And these little things are building up my confidence too. It's been beautiful outside all this past week - if the weather is nice next week maybe I will try and walk to class. I think I can handle walking to one class, though a whole day of classes might be a little much.
Anyway, I will keep you posted on my accomplishments. In the meantime, I still have therapy three days a week. It's hard as hell, but I can tell it's making a difference.