This year (and past ones) I’ve been putting myself last too often. I thought after buying a house this summer that I’d try to switch that habit.

I was limping a lot. Walking excursions in London and Berlin turned into needing to taxi my way back and having trouble walking the next day. I knew I was overdue when the WCEU roles I requested involved sitting and no lifting.

I made an appointment with a well-respected podiatrist in town the moment I got back. I told her my friends urged me to see her and take care of myself, and this was me doing that.

I wasn’t surprised when the doc said it was a sprain. Being put immediately into a walking boot the week before my college reunion hiking trip was inconvenient, but it was nice having the pain subside.

As I graduated into shoes and insoles a month later, I felt more pain than when I had first started seeing the doctor. Turns out it wasn’t a sprain. MRI showed two metatarsals and a joint were about to break, so back into the boot I went.

Meanwhile the boot started causing excruciating pain in my what-I-thought-had-recovered Achilles in my “good” foot. Walking and standing hurt no matter how many lifts I tried on my shoe. So physical therapy started up for the right side.

Daily rituals included stretches, trying to write the ABC’s in the air with my toes, and so many ice packs my freezer has a dedicated section to reducing the swelling. I learned to add 20 minutes to every trip I wanted to take since it’s illegal to drive with a boot on. Sit in the car, take it off, drive, arrive, put it on, do errand, go back to car, repeat.

Eventually as I tried graduating into shoes again on the left, I’d go to physical therapy for both sides.

So after about 5 months in the boot, shredding the lining, needing a second boot, months of physical therapy, spending too much time not exercising, and an injection into the joint I’d prefer to never have to repeat (but know I will need to in the future), I’m finally walking without a limp for 85% of my day. The boot hasn’t been on for 3 weeks and I feel like progress is being made. I was so excited the first time I went grocery shopping in shoes and not a scooter I told the cashier and she gave me a high-five.

I might actually be able to lift boxes and unpack them in my new house now.

I might actually be able to walk my children to the bus stop now.

I might actually be able to take ahold of my exercise routine and do something about it now.

Things are getting better and I’m recovering.

Published by Andrea Lee Bishop

Andrea (pronounced On-dree-ah) leads Automattic's Support Leads and works in hiring. She's a fixer, traveler, mom, math geek, aspiring-polyglot, musician, and coffee lover.

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