So, this week did not go exactly as I had hoped. On top of trying to recover from ankle surgery, I realized my excessive fatigue and sore throat were maybe something more when on Christmas Eve, I lost all sense of taste and smell. I went to get tested and needless to say, it was positive. I knew it would be- it was such a weird sensation to be eating food, yet there was absolutely no taste- not even super strong foods like salt and vinegar chips. It was very depressing.
On a positive note, I gradually got down where I haven’t needed to take any Tylenol or Ibuprofen and by Day 7, I decided to venture down to the workout room in my basement rather than just do my simple exercise routine in my room. It felt SOOO good just to be in the same room as my cardio equipment (sigh).
Because of the COVID positive test, I wasn’t able to go in for my first post-op follow up appointment, so I had to take off my splint myself, face-time with my surgeon so he could check out the incisions. It felt so nice to take off the restrictive splint, even if it was just for a few minutes. My leg looked a little strange after so many days of being packed in the splint.
The surgeon says it is healing well and tomorrow I can start on my next phase of rehab! My wonderful big brother went and picked up my new boot and dropped it off on my porch, and it feels much more secure in it.
For anyone who might be contemplating or preparing for surgery, I wanted to go over the benefits and negative aspects of crutches vs. knee scooter. I was blessed to be able to borrow both a knee scooter and a set of crutches, so I had both options. I had assumed that I would mostly use the knee scooter because it was more stable and gave more options to use your hands while using it. Plus, the one I borrowed had a little basket, how convenient! I did use it a lot the first few days, and the kids had a blast going on it as I scooted around the tile floor, but after a while, using it irritated a nerve in my leg and would cause my whole leg to spasm and it was super slow on the carpet. So, once I gained enough of my strength back, I have been using the crutches almost exclusively. They are easier to move around, can be carried down the stairs with me, and they don’t bother my knee as much, though I do find myself crawling around the floor a lot when I need to get around a room because it is hard to stand up without the stability of the knee scooter. So here is my summary of my experience:
|Stability||Much more stable than the crutches. Able to rest leg on it while I stand for indefinite amounts of time (like getting hair/makeup on or helping some in the kitchen)||Not very stable. Not appropriate for anyone with balance deficits.|
|Mobility||Cumbersome, wide turns, hard to change directions, cannot pass over obstacles very easily||Easy to navigate turns, change directions and with caution, go over obstacles.|
|Skill level||None required, pretty easy to use, except if you have to turn sharply or change directions, which requires a lift and turn technique||Some learning required, requires a basic level of coherence to be able to use.|
|Speed||Speedy on flat, smooth surfaces, but super slow on carpet, the thicker the harder it is.||Fast if you have good balance and adequate arm strength for use.|
|Proper fit:||Ideally, you want to find a knee scooter that can be adjusted to the height of your non injured leg, so that your legs are fairly even, most have adjustable seats and handlebars||It’s important to avoid putting the weight in your armpits. The handles of the crutches should be high enough so that when you press on them, you can hold your armpits off the top of your crutches. Putting pressure in your armpits will lead to nerve compression and discomfort.|