Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Putting your best foot forward
The saying "Put your best foot forward" has special significance given my recent foot surgery. Not only will the surgery give me a better, stronger, more stable foot but it will likely help with other RA issues.
As those of us with RA know, the more time goes by the less we are able to balance as well as we did pre-RA. Add to that the inevitable aging process and balance can become a real trial. In addition, if you have foot problems like I did, your balance is even further compromised. My doctor told me that thanks to my foot mechanics and other issues, I was essentially bearing my full weight on three toes per foot! That in turn, effected my knees and hips, thus leading to my eventual decision to have the foot surgery.
One of the interesting benefits of only being able to use one leg for balance is I am getting to practice (not by choice mind you) my balancing skills and I am getting really good at it! And my left leg is going to be rock hard by the time I am able to bear weight....not a bad trade off. Ahh the simple things in life....
I can say with certainty that when you are confined and movement is limited, the things you take for granted every day become so special. When you figure out how to complete them, either by accommodating or adjusting your technique the level of satisfaction is like winning a race! When I figured out how to get up to the second floor (with the expert help of my son) I was so happy! It opened up a whole new location for me to be at while recuperating and that was so welcomed. And I am sure that I have strengthened my arms as well thanks to the necessary additional stretching and lifting I have to do to accomplish tasks.
It's funny how being forced to slow down your pace, for whatever reason has the added benefit of making the simple pleasures that much more intense. I have always loved my back porch...it is a place that feels like a screened in tree house, with birds singing all day and a wonderful view of the sun setting in the distance. One of the best decisions I made with regard to this surgery was to do it in the early summer so I could enjoy the porch! Add to that the visits from my friends to keep me company or enjoy a meal and I am really feeling very fortunate.
One last effect that I think is of particular interest to anyone with RA is that since the surgery my RA has been subdued....wonderfully in the background. I mentioned this to my Rheumatologist yesterday and he believes that when our bodies are dealing with a trauma or a situation unrelated to RA, that our immune systems respond accordingly thus granting us some well earned relief. I have noticed this phenomenon before and it really intrigues me. Another of the little benefits of my recent journey that was indeed welcome.
So as I wrap up my time of Don't Walk and enter back into the world of walking I will try to retain my newfound joy in the simple things and not let the fast pace of life overtake that discovery.