07 March 2012

On Being Afraid of My Own Feet

One consequence of having a broken left foot and a sprained right ankle is that I have become afraid to put weight on them. As I write this, I am avoiding going to the bathroom because I don't want to walk. The fear of pain is usually worse than the actual pain of walking to the restroom. Unfortunately, every third or fourth time that I have to put weight on my feet I get a searing pain that justifies my fear of walking.

Besides the pain, there is also the fear of my feet and legs not supporting me. I got into this predicament in the first place because I lost my balance twice in the space of 15 days. Right now I have lost faith in the ability of my legs and feet to do their job. It doesn't help that the heavy walking boot I am required to wear for 23 hours a day makes me feel unstable, especially on the stairs.

I'm sure that this hesitation is normal but I don't want to live like this for six weeks. When I broke my right foot in 2009, it took me about a week to adjust to the boot and then I was able to get back to my normal routine. I still had my good left foot to lean on, though. This time, I have to put my weight on a foot that isn't much more stable than my broken one and it is hurting more each day. The boot makes it difficult for me to sleep (yes, I have to sleep in it!). I have to rely on my upper arms a lot more than usual to help me get out of chairs and propel myself down the hall with my walker, and my upper-body strength was limited to begin with. All of this combined leaves me shaky, weak, and afraid to take a shower or walk down the stairs. April can't get here soon enough for me!
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