Injury Timeline

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

My First Vacation Post-Injury

First off, I would like to thank Nate for making a guest post on the blog.  It was great to have your perspective, and my readers enjoyed it as well :)

It has been a busy couple of weeks!  I have spent the last week and a half in the city where I was born & raised, New Orleans.  It was also during the biggest party on the planet - Mardi Gras!  We stayed in a lovely little apartment in the French Quarter we found on AirBnB, and it was fabulous!  Here's just a  little snippet about the place we rented:

I'm sure you are all wondering how the foot held up during the trip.  I was pretty anxious about it, too, before I left.  The week before leaving, I'd gone to physical therapy, and found that I might have the start of a stress fracture, and that I should take it easy.  While I listened to that advice during the days leading up to my trip, once we arrived in New Orleans it was very difficult to do. 

I packed my walking boot and hiking boots in my checked luggage, and started out just wearing tennis shoes and my Superfeet for the airport trip.  I was kind of nervous about taking my shoes off and walking barefoot in the airport, because walking without shoes is still kind of painful, awkward, and difficult.  But by some miracle I qualified for TSA pre-check, and didn't have to deal with it, and flew past security.  The flight was uneventful, but my foot was pretty uncomfortable.  Not painful, and I'm not sure if it was just pressure changes or the stress of flying, but my foot kind of swelled a bit.  It also felt like I constantly had to move or adjust it to feel comfortable.  I spent the flight with my shoes off.

The first few days of vacation were OK.  I switched between my tennis shoes and hiking boots, depending on how much walking around we were going to be doing.  The hiking boots were pretty comfortable, and stiff, so there wasn't a lot of pain. My intention was to have a full day of activity, then a rest day, then an active day, then a rest day, and so on.  But, you can probably guess this stubborn girl didn't want any part of a "rest day" when it was time.  And I certainly paid for it. 

If you have ever been to Mardi Gras, or even just stayed in the New Orleans/French Quarter area, you know that there is a lot of walking and there is no real need for a car.  There are so many good places to eat, and historical sites to see!  Plus, if you are going to a parade, it's a good 2-3 hours of standing with no real place to sit.  No big deal for your average person, but for someone dealing with a Lisfranc recovery, it's a different story.

By the third day, I started feeling the consequences of not resting, and my foot was definitely sore and hurting quite a bit.  That was the night of the Superbowl, so we stayed in and watched the game, rather than going out.  The next day, I told myself that I'd for sure be resting.  But, I decided I want to explore Bourbon St., shop, and eat at a deli that was a little bit of a jaunt.  Later that day, we decided to go to the Lundi Gras festival, the casino, and then the Orpheus parade.  I had to leave about halfway through the parade.  I was in so much pain, from standing and walking around all day.  It was a slow hobble back to the hotel.  I took my shoes off and my foot looked like a sausage, and it hurt to put any kind of weight on it at all.  

I checked my fitness tracker, and I'd ended up walking almost 8 miles, and 19,000 steps!  I was so discouraged about how much pain I was in, but my husband was quick to point out that I WALKED 8 MILES!  That's nothing to just blink an eye at, and is a lot for just an average person -- he said that his feet were even sore.  So, I felt a bit better.  I just walked 8 miles.

From then on, I wore my walking boot.

Once I transitioned back into the boot, it was glorious.  No pain whatsoever!  It was great, but also made me sad, because I'd like to just wear shoes with no pain whatsoever.

I spent Mardi Gras day in costume (in the boot!), the following day, and for the return trip home.  I'd never had my boot on for air travel.  It wasn't as seamless as I thought!  I qualified for the TSA Pre-Check again.  The agents didn't have me remove my boot, but it kept setting off the metal detectors, so I had to go through the full body scan, and get an aggressive pat down.  Boarding the plane was so much easier.  Delta called for passengers that require extra time or assistance to board first.  I had a few other "boot buddies" on the plane with me, so I decided to go ahead and board with them.  Trying to carry all of my bags, get them in the overhead bin, getting to my seat, all while trying to maneuver in a big clunky boot seemed overwhelming.  My foot seemed to have less of a swelling problem during this flight, but I also fell asleep pretty early on!

After a couple of days at home to rest, my foot is feeling pretty good now!  My physical therapist said my foot looks a LOT stronger than before I left.  So, pushing it as much as I did was probably not a good idea at the time, but I think it was actually beneficial in a way.

TLDR Version:  The foot held up pretty well on vacation!  Yes, I had some pain, significant at times, but mostly it was my own fault caused by simply just doing too much.  I clocked in about 17 miles for the trip.  Wow.  And now, pictures!

Nate and I at the Thoth Parade

Me in my "Mad Alice" Costume on Mardi Gras Day (Boot out of view, but it's on!)

(Thoth Parade Floats)

(Endymion Parade on Canal St)