Saturday 7 February 2015

Watch out Baymax!

In the first week since having the air boot off for walking and being allowed put weight through the sole of that foot with no interference from any devices, improvements in walking have been pretty rapid.  It was all going nicely and I was getting better at stairs (down is hard) day after day.  I'd fitted in a couple of 20 minute spins on the turbo and it looked pretty good afterwards; no swelling and no pain.  Then something happened.

I flew out, on Wednesday evening, to Dublin for a couple of days for work.  I arrived pretty late so went straight to bed.  As I took my socks off, I realised all was not as it should be.  My ankle was huge!  It was so swollen that when I took my shoe off, there was a right angle in it where the shoe had been.  So I spent the next couple of hours with an ice-pack made from a hotel laundry bag, trying to get the swelling down.   At around 1am I gave up and went to sleep.

The next morning it had gone down again, but by the evening not only was my ankle swollen badly again but the whole of my lower leg too.  I hadn't been walking about any more than earlier in the week, but I was using stairs more (in my usual office it's impossible to get to my floor from the entrance by using stairs, and I've been mostly standing on tube escalators as they're still a bit tricky for me).  I didn't think the walking could be that much of a problem as I'd been walking a comparable amount earlier in the week with no ill-effects.  In the afternoon, as I did notice things were again swelling up, so I got a couple of chemical ice patches from a pharmacy and thought they felt nice I'm not sure they had much impact.  So at bed-time again it was back to the laundry bag full of ice and trying not to freak out that my calf looked like Baymax's.

Friday morning came and again it had all gone down, so I decided to minimise the walking up and down stairs that day but otherwise ignore it until I got home and try not to think what might happen after flying again.  I munched on ibuprofen (which is shockingly expensive in Ireland at €3.30 for 16  tablets instead of 35p or so, as it seems you can't get generic drugs) at regular intervals and that seemed to keep things to a reasonable level of swelling.  Thankfully British Airways were really sweet and changed my carefully selected seat to minimise my discomfort, to a seat in a section of the plane that was less than helpful for me.  By the time I got home, my ankle was swollen, but not as much as previously by a long shot.  I think both taking the anti-inflammatories and getting a taxi home from the airport rather than DLR and tube helped quite a bit.

The experience hasn't been great, to be honest.  I was pleased that everything was going well and then the emotional roller-coaster plummeted downwards.  Things look fine right now and I'm intending to put my feet up for the majority of the weekend, but it'd be good to know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel and I should be able to be on my feet more soonish and perhaps not inflate alarmingly after flying.


  1. Did you get it checked out or can swelling happen now and again during your recovery process?

    P.S. Big Hero 6 was a great movie, saw it on Saturday :)

    1. I was going to get it checked out, but ice & ibuprofen and a bit of rest sorted it out. I was told it might happen after vigorous exercise, but nothing about flying!