Exciting news! I’m off crutches since this Thu. It’s such a wonderful feeling to have 2 legs working and being able to walk (not so smooth quite yet and pain and stiffness is for real..). Never taking this for granted again. Do you know what I did to celebrate right after crutches came off? I went to the coffee shop (and I do not even drink coffee and I do not go to the coffee shop usually.) just to order a cup of almond milk so that I could enjoy the privilege of being able to carry a cup to my table. That was such a victorious feeling.
Another exciting news! I’m going back to FLOOR for my Thai massage practice from this coming week. Doing table Thai for the moment was fun for a while but I really missed being on the floor. I realized that my upper body (especially arms and shoulders) got more tired doing table massage compared to the floor Thai massage. I use my body more efficiently when I’m on the floor. And this is the main reason I only do the floor massage for last 9 years and I was starting to forget how good it feels to be on the floor, shifting the body weight, rocking and moving flawlessly. Never taking this for granted again…
From my last blog post…I promised to write some detail on what I’ve been doing to help my recovery. It’s been more than 5 weeks now since my surgery and some info is a bit older, but I like to post them.
- Rest (and a new hobby) – There has been a lot of SITTING at home. Sitting is usually not my thing. I like to be on my feet doing stuff. Mandatory sitting (otherwise, my foot/leg would throb and swell up and give me a clear warning to sit down and rest.) has given me a permission to relax and take it easy, slowing my life down quite a bit. I have a new hobby to replace my outdoor hobbies for now though. “Knitting”. I have always enjoyed creating arts and crafts since I was young so getting into knitting has been very exciting and fun. I have 2 hats under my belt and I have 3 other projects going at the same time. How exciting.
- Clean Diet – I have decided to eliminate most of the food that can possibly cause inflammation in my body. I thought that would help my leg recovery since my whole right lower limb is a massive chunk of inflammation right now. I believe it will also help me recover from trauma of the surgery (being cut open, being put to sleep with lots of drugs etc.) I have started “Whole 30”. Basically, I eat vegetables, fruits, meats, seafood, nuts (no peanuts), eggs and certain oils. No junk food, meaning no packaged and processed food that are bought at the store. No sugar, alcohol, legumes, grains, and dairy. As soon as I changed the way I ate, I saw the result in my digestion and energy immediately. I have been using lots of turmeric in my cooking to help reduce inflammation (and I love the taste and color of it). I love cooking and eating healthy but this was another level of commitment and I’m happy I made a decision to try it. And COOK AT HOME!!! The process of selecting at the store, washing, cutting, preparing and cooking makes the food so much more tasty because I can put my love and effort to what I put in my mouth. My mantra: “I am what I eat“.
- Detox – Surgery is tough on the body. Lots of drugs have been used and I have taken some pain killer pills before and after the surgery. Of course, I am grateful to have had them when I needed but now it’s time to get rid of them from my body. The day after my surgery, I started drinking a detox tea (herbal) and a tincture routinely to cleanse my liver. I’m hoping this routine will help reset my body.
- Exercise – I believe in exercising while you are recovering from an injury. Of course, my routine will look slightly different, but my favorite part of rehab is that I can get creative and still move the body. Instead of sitting at home all the time, even a little bit of movements in the body will make my mood better and the day becomes suddenly so much more joyful. My work (Thai massage & teaching yoga) is physical so right now, working can be physically taxing so balancing work, rest and exercise is an important part of keeping my energy up. Moderate exercise (as long as I’m not injuring myself more) brings a better blood circulation and move the stuff out of my stagnated foot/ankle/lower leg. It’s also proven that exercising the good leg only is going to help the injured leg to recover faster. Some of the exercises that I’ve been doing: rowing, spinning, resistant band training for glutes, upper body weight training, stretching etc. After I was cleared to stretch and move my ankle (no weight bearing), I am incorporating voodoo flossing to pump the excess fluid out of my foot/ankle ad gain the mobility. Voodoo floss helps reduce stiffness and puffiness and I love it. Now that I’m off crutches I have started more functional movements to bring my mobility, balance and strength back since my lower right leg got atrophied quite a bit. Balance and proprioception are the hardest part to recover, I feel like. I can not wait to start jumping and running!!
- Healing Sessions – As a massage therapist and a movement teacher, healing sessions are essential for my recovery. I do get regular massage and acupuncture and occasional chiropractic session for my chronic pain to maintain my active body, but after an injury/surgery, these sessions serve even more important roles for me. I had some acupuncture sessions to reset my body from the surgery. I also had a couple of massage sessions and that really helped reduce tension from my body. I went to see my chiropractor and he has done cupping to reduce swelling. Also, my friend did a Gua Sha treatment. It is a traditional East Asian treatment that uses the dull edge knife looking tool and scrapes the body parts to increase the blood circulation and remove stiffness and pain in the area. All of these sessions really helped me bring Qi back into my foot and leg. Instead of feeling my foot and leg belonging to someone else’s, I started to regain the feeling and awareness of my own foot and leg. I also started physical therapy (PT) and that will be ongoing for a while.
- My Partner
More on these last 3 in my next blog!
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