Thursday, April 03, 2008

Walking For Dummies

Walking is complicated, esp. if you're not all that coordinated to start out with. This morning the physical therapist assured me it was o.k. to bear weight on the surgical site and encouraged me to try to walk as normally as I could even if it's sore. I have to think really hard about rotating my arch in and shifting the weight to my big toe or I end up gimping along with the weight on the outside of my foot which does nothing to help increase my range of motion. I'm thinking that I've probably been walking & running for quite some time now with my weight shifted to the outside of my foot because the toe area was so sore from the arthritis. Before surgery I would notice on occasion that I wasn't able to put full weight on that area of my foot but I could shift the weight off it and get along just fine. This might explain why my foot was able to get so bad before I felt any serious pain. Anyway I never thought getting back to walking properly would be such an issue.

Today I went for a little longer walk on my lunch hour and concentrated hard on doing it properly, not just gimping along and after a few minutes I felt like I finally had it down and wow look at me go, I am such a rockstar when a woman in a car rolled down her window and asked in a concerned voice if I was o.k. I guess I have a ways to go. I'd like to say I'm being patient and philosophical about it but really I'm frustrated and want to throw things and maybe even have a tantrum. Why do 2 years olds get to have all the fun?

I'm planning on volunteering at an agility trial this weekend and I'm looking forward to it almost as much as if I were running. I like going to watch and volunteer. There's no pressure, I don't have to worry about the dogs and I have plenty of time to visit with people and watch other people's runs. Plus I can go home when I get fed up. I was going to get a ride up with someone then decided it would be better if I went on my own so I could leave if my foot got too sore. Last year this trial went until 8-8:30 on Sat. night and while I doubt it'll run that late this year I don't want to chance being stuck there so long. It's only a 50 minute drive, it shouldn't be a problem. I'm toying with the idea of taking Strummer so I can work on getting him to relax while being measured. He measured 21" exactly at the DOCNA trial but the judge said maybe he would go under if he wasn't so squirmy. There's no way I'm jumping him at 26" so if he measures over he'll go in Performance like my others. Why am I cursed with the 'just over 21 inch' dogs? I'm not thrilled about this because if you have a lifetime Performance dog you're screwed when they get old as there's no vet class for you. You go from competition height to retirement. Maybe by the time Strummer's a vet they will get out of the dark ages and offer us a vet class but for now your choice is to enter NADAC and DOCNA if you want to give your old dog a break and jump 16". I'm determined to teach him to stand still for the judge and I'm sure he can do it. I'd also like to work some more on his trial manners, maybe even set up a crate for him and keep him inside the arena area for a bit but then you see how complicated this is getting for a gimpy person so maybe he'll stay home in the end.

I'm going to try to take my video camera to get some footage of a younger dog that's got the fastest running dogwalk I've ever seen. The whole crowd gasps when this dog flies across the walk. I haven't seen her in nearly a year so it will be interesting to see if the behavior has held up over time and if she's still as fast. I'll post it if I get any good footage.


  1. I realized a few months back that my right foot *flops* when I walk. That's the leg in which the muscles went into permanent spasm for several months back in 2001 when my back acted up, and it took a long time for the muscles to move again, and I wonder whether this is left over from that. It's also the leg on which I had knee surgery, so I wonder whether this is instead a reaction to pain in this leg and that I never realized I was compensating. Or a post-surgery result. I have no idea when it started, but I have a terrible time trying to figure out how to walk "normally" with this foot, and if I'm not concentrating, I realize abruptly that it's just flopping again.

    You're right--we all take walking for granted, but look at us!


  2. It's amazing how the body compensates when one bit goes, as well as all the trouble those compensations cause.