Returning to Lead after Surgery

Monday morning, I wheeled into Lead following a 10 day surgical hiatus. My left ankle was fused on April 19, which is the identical surgery I had on my right ankle 6 years ago. As many of you know, I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 20 years and despite everyone’s best efforts, the disease has progressed to the point that these surgeries have been necessary. However, as I reflect on the 6 years since my last fusion, I am filled only with gratitude, as it was that surgery that led me to Lead, which remains one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Prior to my last surgery, I had been very active, doing spin classes, lifting weights, running and swimming. When I attempted to go back to those activities, it was evident I needed something different. I booked a private with Jana and knew immediately that I had found what I needed. Over the next few years I gradually started doing more, and prior to this surgery I was attending 10 classes each week at Lead. In the last 10 days, as I’ve been adjusting to life on one leg, I am amazed at how strong I feel. I have transferred, wheeled around on a knee scooter, kneed up stairs, and pulled myself into vehicles, all without strain, falling, or losing balance.

The challenging part of this surgery is the recovery period. I will be non-weight bearing for at least 4 months, walking in a boot cast for 3-4 months, and managing swelling, pain, and balance for the next 2 years. I know it will be worth it in the end, as I have significantly less pain in my right ankle, and much improved alignment, which in turn has given me less knee, hip and back pain on the right side. Even knowing the eventual positive outcome, I was still dreading the long recovery period. Until today. That’s when I realised how much Lead and Pilates has done for me. This recovery will be very different from the last one. I went to a Block Therapy class this morning, and then a Beginner Mat class and Block Therapy on Wednesday. It was 5 months before I could even attempt going to the gym last time. What a difference! I am filled with optimism for a smooth recovery and an optimal outcome!