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The Message Of The Painted Toes

In this moment in time, painted toes seem like such vanity. Well, let me clarify – they ARE. And, yet, I’ve been fretting about it for several weeks. My pedicure that I had right before my last hip surgery has grown out and chipped away. My ability to paint my toes has literally been outside of my reach. Since hip flexion had been limited by my protocol as well as by my ability, I had not even attempted it. I was getting closer though as I have been able to put my own shoes on for a few weeks. But, most know that painting toes means a sustained ability to be in hip flexion for a good amount of time.

I was able to paint my non-operative side a few weeks ago with skill, but what good is one foot with nicely painted toes and the other foot not? There is no good to that. In fact, it leaves me with an even more unbalanced feeling. So I got to work. First, I started working with my mind. I needed to get that perspective in line with achievement and success (being okay with baby steps). Then, I knew that there would be foundational skills I needed to be able to accomplish this task which would be no small feat (pun intended).

Strength, balance, proprioception, range of motion. All skills that had been limited by my protocol and my ability. Once cleared for increased range of motion, I have really been focused on getting my strength back. Balance and proprioception have been encouraged by using a wobble board and one legged balancing exercises (both with eyes open and closed). And I’ve worked consistently within the guidelines given me. And, something happened yesterday by accident (meaning habit) that led me to this painted toe accomplishment today!

After my shower, I always place my leg on the bathroom counter to dry it. And I have known that was outside of my ability for my operative leg until yesterday! Like I said, I accidentally did it and was amazed that I could even do it. And, of course, the wheels of my mind raced to all of the random drawers in my house that may have the most appropriate color for painted toes. And I found it – pink with some sparkles. Sparkles symbolize light and excitement. Pink, to me, symbolizes spring’s rebirth. So, there you go. I am vain, but happy and I have painted toes!

The message of the painted toes is three-fold. Build those foundational skills for hip success. Keep at it! And Shine! Let your success shine. Let your hope shine!

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