So the day of reckoning arrived. My return visit with Dave Sheppard, Harry Potter wizard and physiotherapist. Three days ago I hobbled into his surgery on crutches, hoping he could work a miracle. He would pronounce whether I was going to the Top End or staying home. I arrived at 10am sharp, hiking boots in hand as requested. So nervous. Distracted, I had left my credit card in the ATM at Westpac on the Corso. Had to tear back there but it was gone.
Dave asked me to walk across the surgery, then he cut the mountain of tape off my foot and had a look. Next was a massage and some ultrasound and then a new round of strapping. I had more bandage than an NRL front rower on Grand Final day. Next he asked to look at my Scarpa hiking boots. He tested the torsion in the sole by bending them
“Excellent. They are stiff so the sole of your foot wont bend much. Ok you are good to go. Just be careful with it. You will have a pack on so don’t do anything sudden and definitely don’t stand on your toes. You shouldn’t have any trouble.”
Impossible to describe how I felt. Like someone just let our of jail, like an elephant lifted off my shoulders. Jatbula Track here I come.
I was profuse in my thanks and as I was leaving, just as an afterthought, I asked a routine question: “When do I need to come in again?” The answer came unexpected.
“You don’t. If you keep up the gym work with the trainer and you don’t have any other problem, like the ligament strain, I don’t need to see you again. You have recovered very well. You aren’t there yet completely but you are well on the way.”
“What about skiing? Do you think I’ll be able to go next year?” This was the biggie.
“You could probably go now if you took it carefully. You will definitely be able to go next February if you keep up the gym work.” Images of Sun Valley in Idaho, and Big Sky, Montana started leaping around in my head.
“You mean I’d be safe to start planning and booking a trip now? I was stunned at this development..
“Sure. You’ll just have to get your PT to start giving you some specific skiing exercises between now and the end of the year. If she does that and no problems develop you’ll be fine.”
We shook hands and I thanked Dave for all he’d done for me. But words couldn’t capture the gratitude I felt. I came to him with a swollen, broken leg and he helped me get over it. Most importantly, it was him who convinced me that I could make a full recovery and go skiing again. Right from the start he was very positive and that made me positive. I had a lot of confidence in him.
While I’m glad to be over the worst, I’ll miss Dave Sheppard the magic, wizard physio from MGS in Manly. You are a champ.