Either that heel-toe hook must be easier than it sounds, or you are a very flexible person. I'll try it anyway later on, and anyhow I'm sure I can try the toe curling. I think the towel-stretch (towel hooked under foot) accomplishes a similar thing to the heel-toe hook, except I substituted an old scarf for the towel, it seems easier to handle. It's certainly worth trying anything that works, to avoid that feeling of helplessness, like you said, hobbling around. Only my dog is witness to that, in my case. Hopefully we'll soon be hopping instead of hobbling, and you can show off for your wife when you are well.
check out this web page:
a ways down is info on calf stretching. Read it, it's great info.
I have a feeling that the runner's stretch is probably a good idea too (classic stretch for calf muscles), although this one is done standing and obviously, must be done after getting out of bed! The best way I can describe it is a kind of lunge (front knee bent, back leg straight, several feet behind you) with your hands holding a table or desk for support. You can feel the tension in your back leg, and also can get a different little stretch on the front leg by moving heel up and down (with toes on the ground). I am by no means an authority on medicine or sports, so I can't say for sure how helpful (or even harmful) this could be, to our conditions, but it seems to me that this is a good stretch.
Personally I'm at the point of trying just about anything that seems practical and helpful! Hope you get some good results.