My leg is FREEEEE! (Video too!)

cast-clipart-as2783

I don’t think it’s possible for me to convey how excited I am to be out of the casts. I now have the freedom to wash my leg, scratch an itch. However, my excitement is a bit derailed by where my leg is right now.

For starters, I think they put the last cast on a bit too tight. As soon as the cast came off, Mr. Lyndsy commented that the bottom of my foot looked bruised.

IMG_0688

Not sure if that’s because of the cast or the surgery, but it feels pretty not great. When the doc was cutting off the cast, the vibrations from the buzz caused loads of pain near my big toe, where I don’t have much feeling in the first place.

My leg is super atrophied. The doctor said within 2 weeks it’ll look like normal again. Just a matter of getting back to using it. But ugh.

IMG_0684

And then I tried to walk on it. HOLY SHITBALLS PEOPLE. THAT FUCKING HURT. They want me to go straight from being non-weightbearing for SIX WEEKS to walking like normal. Not fucking happening. I took two steps and the pain just raged in my foot. I plan on using crutches for a bit until my leg gets used to being a support again. They’re crazy.

I am still trapped in a boot almost 24 hours/day. I only get to take it out to practice picking up my foot. But at least I can get my leg the attention it needs now!

IMG_0690

But the important question is whether it was all worth it – all the pain, time in the cast, etc. I’ll let you be the judge.

That’s me, picking my foot up! I still have a long way to go before everything is really okay, but things are moving in the right direction.

Thanks for the support and encouragement as I’ve gone through this the last almost 18 months. It’s been a long, pain in the ass road.

2

Back to the Doctor… Awesome Update

Went back to the doctor today for the final check with my doctor before he goes on leave for Eid. I was hoping to be able to convince him that he just wanted to put me in the boot this week, but that didn’t work. So, I go into the boot next week as planned. I’ll be in  the boot for 6 weeks. The only time I can take it off is when I’m exercising (and I’m going to take at least a few normal showers, probably with assistance, so I can shave my damn leg).

I’m back in the pink cast! So much better than the white one.

IMG_0655

I also discovered a few things today while I was waiting for the doctor to come in and take a look:

1. My leg is hairy as all get out. It is also really dried out.

IMG_0623

I put the BEAST in sexy beast.

2. The calf muscle has really atrophied.

IMG_0633

 

Hopefully once I get walking again this will get better.

3. I have more incisions than I thought by 2.

IMG_0642

IMG_0634

 

I missed the one top middle and the one on the right outside of my foot.

4. My foot is a lot less swollen than I thought it was. It is also hella bruised, which I have definitely felt.

IMG_0624

I still have Frankenfoot…

But, the best part is… (DRUMROLL PLEASE)

We got confirmation that the tendon transfer worked. I CAN PICK UP MY FOOT.

It took some work to do it which means doing it while walking is going to be a challenge for a while.

But WHO GIVES A FUCK?? I CAN PICK UP MY FOOT AGAIN.

Awww yea.

REALLY over this cast

cast-clipart-as2783

 

I’m fucking done. It was one thing when the incisions hurt – that I could understand. Now when I move and the cast hits any part of my foot, there’s pain. I have no idea what the hell is going on, but it’s annoying.

The real problem is at night when I’m trying to go to sleep. I’m a side sleeper. I have a really hard time falling asleep on my back. The problem with sleeping on my side is that the cast is always hitting my foot that way. I finally gave up last night and took a pain killer. Not surprisingly, not long after that I was able to fall asleep.

I am very curious if it’s as bruised as it feels and if this is really just part of the healing process. I’m very much hoping that’s what it is and not something going wrong.

I’m also tired of not being able to put my foot down. Getting up to go to the bathroom is more of a production than I like it to be. It requires me to be more awake than I usually am if I have to pee in the middle of the night. I make a lot more noise than I normally would hopping all over the place and it disturbs Mr. Lyndsy. I’m sure he doesn’t really notice much, but I feel bad as he turns over at the disturbance.

I appreciate the need for keeping the cast on. I definitely want this to heal appropriately. Six weeks is just an annoyingly long time to have a leg out of commission.

Of course, even after this cast comes off, I’m stuck in a boot the vast majority of the day and I believe I’m supposed to wear a splint at night to avoid any excessive plantar flexion. At least I should be able to walk on my foot then and not have to hop in and out of the bathroom. For a person as clumsy as I am, it’s exhausting.

Almost halfway, sort of

I went back to the doctor today for a follow-up. I’ve only ever had one cast before this one and if I remember correctly, I sawed it off myself. I know intellectually that the saw isn’t going to cut me, but in reality, getting a cast taken off is fucking horrifying.

IMG_0532 IMG_0534 IMG_0538

 

It really freaked me out when they went over the place where I have stitches on the inside of my foot. I still get weird tingles and vibrations there and it’s sensitive when things touch it.

I didn’t get any pictures of the wounds this time, but the doctor said they’re healing well. They don’t need to take out the stitches by hand because they are apparently the kind that dissolve. The doctor said they don’t want to do anything that might mess up the tendon transfer. Seems smart to me.

The new cast is less colorful (which makes it better for drawing) but it’s also shorter and tighter. Both of these things make me happy.

IMG_0544

 I have another 3 weeks in a cast. The doctor wants to make sure that I get 6 full weeks without ANY plantar flexion to make sure the tendon has a chance to attach. After this, I move into this monster boot.

IMG_0549

Not the greatest picture, but you get the idea. It’s basically as tall as the current cast is. The cool thing about this is that you can set it so you only get so much flexion. The doctor also said that for another 6 weeks, he doesn’t want any extreme plantar flexion. He’s nervous about this transfer because I don’t really have any tendons left to transfer if something happens to the ones he just did. I would then be looking at craptastic bracing forever or an ankle fusion. NO THANK YOU. So I will be careful and do what he says. He wants a little movement once I’m in the boot but nothing crazy.

I have another follow-up in 2 weeks to the see doctor who performed the surgery before he goes on leave. The next week I see another doctor to get the cast off, get it looked at, and get myself into the boot.

I do not think I will be able to describe in words how happy I will be when I am able to put my damn foot on the ground again. It’s hard to stomp your feet and pitch a fit when you can’t let your foot bear any weight.

Getting Used to It

While it’s still incredibly inconvenient and annoying to wear, I’m getting more used to this giant ass cast. I’ve learned how to move it when I want to go to sleep that I can sleep on my side. The cast follows the shape of my leg and heel. This means that certain parts of it feel like ledges on the inside that my leg runs into when I move. I’ve mostly figured out how not to do that.

I didn’t really think it would be that important to keep my leg up the first two weeks of the surgery, particularly after how swollen it didn’t look when they took off the cast. But man, on the occasions when I do get up to go to the living room, my leg is pretty unhappy with me for a while. I’ve learned that if I work to bend my leg as I walk, it’s not quite as bad as if I let it hang more, but that takes a lot of work.

I still have more than a month in a cast. I was hoping that they’d make it a little lower down when they put on the new one, but the doctor is trying to cover everything down from the common peroneal nerve. I assume we’re tying to avoid all movement that might affect the tendon he just put in. Which I totally appreciate.  I want it work and not get broken ever.

I’m starting to have some weird feelings in my foot and leg. I don’t really know where they’re coming from since they don’t all seem to be associated with movement. Yesterday it was strange sensations along the bottom of my foot. The other day it was like muscle contractions down my leg.

I guess I really just need to stay in bed.

Oops

Had my first real whoops today. I was trying to get out of my bathroom, but the drain on the floor caught my good foot and I lost my (already shitty) balance. 

I did what came naturally and put my bad foot down. 

I didn’t leave if there long and I didn’t feel much pain (just a scraping along the back of my leg), but it reminded me of just how careful I need to be as I try to navigate my way around. 

Friend popped in for a visit which was loads of fun. Getting around still irritates me leg, so the fact that I had to get up twice to go to the bathroom while she was here was not delightful. 

The cast is definitely rubbing something the wrong way. The doctor offered that if anything felt wrong or bad or under pressure that I could come back in before my two week appointment. Depending on whether I get used to how this feels, I may take him up on that. 

I told Mr. Lyndsy about my trip to the kitchen yesterday and he was displeased. He is so worried about me anyway, and then it’s compounded by the fact that he isn’t here to hover over me himself. Poor guy. I did tell him he was stressing me out by continuing to be upset after I told him I was okay. His response, “Like you aren’t stressing the husband out when you tell me these things!” Fair enough. 

How many more weeks do I have like this??

Following Up: So far, so good

I went back to the doctor today for a follow-up. The doctor wanted to check the incisions and see how the tendons were doing. My foot was a bit tender as they cut the old cast away. It seems like the blood kept the material stuck to my foot. It was deep kind of pain as they tugged it away.

IMG_0449 IMG_0450

The doctor took a look at the incisions and gave my leg a small test to see if the foot would stay up without him holding it – basically checking to see if the surgery did what he wanted it to do. He didn’t want to leave it to free fall since the tendons have only been attached a short time and he didn’t want them pulled out.

IMG_0454 IMG_0453 IMG_0451

The incisions looked good. There are three – one on the inside of my foot near the arch. He took the tendon that works with the big toe. The one on the top of my foot is where he brought them together to work to pick up my foot. It’s hard to see, but on the outside of my leg, above the ankle, is where he took the second tendon from.

The other very good news is that my foot stayed up when he let it go! He said that after six weeks it would firmly attached and I can be moved into a boot out of the cast. And speaking of the cast…

IMG_0464

It is BIGGER AND BRIGHTER! It eats my toes a bit more, is a lot wider around my foot, and goes higher up on my leg. None of these are positive things in my mind, except that it seems less likely that I’ll injure it this way. It makes it a lot more cumbersome and challenging to lug around.

The doctor also had to lengthen the Achilles a little to make sure I’m getting maximum benefit from the surgery.

IMG_0466

This was a good visit. I’m very pleased with my status right now. Getting to and from the doctor today was exhausting so I have no plans to leave my apartment for the next week or so. The incision on the outside of my leg seems to feel the worst, but they all pulse and throb from time to time. I really do need to just rest for a while and let my body do what it needs to do.

I go back in a couple weeks for the doctor to check the dressing again and make sure everything is still going well. He also cleared me to travel once the boot is on though he didn’t look thrilled about it. I’m sure Mr. Lyndsy will follow up on that at my next appointment.

Hooray!

A Shower!

Had some friends come over today so I decided to defunk. Managed not to kill myself on the crutches to acquire a towel, but that trip was more exhausting than I expected it to be. Perhaps if I had any upper body strength at all, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

I did splash water all over the place trying to get clean. I considered sitting in the tub sideways with my legs hanging over the edge, but I’m not convinced I would have been able to get out. The point though is that I’m clean for now and I consider that a major accomplishment.

I’m also using a walker now which makes moving around much easier. It still takes works and upper body strength I don’t have, but I don’t feel like I’m taking my life into my own hands every time I use it.

The non-narcotic meds they gave me seem to be doing a decent job keeping the pain at bay. I do hope that continues to be the case as this goes along. Pain blows. Occasionally I’ll move the wrong way and I get a sharp reminder to consider my actions a little more carefully. Sometimes it feels like the incisions are coming to life. I don’t really like that much.

I am really hoping for better sleep tonight. I’ve been waking up every couple hours and that’s not really conducive to healing. I do feel like the anesthesia has worn off, so I’m a bit more alert than I had been. Totally a bonus.

Speaking of things that are more alert, my leg is waking up more. It vibrates sometimes, like it’s getting a phone call. Unless the doctor did something weird before putting the cast on, I’m going to assume it’s nerves coming back to life. Maybe it’s a super limb and I’ll be able to use it to fly.

Probably not. I guess I’ll settle for walking.

Foot/Leg Update – PROGRESS FINALLY

cast-clipart-as2783

I went to the doctor last night and there are no words to express my rage and frustration with the doctor. This is the guy who, when I saw him in February, told me he was booked until June and didn’t have his calendar for June or beyond. He recommended a tendon transfer to get me walking without a brace. He also sent me for an EMG/nerve conduction study.

The EMG revealed what I already knew – that my body had done all it could and that I needed to have surgery. THANKS FOR THE NEWS FLASH. The doctor doing the study did say that I should have a nerve transfer because there was still some innervation of the muscle.

Fast forward to last night (which was the earliest appointment I could get after the EMG on April 2nd). All of a sudden he’s telling me that maybe I shouldn’t have a tendon transfer after all. That perhaps I should consider an ankle fusion. I flat out told him no to the ankle fusion. After making me get the EMG, he pretty much disregarded it and said that he couldn’t do the nerve transfer and that I would have to consult with a plastic surgeon. AWESOME USE OF MY TIME AND MONEY.

He called in a colleague to consult. That doctor also told me I should have an ankle fusion and that the results wouldn’t be as good with a tendon transfer. I also told him a fusion was not an option.

The doctor then tells me that the earliest date he has for surgery is SEPTEMBER 6TH. I was like, are you fucking kidding me? He told me that he didn’t want me to rush into surgery, and blah blah blah. Clearly he had no idea what it’s like to walk around in an uncomfortable ass brace all day.

Mr. Lyndsy is sitting in the room with me, almost ready to explode.

Perhaps thinking another colleague would be able to convince me to have an ankle fusion, he referred me to someone else. He called that doctor directly and they agreed that  could be seen the next day (today). I was pissed at having to get up early to again see someone else who wouldn’t know what the fuck was going on, but I hoped the doctor would have a clearer surgery schedule.

So I got my ass up and went in. They dicked us around trying to get me in since I didn’t have an official appoint. But, I am glad we stuck it out.

The new doctor checked my foot’s strength and quickly came up with a plan of action. He said an ankle fusion is a last resort and that because the tendon they normally use for the surgery is lacking strength, he would take two smaller tendons that are strong and use them for the fusion. He expects a fairly good result doing it that way.

Then he asked when I wanted to get this done. I told him as soon as possible. He flips through his calendar and I hear May 25th. WHAT??? Then he takes it back. I’m holding my breath, hoping that it’s something earlier than September.

JUNE 6TH.

Fuck. Yes.

To make sure I get in, he told me to try to get admitted to the hospital two days before. If they can’t take me, I go in the next day. If they can take me on the 4th, he’ll release me home but I’ll still keep the bed. If they take me on the 5th, I do the same thing.

He showed me where the incisions would be. I have four weeks in a plaster cast and then six in a boot while I do physical therapy.

Yeah, me in a cast and on crutches should be a great time.

The only issue with this plan is that Mr. Lyndsy has to go to a course from June 12-21. I think I’ll be fine on my own, but he isn’t comfortable with the idea of leaving me home alone then.

So the question is, who’s going to come babysit me for 10 days???