I think I’m a PWB!

December 2, 2009

A ‘partial weight bearer’ that is.  Though I’m sure there are more inventive and certainly more offensive possibilities for ‘PWB’.

It’s now six weeks since I suffered my ATR playing football.  After going to A&E immediately I was diagnosed and given the options.  I chose the conservative path.  Yesterday I went in to my fourth cast.

The three previous casts have taken my foot from equinus gradually towards a 90 degree position (I don’t know the fancy name for that) where I can lay my foot flat on the floor.

I’m about 5% off that now.  I was given a kind of shoe, a bit like a flip-flop that an elephant might wear, with straps to keep it attached to the bottom of my dashing blue cast (again Kevin!  I just like blue.).

Anyway, I didn’t see the consultant, but Colin, who put it in plaster, said that I would now be able to put some weight on it.  Initially when standing still, but then I might be able to hobble around unaided!  That was exceptionally good and unexpected news.

Does it make me a PWB?

I think it should!  I’d like to mark the occasion by updating my profile, as I’ve been getting pretty sick of the crutches, and although I’ll still be using them for a while, it would be nice to mark a step towards the day I can throw them out of the window for good.

So, I’ve got the current cast for another two weeks, then I’m into a space boot for a month.  I think this will be the one with the wedges under my heel that are gradually reduced to bring my heel down.

Yesterday my calf muscle was quite a bit smaller than at the previous recasting.  I know this is normal but it was a bit of a shock.  I’ve always been secretly proud of my calf muscles.  I’ve never had much to boast of muscle-wise up top, but thanks to lots of cycling I had developed chiseled calf muscles.  Now I have one that’s got the droopy, squidgy feel of a beer belly.

If I’m good and do what the physiotherapist tells me, how long till I’ve got a nice chunky calf muscle again?

Otherwise, I’ve been bumbling on with work, trying to get out as much as possible, and having dreams where I’m walking only to realise mid-dream that I can’t do that at the moment.   It’s a bit like dreaming of flying.

My girlfriend has been very supportive.  However, I secretly suspect she finds the whole situation agreeable in some respects.  As I said to her the other day: “Every girl wants a temporarily disabled boyfriend don’t they?  So you know where they are all the time, and they aren’t able to go out late and eat kebabs while walking home from the pub.”

Don’t you worry Sarah, I’ll be coming back late with bits of kebab down my shirt before you can say: “Extra chilli sauce please”.

Black, White, Blue? Or Pink?

October 27, 2009

Just back from the Fracture Clinic at Addenbrookes, having decided to go for the conservative approach. 

With so many studies and accounts to consider it’s not possible to be totally happy with a decision, but that’s it made now and I have to stand by it (assisted by crutches).

The consultant said that while there will be a higher risk of re-rupture, it is still commonly a successful treatment, which would require the same time in cast as having surgery.  I feel comfortable with the advice I’ve been given, though part of me would have preferred them to tell me what to do instead of offering plenty of reasons - any combination of which could have led me down either path.

I’ve spoken to a lot of friends in the last week about the choice I was having to make on surgery.  With few exceptions they’ve said: “I think you should go for the surgery.”  But when I ask them what they are basing that on, no-one has been able to say why.  I think the assumption is that going for surgery is the best option, and you’d only avoid it if you were fearful of it.

I’ve been convinced by the consultants I’ve seen that opting for non-operative treatment is not a cop-out, and rationally it’s as sensible as going for surgery, if for different reason.

If I’m unlucky and it does re-rupture, then I can always go for surgery then. 

So, I’ve got a fancy new hard cast that I’ll wear for the next three weeks.  I chose the white option, though I could have had it black, blue, yellow, or pink! 

When Eric, who put me in cast, took the temporary “back-strap” off, my ankle was swollen, with yellow bruising on the calf and dark red below the ankle.  Didn’t look too bad though.  Scratching my calf for 30 seconds after he took the old one off and got the new one ready almost made this whole ordeal worth it!

I’ll wear this until mid-November, with the toes pointing downwards, then swap it for one where they’re brought up slightly.  I’m looking at eight or nine weeks in plaster, then on to the next step.  I’ll worry about that when it comes.

Some very good news is that I can go back to work when I like, so I’ll see if I can get in later in the week. 

I could do with one of those Segways.  Anyone have one spare?