I got the boot!

Finally cast free. What I have been waiting for for months. Freedom. Except it isn’t quite what I was hoping for. Evidentally the cast was more support than I was giving it credit for. My first step in the boot I thought, “Hm that sorta hurts.” Second step, “Hm that sorta hurts.”  Needless to say, it isn’t as much freedom as I thought it would be. I am using the crutches probably more than I did with the walking cast on. :( Bummer.

Our neighbor had a boot so we took it with to make sure it was the correct one. It was, so saved a little money there. Again, everyone seemed in a hurry at the office. I asked if there was anything special we needed to know about the boot. Nope just put it on and strap it up. It wasn’t until I was half way home that I found the air pump to pump it up.

First thing I did when I got home was take bath. OMG did that feel good. Lathered up the leg and started shaving. I thought it was going to be the best thing ever. I got out, dried off and started putting lotion on my leg. Guess what, burns like &(#! I maybe should have waited.

I have to go back in one month. The surgeon said I can start rotating my ankle and using the least resistant band. Didn’t want to start any physical therapy until after he saw me in March. I should have asked if I am supposed to wear this boot to bed. Is it only for when I’m up and about? How long can I leave it off during the day if I’m not on it? Yep, just put it on and strap it up. That’s all I need to know. I need to be more prepared.

Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 5:33 pm Comments (1)

Partial Weight

Be careful what you wish for. :) I was so excited to go to the surgeon on Wednesday. I was sure I was going to be able to be put in a walking cast and start partial weight. Sure enough, that’s what happened. I got an extremely fat cast and the go ahead to start using crutches to put some weight on it. The instructions were to NOT get rid of the crutches and put weight on it until it hurt. Guess what. One time was enough to say ouch. I took my cart to work with me because I can at least carry things when I’m using it. Explained to my boss the good news about the crutches, which happened to be in my office at the time. Next thing I knew, he hijacked my roll-a-bout. It was rather comical. So much, that I didn’t mind using the crutches on Thursday. Friday was a little harder to get motivated. I wasn’t walking around much but it did start to take it’s toll on my arms, chest and leg. Thank God today is Saturday. I’ve been using my cart around the house trying to do laundry and housework.

The really good news may come on February 18th. If all goes well these next two weeks, it sounds like I’ll be moving ahead to an air boot and be able to begin physical therapy. But what I’m EXTREMELY looking forward to is washing this thing. Being able to soak it in hot sudsy water is the ultimate goal. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to THAT!

I haven’t been taking any Tylenol but I think I might, if for no other reason than my arms. I feel like I’m really starting to make some progress. And it feels great! No matter how much it hurts.

Published in: on February 7, 2009 at 1:53 pm Comments (0)

2nd Cast

On Wednesday, January 21st I went back to the Dr. They removed the cast. The surgeon said the incision looked good and they would recast again. He was happy to see how far they were able to adjust my foot. Almost 90 degrees but not quite. I thought it would hurt more. It was achey but the left side of my foot (Pinky toe side) hurt more then my tendon. The surgeon didn’t seem too concerned about it. It was normal. He said that it was because I hadn’t moved my foot in a month; all my muscles would be stiff. I asked when he thought I’d be able to get into a walking cast. He said next time, February 4th, we should be able to get my foot to 90 degrees and then we’d think about the walking cast. I might be able to put some weight on it.

 One month after surgery

I’m a little nervous about that because I don’t currently put any weight on it with my roll-a-bout. I’ll have to go to crutches in order to put partial weight one it. How do I tell how much weight I’m putting on it? I know zero and 100% for sure.

My son got a new puppy this last weekend and trying to house train a 6 week old puppy without the ability to HURRY when she needs to go out is almost impossible. I spend a lot of time clapping my hands hoping to startle her enought until one of the kids can get her out. I let her outside and she ended up playing with the other dog and wouldn’t come in. I couldn’t manuver the cart well enough so I thought I’ll just step on it really quick when she came within reaching distance. Instantly I felt tingles starting from my toes and going well past my knee. Probably not the smartest thing I’ve done.

Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm Comments (1)

Still hanging in there

Wednesday I get to go back for my second cast. I’m anxious to see how the incision is healing. I have experienced more pain during this two week run than the original. I need to practice keeping it up, I can definiately tell a difference when I don’t. How long before I will be able to keep it down all day?

The Iowa winter has thrown some challenges my way. Lots of snow and subzero temperatures have been challenging. I attended the convention in Des Moines this week. It was exhausting, but I am glad I went. The hotel was the most challenging. I learned to look for handicap restrooms, they had the most room for my roll-a-bout. While there I heard several stories from people that have injuried their Achilles tendon. One of the people I met said he just got back to two shoes. He said he is walking funny, but I can’t say I noticed. I informed everyone about this site. It’s too good not to.

Published in: on January 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm Comments (0)

My 1st Social Outing

Tonight we had an appreciation dinner at church for everyone who has helped out over the past year. It was my first time back since my surgery on December 23rd. It was nice because the Christmas decorations were still up so even though I missed Christmas Eve it was a nice service this evening.

I was nervous because I have only been to the office and back in our hometown and this was the first time I was going to be out in a social setting. Everything went ok, though I had to explain what happened several times. It felt like I was getting to talk about nothing by my ankle. I took my roll-a-bout and everyone commented on what a great contraption it was. If nothing else, perhaps I showed the “contraption” off so someone else can benefit from it in the future.

Published in: on January 10, 2009 at 11:18 pm Comments (1)

Wheels finally came

Well they finally arrived, my new wheels. I opened the box with anticipation. The coat of paint glistened in the light. Waaaaaay cool! I put it together and tried it out. Unfortunately it didn’t work well at all. I suppose if my legs were longer I could get my knee on the seat as I anticipated doing. Since my legs are the shortest part of my body it didn’t work well. So now I’m stuck with my roll-a-bout. It’s still better than crutches, but I’m extremely disappointed. I thought maybe my husband could do some adjusting on the other cart, but he didn’t seem to interested to tear into it.

My mood is down quite a bit today. The cast must be a little tighter than the splint was. When I bend my knee to use the roll-a-bout the muscle expands and it feels like it is cutting off the circulation. Last night my husband said, “Only 13 more days.” I reminded him it was 13 more days until a new cast. I’m trying to stay in the right frame of mind, it’s a slow healing process. I feel pushed to do this, pushed to do that. There are things around the house that need to be done, I just don’t have the energy after working all day to stand to do them. I’m frustrated, not lazy.

Published in: on January 8, 2009 at 7:54 pm Comments (2)

2 Week Post-Op

Today was the big day. My venture back to finally, hopefully, get some answers. I’ll give my Dr. credit, he is quick, but I was able to ask a few things before he left.

This is again another first; my first experience with staples. The technician was very polite, he said it would feel much like a horse fly bite. He did the first one and I thought to myself, oh this isn’t bad. I may have even muttered it out loud. I was really happy that I only took Extra Strenght Tylenol. Who needs those narcotics anyway. The tech told me to hold that thought because he started at the top  of the incision (right side or picture). As he worked his way down, it got more painful. If you look on the photo you can see at the bottom of the incision it was more red, well that’s where it hurt. I haven’t really said anything has HURT up to this point. I’ve used words like, sore, tender, swollen, but this hurt! He apologized and said there were more folds to the skin which is why they came out a little harder. I survived.

Ouch!

As I said in my last post, I thought about taking my FlipVideo in to record him taking the staples out, but was afraid of what I would say in the course of it. So I used my camera video instead. No sound :) I tried to upload the video but it said it was too large of a file. I’ll see what I can do to edit the size.

When the Dr. came in to exam the incision, he said the surgery went better than he had anticipated. Basically repeated what the surgery summary said. I asked what the V-Y method was. He said because the tendon was 2-3 cm short, he used an area where the tendon connects to the muscle. He cut a ^ shape in it. It allowed him to lengthen the tendon. When he pulled the middle of the ^ down to connect the tendon, the ^ reversed into more of a Y shape. Pretty cool!

Sexy!

As for the next step, I have this wonderful cast on now. It is lighter than the splint and a tad smaller. The technican asked what color I wanted, I chose black. Only because I usually wear black dress pants to work and I hate it when people wear white socks with black pants and because black is supposed to be more slimming. :) I have an appointment to get it recast in 2 weeks. Dr. said it would be recasted every two weeks for three to four times before they get my ankle at 90 degrees. Then I’ll go to a walking cast and then a boot. So about 6-8 weeks non-weight bearing yet.

I went online to check on my new wheels. UPS said it was delivered but I still don’t have them. My husband went to the shop and found the package there. It’s just a matter of time before I’m cruising. I think next cast I’m getting hot pink. I have a clowning gig coming up and thought the kids would get a kick out of being able to write on the cast.

 

Published in: on January 7, 2009 at 6:10 pm Comments (0)
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Tomorrow is the big day

Well still no wheels. The ice storm has slowed UPS down so I still don’t have my package. I was hoping to have it before my Dr. visit tomorrow, but I guess that’s not going to happen.

Tomorrow I head back to Dubuque to have my first post op appointment. I’m ready to see this bad boy. I am tempted to take my FlipVideo along to tape them taking out the staples, but then you’d probably hear me in the background.

I went back to work full time yesterday and the days, especially the afternoons, have been pretty long. I am able to put my foot up on my desk to keep it somewhat elevated, which helps. Lately I’ve noticed that my foot is tingling and my muscle in the splint has been “jumping”. Not sure if that is normal or not. Guess I find out tomorrow.

Published in: on January 6, 2009 at 8:09 pm Comments (1)

Another day

I spent a little too much time sitting up on New Year’s Eve. By the time I went to bed at 1:30 a.m. my leg felt extremely tight. I spent almost all of the day on the couch yesterday with my leg up. I think it’s back to “normal”. Got Dish TV hooked up yesterday so laying around was that much more enjoyable.

I think since things are going fairly well, I am going to try to stay all day at work on Monday. I’m planning on taking all day off on Wednesday when I have my first Post Op appointment. I think they are planning on removing the staples. I’m trying to decide if I’m tough enough to do it without popping one of those wonderful pills they gave me. I’ve heard conflicting opinions as to how it will go.

I still haven’t received my new wheel cart. I was hoping maybe it would get delivered today. I decided that when I’m done using it, I am going to convert it into my clowning cart, something to carry all of my balloons. :)

 PC the Clown

Published in: on January 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm Comments (2)
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Learning to get around

Thanks for your comments. I hate to say how much I look forward to logging in to see if anyone has read what I’ve written. I know this site has helped me understand a lot of what happened and hopefully what is going to be happening. It is nice to hear from people sharing the same experience.

Yesterday was the first day I ventured out; short of coming and going back and forth to the office. My daughter needed to get her license renewed so we headed off to the county courthouse. It wasn’t so bad. At least I have a conversation piece while waiting in line. She did make one comment about me being so slow, like I would be able to keep up with a 17 year old with two good legs.

I was pretty beat when I got home but wanted to get some groceries because we are having a few friends over for the new year. Should I venture out that much yet? It isn’t that I feel bad, I am just sorta waiting for the next shoe to drop. (No pun intended) I knew that Walmart had wheelchairs. So my husband and I made a date. He asked if I thought I needed a chair, I told him I didn’t think I would be able to get around well without it. Sometimes I think he doesn’t like the idea of me being temporarily slowed up. He is good about driving me around but that is the extent of his expertise when it comes to helping take care of me. He’ll do what I want if I ask him to, but being fairly independent, I don’t like to ask for things either. So I end up dragging my wheely cart all over to do something that would have taken less than half the time for him to just do it. Regardless, he helped me into the store and they didn’t have a wheelchair, only the battery operated machines. I wasn’t too hip on using one of them, but when I found out what little power they actually had, I didn’t think I would be able to kill anyone with it. That’s when I realized how inconsiderate people are. They kept walking in front of me. Hello…. I’ve never driven one of these before people. I made a mental note to never do that to anyone again once I’m up and going.

My husband isn’t much for shopping on a good day and of course there was something on my list from every corner of the store. I was beginning to wonder if the battery was going to make it for my entire list. I picked up a hair color to help wash the grey out of my hair. Being 37 and using a walker tends to make me feel old. I don’t want to look any older than necessary. To add to my list of things that make me feel old, I bought two skeins of yarn and a crochet hook. My husband asked what I was doing. I told him that I thought it was a good idea to find something to keep my hands busy. I’ve been shopping on ebay quite a bit and perhaps this would help. He didn’t mind at all that I bought yarn and a crochet hook. :)

We got our groceries and headed back home. I was beat from doing very little. My husband and son put the groceries away. I laid with my leg up HIGH. My toes still looked good, but I could tell I had swelling in my splint. I mentioned something about maybe not trying to go back to the office for 1/2 day today. My husband said he liked seeing me get up and go to work, even if it was only 1/2 day. Well then by all means, I’ll give it a try. He is gently pushing, which I’m sure isn’t a bad thing. If only I was sure how far to go.

This morning when I woke up I didn’t have a lot of ambition. I muttered something about not wanting to get up but I forgot to do timesheets and knew accounting wouldn’t be happy, especially since it was the last day of the year. I cleaned myself up, washed my hair, and continued on. I bought a hose with a shower head on it for the laundry tub so it’s easier to wash my hair now. Getting ready wasn’t as easy as Monday was. My leg felt like it was made of brick.  But I still beat most of the employees to the office.

I only stayed until noon. I could have probably stayed all day but I don’t want to over do it. I got my surgery summary. Sounds like there was massive scar tissue and when it was all remove they were short 2-3 cm when they hyper extended my foot. There are a lot of big words in it. I need to look some of them up to completely understand. I need to investigate the VY method. I did see they used some kind of wire stitches and they stapled me shut. Funny, shortly after reading it, I swear I could feel one of them.

 

Published in: on December 31, 2008 at 3:42 pm Comments (4)
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