No Physical Therapy!?

I was one of the lucky ones, my injury never hurt.  I had full range of motion at one month despite never going to physical therapy and not walking on it until after that doctor visit.  It seems odd that my doctor did not know I was not seeing a physical therapist (the NP I had been seeing said the doctor would decide if I needed PT).  The doctor asked how PT had been going and if the therapist was happy with my progress.  The doctor decided that I could walk, as tolerated, in my boot.  He also said that the need for PT would be determined at the 4/22/16 visit.

April arrived and walking was going well.  ‘The Hole’ (1.5cm section of the incision never closed) was continually leaking and looked disgusting despite being cleaned twice a day with alcohol.  At one point a hair was sitting on top of the leakage so I tried to lift it off with tweezers.  I actually grabbed the little dark spot on accident–my incision was on the back and just to the outside so it is very difficult to access.  The dark thing lifted away with no issues so I thought it was the fuzz.  Nope.  It was a purple knot of thread.  All three ends were cut cleanly and it was the nub of the knot that was darkening ‘The Hole’.  So, there was a hole within a hole.  It is still there, the two holes, over a month after the knot came out.  The doctor said that I “spit a stitch” and was not concerned.  He was also not concerned about the hole and said it would close up now that the stitch came out.

At the appointment on 4/22, the doctor said my physical therapist must be excited about my progress.  I still had full range of motion and good strength.  Again, I told him that I did not have PT and he said it would probably not be needed.  He gave me permission to wear shoes and I showed him the options I brought with.  He chose the heels and said to try to wear shoes with an incline as it is easier on the tendon.

The progression seems so odd to me.  I never had physical therapy, I have a hole on my ankle that gave birth to a purple stitch, and I am still numb from the outside ankle bone down to the sole of my foot and back to the middle of my heel.

2/19 Rupture at Pickle Ball

2/20 Misdiagnosis at convenience clinic as ankle pain

2/22 Saw Nurse Practitioner associated with the Orthopedic Surgeon on-call on 2/20, put in boot with lifts

2/23 MRI

2/24 Blood work

2/25 Surgery in AM with spinal block, finally met doctor, splint and ace wrap

2/29 Back to work

3/03 Out of splint, in boot with lifts, still NWB

3/10 Staples removed, steri-strips, boot with no lifts, still NWB

3/25 Saw doctor, full weight bearing in boot

4/21 Ankle gave birth to stitch

4/22 Saw doctor, full weight bearing in shoes

6/23 Next dr. appointment

Three Weeks Out

Written on 3/18/16 (saved instead of published, oops)

I have been NWB for three weeks and am going nuts.  Thankfully I was allowed to continue working as long as it is desk duty or court.  Still, it is shocking how old it gets relying on a knee scooter.  Like others, I am always going somewhere, fixing the house, playing with dogs, traveling, or going to the gym.  After the first few weeks of reading everything others were posting, spending time on the internet even got old.  Everyone says to hang in there and that it will get better and I’m sure it will, but this sucks balls.

The staples were removed last week and Steri Strips were applied.  The NP was concerned about one spot and it turned out she was right.  My ankle is leaking.

For three weeks there has been hardly any pain.  One day I had to put my boot on the floor and push my foot into it as 90 degrees is difficult in the morning.  I thought I tore something with the strength of the shooting pain I experienced.    Oddly, it hurt in a spot that is numb.  It itches there, too.  I cannot complain though, the only other time it hurt was when the German Shepherd took a claw across the incision.

First Three Days

Friday, the day after surgery, was a blur.  I took pain meds, binge watched Supernatural, and took care of my dogs.  My niece left in the morning and my dad may have visited that evening.  My dogs were more thrown off by my situation than I was.  The Yorkie (possibly a Morkie or Porkie) would not leave me alone and the German Shepherd did not know what to do with herself.  She began her obsession with bright colored washcloths that night.

Saturday I was going crazy.  I was off the major pain meds and only took Aleve.  I was up early, vacuumed the house, cleaned the kitchen, and figured out how to get to the basement.  I had a knee scooter for the main level and went down the steps on one knee and one foot to get to the basement.

Sunday I had to do a home visit for work.  That morning was my first, post-surgery, experience washing with purpose and the first time I washed my hair in the sink at my house.  While it was not fun to just have a washcloth to work with, I felt better being clean and dressed in something other than yoga pants.  I also realized how lucky I was to have the knee scooter that could get so far into my tiny bathroom and that my balance has improved over the years.

After the visit on Sunday I went to my parents’ house and successfully hopped up three outdoor steps with the crutches.  Then, my dad and sister took me with to the grocery store!  Freedom!  Meijer only had the powered carts that beep, no wheelchairs with baskets.  It was still great to be out of the house on such a warm, sunny day.  (The snow from the storm on surgery day was completely gone by Sunday!)

By the end of Sunday I was exhausted but still in good spirits and not in pain.

Pickle Ball Won

Pickle Ball 2, family 0.

A couple locations in my county had free court time to get people interested in pickle ball.  My father (in his 60s) and I (30) played one Tuesday night.  He had been playing at the YMCA with my teenage niece for a while.  I’ve played sports my whole life so it was more competitive with me.  During our second game he felt a pop in his leg and we had to stop right away.  He hurt his Achilles.  We do not know how bad it was as he never went to the doctor, but he had full use of his foot and by Friday he was walking fine.

On Friday the 19th a coworker and I went to play.  We met an old coworker and my dad came to watch.  He told my friend to ‘humble me’ because I was doing pretty well for my second night playing.  We started our last game at 5:40.  It was 7-2, them.  I took a step to get to the ball, my foot stuck to the basketball court floor, I thought I got hit with a basketball, and I went down.  The basketball was still in play ten yards away from me and I could not stand up on my own.  I had no idea what happened.  My knee hurt and my foot was floppy.  Thankfully the fireman we were playing against helped me up and told me what to watch for.  As I was helped off the court, I kept saying there was no resistance; there was no tension on my foot.

On Saturday the 20th of February, I went to Urgent Care.  The doctor took an x-ray of both legs and told me there was nothing wrong but I should follow up with an orthopedic doctor on Monday.  The diagnosis was ankle pain and she gave me one of the air casts that has a felt bottom and white plastic sides.

Monday morning I went to work and started calling doctors.  I found out that there was an orthopedic doctor on call the day I went to Urgent Care.  I saw his nurse practitioner Monday afternoon.  She knew right away it was a rupture and she was betting it was full.  I was put in a short boot with two foam wedges and told not to walk on it.  The MRI was Tuesday evening.  I got a call at court on Wednesday telling me to be at the hospital at 5am on Thursday for surgery and to get my lab work done as soon as possible.  Then the lovely snowstorm hit Indiana.

Thursday morning I was prepped for surgery and I offhandedly asked the anesthesiologist if I could watch.  She agreed and gave me a spinal block.  I finally got to meet the orthopedic doctor as I was getting wheeled into surgery.  I never realized just how naked they leave you, even when having surgery on an ankle.  They made the first cut at 7:33 am on the 25th.  A few minutes later someone announced that we were under a state of emergency due to the snow.  Great.  They had me fixed and stapled shut by 7:55.

I was in room with my dad by 9 am.  My spinal did not wear off until 2:30 pm.  Thankfully the nurse had me take a good pill before it wore off completely so the pain never hit.  I was wrapped in gauze, then a fiberglass splint, then an ace wrap.  One of the nuns stopped in and when she saw the cast she recommended contractor trash bags to keep it from getting wet.

I never saw the doctor again, but he was leaving for vacation and trying to get out before they started ticketing for driving during a state of emergency.  My dad got to talk to the doctor.  He found out that it was a complete rupture and that surgery went really well.  The MRI showed that I had 3.5 cm torn and .3 cm left.  Apparently those 3 mm did not last long.

That day was rough.  Thankfully my dad helped me get the right trash bags and all my medications.  Then, my niece stayed with me for the night to take care of my dogs.  I used the pain killers as prescribed because the ankle burned like I poured hot coffee down my leg.

Also, whoever decided toilets should be so low to the ground should be punched.  I cannot imagine what the injured do in countries where they squat to do their business.