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I feel 900 some days!

March 3rd, 2013 by evahsmum

My story is a long one… It started at 11 (which feels like 94,642 years ago, but it was only 22 years ago…) I started having issues walking more than about 10 mins at a time. After two years of “investigating” (and 16 sprain strains) they decided I was a young girl coming into her teens looking for attention and that my mom should’ve been seeking a psychiatrist for me, not an orthopedic surgeon (Really??!?! lol) So.. she packed a cooler, grabbed a book and parked herself in the surgeon’s office and told them she wasn’t leaving until they figured out why I couldn’t walk. That day I had 75 X-rays, a CT scan, an MRI and another CT scan. On the MRI a “shadow” showed up and they discovered the issue, confirmed it with the second CT scan.  I had a massive accessory bone between my talus and calcaneous in BOTH feet.  The following 4 years included three surgeries and soooo many casts.. urgh. In the end, I was left with both subtalar joints fused, and metal in both ankles to stabilize my joints.

I felt blessed I could walk…. It felt amazing! The next 10 years went great. I worked, attended college and became a RMT (registered massage therapist). In 2007 (27 yrs old) I huge bump appeared on the dorsal aspect of  my right foot. Chiro thought I sprained it or possible joint effusion… X-Rays revealed osteoarthritis in a few joints and a nice bone spur. Happy birthday me?? :(

In 2009, after having my child, I started having a lot of hind foot pain, which like a new mom, I promptly ignored and denied it was happening lol. Being in the medical field, I could feel the scarring in my Achilles growing and knew what was happening. The first notch appeared in my right Achilles at the beginning of 2010. I knew something needed to be done, but I was going through a tough divorce with an infant and I didn’t have the time or energy to put myself first.  By the time I did seek medical help for it, I had three notches in the right Achilles and one in the left.  My GP’s fix for the issue was lose weight. So I did. A LOT of weight. It didn’t help.  His next suggestion was that I should wear hiking boots….???!?!?! Again… seriously dude?? I saw him for this pain four times and he said “your feet are a complicated situation, just leave them alone… it’s best not to touch them.”

Last February one of my patients saw the pain I was in, and she happened to be a nurse for a ortho that specialized in feet and ankles. She told him about my troubles and he was excited to see me.  I took his info to my GP and begged for a referral… in tears… and finally got it! I saw the ortho, Hundt, in May and he put me in a cast within minutes of looking at my Achilles.  He said I have insertional tendinitis and tendonosis as well in the tendon body. We decided to try casting the right one first to see if it would heal. After 12 weeks…. no luck, and I was rewarded with a new notch in my left Achilles and my insertion got wayyyyyy worse too. While in the cast we did Physio, ultrasound, laser, massage, acupuncture and IFC.  He also had me try Shock wave therapy after the casting with a podiatrist in town  (Extra corporeal shock wave therapy). After two sessions I was in a state of hyper-inflammation and couldn’t even walk and he said “you’re done… outta options.”  The  MRI in October revealed a bone spur that is cutting through my Achilles and that most of the tendon body is 100% scar tissue from tearing and healing and tearing and healing.  The insertion is frayed and tearing off the bone too.  While I’ve never completely ruptured either of my Achilles, they’ve torn hundreds of times.  My surgery was scheduled for May 24/13 (welcome to canada… that’s actually not long of a wait here lol).

Last October, I was at the point that I couldn’t wear full shoes.  I actually wore sandals until the first week of December :P not easy up here!!!  I work on my feet.. there’s no way around that sadly.  In the time since surgery was scheduled, I’ve gone from working 44-48 hrs a week to working 24 hrs in  TWO air casts because I can’t even walk to the bathroom without crazy stupid mind numbing pain. I’m exhausted, I feel dumb from pain. I’m emotionally spent and completely worn down.  Praise God, they informed me last week they were able to bump my first surgery (right foot) up to April 8th! Finally.. a light at the end of this tunnel.

I have done lots of reading on line and never found anyone with my specific issue…. I am more than anxious to see if there is someone in this community with bilateral subtalar fusions that resulted in future Achilles issues. My surgeon says the two conditions are unrelated, but i have my suspicions!!!!

Well… really looking forward to getting on to a path of healing and getting to know some of you along the way… Lord knows I’m gonna have boat loads of time on my hands pretty soon!!!

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5 Responses to ' I feel 900 some days! '

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  1. normofthenorth said,

    on March 4th, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Sorry I’ve got nothing great to contribute on your condition. Lots of folks here with Haglund’s and related problems, some of which involve bone “attacking” tha AT.
    I’ve had delightfully quick responses from the “Canadian” medical system here in Toronto (ONTARIO), including “instant” ATR surgery and “instant” ATR no -op treatment (ATR #2). And when I finally wanted long-anticipated open-heart surgery, they offered me some appointments that were TOO soon for my own schedule. In Canada, health care is a Provincial jurisdiction, not Federal, so “welcome to Canada” doesn’t make sense. You say you’re “up here”, but not where in Canada. I’m guessing Alberta, which seems to have neglected its health-care system for a long time.
    BTW, if you can install the “ATR Timeline Widget”, it will remind us all of your FAQ answers, including location.
    And good luck, too. I don’t know whose permission you need there to get a second opinion, but I might try for that too, since your case is obviously atypical.

  2. evahsmum said,

    on March 4th, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I’m actually from between London and Windsor, ON, in an area very very short on physicians of every kind (esp orthos and family docs… my parents and brother are all currently without a family doctor and they all have conditions that need to be closely monitored). I had my first three surgeries in London at 13, 14 and 16 yrs old and my current ortho actually interned under my pediatric ortho. I’ve had patients tell me to take off to a Toronto ER some weekend, but being a single mom, I can’t risk getting admitted for surgery that far from home. As far as a second opinion.. I tried. They’re pretty short handed around here and it’d take about 18 months to get in… plus, getting the first referral was worse than pulling teeth!

    I’m new here.. haven’t figured out the timeline widget stuff yet lol! Nice to meet you, I actually read about your ordeal last night… how are you feeling today?

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. golfer said,

    on April 6th, 2013 at 8:19 am

    I am quite touched by your story. A single mom dealing with so many problems. Do you have any help taking care of your daughter? Who is taking care of you after surgery? It’s quite admirable. Would love to hear more about you. I am struggling with some insertional pain and plantar fasciitis. 18 months already.

  4. evahsmum said,

    on April 6th, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Hi Golfer… Yes, it’s been challenging for sure. I could not get through it without my relationship with Jesus honestly. He’s blessed me with amazing family, church family and incredible friends surrounding me. My mom is taking my daughter for the first whole week and my sister (even though she has a business to run and four kids!) has cleared her calendar to be available to stay with me as much as possible. My nieces will be pitching in too, helping with my daughter once she comes home and spending nights with me until I’m confident I can comfortably be on my own at night. My church family has organized a cleaning schedule and lots of ladies have volunteered time to sit with me so I don’t go bonkers in the weeks ahead.

    A few months ago I asked my surgeon when my second achilles repair would be… for now.. they can’t say. Due to the amount of alterations that have already been made to my feet there’s too many variables to recovery to say how soon my right AT will be healthy enough to support me through recovery for my left. So, I know I’ve got a long road ahead of me and I keep praying daily for strength and endurance to get through this :)

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re having two issues at the same time too… I’m going to check out your page so I can read up on what you’re going through as well Golfer. I see you’re acquainted with long term stuff too… hopefully things speed up for the both of us :)

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  • ATR Timeline

    • Name: evahsmum
      Location: Chatham
      Injured during: life!? Possibly caused by bilat. Subtalar Fusion
      Which Leg: B
      Status: NWB

      365 wks  1 day Post-ATR
      319 wks  1 day
         Since start of treatment
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