on my own two feet

October 25, 2008

(post on Oct 22)

Some updates for my Achilles…

I am just back from the hospital, it has been 6 weeks since the surgery, and today I completely get rid of the plaster cast, and in my normal two shoes (only with two layers of bandage), I can “walk” without crutches, I still carry one to help, but in couple days I can ditch it completely. Doctor order to have NO sports for 6 more weeks, just normal walking, listen to my body and not to go too extreme on my
exercise, just take it slowly to reach the normal range of motion. Next appointment is in 6 weeks from now.

This is a good news! Although the bad foot still fell tight up to a degree, and I also lost quite some muscle on the calf due to casting for 4 weeks; however, I felt good about losing the heavy cast.

It felt quite strange when the first time to stand on the real ground with two my feet after 6 weeks, it is kind of “unreal,” but I indeed feel great to “back on my own two feet” (both meanings suit well for my current situation :> ) My walking is still really slow, maybe it is meant to force me to live in the Dutch pace.

(Update on Oct. 25)

Although I can “walk” because without the protection of the cast, it still hurts if I  “stretch” it in the wrong way (accidentally), also I found that I also walked slower comparing to the time with the cast. I still hope I can see some more progress, it is kind of frustrated now. Because I “looked” fine (since on my own two shoes) but not able to really be fine. It is still now way to go, I know, I just need to hang in there…

Bad one vs Good one

October 8, 2008

(post Oct 8, 2008 on my own blog)

Bad one: (it was too “short”, so it hurts when walking, the cast keep press on my top of the foot.

Good one:

(posted on Oct 8, 2008 on my own blog)

Thanks to everyone prayers, I got a new plaster, and I think “Het is een goede gipsverband” (It is a good plaster cast!)

Now you may see me “running” around (not really running actually, but I “feel” like it, I still can only walk with the plaster. Previously it is quite painful when I was walking, so I rather stay at home and not go anywhere even I wanted to).

They are making fun of me for coming twice in three days, I made fun of them too, I told them that “I did give it a try for one day! at least”, and I also said “I will try to be good so they won’t see me again until next appointment”. Sign, now everyone there knows me, well, of course, I am the only “Asian” there and also the only person who speaks English to them, so that made me a very “obvious” target!

By the way, I also change cast color to be “blue” instead of staying with “red”, just thought that might change some of the bad luck. I think it looks good, if I have time I will post a photo of the new cast!

(Post on Oct 7, 2008 on my own Blog)

I was walking around in the FSW today to see if the pain cause by the new cast is “bearable.” But I found that it is too difficult for me to handle, I have done many things to try to “solve” the problem, but it was without success.

So, I went home a little early to find the phone number to call “Gipskamer” (plaster room) again. I felt bad to call in again, but I just describe the situation, and told her that I think the plaster doesn’t fit properly. I don’t even need to tell her my name, they know who I am, since I just came in yesterday. I asked her “what should I do?” (smart way to say things), she said that I can come in “again” tomorrow at 10:30AM, okay, that’s good, otherwise, I really don’t think I can handle it since I need to have the mobility to get to work, to try to get back my normal life. It is too much sitting around…

Time is quite tight recently because of the job search thing, so I hope there won’t be things bothered me other than the job search now.

If you read this, please use your mental power, hope this time I will get a good plaster, and the problem will be fix tomorrow, too many trips to the LUMC already.

(and hope the wait won’t be too long)

(posted October 6 on my own blog )

Yesterday, I solved the problems of feeling the “sting” around the wounded area, and I got a new plaster, and the problem is solved, but since yesterday, the cast will press the bone near toes area when walking, and that is quite painful, and I think it will also cause some bruise around that area, since it is hitting the bone over and over again.

I have tried to “trim” the cast yesterday, but it did not completely solve the problems, today it still bothers me very much, but this problem only occurs when walking, so as long as I am not walking around it is fine. I kind of want to go in again to ask them to redo the cast again, but I just did that yesterday, I feel bad to go in again.

I am not sure if this discomfort is considered as “bearable” in general, for me, yes, it is bearable, but for other people, maybe it is not, and the question is that, is it worth to simply endure this pain myself? And even if I did call and ask to go in to redo it, it may not get better, since it takes 30 minutes to dry up, and I cannot just “test walk it” right away.

I don’t know, there is too much bad luck already, I need some positive energy… I will try to trim the cast further myself, and hope it will ease the pain, I really hope so.

Cut it off, open it up

October 6, 2008

(Posted October 6 , on my own Blog)

Today, I saw the “wound” again, it still look quite big and ugly. However, there is no other complication, so that it is good. Two more weeks and two days, I am getting this cast off!

(But I still doubt if it is possible to walk normally again, which people usual take months or even a year to recover to (near) the original level.

I am thinking that the 90 degree won’t able to really walk “normally”…

The new cast did not fit well near the toes area, so it hurts when I try to “walk” normally. But I “fix” it myself (cutting some edge off, sigh, this sounds something that HT would do :>)

By the way, I also told them that I have problems with the knees, so they told me to walk as normal as possible, otherwise, it will get worse, or the problem is going up to the “hip”, which I started to sense a little bit now.

“Sting” feeling

October 5, 2008

These couple days, I had this sting feeling near the surgery area, but I don’t know what’s wrong, maybe it is because that I tried to walk too much, but it concerned me. I am thinking to go in to check if there is anything wrong.

3 weeks post-op

September 30, 2008

I just reached the 3 weeks post-op. Since the appointment last Wed., I was put into a fiber glass cast in 90 degrees (they really PUSH it into 90 degrees) and told me I can “walk on it”.

It seems to be a quite aggressive recovery plan, but I tried to think that I am able to handle it and hope that it true. These couple days, I have tried to “walk on it”, sometimes still with one crutch, but most of time I can just walk with crutches free.

My way of walking still looked pretty funny, I took small steps, but the protection of the cast allow me to put all my weight on the bad foot. Sometimes it still hurts, but not too badly, so I assume that is alright.

I was bounded in my apartment ever since the injury, the time went out of the apartment is only when going back to hospitals for appointments. (Did I say that I love to go to these appointments? since that is the time I can get out of my apartment to have some fresh air). But since last week, I was told I can walk on it, I cannot wait to get out and do some things I used to love. I was quite active before the injury, so I did miss so much of going out and just bike around the city (Leiden is really beautiful city, so I never get tired of doing that).

On Sunday afternoon, I went out to “take a walk”, I was carving the vanilla latte and sitting by the canal, so I went, I took the bus, (I don’t own a car here in the Netherlands), and get to the square, had my vanilla latte, and sat awhile to just enjoy the sense of freedom that I haven’t had for some time.

Here is my cast and my coffee

This is one corner of Leiden which I took few weeks ago, now you see why I did miss the wondering around the city so much :> (I stitches three photos together to make this one)

So far, I have done 1-hour “walking” with this glass-fiber cast. Sometimes I did have some discomfort when working, but it is not too bad, however, I do have some concerns about my knees, the way of walking is definitely not good for my knee, in addition, the glass-fiber cast is also heavy, it did need take some more effort to lift it and put it into action. The two feet are also not so even-leveled, that also make the situation worse. I had problems with my knees before, so that do worry me a bit.

Overall, I am happy with the progress, I did have some down time because of this interruption of my life, but I hope I can keep my spirit up, I know it is a long recovery journey, I have to be patient and give myself some time to let the tendon heal, I plan to officially go back to work tomorrow, I hope everything will be just fine.

I was told that I can “walk on it” yesterday when I was put on my new cast. But since they pushed it into 90 degrees so I was under some pain after back from my appointment.

I did not take pain killer for some time, but yesterday I feel I need it again. The pain is around the ankle and most the tendon (I think), I did not do much, even thought I tried to put a little weight on, but it was still quite painful.

But after a night of rest, today, I wake up feeling good, I still use my wheelchair and crutches to get around the house, but sometimes in the afternoon, I tried to stand up with no crutches, and “I DID it”, I can even walk a bit around the house with no problem. Although sometimes, I can still feel the pain a bit, but it is not that bad today. I also did not push too much or want to do too much at first.

I am happy to have my hand “free” when walking, so that I can actually carry something by myself. yesterday, I was quite skeptical when they told me I can “walk on it”, but I did it.

My walking still looks “funny” though, most moving one step at a time, but I can actually bear my full body weight with only the bad leg. I think it is because that the cast is very “strong” to hold a lot of it. However, I am quite happy with the progress so far.

(but need to stay with this cast for 4 weeks :>)

I am just back from the 2nd doctor appointment after the operation. Today, I got the stitches out, and put into a cast in 90 degree.

Last week, I have tried to get to 90 degrees by myself, but get really get that far, I probably get to 80 degrees, today, I was told that they are going to bend it into 90 degrees and put into a cast.

The removing the stitches did not hurt too much, but the bending really hurts!! I was told to relax (which is difficult with that kind of pain) and one person try to push it into that position, then the other person put the cast on, that is quite painful, and of course, I was worried whether the tendon is able to stretch that much. But Thank God that it is holding up fine, but the pain is still there, (I was told the pain will slowly get better).

They told me that I can “walk on it” without crutches!! But so far it is still quite painful so I still use my crutches to get around, and if the pain gets better I am going to try it. However, I am still quite scared of putting some weight on the foot after only 15 days of operation, not to mention to “walk on it”. I will be back in 4 weeks, and they told me by that time I will be able to walk in shoes, although I really doubt it, but it is the goal, it would be nice if it does come true. However, she remind me to bring the crutches at that time as well, since I may need it in the beginning :>

I think the plan is really aggressive, now I have been back at home for few hours now, I still feel the pain around the ankle, I hope it will soon get better.

by the way, I was told that I can ride the bicycle!! (since that the main transportation method here in the Netherlands, but the cast is quite heavy, I am not quite sure how to do that yet).

I did not get the boot, because they told me they don’t want me to take it out at any time. So here is the pictures of my new red cast (in 90 degrees):