Thursday, July 21, 2016

non weight bearing

I asked the surgeon how long I should be non weight bearing (NWB), and he said six weeks.  Then I asked whether he means I can start weight bearing a bit when it feels better, like around four weeks.  "Nope" was the answer.  Then I asked whether I can do some water running, and he said no.  Just do nothing, and don't weight bear.

However, a lot of recovery protocols on the internet allow for some weight bearing after screw insertion, some as early as tolerated.  That of course will keep the ankle joint and the rest of the foot in a better mood to weight bear when time comes.  So, I asked surgeon no 2 whether the NWB protocol is correct, and he said yeah, six weeks.  I guess they are both in the very conservative camp.

I am still having a hard time accepting the six weeks of NWB but I will probably stick to it mostly, and maybe do some 20% partial weight bearing around week five if the foot is completely non painful.

Obviously, as with all losses, I am in the bargaining stage.  I wonder if I can skip straight to acceptance.  In the meantime, my balance on the left leg has improved a lot, I can stand and even briefly sweep the floor with the right leg balanced in the air.  The problem is mostly my right hip, the hamstrings are giving me a hard time, and thank God for MrH that gave me a massage, so that I can move again, because I was so sore that I could hardly sleep last night.  The abnormal body mechanics cause a lot of imbalances.

On Monday, I will be seeing the massage therapist and then the chiropractor.  I am hoping that they can balance me out.  I don't ever go to massage, and only went to the chiropractor once, when my mid back was out of whack after my second pregnancy, probably a sequela of bedrest. It is expensive, but for this injury I think it might be worth a try.

I have noticed that in the US people describe having to pay several thousands for this operation, and hence deciding for the conservative treatment because of attempting to save money.  At least I am happy that in Canada I only have to decide if I can afford the auxiliary treatments, like physiotherapy and massage, but not so much the main therapy that affects the outcome in a significant way.  I can only imagine how difficult it is to mix these important decisions (do I want surgery, or do I want to wait it out in a cast?) with the bank account.

Will update soon.  In the meantime, I am going to dress the kids.  On my butt.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Do these crutches make me look fat?

Leave it to me to worry about whether I look good on crutches or not. I take it as a sign that my stress level is improving. When I get stressed, I function on the bare necessities and no more: no make up, basic clothing that is loose and easily washed, limited food choices that require minimal prep. In fact, I undereat as well. I am pretty sure that with the foot ordeal I lost some weight.

Tonight I am developping an infection in my operated foot. It is red and hot and painful. I phoned the surgeon, who said to take antibiotics. I am taking clindamycin and hoping for the best. It is not the first time I develop a post op wound infection, it is the third time, but I am somewhat nervous every time. In the past it has been a brief two day affair, so I am hoping that it will be better by tomorrow.

Anyway, back to how to look good on crutches. I think crutches can be an awesome accessory, and they go well with an oversized accent piece such as a cast on the right foot. Make sure to hold head up high and walk straight and with good posture.  It might interfere with your balance and with scanning the ground for potholes, but looking good is important. Also, do not forget to wear a great heeled shoe on the left foot. So what if it makes hobbling difficult? Looks are important (see above).

Good luck and be chic ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

surgery done

I had my surgery yesterday.  It was done in Prince George, which is a long way from home, but it is the closest place where I could get in quickly.  I had a screw placed in my fifth metatarsal to keep the bones together.  Today I am resting with my foot up to help with the swelling, and finally I have time to blog a little.

I must say, it is always interesting trying to answer the questions of the anesthesiologist about my otherwise medical history.  I have had so many things happen to me, that I feel if I were to disclose them all, he would kind of blank out and think I am either crazy or overly dramatic.  So I am always giving people the abbreviated version:  I had a few abdominal surgeries, all for obstetrical or gyne reasons, lost the uterus, some blood transfusions, and a pneumothorax after one of my surgeries.  This is as abbreviated as I could get the past eight years of my life.

The surgeon informed me that I cannot put the foot down at all, except to lightly rest it on the ground, for the next six weeks.  Likewise, I cannot drive, given that it is my right foot that is in the Aircast boot.  Given these limitations, it is weird to me that people think I am still able to work.  I have to drive back and forth to the hospital to deal with emergencies.  Not to mention that putting casts on people while on crutches is a bit hard too.

Given that I did not work when I was pregnant, from about 20 weeks until the babies were 5 months old, I already know that six weeks is a very short time to take off, and that the world can cope very well without me.  I am not indispensable.  Therefore I am taking off, and keeping my foot safe from harm.

I wonder if I really can run on it in the future.  It has a big a** screw inside my fifth metatarsal, and I just cannot visualize how I can put the pressure of running 20 km on a bionic foot without breaking something.  The surgeon did say that I can remove the screw if I want to, and it is a simple procedure, so hopefully once it is healed, this fifth metatarsal will disappear from my conscious awareness, the same as the other 205 bones in my body.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

broken foot

OMG it has been a long time since I have posted.

July 1st we went on a family holiday, that lasted exactly 13 days, until I broke my foot.  It was a wonderful holiday though, I am not complaining, and I am hoping to do the same itinerary next year, when the kids are older and my foot is better.  We drove from Northern Town where we live, to Jasper and Banff, in the beautiful national park setting where the mountains and the lakes are breathtaking.  We then went to the Okanagan Valley and swam in the warm Skaha lake.  We ended the trip in Vancouver, when I broke my foot on our first day of attempting to sail on the Pacific.  I wrote the story down for a potential submission to a cruising magazine, so if I do not submit it, then I will post it here.

I have a Jones' fracture, that is a fracture of the fifth metatarsal (outer area of the right foot).  It is a bad area for healing, both because of the blood supply being poor, and because of the strong tendons that pull on the outer area of the foot.  Runners tend to heal poorly too because of high rates of re-fracture.  So, I have chosen to have a screw inserted.  It will be done in two days.  In the meantime, I am hobbling on crutches, and will have to do so for the next six weeks.  I have an Air Cast boot on, and cannot say that life is as easy as it was three days ago.

I must say, though, that compared to being on bedrest, this situation is 100% better.  The major downsides are the blisters I am getting on my torso from the crutches, and the fact that my left leg is pretty sore from all the hopping.  I feel like I have done 2000 single leg squats today.  My arms are feeling the love as well.  I think the term MAN ARMS is going to be pretty suitable soon.

So I thought that the hardest part about this situation was not being able to run.  Boy, was I wrong.  The hardest part is that I cannot pick up Daniel.  That means that I cannot take him away from the place he is choosing to have a tantrum in public.  Like the restaurant the other day, where he decided to lie down in the middle between the tables (where unsuspecting innocent people were eating) and kick the ground while screaming.  I have tried to talk him out of it, but we all know how that goes.  I picked him up, but he struggled some more, and I had to put him down because I can only do so much on one foot.  I asked one of the waitresses to help me take him outside, but she said she is not comfortable because he is so upset.  I then asked for a phone to call my husband, but the phone was behind the counter.  She let me call on her cell phone, but he did not answer, so in the end, the restaurant manager picked him up and helped me by carrying him down to the marina, where the boat was.  I have cried so much that it was embarrassing.  I have never felt that I have failed as hard at this parenting gig as that day.

That was two days ago.  I now have realized that I can fail in many more ways:  cannot chase after him to change his diaper, cannot keep up with him when he runs away, cannot (yet) cook food or go shopping for food for the kids or myself, and cannot force him to put a seat belt on the way I used to when he refuses.  Hence, for the next six weeks, I don't actually know if I can take him anywhere safely, unless my husband or a friend can come along.  Which is a bit difficult because it is summer and we all like to be outside.  I am hoping that he will adapt, and that things will improve a bit with his attitude as well, but he is a strong willed 2 year old that wants to have his way or he gets mad.

By the time I am out of this cast, it will be snowing.  That is the part that probably sucks the most.