Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekend pain

It wasnt long after leaving the surgeons office that I started feeling the worst pain in my foot. We drove to dinner then home where I started feeling faint, nausea and light headed, so I decided to go to bed and rest. I know changing bandages and casts can affect your blood pressure, so I put it down to that.

The minute I laid in bed, pain, pain and more pain in my right foot. I could not lay my leg down, hold it in the air or let it hang off the bed. I had no clue what to do with it. 

The pain lasted all night and all of the following day and reduced me to tears. By Saturday night I couldnt stand it and headed to Silvercross Emergency Room where I sat and waited for 5 hours and left with the staff doing anything. No unwrapping and checking it, no rewrapping it, nothing - not happy.

Sunday brought more pain and I didnt move all day in case it got worse and I didnt want to go to the emergency room again. As soon as my surgeon's office opened on Monday morning I headed there with a friend. I knew I would have to sit and wait, who can get an appointment on a Monday morning??? Not this girl - ever!

Two hours later I was seen. Turns out there was the biggest crease in the back of the cast around the heel area which was causing the pain. Once the cast was replaced my leg felt better and my surgeon couldnt apologise enough.

These things happen I guess. Im definitely feeling better now and Im looking forward to having my stitches removed. :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 4,5,6 & 1 week post surgery.

I havent been doing much to be honest. When I had my left foot surgery I did way too much in the first week and I could feel my leg swell often and my cast become tight. So this week Ive been staying off it.

You never really know what the surgeon has done until your first post op appointment unless you are really awake and manage to catch the doc in recovery which I never do.

Oops I made a mess
So I went to my one week post op appointment with Dr Ratkovich at Parkview Orthopaedics in Mokena and I always look forward to a cast change, the bandaging gets really hot and claustrophobic and a couple of minutes out of it feels great :)

***Warning surgery pics!***


My right foot surgery is slightly different from my left as in I didnt have the achilles lengthened instead I had a gastrocnemius recession to help create increased dorsiflex when my knee is bent. The incision is pretty significant but surprisingly not very painful at all. I am taking 600mg ibruprofen twice a day and a half of norco if I am sore.

The incision along the inside of the foot is where two tendons were shortened in the arch, very little pain there aswell.

The incision in the heel is where the screw went in to hold the heel back in place and I have a 3 inch incision under my ankle bone on the outside of my foot where Dr Ratkovich went in to saw off my heel and moved it over. So for now its pretty gruesome but my left foot scars from January look great so Im not too worried for now.

My xrays show the full extent of my surgery. You can clearly see the faint white north to south cut in the heel which has then been screwed back on. I think xrays are fascinating.

So now I wait another two weeks before the stitches come out and I go into a cam walker and head to therapy. I want to get this foot moving as soon as possible. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Day 3 post surgery

Two appointments today - TWO - grrrrr oh well.

I rocked my 11am PT session on one leg - go me. Mickey (GoodLife Physical Therapy) has had to adapt it significantly for me now that I cant weight bear on my right, but we still managed to get all the resistance exercises and stretches until my calf burns in and my right foot therapy will start as soon as my stitches are out - JOY.

Emma is also joining me at my PT appointments with her own exercise regime. She had a bit of a bad trampolining accident a while back and has a recurring chronic sprain on her right foot, so for now shes doing "pick up with her toes" exercises where she has to pick up Legos from the floor - far more fun than my therapy I can tell ya :(

In between appointments we had lunch at somewhere new, Bonfire in Homer Glen. I thought it was like Famous Daves BBQ place but instead it had a very grown up menu which was quite delicious. I shared crabcakes with Nick then tilapia with a baked potato, I really enjoyed it and so did Nick. win!

Next onto Dr Vittori's office for another blast of shockwave therapy. My left achilles was lengthened and the scarring is affecting the flexibility when I stretch and its not improving. Theres also a lump on the achilles which I dont like so Dr V is going to kindly blast it away.

Its definitely going to take there treatments and todays went really smoothly and was over with in 45 minutes :).

Being numb on the left side and non weight bearing on the right side was a little interesting!! Thankfully I didnt have an accident :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day 2 post surgery

I woke up very sore again and my cast seems really tight and rubbing on my heel arghhh I hope it isnt creating a huge blister like last time. I tried to manage on half a Norco over night but needed to take a full one at 3am. Oddly the ground vibrated and Im pretty sure I felt a small earth quake so I woke up Nick who was not amused - whatever.

Im not walking very successfully in the Freedom Leg Brace, it might be because I need longer straps or because my leg is just too sore to start this soon after surgery. Ill persevere with it for now.

Nick and I did pack all our outdoor tables and chairs and take them to a party for a local girl called Ashley who is battling cancer and leukemia. Her wish was to have a huge dance party with her family and closest friends. So neighbours, friends, family and well wishers all came together to make it happen :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 1 post surgery

My day started with a bang, 1am and my nerve block wore off to the worst calf and heel pain ever! Agghhh .....I couldnt lay my leg down, I felt nauseas and weird and I had to get up and pee grrrrrr. I managed to fall back to sleep after taking a Norco but the pain was still horrid at 6am when I got up.

I had purchased the Freedom Leg from Forward Mobility and it hadnt arrived in time for me to try before surgery so I was keen to put it together and give it a whirl.

It arrived in one piece thankfully and I just needed to adjust it to the correct length of my leg.

The bracing around the quad takes the full weight and the foot floats around an inch above the floor. Its not easy at all and my leg was very painful and uncomfortable trying to walk in it. I kept catching my toes in the side bars and that was very painful.

I took my first steps in the brace with my walker and moved onto walking in it with both crutches and then one crutch. After a while my leg was so painful I had to stop and rest it so Im gonna try again tomorrow and build up to walking with no balance aids.

Wish me luck!!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Surgery Day

7am funf walk - my last for a while.
Ive planned for this all week, Ive cleaned, shopped, cleaned, laundry and cleaned some more. The girls are organized for going back to school and I made sure I could get around the house on one leg by leaving mobility aids in different rooms, I have learned from my last surgery thats it good to be prepared.
I arrived at Orland Park Surgi Center at 7:45 and checked in. I didnt have to wait long before they took me to be prepped before the surgery. My notes had included something new this time, a gastrocnemius recession. I had no idea what that was so I made a point of asking my surgeon and he explained that because Id had problems with my left achilles lengthening hed decided to release my gastrocnemus instead which involved an incision in my calf. Interesting.  

Funf kept an eye on me all day. :-)
After taking my vitals and my ridiculously high BP from stressing, I received a popliteal (behind the knee) nerve block to numb the foot and was wheeled into theatre. The last thing I remember was sliding across from the trolley bed to the operating theatre bed and remarking how skinny it was. 4 hours later I woke in recovery with a banging headache, nausea and was extremelt light headed. My throat was awful dry from being intubated and my front teeth hurt, I think they caught them when I was extubated. grrrr My quad also hurt from a tourniquet.

90 minutes later Im heading home feeling very crappy and dying to sleep some more. 2 hour sleep and a quick bite and I feel a bit better. But def an early night for me. :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Im feeling refreshed!

Reformers need to be booked for each class   - theres a late cancellation fee too
On one of the rare occasions I could get some kinda phone signal on Mackinac Island I spotted a Living Social deal for a pilates class, 10 group classes for $49  at Refresh Pilates and Wellness Studio in Homer Glen - a bargain as pilates classes tend to be a little bit expensive so I snapped it up straight away.  

One of the stipulations was that we had to attend an intro to pilates class to learn all about the reformer, which made sense and thats where Ive been today. Eventually Im going to attend the studio's Restorative Classes to help me therapy my left foot and strengthen my core, arms and left leg. The studio has a pretty full on schedule of classes aimed at everyone.

This is called a table top, feet are higher than the knees
and it totally works the core.
I arrived embarassingly late and the class was pretty much full. I discarded my shoes and socks and we started with a basic tour of the reformer, how to load/unload the tension springs and where to tuck the arm loops when not in use. Pretty simple stuff so we started off with the footwork. I thought I may struggle with this considering my lack of flexiblity but some of the moves are a continuation of the therapy I am doing so I kept up just fine.

The footwork includes heels on the bar, ball of the foot, feet in a V shape, toes only for heel drops and calf raises, pliet footwork and a gazillion different other combinations. I enjoyed every second. 

We did a lot of leg circles to warm up the hips then some runner stretches. Then we used the arm straps to pull our own weight along with tension and my arms held up pretty well. I was pleased. Im already looking forward to going back for my next class, although Im not looking forward to how sore Im going to be tomorrow. :-)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Back to surgery shopping

While it seems everyone is Back-to-School shopping I am not. After hitting Target, Kmart, Dollar Tree, Staples and every other stationery supply store in the first year we were here to get TWO supply lists, I soon learnt (thankfully) to just order the school kits and save time, so this week Ive been watching frantic mothers rip apart the supply shelves and ask their kids if they really need 5 two prong folders while I wait for open day and our kits to be delivered ahhhh!!!

Today I've been doing a considerably different kind of shopping - back to surgery shopping!!! While noone likes surgery and theres no perfect time for it, things are moving along in our relocation process and we may be moving house sooner rather than later. Because of this I need to be off crutches, so Ive chosen to get my right foot surgery out of the way next week.

This morning I saw Dr Ratkovich and booked my right foot reconstruction surgery for in a week's time - I actually had a panic attack and was totally shaking and light headed - I never have these, I just get on with things, so this took me totally by surprise.

Even though Im very unsure about the surgery, Im feeling slightly more prepared than last time. When the doc says no weight bearing because the screw will shatter the heel he means it and theres no getting around easily on one leg, so today I purchased a few things to help me out. 

The first few days my leg will swell and crutches dont help because the leg isnt elevated so Im gonna use a wheelchair downstairs and keep the leg up. I also need to take as much care of my left foot as I can because its still sore and rehabbing.

My trusty knee scooter is going to stay upstairs for trips to the loo in the middle of the night and Ive bought some funky covers to jazz up my crutches and a bag so I can carry a water bottle and my phone. Its no fun not being able to hold something and why shouldnt crutches be stylish?

Lastly Ive bought a major gadget-walking-aid. Id been looking for something I could use which would allow me maximum mobility, after all I still have a house to run, 2 kids to take care of and a dog to walk. I came across the Freedom Leg.

Ive been watching the videos over and over and read and re-read all of the reviews and there has been a lot of great feedback on the product. One of the reviews is actually from a doctor so Im guessing he knows what hes talking about. I had an online chat with one of the company's representatives and asked a gazillion questions. One of the plusses to its $575 price tag (I bought mine for $449 in the sale) is that its completely reimbursable by our insurance company.

As soon as it arrives ill have a practise before the surgery just to see how easy it is to walk in it and not fall over but for now, Im cleaning and organising everyone before I have yet another long recovery period.