Welcome to my blog. This is a place for me to vent and share about my adventures with an bum ankle. Join me as I make the effort to heal and be somehwat normal once again!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Twenty-One Weeks Post-Op

Time has flown by - and as I become more "normal" - it seems like I have forgotten to update here....

Physical Therapy continues - three days per week - even now. My therapy consists of 15 minutes of electrical stimulation with heat; deep massage of the ankle - specifically the incision sites; resistance band work; 5 pound weight sequence; Pro-Stretch; the half-ball; rocker board; treadmill; and elliptical machine.

I was officially down to one crutch by mid-August and by the end of August had "graduated" to a cane. I now walk more like "Igor" than a drunken chimpanzee.

Now, at almost the end of September, I use the cane when I am out, but around the house, manage to do without.

There is still considerable pain in and around the ankle. The last visit to the surgeon, he again talks that nothing was guaranteed (which I knew) and perhaps we may have to do Cortisone shots to the ankle, or lubrication injections to see if that helps.

While my therapist is happy with the range of motion, he says I need to build more strength. I feel both are lacking. I tried to teach a simple jazz run last week and wasn't able to even demonstrate it.

I am at a point of mixed feelings. Some days I am glad to have had the surgery and "fixed" the problem. But there are more days than not, that I question why I bothered - before the surgery, even though I had pain, I could do things that I still can't do - almost 5 months since the surgery.

I think right now, I would be very happy to be able to move gracefully again.....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Three Weeks Post-Op

Thursday was three weeks since my surgery. I am still 100% non-weight-bearing. Thankfully, I have not needed pain meds much this past week.

I've had the ankle unwrapped pretty much since my doctor visit last week. Trouble is, with the ankle/foot unwrapped, I can always see its condition (probably my doc's way to make sure I don't try doing anything on or with the ankle). As soon as I stand, the blood apparently rushes to the foot and my toes and foot turn a "lovely" shade of purple and swell up. :-(

I've driven a couple times - but now my car needs a new muffler (and we don't have the money to do that right now) and its very difficult for me to drive my husband's car with this ankle - so I'm totally stuck.

I'm bored to tears.

I'm tired of being invisible to pretty much everyone.

I can't stand having to depend on others for even the simplest things (a glass of water for example....) and to be stuck when they forget that I'm waiting for them to help me......

Its only been three weeks, and I have a bit over three MONTHS left to fully recuperate....I think I will go totally insane before that.....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Two Weeks Post-Op

Yesterday was two weeks since surgery. There is progress.

Monday was quiet and I just sat with the leg elevated. I had it unwrapped and could handle it totally free for just a bit of time.

Tuesday, I ventured out for a hair appointment at the place where I am their guinea pig in exchange for color. My husband drove me - he didn't want me to drive He dropped me off at the facility and I clomped in with my crutches. Once in the salon area, my sling bag slipped off my shoulder and fell down right over my crutch. Made note to self - don't put just one string on my shoulder when I clomp with crutches. After that - nothing exceptional happened.

Tuesday evening, my youngest had her choral concert at school. I insisted on driving. Had to use my husband's truck - not a good choice - there is little leg room in it and I truly had no place to put my right leg and ankle. But I managed, and got to the school and saw and heard her sing. So who cares if I was uncomfortable? We then stopped at the local grocery store afterward and I treated her to a Rita's after that.

Wednesday day was quiet, but I had a meeting that night. Again, the family didn't want me to drive, so my middle daughter drove me there. Despite having my ankle up, it was uncomfortable and I couldn't wait to leave the meeting.

Thursday day - again quiet - lots of time for my ankle to be raised. But in the evening I had yet another meeting. I drove myself again - but this time in my car. This was a good trip and a good meeting. My only issue was that my string bag was too heavy with the things I had to turn in to people at that meeting. All-in-all - it was good - unless you want to consider my youngest re-breaking her finger at practice. So - when the meeting was over, I grabbed my my stuff and we left to go to the ER. The ER was packed and we didn't get home until after midnight. Talk about pain,swelling and exhaustion.

Today, I had my two week follow-up visit with my surgeon. He is please with my progress and I go back in two more weeks. I'm still no weight bearing, but I don't have to keep it wrapped. Everything I've been feeling is normal - which I thought but just wanted to ask and make sure. My stitches came out - I can take a real bath!!!! I'm still full no weight bearing for another two weeks until I see him again. But, I did get a script to start PT. He did say that the damage in my ankle was much worse than he thought and the lesion was HUGE! He also gave me no guarantees that this would solve all the issues in my ankle, or if it did, how long it might last...

I'm bruised. I'm swollen.

But I'm healing!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Another day - another sit...

You would think by my lack of daily posting, that I would be very busy - thus the reason behind the break in posting. Truth be told - I'm not busy....just getting lazy. :-(

Last Thursday - a week after surgery, I did attempt to wash my hair. It was actually quite comical. I took our handheld shower head and hung it down where I could reach it. I sat on the edge of the tub and slowly slipped myself into the tub - having both legs hanging outside over the edge. I then pulled the shower curtain past my legs and took the overflow and rested it into my lap and then proceeded to wash my hair! Not particularly comfortable or good to look at - but it got my hair clean - which was the goal!

Then I had a meeting at church that evening. Since I'm still on pain meds, I'm not allowed to drive so my husband had to take me and bring me home. The meeting itself was OK. I had to hop down one small set of steps and then up another small set of steps before I could get to the stair rider that goes to the second floor. That was fun. Not. Leaving I had to do the same - take the stair rider, hop down a small set and then back up a second small set before I could go outside and get back in the car. My reward for this - a very swollen foot/ankle - and a Rita's wild black cherry italian ice.

Friday there was an errand to run and so my hubby again drove me. This took less time and my ankle responded by not swelling as much.

But Friday was a week and a day post surgery and so it was "reveal day" the day I could take off the ace wrap and dressings and air out my ankle.

The ace wrap came off easily. The cotton batting wrap also came off easily. However the gauze dressings were another story. Apparently the poke holes had some post surgical bleeding and so the gauze was seriously stuck to both my skin and the sutures. I had to call the doc's office to see how they wanted me to proceed. The doc's assistant called me right back and told me if I was there how they would do it, but explained that I could take water soaked cotton balls and dab at the gauze until it got wet enough to release from the skin/sutures. Before I did anything else though, I had to let everything dry thoroughly - put nothing on it (as in ointment or cream) and then I could put 4x4's or band-aids on the sutures and re-wrap or whatever.

So I got the kids to bring me a bowl of lukewarm water and some cotton balls and a towel, and began dabbing at my dressings to try and loosen them and get them off my ankle. This was a time-consuming job, but one I was happy to do. After a while, I got the last bit of gauze off and my ankle was mostly free. (I left the steri-strips on the incisions/sutures.)

The ankle and lower leg are starting to whither from lack of use. That's the first thing I noticed. The next thing I noticed was that Doc was able to do the surgery with only TWO poke holes - not the three I thought he had created. There is one on each side of the front of my ankle. There were guide lines drawn in case he needed to do the open surgery - but the cute message on my foot was gone. Bruising seemed to be minimal - but the longer the ankle was free - the more the bruising seemed to come to the surface. The greatest bruising was where the lesion was. The arch of my foot and my heel still felt a bit numb - but I guess that is all part of it.

A while after the unveiling - I had to go to the bathroom and so crutched my way there. As I sat on the throne I lifted my ankle to the tub side and looked and was shocked. I had to left my good leg next to it and was even more shocked. My surgeried ankle was purple and mottling more and more right before my eyes. When I finished, I clomped my way back to my nest on the couch and got my ankle/leg raised and asked for an ice pack. With the ankle raised, the purple started to go away and the color returned to close to normal. But now the throbbing began. Within an hour, I had to take a pain pill because not just was my ankle throbbing, but I was getting a head-ache and starting to get nauseous. It took a few hours for all of this to calm down - but before it fully did - I decided to re-wrap my ankle. Once I re-wrapped it - all those symptoms started to recede. I was able to have a bit of soup and then started feeling more human.

What I think happened was that even though I didn't feel sharp or intense pain, since my level of pain tolerance is so high, this must have been some really intense pain to make me nauseous. Once wrapped and supported - the pain level started to be more manageable and my feelings of being sick started to go away.

Saturday I still had some strong pain in the ankle and continued to take some pain meds but as the day wore on (and I had things to do to try and prepare for my husband's birthday with our children) it all seemed to get better.

Today is Sunday - Mother's Day. I didn't go to church because I didn't feel that I should have my ankle un-elevated for so many hours. Once the others left, I went and washed my hair again today. That felt good. Then I got a little dressed up because its Mother's Day. But we have 50-60 MPH winds here and it's cold - so I'm sitting with a sweater on and wrapped on a blanket - can't tell I'm dressed up. My children are planning dinner for me - so that will be nice.

All in all - things are going well - I think. I'm back to the doc on Friday to get the sutures out. Then we'll see what he says.

Day-by-day - that's the only way I can take it.....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Making Strides

Well, tomorrow will be one week since my surgery. I've been home from the hospital for almost six full days....

The last few days here where we live, have been beautiful, summery days - and we are just at the beginning of May. Sitting on the couch with either the TV on or watching a video either on the TV or on my laptop has lost is sparkle...I am BORED!!!!!

Since sitting in the hospital the day of my surgery, I've become addicted to the Maury Povich Show - especially the "baby/daddy" shows. Not for the stories per se - but the entertainment of it all...some of these people are just downright hilarious!!!!!

So, this morning after my daughter and I got our "Maury fix" - I decided to venture outside. In less than a week - how much has changed in our gardens. My grandmother's rose bush (a peace rose) is exploding with blooms of all sizes. Her pink rose bush just under the peace rose - is starting to blossom as well, our iris patch which was only buds last week is a fragrant blaze of color and smells. The white lilac which was beautiful and fragrant last week - is done and brown - yet the french lilac in the front yard is now a beautiful fragrant and blooming bush.

The walk around the yard was wonderful. If felt great to get outside - feel the breeze, the sun, smell all the smells.....It was great....but when I got inside and sat back down on my couch - my ankle complained long and loud about the new adventure - and it didn't do anything but hang around for the "ride".....

Later in the day, I ventured out again - to visit with a friend and give her some things for the school. It was nice to have company and nice to chat with a friend. Was also nice to again be outside. But as before, my ankle complained about the trip. :-(

After supper, my youngest wanted to show me her flag work for the memorial day parade (she is captain of the color guard at her school) and so once more - I went outside for a brief stint....The ankle complained yet again, but not as bad because I had taken a pain pill when I had come in from the second trip out...

I had one more adventure today...and that was taking a real BATH. My ankle is still wrapped in the ace bandage and more and the sutures are still in, so I can't really take a full bath. Since my surgery, I've been sponging myself off - but that's as far as its gone. Today, I had had it and decided I needed to just get into the tub...

Adventure to be sure...

I wound up sitting on the side of the tub and then sliding my behind down into the tub, and then swinging my good leg into the water. Because my right leg is the one that had surgery, I have to sit at the drain side of the tub - so no real chance to soak, but my right leg could hang over the tub edge and the rest of me could soak. And that's precisely what I did.....

I was afraid getting out would be a real challenge - but it wasn't that bad - I swung my good leg over the edge, dried that leg and both thighs, as well as my hands - then I hefted my behind up and onto the edge of the tub - dried myself and was done! (Of course, I prayed the whole time I wouldn't slip backwards into the tub and hurt myself or the tub in the process....)

But it worked!

Tomorrow - challenge number two - washing my hair.....

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Tale of Surgery - Part 2

I blinked my eyes….

A nurse was touching my toes and asking if I could feel it and then she asked me to wiggle my toes.

I was in RECOVERY!!!

My throat was sore – I asked for ice chips. Instead I was given pain meds into my IV port.

Suddenly I was in an old-time movie – not just was everything flickering, but it also seemed to be rolling/flipping as well…..what a trip…..

I was told to snooze – but I wanted to wake up and get rid of this weird feeling…..

After a bit of time, my doctor came over smiling. He was happy; he was able to do EVERYHTING arthroscopically! He did not have to open the ankle up. This news made me happy as well. He did tell me though that there was much more damage in the joint than he originally had thought. There was a lot of inflammatory tissue which he removed. The OCD lesion itself was much larger than originally indicated. There was a huge “hunk” of cartilage barely hanging on by a thread that I think he said he took out as well. He did microfracture (scraped things up to make the bone bleed in order to generate some “new” cartilage growth). He conceded that I had good reason to be in pain given what was actually IN the ankle joint. He said he had taken lots of pictures during the surgery and that he had given a copy to my daughter and when I came to the office he would explain them all. I asked when that would be and he said in two weeks. I was given the go ahead to put very little pressure on the toes if I wanted. I told him I didn’t think I wanted – and he said pain? I nodded and he said OK….

Slowly, the nurse got me sitting a bit more upright and gave me ice chips. I still had my IV, as well as a blood pressure cuff on my arm. I also had a pressure cuff on my (good) leg to stimulate blood flow. My surgeried ankle was wrapped in a big ac bandage and I had several ice packs on it as it was elevated on a pillow or two. Doc came and spoke with me once more and checked on me. The nurse asked if I had crutches at home – because if I didn’t, I was going to have to spend the night since the crutch people were gone for the day. I told her I did have crutches at home, so it would just be a matter of getting me from the bed to the car. She said wheelchair would work.

And then I got to go back to the same day suite!

Soon my daughter came to sit with me – but it was a different daughter than the one I left when I went to surgery. (The older one started getting a migraine after I went in to surgery and so called her sister to come and take her place so she could come home and do what she needed to do to relieve the migraine.) The nurse brought me juice and graham crackers.

My mouth was too dry and my throat too sore to enjoy the crackers, but I enjoyed the juice. They brought me more and I enjoyed that as well.

I was asked if I wanted to go home and my answer was a resounding YES!!!!! But I wanted to hit the potty before my hour ride home. They found a wheel chair for me and he aide rolled me to the lav and told me when I was done to pull the call button. I stood on my good leg and wiggled to turn around and sat to go.

And I sat.

And I waited.

And nothing happened.

I felt absolutely full (and must have been with an entire bag of ringers’ lactate, two glasses of ice chips and six containers of juice) but nothing happened.

I closed my eyes and pictured WATER, I sang a song of water to myself and since I couldn’t reach the sink to run water, I swished what little saliva I had in my mouth – all just trying to get my body to cooperate and “go”.

FINALLY, after what seemed like an eternity of sitting on the throne – I was able to trickle a teeny-tiny bit out. Didn’t mater – I had peed – I could go home!!!!!

I finished up, pulled the call button and got taken back to my cubicle. The nurse gave me my scripts for meds and called for a wheelchair and sent my daughter to get the car while I got dressed.

Thank God I’m a dancer, because standing on one leg to get dressed was not an issue for me. A little tricky – but not an issue. Plus it helped that my daughter stayed just to make sure I was OK.

A short wheelchair ride down to the entrance and our hospital adventure was over as we drove home.

A brief new adventure followed as we tried to find our way out of Trenton. Not an easy task as I just prayed we got out of town before dark (and we did).

My sore throat gave way to full fledged laryngitis as I tried to call my husband and let him know we were on our way home.

The ride home was uneventful. My daughter stopped for me at Panera and bought me a container of broccoli/cheddar soup. I didn’t think I could eat much else with my throat. We got home and I parked my behind on the couch and have barely moved since

The Tale of Surgery - Part 1

My surgery was on Thursday – April 29. I had to be at the hospital for 10:15 AM with surgery scheduled for 12:15 PM. The hospital is less than an hour from home, so my daughter and I left at 9:15 – figuring it was past rush-hour by then so we would have plenty of time.
Little did we know there was construction on the highway less than 10 miles from home. Within 10 minutes we hit the traffic and sat still – only inching along for almost a half-hour. I telephoned the hospital to let them know I had not “chickened out” but was stuck in traffic. Their response was just take my time – no worries.

We eventually arrived at the hospital about a half hour later than anticipated. Kind staff members directed up to the Ambulatory Care Pavilion and my adventure for the day began…

Once up in ACP, I was taken in the back to go over insurance and other information and given my bracelet. I went back to the waiting area, only soon to be called in by a nurse to go in the back. My daughter was to wait until I was situated.

Once in the same day suite, my blood pressure, pulse and temperature was taken. I had the opportunity to give them a urine sample (from which they were going to do a pregnancy test! LOLOL). Then I got to undress and put on the lovely hospital Dior gown. My daughter then joined me and we hunkered down to wait.

The nurse assured me that my tardiness was not a problem and that my doctor wasn’t yet there – and he had another procedure prior to mine – so I was probably going to be late going to surgery.


I was asked which ankle – and I told them the right one and I was told – I would be asked at least five more times before surgery. Just to be sure….

So – “just to be sure” I took my eyeliner and wrote on my insteps…..

The left one read - “This is the one to be LEFT alone”
The right one read – “This is the one to be made “RIGHT”

My doctor came in to chat with me. While he was still hoping to be able to do the surgery arthroscopically – he couldn’t promise that he would indeed be able to do so. But he did mention that he was going to see if a third “poke hole” would give him a better view point of the ankle so that he could do the procedure arthroscopically. I told him – whatever he had to do to make it right was fine with me. He then asked (with a smile on his face) “Which ankle?” I told him he right and then pulled the blanket off my foot and said – and I even marked it in case you forget….He looked at my feet and read them with a smile. Then he looked at me and said – let’s make it definite that everyone knows which ankle – and then he whipped out a permanent marker and wrote on my shin “PC – YES” with a big arrow pointing to my ankle. We all chuckled over that!

Shortly after, the anesthesiologist and the nurse anesthetist came in to see me. This man was very special. Not only was he gentle, kind and pleasant – but he spent a great deal of time with me patiently answering my questions and honestly giving me information so that I could make an informed decision regarding my anesthesia choice. While he was supportive of my desire to stay awake for the procedure, he patiently pointed out to me that the spinal anesthesia had a limited time span and that if the surgery took longer than that time frame – I would need to have a general anesthetic anyway.

My doc came back while we were discussing it and the discussion became three-way. Doc also had no problem with my having the spinal – but he could not guarantee the length of time the surgery would take. The Anesthesiologist told me outright that I was an excellent candidate for general anesthesia because of my current health and my health history. His only concern was my less than perfect teeth and the outside possibility that at some point I might clamp down on the breathing tube and break or dislodge one or more teeth. If that was a risk I was willing to take – then he was supportive of whatever my choice was.

Given all the information – and the fact that we honestly did not know how long the surgery itself would take – I opted to forgo the “middle man” and have the general anesthesia from the getgo. I signed the release forms and thought that was it. Shortly after, the anesthesiologist returned and showed me that in the comment section he had added that we discussed the possibility of damage to my teeth and that I understood that as well. We joked a little and then he left.

My daughter and I sat and talked for a while – and then before I knew it – the anesthesiologist was back to take me to surgery!!!

The stress of finally going to surgery and facing my fear of general anesthesia got the best of me and I got weepy. The Anesthesiologist saw and gently asked if I was OK. I told him just stressed and a bit nervous. He told me it would all be fine and that once we got in the OR he would give me a little something to calm me down. I thanked him. As we got to the ER the nurse anesthetist opened the door with a flourish and a big smile and greeted me happily. She then started introducing me to everyone in the room and I had to apologize that I wouldn’t remember their names. She told me it was OK – there wouldn’t be a quiz. 

She asked a couple of questions, situated me on the table, strapped me in and got my left arm ready to strap down. The anesthesiologist (I think) added something to my IV and then I was told to breathe the oxygen.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


A quick post for now...surgery is over. I am back in my cubicle in the same day surgery suite. I will get to go home tonight and then will write more.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Countdown Continues

Surgery is tomorrow....one more day....

The last several days, the only thing on my mind has been this surgery. I am looking forward to having it done, and having my life back (eventually) without pain, locking and all those "good" things that have been a part of my life since I first wrenched this ankle.

But then, there have been those moments when I panic. I freak about trying to "keep it together" (after all - its going to be one of my children taking me and sitting with me through this - not my husband), about trying to make this a learning experience for my children...and mostly - about anesthesia.

Quite frankly - I don't like it. I mean - yes, it has its place and it is good - but personally - I guess I just don't like giving away ALL control. And it scares me - just the whole idea of a drug that can not just knock me out for an undetermined amount of time - but also keep me from feeling anything, or remembering things....just freaky in my book....

Today our minister emailed me about something else entirely. At the end of the email he wished me luck for tomorrow and said he would be praying for me. He then asked if he could send a prayer request to our congregation. I told him that I was sending my own prayer request email out to my circle of friends who believe and that more prayers could only help. Shortly after that I received a copy of the email he sent out - and within a half an hour, one friend from church emailed me with good luck wishes and that she would be praying for me.

I started to feed, water and clean our companion parrots and as I did so, I started talking to myself and to God....I've had all of two surgeries in my life. One - twenty years ago, repaired tendon damage in my wrist. The other, twelve years ago, removed an ovary - and because of some pre-testing - there was fear of ovarian cancer. I had local anesthesia for the wrist and general for the ovary. These were two very different surgeries with two different attitudes - but both with good outcomes. I realized that 20 years ago, I was looking forward to that surgery, much as I am looking forward to this one. I wasn't nervous - just anxious to get it fixed and get on with life. Twelve years ago, I was freaking out at the possibility of cancer and the general anesthesia was just the icing on the cake. As I spoke with God and myself - I realized - there is little difference between my wrist and my ankle surgeries and a world of difference between my ankle and my ovary.

And it was after that - after that prayer request went out and I had that talk with myself and with God - that there was a change in my attitude. I'm much calmer about the whole thing.

Now don't get me wrong - the idea of general anesthesia still freaks me out - but I'm calm.

I've done to food shopping so there is food when I come home and I don't have to depend on hubby or the kids to shop - just cook....wash is done, I even bought myself a new pillow to cushion my head, back or ankle as I recuperate on the couch...

I called the hospital. I have to be there at 10:15 and surgery is scheduled for 12:15....

So now , the countdown is hours - not days.

We'll leave the house in about 12 hours....be at the hospital in about 13 and surgery will begin in about 15 hours.

I have three hours to eat, drink and be merry...

Oh yes - and today I danced. On the new wood floor - I danced. I danced to Michael Buble', I danced to Billy Joel, to KD Lang, to Billy Porter, to Charlotte Martin and more. I was breathless at times...but always I was breath-taking.

And yes, my ankle hurts.

But I danced - for the joy of the dance - and for my love of the dance.

Today - I danced.

Tomorrow - I'll dream of dancing again......

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Countdown Begins....

Surgery is in two more days....

Today, the pre-admission office called to go through their "questionnaire" with me prior to surgery. Twenty minutes on the phone with a lovely woman who was so obviously tired of asking the same questions over and over and over.....

She started with checking my identity and going through exactly WHAT I was having done. She seemed a little confused until I told her the doc had to list EVERY possibility of what he might have to do - just in case he had to do it.

Then the million questions began....

Have I had surgery before? Do I take meds? Do I have................:::a whole laundry list of diseases and ailments:::: Am I allergic to anything? (What a laundry list I gave back to her!!!)

I did have fun with some of the questions - Will I have anyone at home to help out? (I have a husband and four children living home.....I think I can count on at least one or two to be available to help me out.....maybe) Do you have any mental illness? (I have a crazy husband, five insane kids and a zoo-full of whacked out companion critters - am I crazy?????)Is someone going to drive me home? (One of my daughters...) They have to be over 21....Are they over 21???? (Ahhhhhh - let me see....one is 22 and one is 27 - I think that's over 21......)When was your last period? (If you want to call it a period - last November.....)

Then I got my instructions for pre-surgery....Nothing to eat or drink after midnight...no contact lenses....no make-up....wear comfortable clothing....bring something to read...take your blood pressure with the tiniest sip of water in the AM (do I have to? If I take it on an empty stomach I get light headed) Yes take it - they want your blood pressure nice and low.....(Is passed out low enough???)don't bring anything valuable (well, there goes my ride - my kids are my most valuable "possessions")...

Before we finished - she looked at my tests and stuff and said - blood work, good, ekg, good - oops - we're missing one test....I said to her - whatever - and she announced that the morning on surgery they will do......


I assured her that immaculate conception only happened once and even if it were to happen again - I wasn't that good that I would be the one.....She chuckled and said well, we'll still do one. I tried again - seriously - there is no way I'm pregnant. Her final word on it - well, after we do the test it will ease your mind......

::::Note - I have already had FIVE pregnancies - even if by some slim chance I was pregnant - since my last cycle was NOVEMBER - I would be almost FIVE months pregnant already - and the way I carry I would be the size of a small house - so - NO WAY.....plus, I'm working on Menopause already - and then at "my age"::::::

So...I don't find out exactly WHEN my surgery is until tomorrow between 3 and 5 PM....I have to call them and ask....

Tomorrow - hubby is going out fishing with his buddy...I will have no car since one working child will take mine to go to work (or I could get up at 4:30 AM to take her to work.....nope - don't think so......)

I think I'll dance.... as if the whole world is watching - and loving every second of it.....

Surgery is in two days.....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Of floors and pain and nerves

Its been a few days since I posted last - but I've been busy. A few months ago, we got an excellent price on laminate wood flooring and bought enough to do our front room/dining room and back hall.

Hubby got the wonderful idea that with my upcoming surgery - it would be so much better for me to have the wood floor to maneuver on as opposed to the 25+ year old carpets. So who gets to do the work of it all? ME!

I've spent the last week tearing out old carpets, sweeping up and washing the old dust, dirt and grime and then installing the new laminate floors. My knees have taken a beating, my hands are stiff - and my ankle.....well my ankle is stiff, swollen and painful.

BUT - there is a beautiful new floor!

As hubby keeps telling me - I can slide my butt off the couch and to the bathroom and not have to worry about crutches! Yeah - right......

And now that this particular "job" is done - and we are less than a week to surgery - the reality has settled in....This is going to be fixed - my ankle is going to be cared for - I'm having surgery....

Yesterday at church was nice...but - the minister knows I'm having this surgery and during the prayers for others part of the service - this fact wasn't mentioned. And it's not like other people in church who are facing surgery haven't been prayed for (or mentioned directly by the minister) - its something that has been consistently done....but not for me. After service - a friend asked - so why didn't we pray for you? A could only shrug my shoulders...She said your family could have mentioned it - but then again, so could the minister - or so could another friend who KNEW the date of the surgery.

While I fed my companion parrots after church, I cried. My church, my church family - those I look to to support me in faith, fellowship and love - didn't pray for me. Half of them don't even know I will have the surgery - so I won't even have those prayers on the day of surgery. One of my older daughters will take me because my husband can't/won't travel that distance (because of panic/anxiety disorder - same as the one daughter suffers from). I love my children - but I don't want to lean on them for support - I'm their mom - I'm supposed to be THEIR strength and support. I will have no one to hold ME up on that day....except for maybe the strangers of those in the OR with me.....

As the days count down and surgery looms ever closer - I get more nervous. I truly do want this done - but I'm scared. Scared of anesthesia, scared of all the "could happens" - just scared in general - scared for the unknown....I have a couple of close friends to talk to - but they are not near by - and I don't want to burden them with my "silliness".

So I write a blog - to no one but me - because honestly, I don't know that anyone reads this besides me. Its cathartic and maybe makes me feel a little better - just for verbalizing it.....

And so - we are three days away from getting this done. I don't know what time, I don't know exactly what will be done....I am hoping against hope and prayer, that this will all go well, that it will fix the problem and I can walk/dance and live with a pain-free ankle.

From my fingers - to God's eyes and ears.....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Doctor Visit

Well, I saw the orthopedic surgeon on Monday. He went over all the details of the surgery with me, explained everything, answered my questions and had me sign the papers agreeing to the surgery.

He is hoping to be able to take care of the lesion arthroscopically. Two little poke holes in the front of the ankle - grab the lesion - out and done. :::Photo from http://libweb.allencc.edu/CPT0072.html:::

Only problem is - he is not sure he will be able to actually see or get to the lesion because of its location using this method. He is hoping that with enough pressure on the ankle to extend it to it's fullest - he will be able to do it this way. (At least that's what I think he said)

But he did say he will make the decision quickly whether he can do the arthroscopy or not - so that there is little swelling to deal with should he need to do open surgery.

Now, if he has to do the open surgery, he will open my ankle on the inside of the ankle bone, break the bone (the tibia) in order to get to the lesion on the talus, clean out the mess on the talus, screw the bone (tibia) back together and then close it all up. :::Image from http://www.myfootshop.com/xq/ASP/Method.Condition/Value.Talar%20Dome%20Fracture/qx/searchresults.htm::: The only difference between what might have to be done for me and this image is that I will not have a graft.

I did ask about being awake for the surgery and while he doesn't really have an issue with it - it is something I need to discuss with the anesthesiologist. He did say though, that if he does have to do the open surgery - the spinal anesthesia may not last long enough and I may have to have general regardless. Not my favorite thing to hear or do. :-(

The simple surgery could be around an hour and a half, the more involved over 2.5 hours. While I SHOULD be coming home that same day - if the surgery is scheduled for later in the day and I'm awake for it - I may have to spend the night.

At this point there are too many variables to know for absolute sure what is happening or planned. Being able to "go with the flow" will be my best bet for the day.

Infection is one of the worst possible side effects - as is the potential of a blood clot. Since I do have a familial history of blood clots, he may put me on a blood thinner for a short time "just to be safe".

He also took time to re-examine the ankle and poke around it. He found some exquisitely sweet spots on it - despite the fact that daily pain has been minimal. (Except for walking on the beach on Sunday - something I love to do - but the sand and bare feet was not kind to the ankle.

So - surgery is on - approved by insurance. Extra visits to the surgeon have been approved. Meds will be approved by insurance if necessary and available at my local pharmacy. Handicapped parking decal already obtained....

I still have "crutch training" to do....that should be a load of fun....

So - slowly the house is getting ready...I've taken up the old carpet in our front room and installed a wood floor...dining room and hall are next - then I can freely slide my behind from couch to potty as necessary after my surgery.....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Not too bad....

The last few days have been busy...With surgery a reality in the near future, I'm trying to get things done here in the house....also had the potential of a court date to deal with....

The court date is no longer an issue.

Started installing a new wood floor in the living room. Except for the mess of taking up almost 25 years of old carpet - it's going OK. One third of the room is done. Hubby says this will make my life easier after surgery - I can just slid my butt from one room to another and not worry about bearing weight on the fixed ankle!

Today was funeral for someone from our church. Even in high heels and walking the uneven cemetery - ankle wasn't too bad.

Its days like these - where the pain is so minor it doesn't even feel like there is any - that makes me think perhaps I'm jumping the gun for surgery....

But then, the pain will come back and rear its nasty head and remind me of WHY I'm going to have the surgery....

But it's nice to have a few good days and feel like I've been productive. It really is nice.....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Back home in one piece....

Well, I am back home after a weekend trip. The trip was nice - a bit chillier than I would have preferred - and definitely WETTER - but fun.

The ankle survived the trip. It only caught a few times - but when it did - almost made me cry. Thankfully the students I was chaperoning didn't see.

What was nice, was that after the competition they attended on Saturday, we had free time at the hotel. The hotel had a pool and a hot tub.

Guess where I parked myself and my ankle?

The hot tub/whirlpool.

The water jets were actually too intense for me to rest my foot in front of them at all...but the warm water elsewhere in the tub was good. I would put my foot and ankle in the water for about 10 minutes, and then lift it out and stretch the muscles and more...immerse it....draw circles....immerse it and stretch some more. About two hours of that and my ankle felt almost human.

Too bad on Sunday it caught sharply and reminded me that there was a reason I was having surgery

Today I saw my primary care doc for my pre-surgery EKG, also went for blood draws. I think we are done with all the pre-admission testing for now. At least I hope.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A New Day - the same pain....

Today where I live, the weather was absolutely GLORIOUS! Ninety degrees - over 30 degrees above normal for April. But beautiful! I was able to put clothes out to dry and within an hour - they were dry - even after the sun went down....

I also was preparing for a weekend trip. As with any trip when you leave family members at home (at least for a mom) you need to leave them enough to get by on - and in our case, with animals too, it's important to make sure they are fed as well. So tonight I was doing that last minute grocery shopping (after an afternoon of other last minute shopping).

Leaving one shop, I stepped and suddenly the ankle "caught". This catching is a most exquisite pain. Most of the time when this happens, it passes fairly quickly and I'm only in tears for a brief time.

Tonight was not that nice. It is now over 5 hours since that catch, and the ankle is still throbbing and painful and swollen. I sat on the couch earlier, and I can't even find a good place to put the foot/ankle without pain. I cried earlier, and I want to cry now.

My biggest concern is the walking that I will have to be doing on this weekend's trip...if the ankle catches on me on one of those outings I don't know what I will do - beyond cry...

Its days like these that make me certain the decision to have surgery was the right decision.

Today's pain level - about an 8 :-(

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Doctor Visit

Well, yesterday was a busy day. I saw the surgeon again. We reviewed the MRI mostly.

The lesion/defect is at the back of the talus bone (the main ankle bone) It really is not visible from the front or even much of either side - only when you come around the back. This was actually no surprise to me since this is where the majority of my pain is!

The doc's concern is that if he attempts to do the surgery arthroscopically, he may not be able to see - let alone fix the problem because the camera need to go it from the front. He said he WILL try arthroscopically first - but he may have to do open surgery through the back instead.

If he has to do open surgery - he said there is a lot of "junk" back there that makes many people "scared" to go there - arteries, nerves, tendons, etc....I didn't get to ask him if HE was scared to go there...but I will....The open surgery will also carry additional work - actually breaking bone and that in itself can cause more issues all around.

I had questions all ready to ask him, but he left in a hurry and the nurse told me I was coming back for ANOTHER visit pre-surgery for all questions, discussion, etc. Not particularly happy about that - but I'll deal....

I was hoping to have surgery as soon as possible after 4/17 (like the 19th) but my return visit will be the 19th. The first date the nurse gave me for surgery was 5/12 and I told her that was going to wreak havoc with my schedule since I'm trying to schedule this between cheer and band/guard seasons - and its a four month recovery process. She left the room and came back a while later and said the best she could do was 4/29. If that's the best - I'll have to deal with it...it may mean I'm still not 100% for band camp.....

But - for what it's worth - we're booked for surgery. At the hospital local to the doc, not their surgi-center on site. This hospital is not local for me - so just another thing I have to deal with...

Everytime it hurts now - I look at that ankle and tell it - your time is coming - you will be all better very soon!!!!!

I hope.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Of high heels and pain

With the Easter Holiday fast approaching, we have had a lot of church services to attend this week. When I dress for church - I wear heels. And I don't mean little "Cuban" heels - but I wear HEELS - at minimum 4 (if not 5) inch stilettos.

I love them.

A good high heel makes a woman's legs look absolutely awesome. I have long legs - and the heels give my legs the appearance of even more length. Helps take the focus away from some of my lesser popular qualities.

But as people get to know about my injury and the pain it causes - I get asked the same question over and over...

If it hurts so bad - how can you wear those things?

My answer is always the same....

I have pain in shoes or barefoot....flats, sneakers, heels or whatever. If its going to hurt no matter what - I might as well look good!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Once I have surgery - I know I won't be wearing my heels for a while. :-( Best to enjoy it while I sill can.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Days go on....

I've had some problems accessing my blog! I'm not sure why - but for the last couple of days - I haven't been able to post. :-(

Been raining since Sunday and whether the weather has anything to do with it or not - today was a very painful day with my ankle.

Even though it is spring break (for my high schooler), I had to wake up early today to go help out at the church for the kalacs (nut roll) sale. I am a roller. As I was feeding our companion birds this morning before I left for the church, it felt as if something just shifted from the inside to the outside - and it hurt like the dickens!

While I was rolling dough, I'd periodically have to just take all weight off the foot/ankle so it wouldn't hurt so bad....

And its been on and off all day like that...actually - since Sunday - but today has been the worst. When it hasn't hurt - it's been joyous - but when the pain raised its nasty head - whoa boy!!!!

Today's pain level.....where 1 is minimal to none and 10 is the worst pain ever...

Some of the kalacs' that we made this morning....

Saturday, March 27, 2010


So - the surgeon referred me for an MRI. The first hospital that I was referred to couldn't get me in until the end of June (and by then I am hoping to be healed and on my road to recovery). I called a second hospital and they were able to get me in yesterday - so I jumped at the appointment.

Everyone at the hospital was nice and cordial. They did everything in their power to make me comfortable and happy.

The tech who did my MRI was wonderful. He explained things to me and answered all my questions. He warned about the noise and handed me headphones with "background music". I put them on and it was a "soft music" station - but they were playing some stuff with a good beat. Kind of hard not to be tapping my toes to the beat. ;-)

So this was my first ever MRI. I savored the entire experience.

I had to jump up on the table and place my right foot and ankle into this contraption that was similar to the bottom half of a foot/leg cast. The foot had to be flexed so that the tendons could be seen more clearly. (This was painful in and of itself - flexion for an extended period....) Once I was in this contraption, the tech placed the other half of the foot portion of the "cast" over my toes and lower arch, and then another piece over the lower leg. He told me not to move - and I seriously doubt I could have moved my foot/ankle even if I wanted to. The uninjured, free leg was simply laying next to the whole contraption.

I laid down with the headphones and was slid into the machine. Since it was an MRI of the ankle, I was in to about the "empire" line (for those that don't understand that - just below my breasts).

I was fascinated by this whole process. The machine showed when the radio waves were being emitted by flashing a little "lightening bolt" on one side. The count-down clock was ticking on the other side and I could follow it for the length of time each particular wave set was going. Two minutes, three minutes...repeated over and with different sounds for each group. (I asked about the different sounds and the tech did say that there were different radio frequencies so that's what I was probably aware of). If I didn't have my contact lenses in, I probably would have snoozed off during this whole thing! :-D

I was really good through out until the last four minute "blast". Whatever that particular frequency was, it was uncomfortable on my ankle. While not painful enough to make me cry or cry out - it was enough pain to make me wince and it lasted through much of that four minute barrage of waves. The tech was surprised I "felt" it - but said it does happen on occasion.

Afterward, I got copies of both the films and the disk with all the shots of my ankle. Of course I looked at them, but I have no idea exactly what I'm looking for - so it was an exercise in futility.

The ankle felt no better - no worse - after this test. It still hurts and I know it will until the surgery.

Stopping at church for the fish fry later that evening - the minister was asking me about the ankle. When I told him I was definitely having surgery - he seemed saddened and concerned. I told him in my happiest voice that I was THRILLED to be having the surgery - because it was going to FIX the problem and I was not going to be hurting all the time any more. (Of course I know there will be pain during the healing and recovery process - but that is different than this pain.)

As soon as people start realizing that I'm happy to be getting this done and stop this kind of pain and limitations on my daily life - I will be a much happier camper.

Pain index - 1-no pain and 10-worst pain ever....
Pain index for Friday - probably 4-5
Pain index for Saturday - about 3-4 so far.....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Busy days

My intention in starting this blog was to do a daily update of how it feels to have an OCD lesion and how it feels to have it fixed. This week has gotten away from me so that I haven't been able to do a daily update. I'll try harder in the days to come....

Monday I saw the surgeon. When I got home, I started calling for the MRI appointment. This was pretty much an exercise in futility. The local hospital where I was supposed to have it done - couldn't get me in for the MRI until the end of June! As I told the appointment setter - I hope to be out of my cast and walking by then.

Tuesday, my youngest daughter had a doctor's appointment. We use the same family practice facility. While she was finishing up her exam, I went to the nurse with my release for surgery from the surgeon's office. Now I had just seen my primary doc the week before for a full physical - so imagine my surprise when the nurse tells me that I need to make ANOTHER appointment, have an EKG and get my blood work done before they will sign off on the surgery! Come home Tuesday and schedule the blood work (which is shortly). Got a call from the surgeon's office with a number to call to change the facility for the MRI. Called and after several calls to facilities - I have an appointment for tomorrow!

Tuesday night, that same youngest daughter cracked her ring finger at winter guard practice, so Wednesday - after my optometrist appointment, I had to take her BACK to the primary doc to be evaluated for a broken finger, then to the hospital for x-rays.

It's been a week so far of run, run, doctor, doctor!

Today is my blood work. Tomorrow is my MRI and a follow-up visit for the daughter.

Pain in my ankle? Of course - and its bad. I'm also periodically now getting pain on the outside of the ankle (the OCD is on the inside) - so this scares me that there is more going on in that joint than we first thought. I'm hoping the MRI would show that....

We'll see.

Now - I'm off to the blood-suckers!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Yes! We have a surgery!!!!!

So - here we are - no more history - in the here and now...

Today I saw the new surgeon for the first time. I actually liked him. He is a specialist in ankle and foot issues.

He apologized when he came in, for taking time to get to me, but he said he was reviewing my CT scan films and the x-rays I had brought along. After taking a brief medical history, he examined my ankle - actually, BOTH ankles.

Does this hurt, does that hurt, can you feel this, can you feel that...

I can feel you, ah - that's a sweet spot....that's ok - aye - now that hurts....

He took me in the hall and slowly took the time to rotate the images from the CT scan and show me exactly where the lesion was/is. He pointed out on the x-ray precisely what we were looking at....

Back in the room, I'm told - you've had this now for two years, and its not gotten better - you are a good candidate for surgery. (Did I want to hug this man or what????) He explained he would like me to have an MRI so he would have a better idea of what he's looking at. I told him my time concerns and that I'd like to have the surgery done as soon as possible after guard championships.

His response was that going to championships with the kids was more important than surgery....(Did I want to kiss this man or what?????)

He also said that given that time frame, there was certainly time to get the MRI done as well. So I'm good with that. His office called me shortly after I got home with the approval code for the MRI...sadly, the hospital where I was to have it doesn't have an appointment until the end of JUNE!!!! Now I need another pre-cert....

Microfracture surgery is most likely what we will do, perhaps repair the cartilage or maybe even drill - this will depend on what he sees in the MRI and when he finally gets in there. It may be done arthroscopically - but he did warn it might be open - again, depending on what the findings are...

He feels if I have the surgery in April, I should be good to go for marching season and definitely good to go for my own season in November....

Had problems finding where to put the ankle/foot last night to sleep...finally fell asleep from exhaustion, but woke while it was still dark to throbbing....after he prodded and poked - it throbbed...it is swollen....


Oops - maybe I should re-phrase that?????

History - Part 5

So - in August (over a year after the initial injury) I went for yet again another set of x-rays. Took them back to my primary doc and viola! an OCD lesion was confirmed!!!

Seems that actually, the OCD lesion was noted by the radiologist back a year earlier (9/08) but that the clinic docs never chose to tell me, or do anything about it. I guess in their defense, I have had two orthopedic surgeons tell me that "sometimes" OCD lesions resolve "on their own" - so waiting it out is not inappropriate.

I went to see an orthopedic surgeon in late October. He looked at the x-rays and we talked about the injury. He wanted me to have a CT scan to get more information on it all. So - that's what I did.

In November, I had a CT scan of the ankle and took the results back to the surgeon. Apparently, what he saw in the scan was significant and he wanted to send me to NYC for the "top doc" to do the surgery as he no longer did surgeries. I asked him about someone more local (NYC is 30 miles away - a daily commute for a lot of people around here - but I didn't think I wanted to ride home on the commuter train after surgery and I really had no one to take me there). He was very supportive and said he would write letters on my behalf to the insurance for an out of network doc to do the surgery if I needed it.

I called another surgeon and his office never got back to me.

With the holiday rush and the start of my coaching season, time got away from me and before I knew it, the new year was upon us....and with it, a letter from my insurance carrier that they were no longer doing Family Care and I needed to select another HMO....thankfully, I didn't have to start the whole process all over.

Once I chose a new HMO and got my cards and provider list, I was able to find two seeming adequate to good orthopedic surgeons. I contacted my primary (who was in the new plan - so yippee!!) and while he didn't know either practice, he agreed with my gut feeling about who to go with.

A full physical with my primary last week and his wishes for success with my ankle - brings us finished with the history lesson and ready to move at present day.

Since this has started (the ankle, not the blog) there have been good days, ok days and really miserable days. This past weekend was a pretty ankle miserable weekend - as was the week and weekend before and before that as well....

The pain and the swelling seem to be my constant companions. There are more nights than not when I can't even find a comfortable place to lay my foot/ankle and sleep is difficult to come by....anymore now, I don't even have to be doing much of anything vigorous....last weekend at guard com petition, I stepped onto the floor to help the kids get their equipment off and almost went down because the pain was so sharp and so intense. I was almost in tears and the kids all saw and were concerned.

But - I push through. Its like at church when someone asks why I still wear heels - my ankle hurts whether I'm in heels or in flats, in shoes or barefoot...if its going to hurt anyway, I might was well look good while I'm in pain....same with walking - it hurts to walk, but it also hurts when I don't walk - so I might as well do something positive...nothing is to be gained by sitting and moping about it...no one will give me sympathy...so grin and bear it is what I do....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

History - Part 4

With plans to start a new marching season, I started planning for fund raisers for the color guard. We were lucky and the local Wal-Mart gave us every weekend in July to tag at their doors so the girls could raise much needed money for the program. As Guard Mom I chaperoned most of these tagging sessions.

I would come home from standing for six hours and my ankle would be swollen and sore. Now even more nagging than it had been. It was also starting to get shooting pains out of no where. I'd walk in the local grocery store and suddenly the pain in my ankle would be so severe, I'd be in tears and other shoppers would just look at me and wonder what was wrong.

I finally had it - now over a year since the initial injury. With insurance coverage finally (through the NJ Family Care Program)- I contacted my primary care doctor for a referral to an orthopedist. The staff insisted I come in though and see their sports medicine specialist. Knowing how insurance companies tend to work, I reluctantly agreed.

Thankfully I DID agree to this appointment. This doctor was wonderful and knew what he was doing and looking for. He heard my complaints, took my history of the injury and then with a medical student watching - he started testing my ankle and teaching the resident at the same time. When he was done testing, while my ankle was throbbing, he had an action plan.

He felt he knew what was wrong with my ankle from his evaluations, but he set out the plan. First another set of x-rays. If the x-rays showed something - we continued in one direction, if they didn't show anything, then we would try a different path. I was game - at least it was a plan!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

History - Part Three

The new air cast didn't do too much. But since the docs were pretty blase' about it all, I figured maybe it was all in my head and I should try and deal with it.

Late in September, we had the dedication of the new track and field where I coach. As a coach, and a donor to the field, I wanted to be there and so I went. It was a lovely service that preceded the dedication. Then we had to hike to the field for it's official dedication. I should mention that the school where I coach is located on a "mountain" - any of the fields or facilities are down the hill from the main campus. With my cane in hand and air cast on, I limped my way down to the field. By the time I got to the entrance of the field, all the other coaches were on the field, so I stood at the end zone and watched, aching ankle and all. After the dedication, I limped back up the hill to my car and drove home.

By the time I got home, my ankle was very swollen and painful. I propped it up on the couch with an ice pack over it and popped some OTC anti-inflamatories. By two hours later, when it was no better, I decided I had had enough. I was off to the ER and I wasn't going to leave until they put a cast on it.

This was actually easier said than done. The ER docs were quite agreeable to all my wishes - but they couldn't help me out. Only an orthopedist could "officially" cast me. I told them to call one.

Apparently, I interrupted his football watching on TV - because the little twerp that came as the Orthopedist was rude from the first sound out of his mouth. I explained my whole history to him, the various visits, the determination that I had a grade three sprain, the fact that I still had pain and swelling and that the air cast was not doing a thing to immobilize the ankle and give it a chance to heal - I wanted him to either break the ankle or put a cast on it.

He tried to talk me out of it and I wouldn't have it. He turned away from me mumbling under his breath and I called him on it. He said he wasn't and I told him I wasn't senile and he was being rude. If he couldn't attend to me properly, I would be in touch with his supervisor in the morning. He went to get the casting materials. The ER nurse and resident smiled at me and gave me a "thumbs up".

So, Dr. Twerp came back with the materials to cast me and at that point - he did get even with me. He made the cast high (almost to my knee) and built up the sole of it so that it was impossible to even gently stand on it. The tips of my toes barely peeked out at the bottom (and I have big feet). He made a big mess while he put the cast on (I think he probably hadn't done a cast since med school) and sent me on my way.

I spent three weeks in the cast - and that was three weeks that included marching band competitions and football games! My crutches got an excellent work out and so did I. Going up and down the stairs at home, I would sit down on the step and haul myself up step-by-step or slide on my behind coming down. I worked out arm muscles and quadriceps galore. I made it fun - well, as fun as you can be with a cast on your leg.

Mid-October I was back at the clinic and they removed the cast and FINALLY fit me for the lovely orthopedic boot. With immobilization for three weeks, my calf had pretty much whithered into nothingness - so I was determined to build it back up to where it had beed.

Finishing up marching season with the orthopedic boot was not that bad. The ankle had its good and bad days - but at least I could move.

The clinic docs told me when they removed the cast, that ankle sprains can take months to heal and I just needed to keep plugging along and push through the pain as I strengthened it.

Through cheer season and winterguard season, I did just that. I plugged along and pushed. The ankle would swell and ache, and I would raise it, ice it or put warm compresses on and take anti-inflamatories.

Deep in my heart, I knew this could not be how I was meant to live though.

Friday, March 12, 2010

History - Part 2

So - I got my appointment at the Orthopedic Clinic the last week of July/first week of August. At that time I was told I had suffered a "Grade III Sprain" - the doc actually told me I would have been better off breaking it (and I did give him permission to break it for me!). He said these severe sprains often can take up to six months to heal.

Not news I wanted to hear with the County Fair almost upon us and another marching band season almost in full swing.

So - he put me back in an air casr - for another four weeks. Told me to go BACK on the crutches and be as non-weight bearing as I could for about the next two weeks and come back again if it wasn't better.

So - I played the good little patient and as much as I didn't like being non-weight bearing - I did my best. The county fair wasn't too bad - I sit alot anyway "protecting" our exhibits. But trying to navigate the fairground in crutches was pure danger. People just didn't care and more than once I got a crutch kicked out from under me. Thankfully I could stand so I didn't hit the ground.

I kept myself to "doctor's orders" and the ankle still hurt. I made a follow-up appointment.

While I waited for the follow-up appointment, I researched grade three ankle sprains, and found that much of the research called for total immobilization of the ankle for a period of time. This intrigued me since my ankle was never fully immobilized. I never felt that the air cast did enough to mobilie or support the ankle - there was still too much movement in it.

My appointment came and went. I got there and because it is a clinic situation, even if you have an appointment, you are seen on a first come, first seen basis. While I was in line to sign in, several people cut the line because they were on crutches or canes (I wasn't at this time)and so I sat for hours waiting to be seen. I finally gave up and went downstairs to the ER and begged for a cast. They told me I would have to wait for the orthopedic docs from the clinic to be finished and come down before that could even be considered. I have another university game to work and couldn't give that much more time to waiting for them. So the ER docs did another set of x-rays and gave me a new air cast and said - buh-bye.....

Pain in my ankle and a pain someplace else as well.....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

History - Part One

I decided to start this blog in order to keep track of and share the "adventures" of an ankle sprain which becomes or develops into an OCD lesion. This has been a almost two year adventure for me so far - though as I understand from communicating with others - it can be much longer.

With that said, I figured the first thing I have to do is start a history of what has led up to the present day. I titled this as Part One only because I'm not sure how many parts it might take to actually get up to speed. I tend to be VERY verbose and detailed when I write - so this could take quite a few parts....

So - without further ado.....

It was June 30, 2008. Ashley (our youngest child) and I worked concessions at the university for a high school level special invite football game. (Our marching band program raises funds by working a concession booth at the stadium - so this is what we were doing). We were parked in a lot the the northwest of the stadium.

When we were finished at the stand, a bunch of us were allowed to leave the stand. Ashley and I walked back to the parking lot. When we had almost reached the lot, I stepped on the edge of a pot hole, lost my balance and fully wrenched my right ankle. I really did a number on it - not just twisting it, but also going over it sideways as well. Ashley had to help me walk back to the car it hurt so bad. We got home and I pulled out the ice pack, parked my behind on the couch and spent the night with ice on and off.

The next morning, it was no better, swollen and the bruising was starting to spread that I decided to go the the ER and get it checked out. For once, my husband didn't let me drive myself (should have hit me that it really DID look pretty bad for him to go that far) - so he drove me to the ER - and dropped me off. By the time he and the kids came to pick me up, I had been through X-Ray and the ER doc was just giving me the downlow...

The doc said I had sprained it - that was all. He gave me an air cast, a set of crutches and told me to stay off it for a few days and it should be better - but if not, follow up in two weeks with an orthopedist.

I played the good patient and stayed off it for about a week. Wore the air cast for another week while I limped around. At the end of two weeks, it was not much better so I opted to call for an orthopedic appointment.

Not having any insurance at the time made this a challenge - so I called the orthopedic clinic at the hospital. Silly me - I thought having been an ER patient I would be seen in a timely fashion. Couldn't get an appointment for another two weeks.