Friday, December 7, 2012

Time for an update.  It has been a little over 6 weeks since my last visit to the Dr..  I used the boot for two weeks like he recommended, but it was like walking on the deck of a ship in a heavy storm.  Even with a lifted left shoe I was still 1 1/2 inches taller on the right side.

At he end of the two weeks I was ready to try a real shoe for the first time in 14 weeks. What a bundle of mixed emotions and feelings.  Freedom from a cast, afraid of what might happen, will the ankle and the rod hold, is it going to hurt on and on.  The final thing was all was well and I took the first few steps, and there began a new experience.

Learning to walk again, every step brings a new sensation. There is pain, shooting from many different places, from toes to back to hips to knees.  Each spot has it's special reason for hurting.  The biggest factor was that I hadn't walked in 3 1/2 months and the body was trying to cope. In addition I was wearing a new style of shoe. I have to wear a rocker style shoe in order to compensate for the lack of movement in my ankle. That alone creates it's own set of challenges.

Dr. Feinblatt recommended I get MBT brand shoes, as these where the first to come up with the rocker sole design. Skeechers would lead you to believe they did it first but no. Matt and Alyson took me to the local mall ( Pam was in Indiana at the time), to try on these fancy shoes.  The difference was night and day from the cheaper ones I was wearing, plus the new shoes matched.  The pair of old ones I had been wearing the left for 8 weeks plus and the right was brand new. Bad idea. Thank God they where having a fantastic sale. $300 instead of $700 for 3 pairs of shoes. I didn't spend that much on my first car.  The kids said it was just me getting old.  Heck I remember buying Converse Allstars for $6.99 and thinking I was getting robbed.

Well now I'm walking and doing OK.  A little clumsy, but getting through the days, and the feeling of freedom is fantastic.Although no stairs yet as they present their own unique challenges.

It's been a couple to three weeks and I'm sitting at home having a moment because I still feel to dependent on everyone to do anything.  I had driven the golf cart around the apartments and a few things like that but still felt a little trapped.

It was a dreary misty afternoon and I said to my self "Why not?"  I put on my coat, grabbed my keys and headed out to my truck.  The Dr. said I would know if I could drive or not, but I had to give it a shot. I headed to the neighborhood behind us where they are building some new houses. A rainy afternoon in a construction site, nobody would be around so the worst I could do was get stuck in an empty lot, and I had my cell. I gingerly drove to the neighborhood and all went OK.  Putting around the block testing my foot and ankle all seemed OK so I thought "What the heck you gotta test it"  So I got up to about 40 and slammed on the brakes, weeellllll.........

If you want to know what I experienced here's what you do.  Take off your shoe and sock, glue a carpet tack strip to your brake pedal.  Now get the car up to 40 and slam on the brakes. You guessed it, a real unique sensation of pain, not bad but something you don't want to do over and over.  Anyway with a little practice and trial and error on foot placement I got it down.

I don't drive a lot but am doing more everyday.  I go back to see Dr. Fienblatt in mid January.  We will see what happens then.  It will be just past the original 200 day goal (208 actually) I set for my self and just 6 months since surgery, the least amount of time he predicted for recovery. I'm sure I won't be 100% but I should have a good idea as to when I might see that mark.

Anyway, if you see a large Dodge truck coming up behind you, you might want to brace yourself it could be me.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Well here I stand, that's right, standing unassisted., but still in the R2D2 boot.  It will take a couple of weeks before I can shed the boot.  Healing has progressed as expected and the fusions are fusing as they should be.  I have been OK'd to put full weight on the ankle.  It is up too me and how well I respond as to how fast things progress.

I got to stand on it today without the brace.  It felt weird but very stable, and for the first time in over 4 years I was flat footed.  Heck of a deal.

So for now the time line sort of looks like this:

  • next two weeks get used to walking without support but with the boot.
  • I will then try on shoes and give that a try depending on how comfortable I feel, I can then graduate to a shoe. I can begin to drive the golf cart around the apartments so I can get used to operating the gas and brake again, with minimal chance of hurting me or anything else.  I feel like I'm 14 again sneaking  out to pull the car down the driveway to wash it.
  • once I feel like I can handle it I can graduate to the big boy car and drive around the lot and our neighbor hood.  If I feel I can not endanger others I can start to drive.
  • The hope is that by Christmas I am back in the saddle and driving as before.

I stated way back that I figured It would take 200 days to be fully recovered.  That would be January 14, 2013.  Dr Feinblatt told me to make an appointment for 90 days out, at which time he expects me to be Jogging (yea right) into his office fully healed. 90 days from to day is January 17, 2013.  I guessed it pretty close considering I was in a drug induce stupor when I said that.

Thanks for all the support and well wished.

Here are some of the X-rays promised at the last update:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Well here I sit the end of week 8, and a new adventure is beginning.  I got Big Red off Thursday and he was replaced with and Aircast. I did get xrayed but the disk they gave me, my computer can't read. I will try to get real copies my next visit.  They show my foot positioned under the shin bone nice and square and that my arch is raised about and extra 1/4 inch.  The arch will relax once I start to walk on it.  I also found out I got a bonus of a fourth screw.  This is to help the fusion hold up better. Dr Feinblatt actually had me stand on my foot so he could see how well it is aligned.  Let me tell ya I'm sure glad I hit the can before that visit.

The Aircast is quite the deal. It weighs about twice as much as the fiberglass cast, is more bulky and a little bit awkward.  However it is REMOVABLE, so I can take it off in the evenings and just relax.  It will also allow me to gradually begin putting weight on my ankle/foot. I have graduated from my scooter to a walker (a little more stable than crutches right now), then as I become more mobile I will start using the crutches.

 I am supposed to start with 25 pounds of pressure, measured by pushing down on a scale with my foot and feeling what 25 pound of pressure feels like.  Once I can manage that, I can increase it to 50 and so on until eventually I can support myself unassisted by crutches or cane. The goal at this time is to try and get up to 150 pounds by October 18th which is my next visit, 6 weeks out.