Archive for the 'hypermobility' Category

Update

I have had my stitches (staples) out and am now sporting a new plaster cast. This one is, actually, plaster-free, and a lot more comfortable than the original one.

When they cut me out of the old one, my fat toes were testament to just how restrictive it was – my foot and ankle was positively tiny in comparison. I have a ‘bone bruise’ at the base of my two smallest toes where the cast has been crushing my foot for 17 days, and as a result they’re quite sore. But the new cast is more comfortable and has now set my foot at 90 degrees from my leg. My toes are a much better size and colour!

I’m going to remain like this for about 2 more weeks – and I still can’t put my foot down!

Great.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. xx

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On Expedition….to the kitchen

leg-in-plaster-201207-web.jpg

Well, its 9 days since my foot was operated on, and I remain in a plaster cast from just below my knee to just above my toes (see picture above). I continue to be non-weightbearing on this foot, and its very likely I will remain this way until the end of the month. At least.

Everything takes me twice as long as it would normally, and the thing about having to use crutches is that you can’t actually carry much. It feels like a full-scale expedition every time I need to make a drink or something to eat from the kitchen. Its exhausting!

I can’t have my foot lower than waist level for more than 5 minutes, either, because it starts to swell and feel uncomfortable, so I tend to lounge on the sofa, propped up, with one foot on the arm and the tv remotes and phone close to hand. I have spent my days watching TV (but there’s a limit. Daytime TV is made for idiots, and the more I watch it the more annoyed I am becoming – so I have to ration it a bit!), reading, and occasionally getting upstairs to the computer to surf the internet and catch up on emails.

For someone like me, who is constantly on the go, active, always organising things and always has so much planned, this is the worst torture. Enforced rest will do me good, yes – but mentally I’m starting to wane. Doing almost nothing can be as stressful as doing too much.

Anyway, if you’re interested, I’m reading:

Northern Lights (also called The Golden Compass if you’re American) by Phillip Pullman. Its the first in the His Dark Materials trilogy, and the moviemakers have produced a film which has just been released over here. I thought I’d read it before I watched it. I might do a brief review of it once I’ve finished it.

The Afghan, Fredrick Forsyth. FF is one of my favourite writers, I know I’ll enjoy the book if he’s the author, and this one is no exception. I’m about a third in, so might have it finished by the weekend (I’m pacing myself). Again, I’ll let you know.

Hope all is well for you people who are still hastily arranging final Christmas presents and events. Best wishes to you all.

Spaniel xx 

At Home Again

I’ve been in for the operation on my foot, and I came home today.

The procedure went better than expected, as my surgeon found my ligament largely intact and flapping about in my joint, so he was able to repair it instead of grafting a new one. I’m now in plaster up to my knee and can’t bear weight for a week. My foot is sore, but I’m not in huge amounts of pain, just discomfort. I have to keep my leg higher than my heart for most of the time, and I’m restricted to where I can get to on my crutches, which isn’t that far!!

I was well looked after in the hospital (thanks Bupa), and now I’m home being well looked after by Badger. I’ll keep you up to date with my progress. In fact, I’ll be posting regularly for a few weeks because, I’ve got a lot more time on my hands than I normally would do!!

I bet you can’t wait, eh? 

Just two days

I have limited time left before there begins the 5 weeks of immobility. I know its all for a good cause, but knowing this operation is going to happen on Tuesday afternoon, is, understandably, causing me to be apprehensive.  I’m not scared of the operation or the anaesthetic, and I’m fairly sure I won’t be in huge amounts of pain afterwards – its the enforced rest, the lack of independance and the huge complications for daily living that having my leg in plaster is going to give me.

I envisage:

Having to plan when I’m going to need to go to the loo well in advance because I only have one toilet and its upstairs.

Having to go up and down the stairs on my bottom in a very slow and undignified way.

Having real problems getting washed. (Will I be able to get in the shower??!!)

Trying to find an alternative to watching crap daytime TV

Trying to avoid eating too much so I don’t put on any more weight because I’m less active

Not being able to go out for ages

People coming to visit me that I then can’t get rid of

Being frustrated that I can’t do all the things I really want to be getting done

May be it won’t be this bad. I’ll keep you posted.

Let the adventure begin.

And now, in other news…

I have had confirmation that I’m going into hospital on 11th December for my ankle reconstruction. Its weird how I wasn’t worried about it because I hadn’t had anything in writing about it. The whole concept of the surgery was just made up of transient, spoken words, which were said, heard, and then gone…. And now….

Now I have received a letter from the Surgeon, and from the hospital which confirms in very definite print, in black and white, that this thing is really going to be happening and, somehow, because of that, I’m starting to think about it in a different way. I just keep thinking that its going to be painful, and my recovery is going to be drawn out and hard work.

Am I scared? No, I don’t think so. My biggest worry is how on earth I’m going to get a bath in the morning with a plaster cast from toe to knee. Meh.

I don’t think I’m going to feel very Christmassy.  

Ask the Expert

Yesterday I went to see the Orthopaedic Surgeon about my dodgy ankle.

I have some nice X-rays of my foot here with me as a souvenir, but in a nutshell, I need an arthroscopy, which is where they’ll look inside the joint and find out what’s left of it, and how much damage the last 10 years of falling over on it have done.

If that is straight forward, I’ll need 2 weeks to recover. If they find arthritis in the joint, they’ll treat that, but it will take me 6 weeks to recover. I’ll need to be on crutches. Lovely.

Once they’ve done the arthroscopy and I’ve recovered, we’ll know what the second operation is going to be. Best case is a small ligament repair, worst case is full ankle reconstruction, which will result in being in plaster for 8 weeks……..

I’m SO not looking forward to this. Especially as I’m starting a new job in 3 weeks.

Mind you, he was clear that if I don’t do something about it, I will end up randomly falling over, and eventually I’ll fracture something – which would be far worse.

Meh.

Fit to Drop

I already know I’m overweight, and I have a couple of medical conditions which cause me a problem, but I had not fully realised the magnitude of how unfit I am.

I can only blame myself.  2 years of working in a job I need to take my car to without compensating for the loss of the 3-mile round trip on foot or by bike are bound to have an effect.

As I stumbled up the hill to the very windy, blustery summit, I grimaced at the pains in my legs and dodgy, poorly constructed ankles, but I knew these would pass. I would have loved to blame asthma for the burning in my throat and lungs and using additional muscle groups (like the shoulders!) to try to breathe more air in – but I could not.

Admittedly, I still have a touch of the cold I started weeks ago, and was coughing a bit anyway, but no, my lungs were clear, and air was passing freely within them. I was out of breath because I am unfit and overweight, and I hated that feeling.

I remembered back to a time about 9 years ago, where I was ready for anything, and I climbed up Dungeon Ghyll Force to the Langdales without any problems. I want to do that again.

Anyway, I made it to the top of Cat Bells. Not a huge achievement for all you fell-runners out there, but to me it represented a huge acomplishment. Walking on such uneven, natural landscape is exhilarating, but for me it is also incredibly draining. I have to use a huge amount of concentration on placing my feet in order to remain upright. The play in my hyper-mobile ankles means the slightest unexpected deviation from level can cause the joint to give way – and it would mean I would fall. Hopefully I would only fall a few feet, but possibly it could mean I might fall a long way, with huge lumps of rock to break my fall (and probably my skin and bones in the process). Now that I’m home, well away from the fells it sounds bloody dangerous! I can’t think about falling as I walk, or I don’t think I’d ever do it.

I reached the top, and felt that moment of joy that made it all worth it. But then it was time to climb back down – where my poor cardio-vascular outputs were less of an issue, but my poor ankle stability was hugely difficult. I did slip a couple of times, and felt the rush of adrenaline in my bloodstream, and the contracting of muscles as I came to rest just inches lower than I had placed my foot. Phew!

It was a good walk. I had to fight my tendancy to try and do more than one thing at a time. If I need to put my gloves on or clean my glasses, I must stop walking. Even trying to talk and climb down can prove too much as it diverts attention away from choosing good foot-holds!!

But I made it.

I just need to improve my CV fitness and I’ll be back up Dungeon Ghyll in no time……