Saturday, June 29, 2013

3 months post surgery

June 27, 2013

Just saw my foot/ankle surgeon. He said I'm 6-8 months ahead of schedule (I had the surgery done 3 months ago yesterday and they originally said it would take me 1 year to recover). I'm going to have the 2 screws in my heel removed at the end of July. Recovery from that is 12 days in a boot. I've been walking to and from work everyday (1.7 miles each way) with minimal pain. He said my tendon strength is super high. He said "wow!!" when he tested me.  Now I need to get rid of this pesky blood clot in my right calf. He said I will likely run in 3 months, maybe a little earlier. Awesome!

Still have pain in my foot but it usually is a 1-2 in the morning and a 3-4 at the end of the day. Staying active to keep it from getting stiff is key. I have moved back to my standing workstation which has also helped my recovery and I get my new orthotics made by Soris on 7/18. Excited for that. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

11 weeks post surgery

Here's a brief summary of my surgery since I last posted after developing 2 blood clots in my right calf 5 weeks post surgery.

Overall - I'm happy with my progress thus far.  The pain levels are much higher than I expected and the two blood clots in my right calf are unfortunate and often tender/painful.  I started putting pressure on my leg during weeks 7 (50%) and 8 (67%) with crutches (I was non-weight bearing for the first 6 weeks).  I ditched the crutches during weeks 9 and 10, where I put full pressure on my boot.  By the end of week 10, I was ready to get out of the boot and was cleared to walk around with an aircast only.  I had my first physical therapy appointment during week 10 and he said that my ankle was very stable and barely swollen (helped by the very tight foot to knee compression socks I was wearing), so he said I didn't need the aircast anymore.  YES!  Freedom.

I started walking regularly and this was tough.  Having my heel chopped off and re-attached with two screws means that I need to learn how to walk again, and I particularly notice that my foot steps differently now.  My arch is flatter and I now step evenly on the ground vs landing on my right side of my foot previously.  I have been having pain in every step as I now land on my big toe/the toe next to it more (right foot).  Feels like I never used the muscles to step this way and also that the pain is getting a little better most day.    Pain every step, better in the morning, really bad a night.  My PT cleared me to swim and bike, so I did so for the next 4 days following my first appointment and had no pain during either activity (although I've lost all of my fitness after not exercising for 10 weeks).  The only pain I had was while biking, where my blood clots were very sore/tender.  I really hope they go away soon.

I tested positive for a gene mutation and saw a hematologist a few weeks ago.  She drew about 20 tubes of blood looking for other mutations, so we'll see how that turns out.  She said that the mutation alone (MTHFR, homozygous for the C677T variant) wouldn't lead to taking blood thinners long term, but she said that my inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative colitis) may mean that I need to take blood thinners for life.  FOR LIFE.  Great.  All kidding aside, if I need to take them for life I will.  Apparently the biggest risk for a blood clot is having had a blood clot in the past, followed by certain pre-disposed blood conditions (most of mine were negative), then other factors, of which inflammatory bowel disease is one of.  The doctor says that my kids and my family members need to get tested for MTHFR also, which can lead to a number of maladies, including coronary artery disease.

Today - I'm 11 weeks post surgery and doing well.  I had my second physical therapy appointment today and it went well.  He worked on my scars to try and flush them out (painful) and also pulled on my foot/ankle to loosen it up (very painful)!  He added more exercises and had me walk backward on the treadmill.  I had no pain doing this.  He was pleased and said that I am very far ahead of where he expected me to be.  Good news.  He is trying to temper me from doing too much too fast.  I will ease in.

The two screws have been very painful and I can't wait to get them out, which probably won't happen for 4-6 weeks.  When I have them taken out, I need to go back in a boot for 6 weeks to let the bone grow back into the holes left by the screws and avoid a stress fracture.  Not excited about being in a boot 6 weeks, but given that I always feel the screws and that it is painful to put my heel down, I know it is the right thing to do.  My heel is so painful that you can see bruises on my heel where the two screws are.  Crazy.

I've tried to stay positive and set a goal of getting a little better everyday, which I've done with the exception of a few days.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Making a green machine

Here is a video I took while making a green machine. Nowadays, I usually add a lot of spinach, a little kiwi, mango, mushrooms, and collard greens too.