Sunday, January 16, 2011

Marching Forward

This experience has been enlightening in terms of the medical profession.  I won't be too critical here because many of you know the Doctors that I am consulting.  Nevertheless, it has been a journey.  It seems to me that the patient needs to do a lot of work to get the right course of treatment. I've consulted 3 different doctors since my injury in addition to the original surgeon back in Poughkeepsie.  It's been a bit frustrating because there are so many different approaches to tackling these things. 

Without getting into all the details, let's just say I am full weight bearing at this point even though my fracture is not healed.  The latest Doc I have consulted believes I should have been weighting the leg much sooner and more significantly.  Basically, I should have been weight bearing after 6 weeks and my bone should be healed by now.  The weighting helps heal the leg, so not sure why previous Docs advised otherwise.  It's like telling a patient not to put a band-aid on a cut until after it stops bleeding.

The good news is that this latest Doctor insists that the 10 degree angle is nothing to worry about and that the main issue is getting the bone to heal.  He does not want to wait any longer to take action and believes we should take out the bottom screw ASAP to promote healing.  I'm tentatively scheduled to get this done on 1-25, but need to get blood work, EKG, and check with my insurance company to see if this is an "in network" physician/facility. More fun!

The good news is that I have started walking without the crutches.  I went down to 1 crutch for a couple hours, and then picked up a cane to make life easier.  Walking with the cane is great and my stride looks pretty good (all things considered).  I can hobble for short distances without the cane, but like to have it out in public.  It's a nice security blanket for the ice/snow.  It helps when someone is coming at you with a high speed shopping cart too!  Getting rid of the crutches provides another degree of freedom as I can now carry some things, like a cup of tea, much easier.  I have a free hand with the cane.

The knee has been very painful with the additional weight, but it seems to be improving a little.  Sometimes I get pain in the area of the break when loading it, but it is intermittent.  I'm not sure if this implies good healing or is a concern.  My plan has been to shuffle around the house and walk with the cane when venturing out.  So far, it's been OK, but I worry that I am loading the leg a little too much at times.

Yesterday, I tried the elliptical machine after riding the bke for an hour.  It felt reasonable, but my ankle got sore after 5 minutes.  I tried the elliptical first today and managed to stay on for 20 minutes without much trouble.  I jumped over and hit the bike for 40 minutes to make it an even hour, and then did abs and some weights.  Stretching finished off the session.  It seems like my range of motion gets a little better each day. 

I'm cautiously optimistic.  We have to get the bone to heal pronto, and then everything else follows.  I could potentially be running by summer, but the bone has to cooperate first.  If my efforts from the past 2 days have anything to do with it, the bones won't have a choice.  In addition to all the physical activity, I have also started taking calcium and fish oil supplements to promote healing as well as a multi-vitamin.

Seeing the progress over the past 2 days has made me very happy, but I'm trying to stay realistic relative to the whole picture.  I still have a lot of questions that need to be answered before I can be confident that we are out of the woods.  As I said, I am cautiously optimistic!

Things are improving daily.....they don't have a choice.  Seems like the whole community is pulling me to run again.  It's fantastic to feel people pulling me in this journey.  There are definitely times when I need it. 

Thank you for all the support over the past 3.5 months.  It is much appreciated and has gotten me through a lot.  Life is good! 



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