Bone Density

I found out a couple of weeks ago that I am losing bone density in my right foot.

I have been undergoing extensive medical problems this year due to a surgery I had in last June. I have had so many complications and problems since the surgery: blood clot, and fracturing my bone graph in my heel.

I have spent at least 5 months of this year on crutches and am approaching my 6 month on them. To say I'm frustrated in my current health condition is an understatement.

I'm now under orders to walk on my foot to try to build up the bone density in my heel, even though it is still fractured. I go back on the 30th to find out if I've re-fractured it by walking on it. It's been a long tough road. Some of my students told me during finals they couldn't believe all that I've been through this year and that I have the worst luck or something along those lines. I told them I'm just building up my Karma. I'm either going to meet my husband in 2010 or win the lotto (of course meeting the man I hope to marry is just like winning the lotto but millions of dollars couldn't hurt). Plus I have LOTS of new organizations to donate to...Endometriosis society, Blood Clot research.....

Getting Fit, Again

I joined a gym. This is new for me simply because I have been living in apartments for the last three years and they have gyms. I'm technically done with physical therapy, I just have to do it on my own three times a week. Therefore joining a place to keep up with my pt was prescribed. I joined Snap Fitness. They are a new chain and are open 24/7. It is pretty nice. They have all the equipment that you would expect from a major chain, but is in a small strip center type building. I've been working out pretty steady for the last two weeks and finally feel great, emotionally, my foot still hurts like hell, but at least I'm happy about it. Got to love those endorphins!

Flu Shot and the Flu

This week I did my usual preventative flu shot. The district I work in requires that all teachers get one so they have a shot clinic at the school for $20.00 a pop. I called my parents and they came out for it as well since the price was much cheaper than anywhere else around.

The flu shot is a micro dose of the actual flu. If you are already healthy, you will not be affected. However, if you have had your foot re-arranged surgically, your tendons spliced, and a blood clot in your may not be as "healthy" as you should be when you get the shot.

Yes dear readers, that's right, the flu shot gave me the flu. I started getting sick during 6th period Thursday and it got worse. Friday was a blur and I'm not sure how I made it though teaching but I was a trooper, plus my students this year are awesome so that helps. Now it's Saturday and I've taken so much Vitamin C I think my skin is glowing green but my throat has gone from swallowing acid feeling to scratchy so I must be on the mend. Hopefully, I can get over this in time for Open House Monday.

Compression Socks

I have been logging my struggles with my surgery this summer. The last three weeks have been especially hard going back to teach. I wish I had known to get a compression sock. A compression sock keeps areas in your body from swelling and keeps blood flow going. They have them for legs and arms. I would have healed faster if I had gotten one as soon as they took the pins out. As it was, I swelled up massively every day and it got much worse when I started going back to work.

Now, here's the kicker, I know most of you that read this blog don't know me. One of my nicknames is Titanium White, after the oil/acrylic paint color. Why? When one of my best friends and I picked up a sorority little sister together we bought her the traditional stuff you decorate for them. One of these items was a wooden cutout of two big sisters holding a little sister's hand. At the time we were sharing the decorating and she painted this wooden cutout. She was an art minor and had taken painting, so she had the professional artist's acrylics. Our little sister was Hispanic so she used some burnt umber, yellow ochre, and titanium white to mix her skin tone. For herself she mixed some yellow ochre, cadmium red, and titanium white. For me she just used titanium white. See color chart below.
Yes, that's right. I'm blinding. So the "nude" compression sock is about ten times too dark for my leg. So in Texas, in SUMMER, I'm wearing pants (unless my boot is on). H-O-T! Literally.

Seriously, get a compression sock if you are going to have any type of invasive surgery.

Physical Therapy and Celebrex

I'm currently undergoing physical therapy for my reconstructive foot surgery I had this summer. I went the first week and my foot seemed to be doing fine. I was walking around last Saturday with no crutches in my boot. I was a little sore but that was it. Sunday during the second set of my routine something popped in my foot. Then the pain came. I couldn't walk without this burning pain. It took me a while to realize what it was.

I went into the surgery with peroneal tendonitis in my foot. Even after resting it all summer it didn't go away. As soon as I really got into exercising the foot, it came back with a vengeance. Since I'm also on Coumadin for the blood clot in my leg, I'm not "allowed" to take anything for the now inflamed tendons in my right foot.

We did an emergency trip to my surgeon and he said it was fine. Apparently to put in the first bone graph he had to seperate the peroneal longus and the peroneal brevis. The popping sound I heard and felt was the tendons popping back into place. No wonder it hurt like hell! He said the bones are doing great and put me in a real shoe to walk around with assistance from my crutches. He also gave me Celebrex. Then I had to call my "blood clot team" to see what the heck I was supposed to do now that I was on an anti-inflammatory. Good times.

Sore Muscles and Epsom Salt

I started Physical Therapy this week. If you've never been you should know that it is going to be hard and it is going to hurt. Why? You are using muscles that have been dormant for several weeks if not months.

I keep telling myself "Don't get impatient!" It took me 90 minutes to complete exercises for my foot that were 3 sets of ten - moving my foot up and down, side to side, clockwise and counter clockwise. Then I had to repeat it all using a theraband. Then I repeated it again with a board on the floor.
So what would take a normal person 15-30 minutes took 90. That should give you an idea about how stiff your joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles are. In fact I have to do this at home (without the band and board) three times a day. I'm so sore in my foot and calf that I can barely walk. What do I say for soreness since I have a blood clot in my leg and can't get a massage?

Epsom Salt bath!

Warm water, pour in the Epsom Salt until it's salty to your taste and soak 30 minutes. You'll be looser and not as sore. Yes!

Foot Surgery Recovery Advice

1. Don't rush it.

For those of you who have been following the randomness of my blog, and the advice I feel may help others, I'm still in the process of recovery for my foot. I had an Evans Calcaneal Osteotomy, a Cotton Osteotomy, and Achilles Tendon Lengthening. Last Friday I had the pins that were stablizing my bone graphs removed. I was allowed to be weight bearing in a boot with help from crutches.

Now the, pardon the pun, crutch is that I go back to teaching August 12 and the school district I am employed with will not allow me to work on crutches or in a wheelchair. So I have been trying to get weight bearing ASAP. I started using a cane yesterday for a few hours (5) and will try to keep the same schedule today. Then I'm going to try to bump it up to six hours tomorrow. This is for short juants only. For instance, from the chair to the bathroom, bathroom to kitchen, chair to computer. The problem is after about 5 hrs of short trips the pain is there. My biggest advice for anyone experiencing foot surgery is not to rush it. I unfortunately do not have that option.

Pre-Surgery Checklist

I've been blogging about my progress of my foot surgery (or maybe I've complained about it). I can actually see my foot right now. The first time in 8 weeks.

For anyone thinking about participating in any major surgery where they are reconstructing bone or tendons or whatever. I suggest you get a loyal family member to help take care of you. I don't know what I would have done without my parents. On orders from my doctor I was not allowed to stand on my right foot at all for 8 weeks. Which means, I can't do the simplest of tasks like getting a glass of water, fixing myself food, or even taking a shower. I'm on crutches.

What about a wheelchair you ask? Most modern American homes do not have doorways that accommodate wheelchairs (of course we found out that one the hard way). If you are getting ready to experience a major surgery event where you will be disabled for a long period of time do your research and get your supplies ready early.
1. Get a shower chair (Wal-Mart $38.00)
2. Get a safety rail for your tub (Home Depot $30.00)
3. Get an elevated potty seat (Wal-Mart $22.00)
4. Check your doorways to see if they accommodate a wheel chair and remove doors from hinges to get through. (We even had to remove the doors to accommodate crutches because the doorways to my bathroom are 23" and were too small)
5. Get clothing with pockets (that is the only way you can carry stuff if on crutches)

DVT leads to Creative Burst

I left graduate school on the third day of class. I didn't know what was going on with my body or my most recent addition, my foot surgery. All I knew was two weeks ago on Tuesday I was in the most pain I've ever been in my entire life (which is saying something since I've had a spinal tap and a subsequent blood patch).

I was diagnosed with DVT, a blood clot in my low right leg. Rushing over to the hospital, I began my current decent in to the dark side of medical problems. First, they had to keep me there and start treating me so I don't a) have a stroke b) have a heart attack or c) stop breathing from the blood clot breaking off and traveling to my brain, heart, or lungs.

After several days of tests, blood drawing, meds, no sleep, etc. I was released Saturday, one week ago. Since then, I have to give units of blood every other day, give myself injections in the stomach twice a day and go to a grocery list of doctors.

There is a silver lining. I am finding new ways to relate and respect the things my friends have gone through over the past 2 years. I'm also getting the pins removed from my foot Friday.

Right now I could use a steak. You know replenish some of the massive amounts of blood I've given away. I wish my dad would bar-b-que something, even if it is 115 degrees outside. I also could use a margarita. That's not going to happen either!

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