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Ankle news

Rutger had promised me he would call during my consultation with the orthopaedic surgeon, so I hadn't really paid attention to all the medicalese that came out of his mouth at my last physiotherapy session. Of course, he quite forgot to call, and so in desperation while the surgeon's back was turned momentarily, I called him. Then in two minutes flat, after I handed my mobile to the consultant, where I had been arguing for twenty, it was all agreed: surgery to my ankle will take place on July 9th.

I feel rather overwhelmed. I've been pushing for this for over 2 years, but with the speed things are moving now, I don't know if this really is the right way forward; also because the consultant said he won't really know what needs doing until he opens up the ankle and goes in.

And I missed Doctor Who last Saturday. Can anybody vouch for me at doctorwho_eps? It seems they've changed the rules after they'd had a spot of bother. Sorted. Cheers!


Jun. 5th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
I did join before, but never used it. And they now have removed me from thier list.

Same here, although I did upload some eps after taking one or two. Ach, it's not that important to me, it's just that I was surprised to find myself locked out when I finally remembered it was there.

Anyway, about the op -- I'm afraid it's going to hurt a bit, and it does provide me with a small problem in that the consultant said I had to absolutely stay off it for the first two weeks...how am I going to manage that when I live alone and there are groceries to be got in? But I'm sure something can be worked out in that respect; I'll probably go and stay my mum's for a bit. Only drawback: no internet.
Jun. 5th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
Yes, I too lived alone and I totally understand your fears about self-care and so on. I had a solid cast on for two weeks as well, I think. There's a few considerations when you have to look after yourself. Namely, food, washing and cabin fever.

Because I had to look after myself, my surgeon organised for me to stay in hospital for two nights after the op, instead of the usual overnight stay, just so I had a little time to get over the worst of the pain before I had to move myself around on crutches, feed and wash myself, etc. If it's not too expensive, I'd consider it for yourself too. I was given elbow crutches, rather than the ones that go under your arms. I'm not sure why they did that, but I found them way better than normal ones, in terms of, if I was on my fOOt and using my hands, they STAYED ON MY ARMS and were there when I needed them again. I also got good at hopping after a few days! Because carrying food from the kitchen to the sofa (where I pretty much lived for that time) was difficult (I used plastic containers with lids and canned drinks for the most part and carried them in plastic bags).

I had friends bringing me food every so often, but once was forced to ring one and give her a list of things I needed to get me through. In the weeks before the op, I did stock up on stuff and froze away LOTS of home-cooked meals so I wouldn't have to stand for longer than it took to nuke them.

For pain, I took strong codeine formulations that my Dr prescribed. But had to stop taking it after a week because my stomach started to feel ill. Apparently codeine can do that to you if you take it long enough (it's a precursor to an ulcer). The pain was only intense the first couple of days anyway. They had me on morphine injections in the hospital, which they kept trying to force on me - or so it seemed. I found out later that they do that because pain feeds on itself; once it gets beyond a certain level the nerves start firing on their own and it's really hard to get it to ramp down again, so they try to keep the pain fairly controlled to start, so it doesn't get like that.

After the initial two weeks, I had the plaster cast taken off and a removable walking cast put on. I was told I could walk out of the Dr's office after that, but it was several days before I was willing to do without at least one crutch, and used them for another month if I had to walk any substantial distance. The walking cast was a godsend though. I'll never take being able to walk easily for granted again, and it was great to take a proper shower!

After the removable cast came off it was lots of physio, then a clean bill of health. Yay! Totally worth it. I've gone over a few times in the last six months or so, and not so much as a twinge. No bruising or swelling, the ligaments did the job they are supposed to - prevent sprains. If I'd stayed in Perth I would have the other ankle done now, I'm so happy with it.

Staying at your Mum's might be a good idea, but no internet would ruin it for me. I am addicted.
Jun. 7th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
Underarm crutches...I think they went the way of the dodo shortly after WWII here; at least, I've never seen them other than in costume dramas. I've always been given elbow crutches, starting with the ones I was given after I'd broken my leg in '76. Right now I've still got a pair sitting at home, that I got as a souvenir from Manchester Royal Infirmary. ;-)

So it's not as if you really can't move a muscle those first two weeks, is it? In that case, I would prefer to stay in my own flat, sleep in my own bed, and have access to LJ and the rest of the internet. Maybe I can persuade Mum to stop by with a casserole every 2 or 3 days...I need to sort something out for the cats as well, esp. now that they're only allowed the vet's special diet food.

Jobsworth has agreed to a 10-day leave of absence, but he wants me back to working full-time immediately afterwards. But even with the walking cast, I don't think that's going to be feasible; the surgeon said I'd need to take things slowly for at least 4 weeks after the 2 weeks recovery from the op, and I intend to take that time. He bullied one of my colleagues into coming back to work early after she'd suffered a heart attack about a month ago, and today we heard she's back in hospital with deep vein thrombosis.
Jun. 7th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
Ten days! Not to rain on your parade, but I doubt you'll be back at work that soon. I was off for three weeks, and went home early a fair bit for the following one (I just left when the pain got too much). My surgeon wrote me a sick note to cover five weeks after the operation - which meant I just went to work as I was able in that time and they paid me sick leave for the rest of it. Are you not eligible for sick leave for something like this? I don't suppose it's possible to work from home?

I think by absolutely stay off it, he means "you can't stand on it, don't flex the muscles" that sort of thing. Not that you have to be horizontal the entire time. Unless you are having more done than me, in which case, I know nothing, don't listen to me!

But I SO understand the desire to be in your own home. And to want the Internet. It was almost all the outside contact I had in those first two weeks! And the healing power of kitties cannot be underestimated. :)

Also: I'm surprised that man can stand himself, the way you talk about him. *angry face*
Jun. 8th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, I don't worry about Jobsworth and his wishes. I'm entitled to sick leave for as long as is necessary really, and I don't intend to jeopardise my health or impede my recovery just to help him out. If he's worried about the amount of work stacking up while I'm gone, he shouldn't have gone around firing three of my co-workers in the last
month, and for no good reason. Besides, it's not as if he has any appreciation or understanding of the work I do do, so perhaps it's time for him to find out the hard way.

Not that you have to be horizontal the entire time.

Well, there's a relief! And I do believe I'm having the same thing done as you had -- the surgeon's going to tighten the ligaments (and may chip away some of the excess bone growth while he's in there). He also said he might have to harvest and graft (part of) a tendon from another part of my leg, but he hadn't made up his mind about that definitively.