Sunday, December 18, 2011

Anxiety Friday

The phone rang at 8:40am and it was the doctor's office. Calling me back with my x-ray results. And I missed the effing call. I grabbed the phone on the last ring, but it was too late. I called back immediately, but the nurse was already away from her desk and after waiting for her to call me til 2:30 I thought I was going to explode from anxiety so I called back again.

The x-rays are negative for bone spurs. But Dr. McGorgeous gets me, and I think he knows when I say "it feels like bone spurs" what I mean is, "I feel irritation inside the joint". In the past, my irritation in the joint HAS been caused by bone spurs, but that's not what's happening this time. It's probably some scar tissue in there that's causing me pain, so instead of a surgery to remove bone spurs, I am getting a steroid injection.

That's such a huge relief. I tried on Friday to imagine what I would do if I needed an 8th trip to the operating room. And I can't. I just can't. So here's hoping the steroids work, and that there's nothing more serious going on.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

These people are going to give me a stroke

Dr. McGorgeous wants x-rays. I know this because his nurse called me this morning and told me. And told me to show up today or tomorrow and they will do them. Okay.

So I roll in at 3pm. The receptionist seems confused by my presence at first, but seems okay with my explanation. So I wait for about 20 minutes. One of the x-ray techs, who has seen me every time she came out to get someone, asks if I'm waiting for an x-ray. I SURE AM!!!

As it turns out, Dr. McGorgeous never signed the order for the x-ray. Another 20 minutes goes by. Now I can hear two receptionists and the office manager discussing the problem.

They had set up the x-ray for my February appointment, not for today.

Ok, so......45 minutes and I'm back in radiology. The tech comes in a goes "We're doing right ankle, left ankle and right foot films".

No. We aren't. I would have been okay if she had said right and left ankle. Maybe Dr. McGorgeous wants to compare them. I don't know. But right foot? Nuh-uh. So after a few minutes of disagreeing, she goes off to double check.

Left ankle films ONLY.

Told ya so.

As I'm waiting to make sure the x-rays are okay, the head radiology dude (official title) comes in and asks me if I work there. Because I look familiar and I seem to have a good working knowledge of the office policies. Omg. I look familiar and I know what's up because I have been coming in here at least once a month for almost three years.

Please tell me that getting the results will be easier than getting the films.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm not gonna make it til Feb

Something is going on with my subtalar joint. Nothing from the big incision. Nerve pain feels under control. This is something new. Well, not new. It feels like bone pain. I'm guessing there is a bone spur in there.

Or else it's a torn ligament.

I'm waiting to hear when Dr. McGorgeous wants to see me.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

things are happening, people!

What a difference a month and a TENS unit will make. My pain is drastically reduced. It always makes me sad when the pain dies down and I realize just how bad it's been. When I'm in the thick of the pain, I try to block it out. I don't want to think about it or acknowledge it. But it had been really really bad. There were many occasions where I would look at my hand and at my nails and picture myself reaching down and tearing my own skin off. Because that would make the pain better. That's some crazy shit right there. But now things are getting better. I saw Dr. McGorgeous and he's really happy with how much bone I've been growing and how much better my pain is. I'm allowed to use the elliptical, the bike and go to yoga again. My first time going to the gym was so emotional. I am only doing 10 minutes on levels 1/2 but mentally and emotionally I feel like I've reached a milestone. I cried a lot when I got home that night. Out of joy for where I am now and out of sadness for what I went through to get here. And I'm not out of the woods. I have another doctor's appointment in February. He wants to see the bone continue to grow, my pain continue to fade, my strength grow and my shin splints resolve. It's hard to believe this could actually be real. That THIS could have been the surgery that did it. If you've read this blog, you can understand why I'm hesitant to get excited. In the meantime, I will just do what I can. I have a "workout" planned for tomorrow. I can't wait. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I love this thing

File this under: Things That Only Happen To Me.

-Dr. McGorgeous cancels all my physical therapy and prescribes a TENS unit
-I pick up the TENS unit and they tell me I have to have a PT appointment to turn it on
-I call Dr. McGorgeous's office and have him write a brand new script for PT
-A week later I show up at my appointment and find out the appointment was for an evaluation not a TENS unit
-We sit and wait to see if Dr. McGorgeous's office will fax an updated script
-I try not to spontaneously combust because it's been 10 days since I saw Dr. McGorgeous and I could really use some pain relief.

But eventually, finally, the TENS is set up. Instantly, I am better. I have been walking 5 blocks to class and 5 blocks back every day. I have energy when I get home from work. I can make plans again. My quality of life has improved to the power of a million since I got this. I feel like a real person again.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saw that coming....

MRI results are in, and it looks like it is supposed to look. Which means the cause of my pain isn't anything structural, it's the tendons getting inflamed and pushing on the nerves. That's according to the doctors. I believe that is partially true. I think in addition to the tendonitis, there is something that happens when my skin gets touched that causes me insane nerve pain. I am still unable to wear a sock! I haven't started using the TENS yet (hopefully this week) but I will report back on whether or not that gives me any relief!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Checking In

Well, I made it to my appointment with Dr. McGorgeous. I explained to him that I can't wear a sock, I have to be careful how water from the shower hits me, that physical therapy hasn't done anything, and that the pain is so bad that I would be willing to take and go through withdrawals from Lyrica again.

He got how much pain I'm in.

And we have a plan. I had an MRI today to rule out anything structural. I have anti-inflammatories and pain killers. I will hopefully be picking up my TENS unit tomorrow. I will keep you all updated on what happens.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Emo today

you've got to get better,
said, it's all in your head,
we could live through these letters
or forget it altogether,
see the months they dont matter
its the days i can't take
when the hours move to minutes
and i'm seconds away

New American Classic by Taking Back Sunday

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bling bling

I thought you might like to see what exactly is holding my ankle together. Two bigass titanium screws. These were taken at my last appointment, in August, but I just got a copy. Fair warning- I'm probably not going to post in the next couple of weeks. The nerve pain has become unbearable and right now I just need to focus on making it to my next appointment.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It buuuuurrrrrnnnnnnsssss

Nerve pain can suck it. We are working in physical therapy to desensitize my incision, but a couple therapists have thrown around a diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome- or "craps" for short. I don't see Dr. McGorgeous for 3 more weeks, but I'm REALLY hoping this isn't the case.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


This is me wearing shoes at work! Once again, everything is taking longer than I expected, but I'm making progress. I hope to be completely boot free by next week. I'll also be starting physical therapy, with the same person I've been going to for 2.5 years! Even though I'm three months out from surgery, the hard work is just beginning.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Sorry. I don't know where my mind has been for the last month. There's so much for me to say and I just haven't had the motivation to say anything. I will start with my most recent visit to Dr. McGorgeous. He came in with a resident and the first thing I did was apologize for acting so ridiculous last time I was there. He knew I meant that I had threatened to cry about having a cast, but he told the resident, with a completely straight face, that I HIT HIM the last time I was there. LOL. The poor resident didn't know if he was serious or joking, and I played along with him. Good times. Then we took a look at my x-rays. They were beautiful. You cannot see that my leg had been broken. You cannot see that I donated or received a bone graft. It is just a beautiful, normal looking ankle plus two screws. I almost cried from relief. However, I am not out of the woods and I still have a "good 5 months of healing ahead of me". I am allowed to start wearing a shoe at work (more on that in a minute), but I'm still in the boot if I'm going outside for any reason. I'm not allowed to go to yoga yet and I was also given instructions "not to do anything stupid". It's good to have a doctor who gives easy to follow instructions!

So, I'm finishing up my second week back at work now. I'm exhausted and unmotivated. I'm still adjusting and it's really hard. It usually takes me half the amount of time I was off to feel like myself again. So...that will be 4.5 weeks in this case. This was my first week in the shoe. Monday I wore it 4 hours. Tuesday, 6 hours. Wednesday, 8 hours!!! The WHOLE day!!! Thursday, 4 hours. Today, 0 hours. Uh-oh. One step forward, two steps back. In the picture you can see where my heel is and the massive amount of swelling that has shown up in the last two days. My ankle isn't happy about this whole shoe idea. :( So, back to the beginning and I'll start again tomorrow with 2 hours. I'll also begin physical therapy again in a couple weeks and I'm hoping that will help. I'm having some pretty painful nerve issues in addition to the swelling. I think a big part of the problem is being in the boot, but I can't seen to transition into the shoe. Sometimes you just can't win. So I'll try to be patient and remind myself that 3 months of recovery is just the beginning. It seems like a long time, but it's not.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fun and Games are Over

This is hard. I haven't forgotten the other times I've had to start walking again. Oh no, I've gone over every single detail of how I did and figured out what worked and what didn't, and this is a streamlined process. Except it's not this time. This surgery is so different from my other ones. I feel like even with all of my experience, this surgery has so many unknowns. I'm still using a crutch the majority of the time. I feel like I'm failing. I want to be walking. It's not pain that's a problem, at least not pain from the incisions. It's the pain from the tendons, especially my Achilles, which hadn't worked in 6 weeks. I just physically can't move like I want to, or would expect to. And I'm not basing this on other people, I'm basing this what I've done in the past. So frustrating. I'm SO frustrated. It's not a big leap to think that I'll never walk normally again. I'll never be okay again. I'm happy I have this blog. It's my journal, and I can go back and read that I felt this EXACT SAME WAY, every.single.time. It doesn't make it easier. This is hard, and I hope I never make it sound like this is easy.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It wasn't pretty

But I did it. I took my first steps today. I'm still using the one crutch the majority of the time- see?? I CAN take it easy. I've got a long way to go til "normal" but this was an important milestone!

Friday, July 8, 2011


I had my doctors appointment yesterday. I had a BAD feeling about it for a few days before. I just knew something wasn't going to go right. I had my x-rays, and after they were done I was wheeled back to the CAST ROOM. You go to the cast room when you get a cast. Oh HELL no. I told the nurse as she was wheeling me (my pink and black cast was cut off, so I had to be in a wheelchair since I had no protection around my ankle and couldn't use crutches) that she should warn Dr. McGorgeous that if he tries to put me in another cast I will break down crying. And I meant it. So he comes in and goes "Let me get you some tissues". Oh HELL no. I asked him why I couldn't have a boot. He said my x-rays looked good but he was worried about the amount of pain I would be in with a boot. A walking cast provides more compression, so he figured I would feel better in that. I told him I wanted a boot, and if he put me in a cast I would FOR REAL start to cry. I guess this was a significant threat, because in all this time, I have never once cried in front of him. I got my boot, and the warning that if it hurts too much, I HAVE to come back on Monday and get a walking cast. I agreed to that. So I got my boot and was able to weight bear out of the office. I was putting about 80% of my weight on the crutches, but 20% on my ankle! Got home, and shaved the hell out of my leg. It was so gross. I post surgery pictures and I won't post a picture of how gross my leg hair was. I found out that the whole area under the steristrips is numb. This may get better, it may not. That's sort of a bummer. I hope I get feeling back. Today I was able to take steps using just one crutch, a la Tiny Tim. I plan to walk by the end of the weekend!!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

And now for something completely different.....

I've been keeping a secret. For a very long time. Well, not a secret exactly. About a year ago I wrote a post in the form of a letter to my surgeon. In it I mentioned that I have always wanted to be a doctor, but I felt like my injury was holding me back.

I applied to medical school today. It's a long process with a lot of steps, but I made the leap today.

The silver lining of being this injured for this long is that it has removed any doubt that a career as a physician is right for me.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

One more cast picture (hopefully)

A week from tomorrow I have my x-rays. If they look good I can start trying to walk again. I REALLY hope they look good...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Feel free to comment

I have some pictures of my surgery itself. You can see exactly what was repaired. I think they are awesome, but should I post them? Will you all get grossed out? They are GRAPHIC.

Computer Wizard

Here's the repair. You can see that the very end of my leg is broken and is basically hanging out of my body. In the center of the white bone is a circle. That's the piece that he transferred in!

In the second picture, you can see the bright red circle in the middle of the white bone. This is where he took the graft that got transferred into the first picture. He filled it in with a combination of my own bone marrow and a bone growing matrix, which is why it is red.

Right now, my body is trying to incorporate the new graft, grow new bone in the donor site, and repair my broken tibia. Which reminds me....I need to take my calcium!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Exactly What I Wanted to Hear

I look freaking fantastic! It's only been two weeks and it's already looking like an ankle again. The doctor continues to be amazed at my lack of excruciating pain. This is one case where I'm happy to be abnormal. So now comes the boring part. I'll spend the next 4 weeks hoping and taking calcium and vitamin D and praying that where he broke my tibia heals nicely. If it does then I'll get to start walking again.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Shots, shots, shots, shots.....

I'm all done! I gave myself my last injection this morning. All in all, this process made me realize that I'm a giant baby. I'm showing you this picture for proof. That's the needle compared to a regular pen.
This medication was a blood thinner that I needed to inject into my stomach once a day. Since I just had major surgery and my leg is in a cast I was at a high risk for blood clots. In all honesty, the needle wasn't bad at all, but the medication sort of stung after it went in. For like, 3o seconds. I also have a sweet collection of 12 bruises on my stomach where the needle went in. I'm super happy this part of the recovery process is over!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Orange and blue stripes!!!! I'm loving this cast. I saw Dr. McGorgeous this morning and we unwrapped last weeks soft splint. I saw the incision.....I'd say it's 6-7 inches. Pictures next week. I'm glad I was prepared for it to be so big. Incision looks great, minimal swelling and bruising, all the pain I'm describing is totally normal. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better first visit. I'm in this cast til Thursday when I go back and we take another look. We were talking about how my pain has been increasing the last two days and this little exchange happened:
Dr. McGorgeous: "You've also probably been getting up more, been more active"
Me: "Me? No way"
Dr. McGorgeous: "You're so full of crap"

LOL. That's some good bedside manner right there :P

Other than that things are good. I've actually had a really good day, pain-wise. Dr. McGorgeous was a little WTF that I've been off the pain pills since Saturday. He wrote me a prescription today for something not as strong as what he initially prescribed, and I haven't filled it yet. Since they changed the splint out for this cast, I haven't had much pain. Certainly not enough to warrant a narcotic. So for now, no more painkillers. However, he did tell me not to think of it as a backwards step if I do need to take them.

Now to try to find a way to keep myself occupied for the next week.......

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hospital Living

Just a short post about what I packed and needed during my stays in the hospital.

-Moisturizer in a flip cap tube. It's so dry in the hospital and a pump top will leak everywhere
-Serious chapstick. None of that girly stuff, it's DRY in the hospital
-Dry shampoo. Next best thing to showering
-Baby wipes. See above.
-iPod/cell phone/laptop and CHARGERS. It's boring in the hospital. Also, don't bring expensive stuff unless you'll be in the room with it the whole time.
-Earplugs. It's so damn noisy in the hospital.
-Underwear. Shouldn't need to explain this
-Shorts. Even if they make you wear a hospital gown, you might be able to get away with a pair of shorts underneath which just all around makes me feel more dignified
-Nail file. Nothing worse than a scraggly nail you can't take care of
-Makeup. When your doctor is Dr. McGorgeous, you might find yourself throwing on a little mascara at 3am to prepare for his morning visit.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

For fun

The lightbulb in my bedside lamp just burned out. Of course it did. Methinks crutching through the house in the dark to get a new one is a bad plan, so it looks like I'm stuck in the dark til morning.

Only me.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I actually went home yesterday. A day early! I'm too cool for the hospital. Actually, I was just feeling really good and there was no reason to keep me.

Peeing- turns out I have a shy bladder. I threw a bit of a temper tantrum yesterday morning and demanded to be allowed to try in the bathroom. I had already tried on the bedside commode with no success and we were veering toward another catheter and a urology consult. So they agreed to let me try in the bathroom and it took me all of 30 seconds to make it happen.

Pain- so far so good. I've only taken 3 pain pills today, and I didn't even need the one this evening. I took it since I'm afraid I'll fall asleep and wake up in the morning in terrible pain, but I may be done with the painkillers tomorrow.

Followup- I see Dr. McGorgeous friday and get my plaster cast. I'm thinking orange would be pretty!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Well, I made it through surgery #7. This was my first inpatient surgery, and I am very much still trapped in the hospital. It's officially Friday, although it's only 3am and I have a long day ahead of me, I should be going home tomorrow.

So how did things go? Lets start from the beginning.

First of all, no underwear. At all my other surgeries, I've kept my underwear on. Not the case here. Not too pleased with that.
Second of all, the nerve block. So the anesthesiologist explains everything to me, and tells me that there are a total of 4 injections, one of which stays in (the epidural). He also tells me he will give me a sedative to help me with the pain. There is an 87% chance the epidural will work. I'll go ahead and let you all guess that the sedative didn't work and neither did the epidural. Painful as hell.

The surgery itself was uneventful for me since I wasn't awake. Apparently Dr. McGorgeous found more scar tissue in there and wasn't able to get to the middle of the talus like we talked about on Friday, so he used part of the top of the talus. He had warned me about this pre-op, so I wasn't surprised.

Post op. Ug. Ew. I woke up and immediately knew the epidural in my leg had failed. It was a lot of pain and I was so out of it. I eventually got up to my room and settled and immediately needed to pee. So I got on a bedside commode and waited. And waited and waited and waited. And nothing would come out. So the nurses scanned my abdomen and I definitely had a full bladder. So they stuck a catheter in and drained me. Fun. An hour and a half later, my bladder was ready to EXPLODE, and I still couldn't make anything come out. So I got another catheter, this one has been in since then and I've been peeing in a bag. We are going to remove it today, I think, and see if my bladder has decided it wants to work again. If not, a urologist will come see me. Can we all REALLY hope this works today?

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I had my echocardiogram on Monday. It is a sonogram of your heart, so I got to watch my own heart beating on the screen. It. Was. Awesome. Other than having my boob shoved around by the ultrasound tech as she was searching for the different views she needed, it was incredible to watch my heart pumping away.

As I was leaving, I asked when I should expect to hear the results. She told me I would hear within a week, and the news would come from Dr. BlueEyes, since he's the one that ordered the test. I replied with "No news is good news" and she smiled and said yes.

I knew that Dr. BlueEyes was out of the office on Monday, and I knew the test results could take a week to come back. So imagine my fear when a mere 5 hours later I had a missed call and a voice mail from Dr. BlueEyes secretary asking that I please call as soon as I get this message.

Even though he was out of the office, he had checked his tests results as a favor to me, since he knew I would probably be wondering, and they were just calling to tell me everything was fine! After that incident, I feel like I need another echo just to be sure!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

I didn't want to mention anything until I knew whether or not it was true. A couple weeks ago, a friend who happens to be a doctor noticed how flexible my fingers are. This wasn't news to me, I've had really bendy joints my whole life. What I didn't know is that "really bendy joints" can be a symptom of a genetic disorder. Doctor-friend told me to mention this to my surgeon, who responded with "Well. That would explain a lot. Let's send you to Dr. BlueEyes, he's somewhat of a specialist in this disorder". So this morning, I went back to Dr. BlueEyes. He performed an exam and I scored a 9/9. I had my sister with me, and she also scored a 9/9. We think our brother has it as well. Essentially, there is a mutation in one of the genes that makes collagen. So a lot of our structural parts don't work right. Tendons, ligaments, scar tissue, etc. So the reason my ankle has been behaving this way? It's because I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. There are some long term issues with this disorder. First and foremost, there is connective tissue in your heart (among other places). I am scheduled for an echocardiogram on Monday because people with EDS are more likely to have mitral valve prolapse and aortic aneurysms and all sorts of neat things. Also, Dr. McGorgeous won't operate til I get a clean bill of heart health. Also an issue is pregnancy. If I get pregnant, I will be considered high risk, since I will be more prone to miscarriage, as well as uterine prolapse and hemorrhage. This all sounds really bad, but to be honest, I'm more relieved than anything. At least after all this time I finally know WHY this is happening.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Dr. McGorgeous agrees with my assessment. There is a greater than 90% chance he needs to break my bone, but he said he will put a camera in and look around just to be sure. And then he told me to plan for the bone breaking. I'm glad I had an extra week to look at the CT scan myself and come to terms with this before hearing that.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Not so Hot

I won't lie. I talked the CT tech into giving me a copy of my scan Thursday morning. I don't think she knew that I would go home and attempt to read it myself. But. I did. I don't see Dr. McGorgeous until next Friday, so I'm glad I have at least a passing ability to read these things, or else I'd go nuts. My computer screen doesn't have the highest resolution, but it appears that part of the articular cartilage is gone. That means the big bone cutting surgery. Hopes weren't high before, but they are in the gutter now. Maybe I'll get some miraculous news next week anyway.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Not hoping

I'm having a CT scan tomorrow. There is a small chance that I may not need the bone breaking surgery. If my top layer of cartilage is still intact on the talus, Dr. McGorgeous would be willing to drill up from underneath and fill it with a bone growing matrix. Sort of like getting a cavity filled. Obviously, this is a much less invasive surgery, and I would love for this to happen. But. I'm not hoping. For some reason, I haven't been able to catch a break yet with my ankle, so why would be start now? I'm not saying that in a bitter way, just honest. I'm planning for a leg breaking surgery with a long recovery. If something fun pops up in my CT scan, I'll try to post a pic!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

bullet points

-I am having my surgery with Dr. McGorgeous, not Dr. Indy
-We are repairing my talus
-We are not repairing any ligaments
-We will be using a cadaver talus for the bone graft
-He will need to break my leg in order to repair my talus
-He will then put my leg back together with screws
-This is an inpatient procedure
-I need to take 12 weeks off work for recovery
-I will need to give myself blood thinning shots after surgery to prevent blood clots

Friday, March 4, 2011


Oh, this is juicy. I cheated on Dr. McGorgeous. Ugh. After the three options for this tendon were presented, I did what any rational, level headed person who has plenty of experience with this would do. I panicked. I found a doctor. Remember San Fran, that professional football player I know? This is the other surgeon he has used. I had to travel to a different time zone to see this guy. I scheduled the appointment (that happened on Wednesday) at the end of January. This guy operates on a lot of NFL players and Olympians. He's legit. What I wanted was to hear the same three options that Dr. McGorgeous gave me. And maybe which option he is leaning towards. Place your bets now if you think that's what I got.
Instead, he rolled into the exam room with 2 residents and a fellow. Never a good sign when they want the students to see you. By the way, I had sent my entire medical file over to his office when I scheduled the appointment, so Dr. NFL knew what he was getting himself into. The exam was routine. The same tests I've had a million times. Stress tests. Strength tests. Questions. Answers. He definitely took his time with me. After he was done, he sat back and told me my tendon wasn't my problem. Excuse me, what? The tendon? It's a non-issue.
So, what exactly IS my issue?
Remember a million hundred thousand and eleven years ago, when all I had was a torn ligament and a fracture on my talus? According to Dr. NFL, my current problem is that the repair we did to my talus failed. It's still causing me pain, and it needs to be re-repaired. Only, since the first repair failed, now we need to go in with a bone graft. Yeah, that's right. Take a chunk out of my tibia, and insert it into my talus.
Wait, there's more.
The outside of your ankle is a whole bunch of ligaments. I've had two of them repaired. I have not had a specific ligament, called the CF ligament, fixed. It needs to be fixed.
Let me sum this up for you. More than two years after needing a lateral ligament and talar OCD repair done, I need......a lateral ligament and talar OCD repair done.
I told him I didn't believe him. He didn't seem upset by this. He said we would do an experiment. He thinks the talus is my problem. I think it's a tendon. He will numb my talus. If the pain goes away, he's right. If the pain persists, I'm right. So the needle came out, went in, and they left me alone with the instructions "do what you need to do to make it hurt". So I walked around the exam room. I jumped, repeatedly. I ran in place. And nothing....NOTHING I did made it hurt. He was right.
I drove the entire way home in complete silence. For hours. I got home and vomited. To say that I am confused is an understatement. Who do I believe? The doctor I've had for years and ABSOLUTELY TRUST WITH MY LIFE, or this new guy who has met me for an hour? Was that a legitimate experiment he did? What do I do now? If Dr. NFL is right, we are talking over a month off work and 6 months for a full recovery. Ha, I forgot. You already know that because you read my blog. You know exactly what's coming, and so do I. I have no plan for now. I see Dr. McGorgeous the first week in April. I will confess then, and see what he says.

Friday, February 18, 2011


This is my new friend. He lives in my shoes. The orthotics man was kind enough to let me borrow these samples while he is creating my custom orthotic. This thing doesn't include any of the arch support I desperately need, but after slipping this thing in my shoe for a week, I have noticed serious reductions in pain. Like, 75% of my pain is just gone. My fingers are crossed that when I get the orthotic designed specifically for my foot that the rest of the pain goes away. Could it be just that easy?

Monday, February 14, 2011

New Characters

Last week I met with the orthotics man. I was a little apprehensive about the visit. I don't like not knowing what to expect, and with what I have riding on these shoe inserts, my stomach was in knots by the time they called me back. I am planning to write a long post next week when I pick up my custom inserts, but *SPOILER ALERT*....he gave me some non-custom inserts to wear while he is building mine and I am starting to feel really good. Really REALLY good.....stay tuned....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Breaking Point

I'm sad. This latest visit is getting me down. I can sense that I'm pulling away from people and I just want to be alone for awhile. I don't think this is a bad thing in the short term. I need to wrap my mind around what's happening, and I can't lean on anyone until I know exactly what it is that I need from my friends and family. As always, music is helping me though. I find this song on repeat more often than not:

Well, I'm willing to break myself
To shake this hell from everything I touch
I'm willing to bleed for days more reds and grays
So you don't hurt so much

And now I'm static
As your sky is turning purple and gray
I'm learning that the further that I crawl
The farther that I fall, is that ok?

And you're in pieces
As your world becomes a rainstorm
You've got no shelter I'm a thousand miles away
You'll survive the day

Break Myself, Dashboard Confessional

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I had my appointment with Dr. McGorgeous this week to talk about the results of my ultrasound. If I haven't mentioned it before, please believe me when I say that he is truly an amazing doctor and PERSON who I know cares about me. He spent an hour with me, going through my MRI, my old CT scan and my ultrasound. Showed me which shadows were artifacts of the machine and which shadows meant something. Just took the time to really let me know what is going on. And what is going on is that my foot is falling apart. Literally. Bones are shifting where they shouldn't be. Strong ligaments are weak. Strong tendons are torn. Weak ligaments and tendons are strong. Two plus years of compensating has done a number on my foot and there are serious issues. He explained that the torn tendon is a symptom of a larger problem. Because my foot and ankle are no longer built correctly, even if he repairs this tendon, without any other intervention, I will tear something else. So, the other intervention that we need to start is a custom orthotic on my shoe. Yes. A shoe insert. Now, I've been using a store bought insert for quite some time, as well as shoes that were fitted for my feet to be stabilizing. But this isn't enough. So, I have an appointment next week to get a custom set of inserts. The purpose of this would be to force my foot back into proper shape. Now, for my options. Option 1 is that this orthotic works great, it takes the pressure off my torn tendon, and the tendon is able to heal itself. Option 2 is that the orthotic works 50%, and we would go in and sew up that tear. Option 3 is that the orthotic doesn't help at all. In this case, he will (and I'm quoting here) "have to rebuild my entire foot". We are talking about fusing the joints, so I will never bend my ankle again. Moving my heel bone back where it should be. Repairing tendons and ligaments to put the arch of my foot back where it should be. I won't lie. I let one single tear out when he said that. I let a lot more out later when I was alone. So what happens now? I get the orthotic, and I have 6 weeks to wait and see which option my body decides to go with.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lucky number 7

Well, my most recent visit with Dr. BlueEyes was much more successful than my last visit. Meaning, I didn't have a drug-withdrawal induced meltdown. I let him know before my visit started that I would not, under any circumstances, being crying at this visit, and I was going to redeem myself from our last ultrasound. Dr. BlueEyes was nice enough to go over the results of my MRI with me, since I haven't seen Dr. McGorgeous yet. Basically, the MRI showed inflammation. Nothing to write home about. Dr. BlueEyes said he was guessing that I have some tendonitis, and we'd hit it with some steroids. I said, lets see what that ultrasound shows, I have a habit of doing weird things. I also mentioned that dissolving suture lump and how it bothers me. So we start the ultrasound. It didn't take long for me to hear the word "split" come out of his mouth. I asked him what was split, and he said that he wasn't convinced yet, he needed to look around some more. It was only a few seconds later when he found the view he was looking for. My anterior tibialis tendon is split longways. I tore a freaking tendon. I TORE a TENDON. Three months ago. My options? Surgery. I think I was the least surprised person in the room to hear that. Of course it needs surgery. If it only hurt a little bit, do you think I'd go for x-rays, a bone scan, and MRI and an ultrasound???? Nope. So he puts the ultrasound wand on the other side of my ankle and we look at the lump. It's definitely a lump. I asked him to take it out, and he laughed about how I wanted this tiny little lump out. But then he asked for a scalpel. So I did get a shot of lidocaine to numb it, but I still felt most of it. He took out my lump, which no longer was a suture, but had turned into a yucky blood clot. Then he put a stitch in to keep everything closed up. I'll take that out in a week. While he was sewing, I told him he better make that suture nice, because I don't want an ugly scar! Fortunately for me, Dr. BlueEyes gets my sense of humor and laughed. So where do we stand now? Well, in a week and a half I'll go talk to Dr. McGorgeous about what this next surgery entails. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Two years ago this evening I walked into the gym and walked out with my life changed. I didn't know then what was in store for me, and even now I don't know if there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I got a call from Dr. McGorgeous today. I don't have a stress fracture. I never did. It turns out there's a lot of inflammation in the joint itself (which is what appeared positive on the bone scan). He's sending me back to Dr. Blueeyes for an ultrasound. It seems like there may be a nerve that's compressed in there. I've had surgery before to release a nerve on the other side of my shin. The appointment isn't for another week, but I may try to pull some strings and get in there early.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I don't even want to tell you this. I don't want to write it and make it real. I saw Dr. McGorgeous on Thursday. We talked a little about how the bone scan was positive for an injury, and how it had been 7 weeks and nothing was really getting better. He grabbed my ankle and pushed a few spots. It drives me nuts that he always knows EXACTLY where to push to make it hurt. And then he looked at my scan again, looked back at me, and asked "So what do you want to do now?" omfg. He is asking me what I want to do. This can't be good. And so I tell him that resting and wearing my boot are making things worse, so I don't rest and I don't wear my boot like he asked me to. He tells me that at this point an MRI is one possibility, an ultrasound being another. I have no problem with either of these options, but I was sort of confused by WHY we would need another test when the bone scan has already confirmed the stress fracture. And in case you think I've learned one single thing in the past two years of doing this, I'm about to prove you wrong. I ask him, "Do we really need to do another test? It's not like you repair stress fractures, right?"
Turns out that all stress fractures are not created equal. My stress fracture is in my medial malleolus. This is considered a "critical" stress fracture because they are notorious for not healing. Surgery IS an option. Plates and screws to hold the bone together. Medial malleolus stress fractures are rare (of course) and even if I do not have surgery, it can take a year or longer for my body to repair this injury on it's own. Dr. McGorgeous mentioned an NBA player who had this injury and it took him 2.5 years to heal. Granted, I am not trying to play professional basketball here, but that's a good example of how nasty these injuries are.
So what now? Well, we do the MRI. We see how bad the fracture is. We make decisions based on the facts. In the meantime, I wait. And wait. And wait. I have spent the last 5 months putting my life back together after my 6th surgery. I am trying to imagine losing all the things I have gained in order to have a 7th. For the most part, I just CAN'T go there right now. At the same time, my other option is to be in pain for a year or longer to heal naturally. Rock vs. hard place.