It has been one hundred and ten days since I have had my Brostrom and arthroscopic ankle debriment with bone removal AND post operative infection that was determined to be a Strep A, gas-producing organism to not exclude mixed infections.
Since the infection behaved like a flesh-eating infection, the entire experience was not complete with out an artistically carved fasciotomy procedure. Not to mention the removal of two anchors that were placed in the lateral malleolus but then conveniently removed a few days later. Oy!
So in reality, I am just one week behind in my healing, since I was busy in the hospital for a week after the original November 21st surgery. Only to have four more surgeries on top of the original surgery. Three months of this crap, it’s getting old.
Three months and 18 days of healing. It seems so long ago, really. However, I feel stuck. I do not feel as though I am moving forward fast enough. I am moving forward, just slowly. Too slow for me. I want this to be over!!
After reading the reports from the Doctors a bunch of times, because I want to know if I am doing everything I can, I realize I am being treated for the recovery of a Brostrom and ankle debriment procedure. Then I get confused, because everything that was performed on me was retracted. Then I realized I didn’t even know what EXACTLY what these procedures were, and I mean exactly, so I started doing my own research.
So basically, I had a lot done to my ankle. The Brostrom procedure was to repair damaged ligaments on the outside of my ankle. This was done so I could have stability in my ankle, there was nothing holding it together. I had tears and rips in the ligaments in that area. Anchors were screwed into my ligaments on to my tibia bone, to hold things in place. Shaving was also done to the bone.
The Arthroscopic debridement was performed to correct my ankle joint, that was fractured and somewhere in between they removed a 4mm piece of bone that was floating around causing major pain when it wedged itself in places it did not belong.
So with all that performed, my general healing time should have been 3 to 6 months.
Unfortunately, I got an infection. So that added four more surgeries to my severely raped leg. Everything was removed. The anchors, the stitches, and I was told, nothing applies from the first surgery. That I could bear weight immediately. I couldn’t bear weight if I tried, and I did try. It was quite a while before I could bear weight. Thankfully, the bone pain and ankle pain was so bad, I did not have time to feel any pain, that I remember, from the fasciotomy that was performed. The scar looks painful. Looks can be deceiving.
Now, at the at 15.6 weeks after the fact, I just feel stuck. I should be running. I want to be running. Going to the gym has helped, in fact, it helped me feel hopeful. In the last 15 weeks, I have gone through a lot. I want it to be over.
First, the initial surgery, then the infection. I have gone through administering my own medicine through a PICC line that made me sick every day. I spent some time being stoned on morphine, ( I hate narcotics). I experienced not being able to walk. I have had to elevate my leg constantly.
Wearing an airboot 24/7, not being able to wear two of the same shoes for some time. Not showering, walking or functioning like a normal human. I experienced crutch pain, armpits and palms of my hands hurting for weeks. I went from never watching tv, to getting addicted to Netflix and Lost. I am not proud of that.
I had to learn how to drive my car with a crutch! Temporarily~ thank God.
I have worked on ROM: range of motion, and I remember when I could not even bend my toes or move my foot left to right. I have had to slowly wean off the airboot. I experienced edema. That horrible edema, that I thought would never go away. It was painful and ugly. But, it went away.
I have and continue to work on strength training. I experienced atrophy, and still have atrophy in my calf. I learned what being “crooked” really meant. I had atrophy and muscle weakness all the way up to my hip. I was unstable and weak. I could not walk normal, I walked like those zombies on The Walking Dead. ( yes, Netflix. I am not proud) I was and still am weak on one side, my ankle, knee and hip are not strong enough to bear much weight.
I have worked on and continue to work with the rubber bands the physical therapist gave me to gain strength and practice resistance to regain strength. I go to the gym three to four times a week. I practice some weight strength training and have already pushed myself to fast with too much weight. So I had to take it down a few pounds.
Speaking of pounds, I have lost my muscle mass, and I am now gaining fat. I can not accept that. I do not care to hear how I still look thin. Most skinny people have more fat mass than muscle. I know when I am approaching fat-zone for my body and I am way beyond comfortable in my skin right now, all due to loosing too much muscle.
In all this, I am experiencing some mild depression. Obviously, it is situational, who wouldn’t experience depression after all this bullshit? I am having to motivate myself, no one else will do that for me. I’m losing the fight.
I swim. I run in the water. I try to do yoga. I ride a stationary bike. I walk on an elliptical machine for five minutes only, each time I enter the gym. I practice balance on a balance ball. All these things are great. I wanted to know if I was doing everything I can to get back to being a normal human being and I do realize now, that I forgot to slow down. I am doing enough of everything and not enough of nothing.
My heart aches to go for a run but I can not. Today I wore a pair of shoes, flat shoes, that were not my stable sneakers. Now, it hurts to walk and when I get out of my chair. I am back to leaning to far to one side and I am limping noticeably heavy. I was seeing so much progression and now I seemed to have regressed instead. My ankle now pops. It hurts when it pops, like it is getting jammed filling with pressure and then POP! After the crack, it feels better, but the onset of it, really hurts.
I can not give up, but, I cant do this anymore. I feel like I am losing my fight. I feel as if I have regressed. I am tired, sore and depressed. It has been one hundred and ten days, 15.6 weeks or three months and 18 days of bullshit. I am on all levels, wiped out.