Monday, January 13, 2014

The dreaded "foot surgery"

I have had achilles tendon problems for way over a year now. A doctor described it as the worst foot problem one could have and would require surgery. So, I didn't like that idea so I went to a second doctor and he said the same thing. He said the surgery was not easy and would require a year long recovery so he wanted to try other options first to avoid the big surgery. I thought that was a good idea so on January 28 I had a surgery that involved slicing a portion of my heal bone away because the bone was causing my achilles to be misaligned. I could not put weight on it for 3 weeks so was riding a scooter around. That procedure didn't seem to work so I had two other procedures one called the "fast" procedure where he went in a got rid of all the scar tissue. The third procedure was a "PRP". This was the most painful procedure of all. They took a vile of my own blood and by a spinning method it is separated into different layers and then the middle layer is injected back into my heels. This middle layer was the platelets which has a high amount of growth factors and proteins that the body uses in repairing injuries. Many athletics use this procedure I understand. Unfortunately none of these procedures seemed to help my symptoms. I spent all together about 16 weeks in a boot including three weeks of our vacation in July.

The months progressed and I had told myself that I would not go for the big surgery until the pain got so bad it was interfering with my quality of life.  By November I decided I didn't want to continue on with my condition so the big surgery was scheduled for November 29. (the day after Thanksgiving) By then my other foot was beginning to have the same symptoms as the other which was a horrible thought to know I needed two surgeries.

The big surgery was called a "achilles restructure" plus some other medical phrase attached to it. What he did was detach the tendon from the heel bone, slice off nearly an inch of bone, reattach the achilles tendon and take the tendon from my big toe and wrap in front of the achilles to give it extra strength.
All of this was an outpatient procedure but had to spent about three extra hours in the recovery room because my oxygen level wasn't where it was suppose to me. But I soon arrived home wrapped in a splint knowing that I would get a cast in six days. Plus could not put any weight on it so we purchased this scooter instead of renting because of my projected longterm use.

I got along nicely until the 5th day when I woke up with pain on my right side of chest and little bit hard to breath. I was somewhat nauseous and a little bit clammy. I figured since I had not blown into that blue blowing device they always send you home with I probably had pneumonia which might have been a better option than what I had. I spent two days in the hospital with a small blood clot on my right upper lobe and was told by two different doctors I was lucky to be alive. It was kinda scary. Chelsea took me to the ER around 2:00 pm followed by Gretchen around 4:30. Alvin was busy with year end finals so he arrived about 9:00. Cody came after his work as well. I was fine and satisfied to spend the two days there.

Dr. Freed, my foot doctor, was totally surprised when he heard about me. Such a nice caring guy. He dose not make hospital visits I understand but was at my bedside the next afternoon and planned to come back the next day if I didn't come home. I assured him he did not need to come back but I went home anyway and saw him in his office two days later to get my cast.

I don't like cast that are written on but knowing I was going to get it replaced every week I let them write on the first one. The reason I went every week was because he wanted to check on the wound.
Being Christmas my second cast was a candy cane.

That cast didn't last very long however because I got it soaked one night when my plastic bag I used to cover when I took a bath had a major hole. I am not kidding it was soaked so went the next day to get a dry one.

On the third week he decided to take the cast off and put me in a boot. This surprised me because he originally said six weeks. The reason he took it off he wanted to watch the wound. He had taken the stitches out that day also. It looked pretty good! That was on a Friday and on Sunday the wound had opened up about an inch. Back to the office on Monday.

So, for the next three weeks I went every Monday for him to clean the wound. It was pretty ugly. Actually pretty "gross". Sorry!

So, today after six weeks it has healed enough that I can stop using the scooter and walk with a booth and start physical therapy. Walking has been a little hard and I need to go slow at first. I am one to always do everything a doc says and I for sure do not want to mess this up.

It has been a long hard six weeks of misery. It seemed every week something else would go wrong. In one week I fell off the scooter twice. (once right in front of the doc) I know I have a long recovery ahead but very optimistic that the worst is over! The bad part being once my right foot gets completely better the left foot needs to have the same procedure. My doc just said today he has gotten gray hair over this one. Will he even agree to do the next one . . . time will tell!

Pancakes with Grandkids!

The last day off from winter break Chandler, Cooper and Tatum spent the night with us. I had promised Tatum she could have one more sleep over before school started up again. They all wanted to come and that was certainly OK with me. Of course if Cooper happens to be at Nana's on any morning it has to be pancakes. I had gotten the new Ann Romney cookbook in the Hamilton gift exchange and I wanted to try her pancake receipt so that is what we did.

Cooper beat those egg white until stiff peaks formed and folded them into the batter just like the recipe said. Extra effort and care went into these pancakes. But, to our dismay we decided they didn't really taste any better than the Aunt Jemima type we usually make and less work and less time. But I enjoy cooking with my grandkids so I have all the time in the world for them.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Month of December

Our December was different this year because I had "achilles tendon restructure" surgery the day after Thanksgiving, November 29. But, that will be another post entirely. For now, it is Christmas!

My patio was lovely with my new table (still unfinished) and my flower box Gretchen made me for my birthday filled with poinsettias.
 I love my outside tree filled with felted ornaments. I need a picture of them for sure. Next year!

Tatum and I had a cooking day one Saturday and made these "pops" made from donut holes.

Christmas morning we picked up Grandma and headed out to Chelsea and Stephen's home. We had breakfast of french toast, breakfast casserole, fruit and breakfast burritos. Very yummy!

Kids were excited to show what Santa brought them.

Then we opened presents.

Christmas afternoon we all headed out to my sister's home where around 50 family members gathered for good food, play for the kids, and visits with the families.

And that was the end of Christmas and it looks like Tatum had enough for the day!