Mitsugirly's Foot Journey a journal of my struggles
Going into the new year with HOPE 2022
This would be a year of several changes. I am now going into my 3rd year after my accident. Throughout the year I would notice that I have had an increase in mobility and somewhat of a decrease in pain at times...more often than previously. I have more good days and I feel like I'm increasing my distance and speed. Going up stairs has become easier but going down is still somewhat of a task, but better...unless it's mornings...mornings are never good for any type of ambulation. I have noticed that my left knee has become a little painful at times and it is grinding. I'm assuming this many years of completely relying on that leg to do most of the work has taken a toll on it. I can definitely see myself having issues with it in the future.
Fast forward to July...after a lot of discussion with the hubby, we made a decision to close our business and for him to get a "normal" job so that we could have insurance. We knew that was the most important thing in our life right now...to get my foot taken care of since I wanted to check about getting this ankle replacement done
Picture from August with continued swelling and pain but I have to admit, my leg is looking a little less swelled these days.
July-December, 2022: Time to Change Things Up!
So he went to work for a company and now that we have insurance that became effective October 1st, it's time to start taking care of our health. I scheduled appointments for everything possible we've been neglecting. Colonoscopy, ortho, pap, cardiologist, mammogram...let's do it all.
This also meant that my duties at my job would have to decrease as well and I stepped down from being Clinical Manager of our company and decided to go back to part time out in the field. I had been working from home since taking the position and we had 2 offices they closed by me that I would go in to here and there and the main office in my area was located up north. They had started asking me to start coming into the office more but they wanted me in the office located in another county over an hour away. That was just not something I was willing to do...spend 2+ hours on the road daily...no thank you. With all these new appointments, I just would not have time to work full time anymore. My health was more important.
We also decided it was time to get healthy as well...we needed to start eating better and get rid of some of this weight...especially all the weight I have put on since my injury and not being able to move around and exercise. I knew this was hurting me in the long run, not just for my health but the added weight on my leg and injury. So, we started the keto diet. I tell you I've never felt so good with more energy than I've had in years. No crashing after eating sweets, no hangry episodes and the weight has just been dropping off for both me and the hubby. All my blood work has been coming back normal and no more high cholesterol. By the end of the year, I have dropped 27 pounds 4 oz in a little less than 3 months! The best thing about it, the hubby is doing all the cooking now and the recipes are AMAZING!
So, on to all of these appointments.
OCTOBER 11: First up was a mammogram: Results came back abnormal with a mass and I would now have to go for additional testing. OCTOBER 17: An ultrasound was scheduled and a sigh of relief came when they told me the cyst was benign.
OCTOBER 17: Next was a Papp smear, which turned out good with no issues.
NOVEMBER 1: Next up was the BIG appointment. I scheduled with an orthopedic trauma surgeon with the hopes of coming to a solution to help me get back to normal. A previous appointment with a surgeon told me that this would only happen if I was to get an ankle replacement. After obtaining several x-rays and having a long discussion with the surgeon, he thought that the best option to try at this time would be to remove the hardware, clean out the arthritis formed around it and to do an Achilles Tendon lengthening to get more range of motion back. If I wanted to proceed with the ankle replacement, there are only a few surgeons to do this and he could refer me to either....which happen to be the one I went to for a second opinion before. Continued discussion, this surgeon really believed that getting the hardware out would give me the relief I was looking for so we decided to give this a try for now and scheduled surgery for November 14.
He took several x-ray's and showed me the arthritis built up in my ankle around the hardware now. It also showed the area's around the screws fusing my tibia and fibula rocking back and forth has made the holes bigger. Now obviously when you remove something, holes are left behind, which will need to refill. That portion is going to be a good year of rejuvenating to fill in.
NOVEMBER 4: I'm finally getting my colonoscopy after all these years and it has to be the absolute worse crap I have ever drank! I never want to experience this again. My last meal was on Wednesday at 6pm and I would have to remain NPO until my colonoscopy on Friday at 2:30pm. Hey, this should help my diet move along right? The colonoscopy went well however, they told me that I would need to come back every 5 years because they found 13 polyps. Then days later I would be told I would now need this done every year because 3 of the polyps came back precancerous and "caught just in time". So now I will have to have a colonoscopy every year. Go me!
NOVEMBER 9: After a lot of thought and knowing that the plan was to just remove the hardware, I decided to contact the surgeon that put the hardware in originally and schedule an appointment to see what his thoughts were. Today was my visit with him and he confirmed that my best option to try at this point would be to try removing the hardware. He told me the surgeon I had went to see, he actually trained him. LOL He also informed me that they normally don't have a patient do an ankle replacement until they are at least 60, but prefer around age 65 before doing one. The reason behind this is because it has not shown to last but maybe 15 years so they prefer doing them at a later age to not have to do it again when you are even older. Although I can understand not wanting to do it again because the risks increase as we get older with more health complications, but is it really smart to make someone suffer for so many years in pain because of this? I mean if I was to get one now, in 15 years I would be 72 years old. Who's to say I will even still be around at that age? But I guess if the plan right now is to just remove the hardware then I might as well go with the surgeon who put it in and we scheduled a surgery date for the following Friday and I cancelled my surgery with the other surgeon. Well the hubby had an appointment that day so I decided to reschedule for December. After speaking with a close friend of mine about the surgery, she brought up a very valid point that it would probably be smarter to actually postpone it until next year so that we would immediately meet our deductible for the year. Yep, it made perfect sense...as much as I wanted this done asap, I called to reschedule once again. Surgery would be January 4th.
DECEMBER 5: I have suffered from chronic daily dizzy spells that sometimes get so bad that I shake uncontrollably. I feel like my hands have weights on them, I drop anything I might be holding, I feel tingly, off balance, weak and I hear a swishing sound in my ears. The sounds is best described as when you go to the ob doctor and have an ultrasound to hear the babies heartbeat and it sounds like swish swish swish...that's the sound in my ears. I have been checked by my cardiologist with multiple tests ran and shown it was not heart related. I have been tested for possible Ménière disease. That did not work. So my pcp brought up sending me to a physiotherapist. Hey anything was worth a shot right? So I went and he determined that he thought it was possible that I had Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. This is where the crystals in your ear get detached and flow around the inner ear space in fluid in the wrong position, which throws you off balance. He did these maneuvers that involved me sitting on the table, legs straight out on the table, arms crossed in front of you, head turned to the side and then you throw yourself backwards and he catches you with your head off the table. He holds it there for some time and then to the other side for awhile, then you lay on your side for awhile then bring yourself back up to a sitting position with your head pointed down as if looking into your armpit. I returned a week later to repeat the test and my symptoms have gotten better. I have had a few episodes but they were just a little dizziness, which he said that was to be expected right afterwards. I've dealt with this debilitating issue for 9 years, which includes black outs in the past. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
DECEMBER 16: Appointment with cardiologist for medical clearance for surgery and check up. My EKG came back normal and I haven't had a normal EKG since my late 20's when they discovered I had MVP and PVC's. (I throw an extra 12 beats during a beat and with blood pressure medication, it chopped those beats in half.) I believe my diet and healthy eating has contributed to this and I was so excited. My cholesterol is perfectly fine as well and I'm no longer on my statin meds.
So I was cleared by my cardiologist for my ankle surgery.
DECEMBER 27: PreAdmission testing with my pcp today also cleared me for surgery and everything came back perfect.
We finished out the year and holidays and enjoyed ourselves while I could still walk and function. Yes, this would give me plenty enough time to get very nervous.