Friday, June 27, 2014

Ahhh! I Can Breathe Again!

Well, actually, my leg can finally breathe again.

Ask anyone who has had a cast for any length of time to describe the most uncomfortable part of the experience and I guarantee you that they will answer, "Claustrophobia."


It is hard to describe if you haven't had a cast, but here goes.

Ha!  You can see the tan line.
You can also see that I am all
'swelled up'.
A cast cannot be removed.  It is hot and it is heavy.  There are times (for me it was when I was in bed at night trying to go to sleep) when you just want to take the damn thing off because your limb feels so confined, so claustrophobic!  I tried to wiggle my leg and foot in that darn thing desperately trying to loosen it up.  Not so much.

This might help you to understand how wonderful it feels to have the cast off after nearly 6 weeks of confinement.

Fair warning must be given about what happens when a cast is removed. First of all, it tickles like crazy.  The rotating cutter thing just vibrates your whole leg and you can't help but jerk around a little. It doesn't hurt at all, but watch out if you are ticklish.

Cast off!  Oh, lordy, sweet relief.  This was quickly followed by the realization that there is an actual forest growing on my leg. And, it does not smell 'pine fresh'.  One whiff was enough to make me glad that I was already sitting down.   I swear my eyes watered.

I was up a lot today so you
can see my balloon foot.
The doctor says this will
be my greatest issue.
I won't go into detail about all of the dead skin that needs to be removed. Suffice it to say that my foot has quite the red, raw 'new skin' look since I attacked it with a loofah and some foot scrub in the shower.  It will need further soaking and scrubbing.  (In my case, there is also a wonderful tan line that I will have to deal with over the next couple of weeks, but I'll get it evened out!)

As I suspected, I am still not to put any weight on the leg at all for a few more days (until I hit the magical 6 week mark).  No "Rocky" theme song for me yet.

In a few days, I will be allowed to crutch walk (you know what I'm talking about) with both crutches. Then I can lose one crutch and then I can lose the last one and go whole hog on my own steam.  I am to wear the Boot at all times for any weight bearing until I go back to the doctor in 3-4 weeks (I chose 3).

I do not, however, have to wear the Boot all of the time.  I can sleep without it.  I can sit outside without it.  I can sit around the house without it.  Hallelujah!

I think that I can hear my leg and foot breathing right this minute!

So, 3 more weeks of semi-confinement.  I like to think of it in terms of 'house arrest'.  I am out of the slammer and a little more mobile.  I just can't go too far!  Pretty soon I will be on probation.

Hmmm.  I think I feel like watching "Orange is the New Black" for a while.  Laters!

OK.  Click if you dare.  6 week photo updates.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


There is less than one week left in my forced idleness.  Thank goodness.

While I am frustrated at the lack of mobility, I am getting a little nervous about 'walking' again.  6 weeks with no weight on the left leg will do that to you.  What will happen when I can actually use it? I see visions of a blubbering, heaping mess on the floor.

I don't know what my instructions will be.  I only know that I am to bring 'The Boot' to my cast removal ceremony.  Well, that's what it is in my mind anyway!

That's not me at the top of the Rocky stairs, but I can
still visualize!
Will I be walking out of the office, crutches raised above my head in celebration and the theme from 'Rocky' blaring?  I don't know.

I do know that I will then begin the tortuous path to recovery known as 'PT'.  Can't wait for that painfest. Letting tendons and ligaments get 6 weeks worth of scar tissue built up before moving them ought to be a walk in the park.  Uh huh.

And yet, I will be glad to be able to get moving and stop sitting around with my leg up so much.  At least if my leg swells, I can adjust the boot.  This cast has been rather stubbornly un-adjustable, despite my efforts.

Oh, I have no doubt that I will overdo it at first.  I will sit around with my leg up napping for a couple of days, frustrated and sad.  Then I will suck it up and be more reasonable with what I can and can't do.

While it may not be the forts that I usually aspire to complete, I do still have plans for the summer.  A couple of little trips and then a trip to the Big Apple (hopefully).  I have a basement and a spare room that need deep cleaning.  I have closets to get at and I would like to help my sister overcome her painting obstacles.  I would love to be able to drive somewhere, open my car door and get out and walk to my destination.  Going upstairs would also be a treat since I haven't seen our second floor in over a month.  And let's not even talk about the joys of a proper shower where both legs get clean and both legs get shaved!

Oh, wait.  Does this mean I will have to start cooking again?  On second thought, I think I might need another couple of weeks in this cast.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cast-ing a Different Shadow

For those of you who just can't wait any longer for a look at the artwork on Cast #2, this post's for you.

Ta da!
I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but I use paint pens for these.  There are several different kinds.  I know that I use Sharpies and a couple of other brands.  I got most of them at one of my local big box craft/notions stores. The cast is rougher than the boot, so it kind of chews up the tips a bit, but nothing got ruined.  But, don't try to use the really fine line ones.  Those will get destroyed.

I also happened to have some big acrylic paint markers (I think Montana 92? sorry but I am laying in bed and am too lazy to get up and look-see previous post on crutching) that I used here and there. The trick is to not get the cast too wet.  Tee hee.

Again, I did the center and right side (my right).  TFIOS Addict and her mom did the left side.  Then they got bored and didn't want to finish the back.  So, I am backless.  Good help is hard to find.  It was kind of fun to lay in the recliner while they were slaving away on the left side.  I really got a kick out of that.

So, anyway, here are the pics.  I will need to freshen up my boot before next Friday.  I kind of have paint marks on the inside of my car door from that.  It is difficult to maneuver the thing out of the car without smacking it around. Just don't tell my husband.

OMG the cat is snoring!

I did this side.

I tried hard to get the left side, but it's a little difficult.

Oh yeah, this is the curve of the heel.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Art of Crutching

I am not sure that 'crutching' is a real word.  I am pretty sure that it isn't.  I don't care.  What else are you supposed to call it?  'Being on crutches'?  'Crutching' is easier to say and a lot shorter.  And people know what you mean.

My carry all bag and crutches.
I am not fond of these new appendages.  I am eternally grateful that I only have a couple more weeks of using them exclusively; with a little help from Betty Sue.  I do not know how people use them for long periods of time.

Crutching has it's very own set of rules and regulations.  A lot has to do with the laws of physics.  I was never very good at science, unfortunately, so I am learning the rules by trial and error.  Mostly error.

Water Torture:  I have become a near expert at spotting water on the floor.  It can be a super tiny drop, but if I hit it while crutching - watch out.  I will go down.  I have had several near misses so now I watch the ground wherever I go, just in case.

Somebody needs their tummy rubbed.
Furniture Dodging:  I have become adept at the sideways crutching move.  I have to use this in order to maneuver around the furniture in my house.  You just move one crutch sideways and hop a little to that side.  Then, repeat as necessary.  You won't get very far very fast, but you will be able to avoid chairs and tables.

Pain:  I have developed some calluses on my palms.  That part is good.  I have not developed calluses under my arms on the sides of my chest (think of where your bra wraps around).  That remains red and tingly...especially if I crutch too long at a time.  Also, my good leg takes all of the weight for as long as I am up and around.  Anymore, my purpose in taking medication is to keep that leg calmed down.  It is so overworked.

Stair Master:  I am paranoid about the stairs.  I have nearly lost my balance a time or two leaving the deck.  There is no way to get out of my house without going down a couple of stairs.  They scare me silly.

Stair Avoidance:  We have a two story house, with a basement.  I did go downstairs on my bum one day.  That was kind of fun.  But then I had to crawl back up, crawl to the couch and pull myself up to get back on my crutches.  I was exhausted.  I went upstairs one day by crawling up the stairs, crawling to the bedroom and then using the bed to pull myself up to get on my crutches.  I reversed the process for going down (remember:  I have a bionic knee on the healthy leg and it is difficult for me to stand up from the floor on one foot).  Again, exhausted.  I have decided that it is easier for other people to go up and down for me.

Bag Lady:  The other thing about crutching is that it is difficult to carry anything.  I carry a cloth purse/cross body bag with me all the time.  It holds a wallet, phone, kindle, drink, you name it!  You do have to be careful of the extra weight these things add.  Especially since the bag kind of swings around a little.  Remember those laws of physics.

Lunch Lady:  This also means that eating can be a bit of a challenge.  I quickly discovered that there was no way for me to get my food to the table.  Since I am not fond of standing to eat at the counter, I have a system. All of my food goes into closed containers and into my lunch bag.  I can then hobble into the living room to prop my foot up and watch TV while I eat.  Hey, it works.

Workout:  Last but not least, crutching is exhausting.  It takes me five times longer to do anything.  I cringe when I accidentally forget to grab something.  I  pretty much think long and hard about whether I need something so badly that I get up, grab the crutches, maneuver into whichever room I need, grab said object, crutch back and then sit down.  I usually don't need it that badly.

On the positive side, there are a lot of things that I can do.  I can write this blog for instance.  I can catch up on all my Netflix movies and shows.  I can re-read all of the Harry Potter books.  And I can pet the cats.  A lot.  If they let me.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Right, Left, Right, Right, Right, Right

An interesting thing about having this cast on my leg is that I only need one shoe...the right shoe.

They are kind of all over the house now.  The poor lefties are sitting in a closet just waiting to be worn.

I have two new pairs that I wear nearly every day.  I have never even touched the left shoe for those.

As I see my righties sitting in the room, I wonder what it will feel like to wear two shoes again.  It will be awhile as I will be going directly into The Boot from the cast.

Is it okay to buy new shoes in this condition?  In the name of important research, I will check that out and get back to you.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Cast On, Cast Off

Do you remember the picture that I posted of my shiny new cast last week?  In case you missed it...ta dah!

Of course, I cannot leave such a perfect canvas untouched now, can I?

I am not a contortionist and I cannot remove the cast, like I could the boot, to work on it.  So, with my trusty paint pens and some help from my niece (formerly known as Twilight Girl but whom I will now dub TFIOS Addict) I was able to decorate my life a little.  I thought a high top Converse style shoe would work.  Yes, I know the front is crooked.  Working upside down is not my strong suit.

I did the front and the right side (my right).  TFIOS Addict did the left side and the back seam.  She also drew in the star for the Converse circle.

Yup.  I did this part.

Love the seam in the back.

My niece was nervous to do this, but she did an excellent job!

Now I have a shiny new cast to paint.  It is glow in the dark again, because seriously, it is a nightlight for getting to the bathroom in the dark!  Plus it provides a nice canvas and is cooler than, say, a black cast, which my niece was hoping I would get.

I do have a few ideas.  One of them has ME nervous, so I will probably sketch it out first.  I will have this one for 3 weeks, so I don't want to mess it up.  

They took out the staples and I took out my camera phone.  It looks good.  Just a lot of swelling, which I need to get used to as that can take a good 6 months to go away.  I am off of most drugs, just a couple of 800 mg Ibuprofens a day.  And, quite frankly, that is to keep the right knee (my new one) from getting so stiff and swollen.  Poor thing has to bear all of my not inconsiderable weight.
I have even dared to look at flights to NYC.  Although, maybe not so much walking this year.  And I am going to STL soon for a little parental units visit.

This baby comes off at the end of the month, so just a few more weeks to endure.  Then the real fun starts...PT.  Luckily, I saved some of the drugs for just such an occasion.

Enter below at your own risk!