Monday, January 30, 2012

Last Ankle Post

So, I had appointments every few weeks with x-rays taken each time.  Let me tell you it is strange to see the image of your leg bones and see this metal and screws on the side.  I will post a picture of it when I make my way down to radiology records to get a digital copy.

I got the ok to put weight on my foot at 6 weeks post op.  I hadn't put any weight on my left leg for 7 weeks and it's amazing how quickly your muscles go away!  I had lost pretty much all my calf muscle.  Walking with the boot and crutches went well.  Of course now that I had more freedom I was ready to walk!  Brian will tell you I pushed myself too much and that is probably true.

I went in again on January 24th and everything was looking great and so Dr. S told me I could take off the boot and start walking around with two shoes and crutches.  I was SO happy!!  He also had me set up some PT appointments to get the flexibility back in my ankle. 

Wearing two normal shoes again.  Sometimes it's the small things!

After wearing the right shoe for 2 months I did need to get new shoes.  And with the weather getting worse I thought it was best to get some shoes for the winter weather.

My scar from the surgery is healing well.  I never took pictures right after surgery, but trust me it was pretty yucky looking.  My ankle is thicker than it was before and the tissue is still repairing itself so it looks pinker than the other foot.  The brusing is almost gone and the scar is healing nicely.

I'm now walking without any crutches at home and use both crutches while at work.  As Dr. S and the physical therapist said pain will be my guide in how much I push myself.  I have exercises to work on getting my range of motion back and the physical therapist said I will be able to get to the point that I can run again.  And because I only run if a big dog is chasing me I think I'll be just fine.

Not the best picture, but you get the idea of how long the incision was.
In the room where I have the x-rays taken is a picture of a womans foot in a high heal shoe.  I never wore them a lot, but at this point I can't even wear 2" heals as my ankle doesn't have the flexibility to maintain that position for an entire day.  After seeing a picture like this it is incredible that some women wear these shoes every day.

So, my recovery is going well.  I'm thankful for our church family for their prayers and meals they brought over early in my recovery.  For our neighbors in taking the kids on the day of my fall at 6:30 in the morning and after my post-op went longer than expected.  For Diane and the help and support she gave us during the day of my surgery (before and after) along with making everything for Christmas Day dinner.  For the rest of my family for their concern and support.  And lastly, for Brian and everything he's done the past two months.  From laundry, cooking, cleaning and his supportive words when I felt awful he's been wonderful.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ankle Saga Continues...

So, in medical terms I had an oblique distal fibula fracture and comminuted posterior distal tibia fracture. This required a surgical grade stainless steel plate and screws on my fibula. And for those of you who were wondering (probably no one other than Brian) yes, they do have to pre-drill before they put the screws in.

Dr. S was out of the office the week I was supposed to go in and have the surgical splint removed so I didn’t get in until December 20th. I can tell you I was going crazy in the splint!  I even tried to bribe my friend who is a surgical nurse to take it off.  My appointment went well and because I said I would be a compliant patient J they gave me a boot to wear and didn’t cast my leg. It felt wonderful to just have the splint off and now I was going to get a boot! Wow, that felt like an early Christmas present. They noticed that my body obviously didn’t like the pressure from the splint and had a lot of bruising and sores. This was one of the reasons for the boot also.  Cute huh? 

Next stop was to get a knee walker. Huh? Yes, they have a device that you rest your knee on and can push yourself around. Here’s a picture of mine:

My wonderful Nova Knee Walker

Brian wanted me to get an iWalkFree, but I thought the knee walker would work just fine.  Of course, it wasn't nearly as cool.

The Christian education director of our church had bunion surgery at the end of December and she got a knee walker too!  Of course we had to get a picture.

Brian said she has the luxury cruiser and I have the sporty convertible.
More later...

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Phew, life’s been crazy at the Weber house the last two months.  If you read my December 2nd post you were able to learn about my incredible balance.  This is a continuation of that post.  So, where I left off was all I thought I was going to need was a cast to fix this thing.

Well, my appointment on December 6th crushed all those dreams. With how our home/kid schedule is I was supposed to take the older girls to have them evaluated by an orthodontist at the exact time my appointment was scheduled in the orthopedic clinic. Brian took the older girls while I went to my appointment alone. As a side note - Froedtert hospital, where I work and went for my care, is a teaching hospital which means there are lots of medical students and residents.

I get to my appointment in the orthopedic clinic and need to have x-rays taken of my ankle. After those were done I was brought to the cast room where they cut the top open of the splint that was put on after they set my ankle (ouch) in the emergency room. The room is large with about 8 exam tables around the outside. The physician I was seeing, Dr. S, was over talking with what looked like a college age boy who had broken his arm.

Meanwhile, someone was over looking at my x-rays on a COW (computer on wheels – great name I know) without saying anything to me. Dr. S now comes over to the table I’m lying on.

Without acknowledging me Dr. S turns to the resident and says "well, what would you do?"
"Um…cast it??"
"You should be telling me, not asking me. Hello, Mrs. Weber. The right way to fix your ankle is to do surgery."

He went on to explain why and the rationale for his opinion. Then he says "how’s Thursday?" "Works for me". Drats…Brian had all day training that day, but I’m thinking this is a little more important. Oh, and the best part is you can’t put weight on your ankle for 6 weeks. Gee…this is sounding better and better all the time.

I was the first surgery on December 8th, which meant that I had to be at the hospital by 5:00 am. Wow, was that early! We are so very fortunate to have Diane close and able to help us with anything we need. She came and stayed the night and got the kids to school. It gave us a sense of relief to know she was there while Brian and I were at the hospital. And little did we know then that we would need her again later in the afternoon/early evening after surgery.

Those hair caps are so cute!!
Surgery was scheduled for 7:30 am. Most of you weren’t on Brian’s emails he sent out about my progress. Here they are:

8:37 am - Just spoke with the doctor.  Surgery went well.  Assistants are putting in the last stitches.  Another 90 minutes before I will be able to go back to see her.
11:31 am - Back in recovery with Laura. She is doing well and trying to sleep.  She had a plate and seven screws put in.  The long screw was not needed, so should not need a follow up surgery to remove.  Toes are starting to tingle which means the nerve block is starting to wear off, so she has started the pain regime. Looking to be discharged in the early afternoon.
3:50 pm - Still in recovery.  The anesthesia is making it difficult for Laura to go to the bathroom which is required before she can be discharged.  She did get a catheter and is now waiting for the bladder to fill up again to try again.  She is very ready to go home.  The nerve block is still in place and she has no pain yet.
6:17 pm - Yeah!!!!!   Working on getting discharged now.
7:15 pm - Home.  Thanks for all your prayers and good thoughts. Laura is looking forward to hopefully a good night sleep. Will give another update tomorrow.  
Next Day - Nerve block wore off around 1 am.  Lots of pain, but the medication (3 different ones, one taken every four hours) is handling most of it and letting Laura sleep. Overall she is doing good and is on the road to recovery.
Wow, they give you some good drugs! There are two or three days after surgery that I don’t really remember J
More tomorrow…if I have a chance to type it out.