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Friday, February 20, 2015

My ankle fracture six weeks on

The original damage: enough hardware to secure a Wellington roof.  Praises be to the surgeon and his team for doing a wonderful job of screwing me back together.  If I was in a 3rd World country I would probably now be on a street corner with a foot facing the wrong way and holding up a begging bowl.

Plaster coming off - thank goodness!  But in for a quite a shock.... My days of leisure are now coming to an end...

Is there more to meet the eye than the expected?  There sure is...
Oh dear - and I thought I had small ankles!  The foot is very swollen, sore and with little range of motion.  It feels like it is detached from the leg which is a most disconcerting feeling.  While not unexpected, the severity after 6 weeks is still surprising.
The good news is that the follow up xrays show the bones are very nicely knitted.  The surgeon has done well.
The nutrition and other strategies to ensure good healing must have also helped - no harm for sure.

Anyone feel like mushrooms for dinner?  The result of six weeks in a sweaty cast in the middle of a historic heat wave.  The sight and the smell were quite shock.  Very smelly and not at all pleasant to look at.

My partner, Alofa, was given the unenviable job of thoroughly washing the foot before the long taxi drive home.  The windows were kept open - phew!

My ankle a few days later.  Swollen and painful.
The 7th to 8th week will be devoted to getting the swelling under control along with carefully increasing the range of movement.  Right now, the foot is still very sore and feels like it is about to fall off.  Range of movement is very limited and crutches are required to get around.  Sleep is fitful even with painkillers.
Note the calf muscle loss as compared to the very muscular and toned right leg.  Swelling is being steadily reduced by the use of compression bandaging from the toes to the top of the calf (It is important that compression for swelling covers the entire limb part and not just the swollen region).  The leg is also elevated at all times other than walking (shuffling).  I'm in no hurry to push the walking - "One small step for Gary....", if you get the drift.
Leg elevated while typing this article using a special leg support on loan from ACC.  While its a little awkward, the benefit is improving hamstring flexibility.  I'm also getting effleurage massage once a day, with coconut oil, to shift the fluid out of the leg.  It is interesting that I have felt a little ill over the last two days.  I wonder if this is due to the increase in toxic fluids now being shifted into the circulation.  This may be the cause of the flu-like symptoms.  I have stepped up liver support.

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