Foot Ankle Surgery – 10 days and Going

Posted Posted by DetectiveEstes in Uncategorized     Comments No comments

Ahhhh, I cannot BeGIN to tell you how aggravating a muscle cramp is when your foot is clamped inside of a cast! This morning I was on my cart in the kitchen, fixing to commit to a PTA bath. (You’d have to be a camping person, or a military person to know what PTA stands for. This is a G rated article, and PTA wouldn’t fit that!). While I was kneeling on the cart, the cramp hit my upper thigh on my ‘new’ – surgered ankle. Very painful. I quickly put my leg down, and deep breathed to calm the leg some. It worked.
After my bath, I was getting ready to get my new leg back on the cart and I suddenly had the cramp again, only this time it was inside the cast. What a unique, desperate, and hopeless feeling. The pain was intense, and I felt like I couldn’t do anything about this new cramp. I again straightened my leg out, put it down and attempted to relax again. Took a Lot longer this time. But finally it was over. Thankfully.
Tonight, while on the phone, once again I had a calf cramp. And once again I was able to get the cramp calmed down. My first thought was that I had sat too much today. Maybe so, except the first two were while I was standing. Next, I thought of my cast. It is definitely tighter to my leg than the first splint was. Guess I’ll wait to see if I have more of these and maybe return to the doctor’s office to see about an adjustment.
Today was Sunday, the day following the muscle cramps. Today, my foot decided to itch. If there is a choice, I would definitely rather have an itch than a cramp, but can I just have neither? Constance, in putting the cast on told me nothing goes inside the cast; no hangars, rulers, fingers, etc., to scratch an itch. If there was a persistent itch, I was to take Benadryl. Which may be fine for most folks, but the times in the past that I’ve taken Benadryl meant that I would be sleeping for the day. Benadryl runs my metabolism down to next to nothing. I already have super low blood pressure. Put the two together and what happens is wholesale sleep. So I didn’t take Benadryl. Fortunately, my wife fixed breakfast which took my mind off the itching and it went away.
Now we are in Monday, January 27th. Woke up to foot itching today. I bounced my foot around in the bed, but that was a futile attempt to stop the itching. I refuse to take Benadryl. Already said why. I would probably be asleep within 30 minutes after taking it. So I set about finding a way to – not itch. How to do that? I tried relaxation. It may be that I was too wide awake after having had a good night’s sleep. My body may not feel any good reason to return to the relaxation close to sleep. So, next thing, let’s be duplicitous. Let’s make the body believe there is itching somewhere else, scratch there and see what happens. I deliberately told my brain, out loud, that I had an itch on my neck. Next thing that happened was my neck had a small itch. Lying to my own brain. So I scratched the neck itch. PRESTO!!! It worked!! No itch in the cast!!! Since that moment, I have had no further itch inside my cast. It’s good to try an experiment that works.
What next – Well, when my cast was installed by Nurse Constance, she stated, unequivocally that this cast was a non-weight bearing cast. I didn’t realize until after I left the doctor’s office how hard the cast was. So I’ve been testing the cast since I had it. I find that I can twist my leg, and though my ankle has a small ache, there is no large pain as with my splint. I have also found that I can stand on two feet, although I can’t place weight to speak of on the cast, I can place my foot to touch the ground just for balance until I get my crutch or cart in the right place to work or ride someplace. I also find that even with a no weight bearing order, I can also put my cast down, for balance, and hustle over-top of the cast, while it’s on the ground, to get my full weight down, like to a chair or cart. So even though non-weight bearing, the cast is still useful for balance in my moving endeavors.
We live in a multi-floor house. Since this surgery we have been sleeping on the first floor, not the second as usual. We bought a little sofa that folds out to a bed and placed it in our enclosed porch. It’s a very comfortable little place. I might say, except for the cast, it’s more comfortable than my regular bed. A little lower than my regular bed but the alternate good thing is that I don’t have to stand in order to get in the bed. Standing being a bit difficult at this particular time.
The real reason for being this up about the multi-floor house is that yesterday I decided to go down to the basement to check on our furnace. We have radiators with a furnace which heats hot water and runs it through the radiators for heat. The night before, I could hear the furnace turning on and I was worried about stuff in front of the furnace that might catch fire. (When the furnace turns on, if a shield isn’t in front of it, fire flies out about 3 feet and nothing flammable should be in front of the furnace, hence my worry). I determined I would go check.
So this is the saga of getting into the basement to check for something. I am still fearful of walking with crutches. If I didn’t have to walk at all with them, I wouldn’t. Never get real brave or confident with crutches. One bad turn and you could go right over. I have the same issue getting started down the steps of the basement as I did getting started down the back outside steps as related on the January 23rd post. How am I going to take that first step? The difference is there are 13 basement steps. That’s a considerable longer distance to bump down if I fall! I decide to try the bathroom method. Sit on the commode, and then use my arms to lift myself down to the floor to sit. Nope, that isn’t the way, my arms aren’t long enough without dislocating my shoulders. So I have a toilet seat extension(does that sound funny? Or what?). It’s from my wife’s hip surgery. Put that on the floor. It’s about 4 inches tall. Now I can do the same maneuver as before and this time I’m successful! Now just slide onto the floor. Open the basement door, grab my crutches and begin the bumping along down the steps till I get about 3 up from the bottom. Now I can stand up, put myself into my crutches and I’m up! Success! I can’t begin to say how each little measure of progress causes me to feel better.
I crutch on around to the furnace and make sure there is no debris close by. Nothing there. Good. I wasn’t looking forward to trying to clean any stuff away from the furnace. So now, I’m in the basement anyway, I went ahead and made sure I could crutch over to anywhere else in the basement in case I wanted to come down here and do some work on some projects. I managed to get all the way around the floor, poked into some projects, sat down at a couple and moved things around, found chairs I could sit in, and generally had a pretty good time while there. In general though, this was to build confidence in getting around slightly confined spaces in case I wanted/needed to be in another part of the house.
Now to return to the first floor. First, sit down on the steps back to the first floor, at about the 3rd one up. I placed the crutches down beside me. I used my good foot to push me back up the steps, and pulled the crutches after me until I was all the way back to the top. Then I used the commode extender to get back up, then push on up to the actual commode, pull my little cart over and hop on.
This is good enough for now. More to come.

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About Detective Estes

Detective EstesMr. Estes has lived in the DC Metropolitan area for most of his life. His father’s influence and expertise in firearms resulted in Mr. Estes beginning to rifle shoot at a young age and eventually shooting on the Washington-Lee High School rifle team in Arlington, VA.

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