I know I haven’t posted any update on myself in quite a while so I’m going to try to catch you up on things. I had my third major leg surgery at the beginning of July and so I am still stuck with my leg in a very hot and sticky full length leg brace. Up until a week or so ago the summer weather had been fairly mild. But the last week the thermostat has been significantly hotter and muggier. And we do not have air conditioning so I’ve been running fans 24 hours a day.
In the next few weeks I am going to try to write about all my ‘adventures’ from before my surgery when I was pretty mobile. I really tried to take advantage of that time knowing that I would be losing that mobility temporarily. For now even going out locally is an ordeal as cars are not designed for someone with a straight leg. Because of that I have to sit in the back seat sideways with most of my pillows to cushion and prop my leg up.
This latest surgery was to give me a new patella (kneecap) and tendon as mine had been removed nearly two years ago. Without a patella and tendon I had no extension mechanism meaning that I couldn’t straighten my leg out from any bent position. My leg was quite floppy even with extensive physical therapy (PT). My incredibly amazing surgeon who saved my leg (the prior doctors said amputation was my only option), has a set of surgeries to remove the infected bone, replace the infected bone and joint with an implant, and a way to replace a patella and tendon through a graft.
I will be forever grateful for the young ladies family who decided to save and improve the quality of life for many people. I will more than likely never learn her identity, but her gift will allow me to be able to walk without crutches and return to taking dance one day. Unlike other ‘transplant/graft” surgeries, I do not need to be on immunosuppressants as my surgeon has a process of removing all genetic material from the graft. After about 5 years if they were to biopsy the patella or tendon they would find only my own cells which is just incredible.
I am trying so hard to be patient, but the head and humidity is driving me nuts! If only I could dial back the sun (temperature). i cannot wait until I am allowed to start bending my leg. I know that process takes a few months as I went through it last fall. Once they let the movable brace bend to 20 degrees, that begins the every other week visits to the surgeon’s office so that the PA (physican assistant) can increase the amount of movement that the brace will allow me to bed.
A huge difference this time is that my leg won’t be floppy when they increase the ROM (range of motion). Last time the more ROM I was given, the more difficult it became to try to hold my leg straight. I won’t have that problem this time because of the new tendon and patella that I have. I will be forever grateful to my current surgeon for believing that my leg not only could be saved, but be very functional.
What a difference a year makes! At this time last year I was on multiple IV medications that I administered myself at home. I was in horribly excruciating pain as I recovered from the first surgery with this surgeon. I have been told that bone pain is one of the worst kinds of pain. And from experience I would have to agree that bone pain is absolutely horrific. With the extensive surgery I had in June of 2011, the pain I had all last summer was just incredibly intense. I would never want anyone else to have to go through what I have in the last 4 years.
Between April and June I was so much more mobile than I have been in years. I was able to drive again and have so much more independence. Which I gotta tell you was extremely hard to give up (even temporarily). But I know that I will never fell comfortable walking out and about without my crutches while still missing my patella and tendon. I knew that I would never be able to be as physically active as I once was until i underwent this latest surgery.
I think I can finally see the light in the distance at the end of the tunnel. With all the ups and downs of the last 4 years, I hadn’t been able to see when the nightmare would end. Well now with the help of my incredible surgeon and the support of my family, close family friends, and friends I don’t think I would be where I am now. I know the next 6+ plus months are going to be very difficult, I also know that it will be worth it in the long run. And not only do I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but my next summer I hope to be able to run the rest of the way.
Also I just posted a new following widget on my sidebar for Linky followers. i would very much appreciate it if you could PLEASE follow me via Linky followers. I’ve been trying to find another following widget ever since GFC (google friend connect) was discontinued from ALL non blogger blogs.
*If you have any questions about any of the medical issues I’ve mentioned by feel free to contact me via my Contact Me form on the right*