Archive for the ‘medical’ Category

My Life Monday: Big Scare

I know it has been a couple weeks since I posted a My Life Monday article as I am recovering emotionally from an infection scare. Several weeks ago when I unwrapped my leg from the full leg length brace, I noticed a spot on top of my knee that had opened up along the incision. I was so terrified that another infection was brewing.

My worst fear was that I would need yet another surgery and possible lose my graft. I have gone through so much to get to where I am I just couldn’t bear the thought that I might have to start over. The PA (physician assistant) at my surgeon’s office said that I should continue on antibiotics preventatively, have lab work done, and that I had to come in weekly until it was healed. He also wasn’t sure it there was another infection starting or what was going on.

On my next visit the following week, the opening was definitely smaller and my lab results were fine. So he didn’t think it was an infection, but time would tell. Amazingly the very next day when I looked at my knee the wound had shrunk by almost half. And so by the time I saw my ID (infectious disease) doctor it was scabbed over.

Thankfully on my next visit to the surgeon’s office the wound had completely closed and he said that he’d start letting me bend my knee. Although the first increase on the brace is only 20 degrees which is really not a whole lot, but a start. I return again this week and should have my brace adjusted again, this time to 45 degrees. I’ll then continue to have visits every two weeks until after my brace is set at 90 degrees for two weeks and then should be able to finally ditch this brace.

If things continue to progress on schedule from now on I should be out of this necessary, but obnoxious brace right around Thanksgiving. While I feel quite relieved that this scare wasn’t an infection, I can’t help but feel a little bit anxious about my knee still. Even though there isn’t a rejection risk with this graft as there is with most other types of donor grafts, there is still an infection risk.

Eventually though if a biopsy of my kneecap or tendon were done it would show only my cells it’ll take about 5 years for that to be complete. But the longer I go with no problems, the lower the chance for any complications. So while I definitely feel I dodged a bullet this time I have a feeling I will still feel at least a little bit of unease still until a few more months have passed with no complications.

~Jaclyn~

Still Swollen

It’s been two weeks now and my left ankle/foot is still swollen and painful! Luckily, x-rays showed that I didn’t break anything but this has really slowed me down.

While I will do some walking and stair climbing when I’m at PT (physical therapy), I won’t do much walking otherwise right now as it is hurts too much. L I’m very grateful that my slip and fall didn’t do any damage to my knee or serious injury to my foot/ankle. I know it could have been a LOT worse. And the PA (physician assistant) did still progress my brace to be able to bend to a max of 75° at my visit just before Thanksgiving.
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Adjustments, Slips, and Spills


Tomorrow I head back to the surgeon’s office for yet another one of my bi-weekly visits. While it is a drag having to schlep up to their office and having to often wait hours to see the P.A. (Physicians Assistant) I know it is well worth it.

And I am very lucky to have such a close family friend who is just wonderful company and we often will go out for dinner or something afterwards. That really does help to make the whole experience so much better!
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The ‘Good’ Foot Goes To Heaven & The ‘Bad’ Foot to …


Well, you know where …
Now you’re probably wondering what in the world am I talking about?!? In the world of PT (physical therapy) it is a pneumonic device used to remember which leg goes first as you’re climbing up and down the stars. It is actually quite clever once you think about it. When someone, like myself, is going to climb a few steps using a walker there is a whole specific process for doing such things.
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Back to the Gym

 

This past week was my first full week back in outpatient Physical Therapy (PT). When I had talked to Denise* (one of my primary physical therapists) on the phone while still in the acute rehab unit (ARU) I found it sweet and kind of amusing that she sounded so excited, maybe just a little bit too excited that I was able to be returning to the gym.

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