Tag Archives: Surgery

Under Constant Consideration


lit

I sit and prick my finger with the thinnest needle I’ve ever seen.  It feels as thin as a loose-leaf page between my fingers.  This needle reminds me of the first time I tried to grasp what was taking place on the table after I let the alcohol dry and stomach lbs of anxiety to push a simple white surrender button that has no problem piercing me at its own inorganic intention.  That bee-stinger reminds me of my family’s hang ups every time I glance over the medical history list and check off every sick inheritance.  It’s one more thing to put on the death record.  The son of a bitch needle reminds me of where my life has been and where it’s going.

I think about who I’m becoming?  I think about the coincidences that tie into another coincidence like a necklace and how I never believe much in coincidences or in necklaces that are meant to break with the purpose and strange intent to try and shake up my faith.  I believe in life’s orchestration and in every gift given by higher sources.  I think about my faith, motivation and temperament.  How much fight I have in me?  How to keep positive mantras by the altar of my heart and how to deal them out as needed, as well as how to go about feeding my spiritual backyard with water when it’s looking dry as a bone due to inner turmoil.

The small round dot of red reminds me of a ladybug.  I believe the ladybug is searching for answers life can’t always give while I’m still breathing, punching and kicking alive.  The ladybug is on a quest for numbers in low ranges and metabolic disorders to be of order.  I’m checking my blood sugar, but I call her ladybug because it verbally and visually sounds prettier than the faults I hold as a human.  The New Year brought me diabetes and I’m not sure how to feel about this progressive disease that had a lot to do with taking my mother’s life.

What does the bigger picture hold?

*

The surgeon says, “Are you aware diabetes further affects the ligaments.tendons in your foot and how your foot heals from surgery?”  I don’t take advice from anyone who butchers human bodies for a living because even though what they do for a living can be helpful, there’s something inhumane about cutting into human bodies.  Let alone, the discord for why surgeons lack brainpower, logic sense, human emotion and emotional intelligence.  I can’t tell you the countless times I’ve been in his cold office and every single time I’ve felt like I was touched and centered by a black-hole; the entire light of my thirty-something being vanish in a space where I was beginning to be invisible to myself.

Then there’s my primary doctor who’s younger than I and mentally more fucked than I am says it’s in the controlled phase, don’t worry so much she blurts carelessly.  Is she telling the 29 million Americans with diabetes not to worry too?  Yet in the same session casually mentions how her supervisor said you would be a good candidate for bypass surgery as if I resemble a hippopotamus of sort.  Anyone who hacks into human bodies for a living with a scalpel is god-awful fucking people.  No thank you I know how to lose weight on my own even though these gargoyles of depression won’t get off my shoulders and every painful step and every stretch of my Achilles heel is a partial reminder where the mess of my life went awry.

So I asked for a referral to see the endocrinologist, which took me a year plus to get because I didn’t become a candidate until the diabetes clock decided to tick its way in because a 40lb weight gain in a 2 year span doesn’t constitute as a person having a real problem other than depression or hatred in America.  So, do I consider the diabetes to be a blessing in disguise? Well, I certainly believe it came on time!

Now Dr. Endocrinologist doesn’t dish any hope at all, but he talked openly about his country, how poor he was as a kid and how he’d go hungry and learned the power of discipline through starvation unlike the Americans who have every convenience and option rolled out for them like a red carpet.  He went on to say I know I’ll get diabetes eventually because it’s hereditary, but I do my best to prevent it by not eating all the wonderful fatty and carby things I would love to eat now.  Then he wrapped up with a spiel of willpower and the difficulty most people have when it comes to willpower.  And I kept looking at him, like do you know who the fuck I am?  Then I realized no this is your first meeting and he talks like his because he doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall, so I don’t hold his appalling lecture personally.

He goes on to say 50% of your pancreas is shot and will never work the way it once did.  Then right away I felt like a dying tulip on the side of neglected roadkill sitting on the thought of my pancreas dying a whole ten years prior according to him.  The only thing I did agree with is the way his eyes lit up with sinful fire as he said, “What is wrong with your primary doctor?  It’s crazy for her to mention bypass surgery for 3 reasons: 1. That’s not a solution.  2.  Most people lose 50% of their weight the first year, but gain it ALL back because most people aren’t disciplined. 3.  You don’t even know the basics of endocrinology.

To be continued..

-Pennington

Advertisements

ORIF


image

Finding the right physical therapist took a lot of time, which set me back just like finding the right surgeon (and personally I think he did a fine job and I want to get him and his staff a box of chocolates – is this too intimate?). Thank the Lord!

It seems like the second time was the charm of these circumstances. And I’m just happy enough to identify the madness and to be given the tiny miracle of opportunity to change things as soon as I can. It’s been a total of eight weeks (maybe more?) and everything still feels crazy to me.

The first real therapy session – mind you aggressive! – has actually set me to a default of the first stage of grief (for some): Shock! I was zombiefied after the session. And although I’ve been doing my own research and physical therapy work at home, I felt like one of those gym people who only perform 15 minutes of cardio and 15 minutes of strength-training and for them that was the hard part besides finding the nerve to get to the gym.

But more than that is how these people tend to LOVE the SHIT out of the stretching part of the workout session. You could see the joy plastered on their faces. It’s almost disgusting!  Nevertheless, it’s how I felt when the therapy session was over. No more pain from a stranger. No more looking like a fucking noob. No more wallowing. The massage and ice afterwards felt golden. It was the best part besides feeling like a 2 year old and taking my first steps with a walker. But then, the shock hit me on the way home.

Sighs.

I felt lost in a sky like the toddler who let go a second too soon because he doesn’t know any better – he hasn’t grown into life yet. Or like the lady floating on her own balloon in the picture above – not sure where she’s going? (Where am I traveling to?)

So, what is ORIF anyway? It’s a Fracture Fibula – Open Reduction Internal Fixation! Fixation, eh? I’m certainly fixated on this current situation – so much so I feel like a hot mess, like a pair of 10 year old sneakers, abused and neglected that can be found in a corner of a gym.

Okay, so I’m making gains, progressing like the way a slug does all the while looking back somewhat. I’m stuck in a very past-present condition. I’d love to put this all behind me, however I have to learn life lessons and look at the bigger picture of several things and get this balloon of the unknown off of me so I can feel somewhat normal and like I’m back in my element. I’m tired of floating. I don’t like the feeling of limbo.

And if anyone tells me to get the fuck over this, not only will I smack them with a fucking dumbbell – I’ll display the video of my surgery and in the process break their fucking ankle. Kidding! Almost. 😉

-Pennington

Different Stages Of Foot Pain


image

There’s a lot of reflections occurring between last week and this week, so expect more writing about my foot until I get to really weightlifting again. I believe these reflections are due to the realization that I may indeed receive a walking boot after they saw off this cast of mine next week. And although I’m grateful for all the help from everyone (on and offline), which includes powerful words, a place to stay, mantras, support, comfort and such – there’s still a part of me that isn’t entirely happy…yet.

There’s also a part of me that can’t be happy about the thought of using my foot again no matter how small it may be because it’s hard to believe. I’ll be a week shy from a full 2 months since this fibula fracture occurred. Time breezes.. but not when you feel isolated from the world and not when you feel like your independence is on hold and not when you’re dying to feel the full adrenaline rush that only the gym can provide.

I’ll soon be headed for another type of pain I once again am not looking forward to: Learning how to use my ankle, learning how to put weight on my foot and learning the steps on how to gain full mobility again. And I’m not sure how long it’ll be aside from the surgeon who claims it’ll take a few months and by a few months he means March.

So, although, again I’m grateful, I still feel like I have a long way to go. And sure, it may not be true. But I also don’t want to get my hopes high only to fall in a bottomless pit of infinite depression and disappointment later. In the meantime, I want to make sure I’m writing down all these stages for remembrance among other things to come.

Here’s the start of it: Before surgery I had foot pain that wouldn’t quit – partly because my ankle was fucked and partly because the emergency room I visited that night thought I was an animal off the street possibly and decided to put my broken ankle in a wet splint where they practically kicked me out the attending room before it was even remotely dry. So every day after that for two whole weeks my splint shifted differently making balancing extremely painful. 

And for those 2 weeks I was being given the run around due to private and public insurance, getting referrals, fighting with the middle man for the delivery of my wheelchair, and dealing with waiting lists, until my good friend worked his magic where my surgeon’s secretary squeezed me to get surgery because time was running out and as the more time went on the more fucked my ankle would have been.

But for those 2 weeks before surgery everything was horrible as there was increasing pain each day in my foot. I felt the splint jab deeply into my ankle bones, mostly on the outer side that sometimes felt crippling to the rest of my body. I took some pain medication, but nothing besides over the counter stuff because I knew the closer surgery came the chances of me taking something stronger later. And I fear of ever becoming a drug addict because I seen my mother be a really good one and recovered far too late in her life. And let’s be realistic, who wants to commit the same family patterns and dilemmas?

Besides the jabbing pain in my ankle bone that shot straight up my leg, my foot was swollen as if someone dropped a iron mallet on it – so most times my foot felt compressed and along the way I was being driven mad mentally. At all times my foot had to be elevated because that’s the only relief I had aside from music, reading and writing. (Okay and maybe Wendy Williams.) The last type of foot pain before surgery was just how mushed together my toes were – a vision sprouted in my brain of multiple garden snakes chokeholding my toes and I wondered: if I could ever use my tiny little piglets again.

After surgery I did my best to document my foot pain in a list of stages I experienced because I wanted to be familiar with all the different pains. I also have this thing where I enjoy analyzing body pain – it’s one reason pain is tattooed on my forearm, however with analyzing pain means bringing more pain to oneself. Good thing I braced myself and was ready.

I guess one has to not only be afraid of pain, but actually enjoy it to an extent. Still, I wanted to be in tune with my body and I wanted to listen to what it was saying to me. This was definitely an experience and still is. Here’s the list:

1. Lazer pain on the left side of inner ankle bone. Dull pain on the right outer ankle bone.

1st week: The fresh Lazer pain was from the surgeon having to open the other side of my ankle (the inner left part). This pain felt new, razor-sharp and super fresh. The right outer ankle bone was dull with pain because as I said 2 weeks before surgery the splint would dig in there with a dull knife which I became used to.

2. Pressure-pain

2nd Week: I assume this was from the combination of nerves, blood, fragments being fixed and everything having been manipulated while I was asleep on the operating platter.

3. Swollen pain

2-5 Week: The obvious, blood rushing through the foot and blowing up like a fat fish.

4. Muscle spasms in calve, foot and toes

3-4 Week: The inactivity was killing me here and the lack of blood circulation too.

During this time I OD’d on vitamins, potassium and lots of water. It seemed to work at moments. But to really fix this situation, what I did was stand up on 1 leg for a 1-2 minutes at a time and allowed even more blood to flow and despite how painful it was it provided relief.

5. Foot feeling warm as if someone is putting warm water over my cast

Week 4-5: From my understanding they claim this may happen when nerves are compressed. Also this feeling can be due to muscle inactivity and lack of circulation.

I found the warm feeling however to be a form of healing, as my foot felt so good during this time. It felt more like a body-spiritual experience.

6. Foot hurting in the back of my ankle

Week 5-7: Just elevated my foot for long periods of time. I didn’t find any concrete evidence on what causes this.

7. Tiny click that goes on/off somewhere in the ankle, I think on the right side when I moved my knee or foot to move, whether it was to get out of bed or holding my leg up, etc.

Week 3-4: Also not sure what caused this. The good thing is it went away.

8. Toes became white due to lack of circulation. Tingle, pin/needle sensations as if my foot was asleep. Toes felt super cold.

Week 4-5: It felt like drama, like death. Also claims lack of muscle inactivity and loss of blood circulation.

9. Knee hurting.

Week 5-6: I assume lack of knee movement and the way in which the hard cast pulls on it. I decided to start light stretching and move it a few times throughout the day.

10. Bottom of heel hurting as if I’m stepping and digging onto a hard pebble and am rolling on it like a pin.

Week 5-6: Feels like intense drama. Not sure what caused it. Foot in elevation mode.

11. Compression pain

Week 4-7: It feels like a person is taking their hands and trying to make my foot small by compressing and squashing the crap out of it. This feeling is odd and it’s very uncomfortable. Medication doesn’t heal it, therefore I just assume it’s a part of the body healing on its own.

I can only hope that this could be beneficial to someone who ever has to go through this in some way as a form of what to expect pain wise. I remember searching for a weekly stage of what I’ll be going through with this ankle/foot of mine and only remember seeing people speaking of muscle cramps within the 3rd-6th week. That wasn’t enough, so I documented what I could and slightly researched after to make sure I wasn’t the only one who felt such pain or try and find out about nerves, Fibula Fracture, etc.

I had written enough. Originally I wanted to write about how I overcame the pain, pressure and swollen crap, but I thought to document and reflect with the world of my blog. To be continued with my body challenge of the month and how I coped with getting out of the stages of pain.

-Pennington