I went to see Dr. D. about a month ago as a follow up to the nerve damage (R) and my newly acquired bursitis (L). How old am I anyway, 100? But, I digress. As we were discussing my somewhat painful bursitis and my still numb baby toe, I happened to remember to mention my "pocket". I was somewhat shocked and disgusted at what I heard. Apparently, it was a hernia. A fat hernia. According to my surgeon, when they sew a person back together, they are able to sew the skin, the muscle, and the tendons. However, it is impossible to sew together fat. Well this makes complete sense. And considering my luck as of late, it also makes sense that any fat that was in my upper thigh seeped through all of the incisions and deposited itself in one lovely pocket. So attractive. And, to add insult to injury, it appeared as if the same thing was happening on the right side. However, this time, there were two smaller pockets which came together to make a little roller coaster on my outer thigh. Of course, just like the nerve damage, this was the first time my surgeon had seen such a complication. Leave it to me to break norm and show him something he had never seen before. But to be fair, as he explained, all of his other patients were "older" and not as "concerned " with their appearances. So sue me for still wearing a bikini. I'm an almost 40 year old wife and mother with two prosthetic hips but I'm not dead yet.
So, as it turns out, if I don't want to live with my pocket and roller coaster forever, my only option is plastic surgery. Dr. D. explained that, of course, because this was a complication of surgery, he would be happy to send me for a plastics consult and the resulting procedure would be covered. Well, this could be interesting. Do you think the plastic surgeon would believe me if I told him that my inner thighs were much more toned before surgery? What about my tummy? What about those fine lines around my eyes and mouth? Well, that might be pushing it just a bit. Anyway, after my experience in October, I was not chomping at the bit to go under the knife (or cannula) any time soon. So, I told Dr. D. I would think about it and get back to him. Then, three weeks ago, we went to Florida and, there I was, constantly pulling on my board shorts over my bikini in a furtive effort to hide my pocket and roller coaster. I've been home a week now and I have already contacted my surgeon's secretary and asked for that plastics consult. Yes, it's true, I am an almost 40 year old wife and mother with two prosthetic hips but I'm not dead yet.
RIGHT (OCT. 29, 2009)
· Woke from recovery with no feeling or movement in right foot (Stage 0).
· Right foot was freezing cold and tingly (paresthesia).
· Dr. D. said nerve damage, didn’t know how or why.
· D. estimated a 6-8 week recovery with a 95% chance.
· Ordered a CT scan to see if there were blood clots pressing on nerve.
· CT scan came back normal.
· Very slight wiggle downwards in first 3 toes.
· With eyes closed, couldn’t tell which toes were being touched.
NOVEMBER 2, 2009 (4 DAYS POST OP)
· Saw I. (neurosurgeon).
He did prick test with needle.
I could feel needle, inside of foot more sensation than outside of foot.
I. said he agreed with Dr. D. that nerve was not cut, but rather bruised or stretched.
He estimated a 3-6 month recovery.
· I told him it would be sooner for me.
· He was reserved, and said, “no, 3-6 months”.
· He ordered an EMG, which could only be done at 3 weeks.
· EMG appt. scheduled for Monday, Nov. 23, 2009.
· Saw OT and rep. from Curwin.
· Fitted for a daytime brace and nighttime “boot”.
NOVEMBER 3, 2009 (5 DAYS POST OP)
· Released from hospital and sent home.
· Very depressed, almost hopeless.
· Everyone tells me to be hopeful; it is difficult.
NOVEMBER 6, 2009 (8 DAYS POST OP)
· S. notices that I can move toes a little more.
· Can move the toes upward a little and downward a little.
· No flexion in the ankles YET.
· Still freezing cold.
NOVEMBER 9, 2009 (11 DAYS POST OP)
· Woke up in the morning in severe pain in the calf and foot.
· Could be muscular, I don’t know.
NOVEMBER 10, 2009 (12 DAYS POST OP)
· 4 am, woke up and foot felt warm and not tingly for first time since waking from surgery.
· Changed sleeping position, tingling started to come back.
· When S. woke up, he said my foot and leg felt warm.
· Foot and leg got cold again as the day progressed.
NOVEMBER 11, 2009 (13 DAYS POST OP)
· Foot and leg warm again last night and they still are (11:30 am).
· Still no more movement, however, in the middle of the night, heel felt somewhat normal and last 2 toes are moving a tiny bit better.
· Becoming more hopeful, still have crying jags, hope this changes when pain meds are no longer needed.
· Earlier today I saw slight movement from side to side.
· Just now, (7 pm) I saw slight movement upwards.
· It is possible that my calf muscle is helping with this, however, as of this morning, I couldn’t do this.
· I have been working very hard; it is almost like a workout at the gym.
· Just sitting there, working to see slight movement causes perspiration and fatigue.
NOVEMBER 12, 2009 (14 DAYS POST OP)
· More dorsiflexion (Stage 2).
NOVEMBER 13, 2009 (15 DAYS POST OP)
· Still working on the dorsiflex.
· Can’t do it while lying prone, can only do it sitting, knee bent.
· 6:30 pm, foot is still warm.
· Top of foot suddenly became very itchy.
· My mother is an amazing caregiver (just needed to add that).
NOVEMBER 16, 2009 (18 DAYS POST OP)
· Foot remained warm until yesterday.
· Has been cold since yesterday afternoon.
· A lot of nerve pain last night; couldn’t sleep.
· Seems as if, when foot is warm with no nerve pain, there is no progress.
· Today, sitting on raised seat, foot off ground, could slightly dorsiflex up and down (Stage 3).
· S. and Aidan are home from Maine.
· I am feeling a little less depressed and more hopeful.
NOVEMBER 17, 2009 (19 DAYS POST OP)
· Much more flexion up and down when leg is raised off ground.
· Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
NOVEMBER 19 (21 DAYS POST OP)
· More flexion up and down.
· Small rotations to the left and right.
· Still having days and hours with freezing and paresthesia.
· Why do I have this sensation sometimes, but not always?
· EMG test is Monday.
· Hopeful for good results.
· S. has been wonderful and the kids are very helpful!
NOVEMBER 21 (23 DAYS POST OP)
· More dorsiflexion, left and right rotation, side to side.
· Saw I. today; he said motor function has progressed from stage 0 to stage 3.
· Periods of warm sensation minus pins and needles have increased.
· I am hopeful.
NOVEMBER 22 (24 DAYS POST OP)
· Not a lot of change today.
· A little less tingling, pins and needles.
· Very itchy.
· EMG tomorrow morning.
NOVEMBER 23 (24 DAYS POST OP)
· Had EMG today.
· They didn’t tell me a lot.
· Did say that there was activity in all the nerves tested, however, it will take “a long time” for recovery.
· I don’t know what to think.
· I feel somewhat letdown and sad.
· I am also beginning to get very angry.
NOVEMBER 26 (27 DAYS POST OP)
· Can now move big toe independently from others.
· Saw slight movement of toes upward.
· Movement seems to be increasing, however, sensation is horrific.
· Feels like I’ve had my foot in ice water for days.
· Also feel like something heavy has fallen on top of foot.
· Very tender and sore to touch.
· Everyday I stretch my achilles and calf muscle.
· Calf is very tight and sore, sometimes painful.
· Feeling better emotionally.
· Think I might attempt some Xmas shopping next week.
· Hope to put up some indoor décor this weekend.
NOVEMBER 31 (4 WEEKS, 4 DAYS POST OP)
· Big toe slightly bends at knuckle for first time.
· Went Xmas shopping for a few hours.
· Quite sore tonight.
DECEMBER 1 (4 WEEKS, 5 DAYS POST OP)
· Severe nerve pain last night and today.
DECEMBER 3 (5 WEEKS POST OP)
· Have been having severe nerve pain.
· Burning, sharp, searing.
· Can’t sleep at night.
· Also, yesterday, I put up the inside X-Mas décor (this is a good thing).
· However, now the hip is rockin’ with pain.
· Steve went out today and got me Neuragen.
· This is a topical solution, that is rubbed on affected area up to 5 times/day.
· Put it on at 1pm.
· The burning went away by 1:20 pm.
· It is now 2:25 and the pain is still gone.
· Lasted about 3 ½ hours.
DECEMBER 4 (5 WEEKS, 1 DAY POST OP)
· Severe burning, searing pain! Gone back to crutches because too painful to walk on foot.
· Motor function is progressing nicely.
· However, not able to enjoy the motor function, because it is very painful to move.
· Still haven’t heard from I. since he left the message on Tuesday.
DECEMBER 5 (5 WEEKS, 2 DAYS POST OP)
· Heard from I. last night.
· Not much new about Emg.
· “potential” for improvement.
· Prescribed Lyrica.
· I did a lot of research, didn’t like the side effects, and the prescription was $300.00.
· Passed on the Lyrica.
· Woke up today feeling a little better, not as much searing.
· Able to go back to cane and put pressure on foot.
· Now, as evening progresses, searing is coming back.
· Strangely, freezing cold sensation is also coming back.
· Still have motor function, but hurts to move foot again.
DECEMBER 6 (5 WEEKS, 3 DAYS POST OP)
· Still have the searing pain but not as bad as yesterday.
· Yesterday wasn’t as bad as previous day so I am hopeful for recovery.
· Steve put tree up today.
· This will be the first year that I have not been able to decorate the tree.
· I will suck it up and try to enjoy it.
· Yesterday, the pain seemed to increase as evening wore on.
· I will keep an eye on that tonight.
· Took a half a sleeping aid last night.
· Slept til 3:30 am then a couple of hours at a time after that.
· Don’t want to take a full one and be drowsy next day.
· Still on cane today.
· Disappointed at the regression.
DECEMBER 12 (6 WEEKS, 2 DAYS POST OP)
· Searing pain seems to be receeding.
· Only in the last 3 toes now.
· Still numbness and feels as if foot is wrapped in thick plastic.
· The freezing cold feeling is back as well.
· Motor function is still only about 85%.
· Still having a difficult time sleeping.
· Today my incision area is painful and bruised.
· I wonder if, now that the swelling is going down, compression of the nerve is lessened.
DECEMBER 13 (6 WEEKS, 3 DAYS POST OP)
· Was pain free today from 8 am – 4:30 pm.
· We were able to decorate the tree.
· Still had the weird , “saran-wrapped” sensation in the foot, but it was nice not to have the burn.
· It is back now and I’m sure will be full force tonight.
· My heel feels almost back to normal now.
· The pain and strange sensations seem to radiate from middle of the foot to end of toes.
DECEMBER 15 (6 WEEKS, 5 DAYS POST OP)
· 6 week check up.
· Hip is doing very well.
· Referred to a manual PT.
· Burning is only in last 2 toes and side of foot.
· Tight, wrapped feeling from ball of foot up to toes.
DECEMBER 17 (7 WEEKS POST OP)
· Went to physio.
· Definitely sciatic (peroneal) nerve palsy at L4, L5.
· Long assessment and acupuncture.
· I am still hopeful for a full recovery.
JANUARY 2 (2 MONTHS POST OP)
· Christmas is over.
· Some good days, some bad.
· Feeling good now.
· Calf is still tight and sore.
· Achilles is still very tight.
· PT is very good.
· About 85% motor function.
· About 75-80% sensory function.
· I think I will recover fully but the last little bit will take a while.
· Am driving now.
JANUARY 12 (10 WEEKS POST OP)
· Saw Dr. D. today.
· Foot has gone back to freezing cold, shocks, some burning at night.
· Dr. is concerned with the Achilles.
· Still a window of 6-12 mos. before surgery will be considered.
· I will not have surgery.
· Started wearing boot again every night regardless of burning.
· PT is going well.
· Still, not a lot of progress since last post.
· I am hopeful that now I am on the other side of the plateau and am on my way to full recovery.