August 17, 2011: Precisely 5 Weeks Post-Op
Admittedly, I was nervous about my OS appointment today. I’ve been working so diligently to heal my ankle and follow PT. I’ve been visualizing several times a day. Subpar news would have been a massive disappointment.
We walked to the OS office and there were no other patients in the waiting room. Surely this was a good omen. Mary Ann (who I’ve repeatedly called Gail for some reason) took me back for x-rays. She asked, “How are you doing?” I responded with, “Great! I think my bones have healed!”
We were then promptly sent to a patient room. Boot off. Brace Off. Sweating. Nervous. My list of questions and a pen in hand. Elevated foot to give it that more normal skin tone. In comes the Doctor with my x-rays.
Frankly, I don’t remember the first several seconds of our discussion, because I was terribly ungrounded. My consciousness came to light when I heard her say, “Your ankle looks really good. It’s doing really well“. She showed me the x-rays from four weeks ago and today’s x-rays pointing out how the fracture lines were barely visible and how everything looked in place. She pointed out two more times how good it looks and how well it’s doing. She seemed very very pleased with how little swelling I had. This felt incredibly rewarding because I could see through her that things were very good – better than she expected I assume by her near enthusiastic response.
If it weren’t for the syndesmosis screw that has to stay in place for 12 weeks (and then surgically removed), I would have been able to start the process of walking (increasing weight-bearing for four weeks) straight away. But unfortunately, the syndesmosis screw is also holding a ligament in place, and the ligament has to heal properly before I walk. Turns out ligaments take longer than bones to heal. If I walk, the screw could break in my foot, and they will not be able to remove it. Supposedly this is common and there are thousands of people out in the world getting by with a broken screw in their foot. Not for me. That appeals to me about 0%.
While I was bummed to learn that I must wait despite my well-healed bones, I am STILL overjoyed that my bones are doing so well. Only five weeks post-op and if it weren’t for the ligament, I would be on my way to walking. This puts my healing bones way ahead of schedule. And I can begin to bear weight! I can also replace the big ole’ boot with a hiking boot if I choose. I think for safety’s sake, I will continue to wear Betty (that’s my boot) when in the car. I still feel kinda vulnerable. Tho I no longer have to sleep with Betty! Hooray! Dr. Siegler gave me the okay to remove the bandages that were supposed to have fallen off two weeks ago, and I can get my foot wet (not soaking wet, but I can bring it into the shower with me if I keep the spray off of it). If I wanted to, I could also start driving. Again, I don’t feel ready for that. I’m still wearing the brace on the right ankle and…well, I’m just not ready.
All in all, I’m keeping my chin up, because I am well on the mend. Who knows? Perhaps at my next follow-up in four weeks, she will tell me that the screw is coming out sooner than expected. I’ll start visualizing that now.
More photos coming next post!
To see all the posts in the trimalleolar series, click away! Things DO get better!
Post #1 Me and My Trimalleolar: A Life-Changing Tripulation
Post #2 Me and My Trimalleolar: Transcending the Funk
Post #3 Me and My Trimalleolar: Tiny Bubbles of Progress
This is Post #4 Me and My Trimalleolar: A Healing Ankle
Post #5 Me and My Trimalleolar: Talus All About It
Post #6 Me and My Trimalleolar: A Week of Firsts
Post #7 Me and My Trimalleolar: Cast of Characters
Post #8 Me and My Trimalleolar: 9 1/2 weeks…
Post #9 Me and My Trimalleolar: The Screw, Some Scars, and a Busted Uvula
Post #10 Me and M Trimalleolar: Walk a Mile in My Screws
Post #11 Me and My Trimalleolar: 11 Months and Moving Right Along
Post #12: Me and My Trimalleolar Go to Mexico…with my husband and our pooch