Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Leg Update [06.15.2011]

Ahh, okay. Got scolded by Apple for not having an update.

The previous entry had been written on Sunday but posted on Monday instead. It is now Wednesday as I type this, just to give you an idea of the timeline. It has been 3 days, not 2.

Yesterday, I moved around without a crutch at all. My leg wasn’t so shaky anymore.

Last night I was still concerned though. My foot looked strange to me, like flatter as well as fatter. It’s weird to look at one’s body part and wonder “Whose is that?!” I still couldn’t flex my ankle much or straighten my leg. My knee still has pain at times. My leg feels strange.

It was like my leg improved a little where I wasn’t sure if it had improved enough to NOT see the other doctor or if the pain hadn’t improved to where I should see the doctor. [I think I wrote that correctly…]

Today, it’s looking better. Monday, Dad had gotten Icy Hot for me; I’ve been using it pretty much on my whole leg and then wrapping it lightly with a towel. When I read up on nerve damage, it said that improving circulation in the area would help. I have more color in my foot. I still have pain. I’m still working on the range of motion. The muscle twitching persists.

The part I don’t know is how much of this is to be expected, how much of this will be permanent, etc.

And of course, now that I haven’t been able to walk much in the past weeks, I can’t wait to be back in the gym!

It’s also been interesting as I observe how my parents have been reacting. I think this has to be the worst injury I’ve ever had. I remember sprained ankles and skinned knees, even had a sprained thumb and finger or two, but no broken bones. I’ve never had a cast or surgery or anything like that. As much as I can, I try to hide from them the pain and discomfort of my leg.

So after just a few days from this injury, Mom was already grumbling when I asked her to bring me a cup of juice. That’s the way she responds when I’m physically hurt or have a cold. She’s much more compassionate when I’m otherwise having trouble so don’t get the wrong picture about Mom. If she wasn’t so tough on me at times, I wouldn’t get very far. The other night as I went back to my room, I heard her happily comment to Dad, “Must be getting better- no crutch!”

On the other side, Dad is… I’ll just say it, he’ll baby me. I’m aware that I’m his “little girl.” Mom doesn’t check in on me but Dad does and often. Dad will ask if I need anything and won’t complain about getting me juice… or Icy Hot… or granola. He’s the one to say that I should stay off my feet as much as possible still.

Mom will push me. Dad, not so much. But I am so glad that I get to have the balance of both.

I told my friend how I’m the only person I know who gets injured just by walking. Not hiking, not playing volleyball, not indoor climbing… just walking….

She said that it’s okay, just tell people it was ninjas! Hahaha!

Oh, and I shaved my legs last night- the first time since this started. It felt good.

So, thank you for reading. Thank you for your concerns. :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Getting Up the Nerve

I have gotten the follow-up call from the doctor. He said he thought it might be something but after reading up on it, he doesn’t think it is that anymore- sounds like that is good news. If the condition doesn’t improve in a few days, then I am to go see the other doctor he recommends.

So I suppose that leaves me with possible nerve damage at this point. When I told Brother about the muscle twitches, he agreed with the doctor that it probably is nerve damage. I looked up articles on the topic and it is possible.

Well, my toes no longer look swollen. I can move them a little more today. I am trying to exercise my leg and increase the range of motion as I can stand to do so. It is difficult, it is frustrating, and it is tiring, bringing on more pain at times.

Then I think about how minor this is. My situation, compared to that which Joanne Heim is going through, is so minor. Joanne suffered a stroke. She is working hard to recover an entire side of her body. She is working to regain her speech clarity. For certain activities, she is relying on her support system so that as much as possible, nothing more happens to hinder the recovery process and she gets better. [Follow Joanne's journey here; it may also strengthen/ encourage your faith]

Where is my nerve?

Dealing with my leg is largely uncomfortable with pain only sometimes, and I have moments when I want to cry. Though unsteady on my left leg and still using a crutch, I can still walk. If I need help, I can easily shout out or call by phone to have Mom or Dad come for me. I can clearly express to them what I need. I can be left at home for hours without worry that something more might happen. The muscle twitching disturbs me some but it’s better than not having any sensation at all. Thank goodness, I have not fallen or banged my leg against anything.

Part of my frustration is in knowing that I am tougher than this.

I’ve said many times before that I am a strong-willed person. Being strong-willed comes with extra portions of nerve. At 2, I had the nerve to stay up long after Mom said to go to sleep. At 15, I took the wrong bus and walked through a rough neighborhood for an extra hour or more to the next bus stop and didn’t tell my parents why I was late. At 19, I gave a good talking to a 6’2/ ~180 pound guy who thought it was funny to mess with the backside hem of my friend’s skirt.

A little knee pain? Some discomfort? Where is my nerve?

And the question goes to my faith journey at this moment as well. Where is my nerve to do what God has for me to do? I had the nerve to start something…. Well, that is a whole house to unpack… a lot more than what one entry could stand. I’ve already spent a good number of entries for some things which led me to the present condition with no improved outcomes as of yet.

So for now, focus on strengthening and training my once powerful leg [Read a previous tribute to my thighs here]. Monitor the swelling in my foot and toes. PUSH PAST THE EXHAUSTION AND PAIN. Do not injure my right leg with the extra-load carrying.


My favorite verse which I still have yet to memorize where exactly it is:
“Praise be to the Lord,
To God our Savior,
Who daily bears our burdens.
~Psalm 68:19- NIV

Thank you for reading.

Walk Like A... Something.

Recently I had a frightening realization of how old I am becoming.

It had been storming earlier but the weather had calmed for a bit. I was on my way to lunch with a couple people when my left foot decided to go another way from the rest of my body. I had slipped on the wet sidewalk. My right hand grabbed something and was able to stop me from completely falling. Everything felt fine.

We went on to lunch.

The next morning we were woken up unexpectedly. I got out of bed to look for where the noise was coming from. Then I went back to bed.

When I got out of bed the second time, I felt a kind of pop in my left knee. My knee felt strange for a few seconds and then the feeling subsided. The rest of the day I walked just fine. I felt some ache when we went swimming in the cool water but otherwise everything seemed fine again.

Later that night, I just kept off of my left leg as much as possible.

On Sunday, a lump had swelled just under my knee. Still no major pain.

Then the swelling spread out a bit in the general area. Still, no major pain and I could somewhat walk normally. I had some pain in my knee when I would turn a certain way at bed time so I just laid out on my back.

By Monday night, I started to freak out more. I looked down at my foot and it had blown up like a balloon. I could barely wiggle my toes. My foot looked oddly fat and smooth. That’s when I went for Dad’s crutches.

I adjusted the crutches to my height and went to bed.

For the rest of the week, I stayed off of my foot as much as possible. I kept it raised. I had some pain sometimes in the afternoon and then again at night, but still nothing very tough. I slept a lot. I have muscle twitches from my foot to my hip. I looked up knee anatomy and injury- it might be a meniscal tear.

More than a week later, I have gone to see the doctor. He tested the range of motion, sense of touch, blood circulation, and reflexes. Everything seems to be fine except for not being able to move my leg on my own and my leg muscles seem weak. Doctor said that he’s going to look up some conditions and call later this week and that I may have to see an orthopedic doctor. He thinks I might have nerve damage- is that very bad?

The least I am hoping for is no surgery necessary.

So, back to my frightening realization: I realize that if I had fallen all the way through the slip on the sidewalk, I could have come down hard and broken my hip. There it is. I am officially old.

And my toenails are THE LONGEST they have ever been. I normally keep my toenails clipped tight and more so after having the nails on both of my big toes badly bruised, fallen off, and grown back. Right now, it is just gross to me. Blech.

Here are some photos to gross you out… ermmm… I mean, to illustrate the injury.

That is the initial swelling under the knee. Then... look at those sausage toes! Nothing wrong if you've got them, just that I don't usually have them.

Accompanying status: "So...... if it walks like a duck but doesn't sound like a duck... it might just be me. Quack quack. Oops..."

Thank you for reading and hope you are walking well.