So, for those of you all who don't know, I was engaged to Kate.
We got married in December, but some things in life just don't work out like planned.
It was good while it lasted, and all that good stuff, but crap happens.
DM PG-13 rules apply here right? I will continue to refrain from cursing.
So yeah. Thin has just didn't work out, and it sucks, and it's why I haven't really been here much on DM. Sorry, too many memories that hurt.
Anyways, I have told a few people personally and talked to some people about it, but I find it too hard to tell everyone over and over. Don't be insulted f I didn't tell you personally, it's just that after repeating it to even a few people, it gets hard to tell more people.
Life moves on, and I'll get over it, but yeah.
Will be single soon. Sorry ladies and gentlemen, please take a number. Haha
So, I went to the doctor's today to sign all the consent forms and get all the info and scripts I needed.
It was interesting, to say the least.
Let's start with some basic info for y'all, though.
1. The surgery will be about 2 hours.
2. My foot can be numb for up to 4 or 5 days after surgery, and my toes will feel funny as my nerves grow back.
3. I'll be taking some Dilaudid. That'll be interesting! I can also take ibuprofen and asprin (for pain and help reduce blood clots).
4. Right after the surgery, I'll be in a fiberglass splint with ace bandage. On the 1st of July when I go for my first post-op, I'll get a hard cast that I'll wear for about 7 weeks. Then I get DAS BOOT!
5. Also, I get to wear a Below the Knee Anti-Embolism Stocking (aka Below Knee Ted Hose) on my right leg. Weird.
6. I'll start off with 30 days of Convalescent Leave. Yay no work! After that, they'll reevaluate me for "possible sedentary duties."
7. A positive estimate is 3 months before I can get my next surgery, so let's hope I heal nicely.
So, if I didn't mention it before, I am getting the surgery done at Kissing Camels Surgery Center. haha, I like the name.
Now, to the nitty gritty.
There are 4 major parts of the surgery.
1. An incision on my calve which they'll go through to lengthen my Achilles.
2. They will slice my heel and slide it over about a centimeter.
3. A cut on the outside of my foot in which they'll place a bone graph.
4. They will cut the inside of my foot and tighten the tendon there.
And of course, whatever screws and plates they use to keep it all in place.
He said there is a chance of another bone graph on the inside of my foot, but he doesn't think it is likely.
When they have you sign the consent forms, BOY do they like to scare you!
Some ***possible*** complications are:
2. Vein Inflammation
3. Bone Death
With all that being said, I can't wait! I am tired of my feet, ankles, and sometimes my knees and hips hurting from just standing or walking. Forget about running!
AND, my mom and niece will be here this Saturday at 1AM! Yay, I'll have my mommy out here to help take care of me.
I had totally planned to update this more.
Anyways, a quick update on what has happened since March...
There is a TL;DR at the bottom.
After I got the custom inserts, I starting wearing them the next day. Now let me tell you, they HURT. The bump in the inserts was under the inner side of my foot, right at the middle. Which is where a normal arch would be. I got used to that bump in the inserts, in the sense that I didn't really feel it so much after a couple of weeks.
Also, they did absolutely NOTHING to lessen the pain. Which naturally means that when I went back a month or so later to tell my doctor that, she RAISES the inserts ridiculously high. She also referred me to physical therapy to see if that would help any.
That was on a Friday. I wore them to lunch the next day and they fell quite a bit, but were still higher than when I first got them. That following Monday, I could barely walk faster than a snail after a few hundred yards. My feet were hurting so much wearing those inserts, it was ridiculous. Worse than just being extremely painful while I was walking, after PT when I was about to shower in my friend's room, I stood up after having been sitting down for a few minutes and I could not put my left down because there was so much pain.
I had to literally walk on the heel of my left foot. I just couldn't place it flat on the floor. My right foot hurt, but there wasn't excruciating pain like in my left foot. When I got into the bathroom, I turned the water on and started crying from how bad it was hurting. Seriously, it was not fun.
I called the doctor that afternoon, and she had me come in the next morning. She said she had done everything within her treatment regime that she could to reduce or get rid of the pain, and was going to refer to a surgeon. This was after she had referred me to physical therapy of course, so I still went to that.
Trigger Point Dry Needling
So, physical therapy hasn't really been that fun...
All I do really is a bunch of stretching. Annnndd, Dry Needling. It is kind of like acupuncture. I'm not sure what the difference is, but there is a difference, apparently. Basically, she sticks the needles into my muscles to loosen them up.
I hadn't noticed that my calves were super tight, and she said that might cause some more pain. After the first session, I could feel how much looser my calves were, so that was nice, but there was no lessening of pain. At all.
She also needled my feet. Have you ever noticed how thick the skin of your feet are? They are padded because you walk on them, and she had to push really hard to get the needle in. That just hurt, and I don't know what effect she was going for with that.
I haven't been back in the last two weeks because of work, but I will probably go only one more time before surgery. Just to let them know that and kind of close out unless I need to go for rehab after surgery.
Finally, I get what I have been waiting for. As much as I wished the inserts or some other treatment would have worked, I pretty much knew they wouldn't work. I went to see the surgeon Tuesday (4th of June), and he asked a bunch of silly questions (i.e. Have I had any broken bones in my feet, sprained my ankle, etc). Sure, it is good to ask, but I have been through that so many times. He also asked if I have been in a car accident because flat feet can cause lower back pain.
He just wanted to make sure there wasn't another cause for any of the pain I have. He took x-rays (yay more x-rays), and we went over those, too. He only did my left foot, because that one is worse than the right foot.
Anyways, he explained (which I pretty much already knew) that my feet have a burning sensation and get numb because I am essentially just walking on nerves.
He also told me that I am in the top 5% of the worst cases of flat feet he has ever seen. He has done over 500 flat foot corrective surgeries, and I am sure he has seen more patients who don't get surgery. Yay me!
So, I was able to get surgery scheduled, and asked them for as soon as possible. I will be getting cut up on the 28th of this month!
I have my pre-surgery appointment on the 17th, where I'll sign all my consent forms and get any more info that I need then. I can also ask all the questions I have then.
Then, surgery on the 28th (on my left foot), and my first post-op on the 1st of July.
The surgery consists of them cutting my heel and sliding over, cutting into the outside of my foot and placing a bone graph in, and cutting the inside of my foot and tightening the tendon or something. And I think there is more. Or not. I forgot. Those three things are the main thing that will fix my foot.
Inserts hurt more and didn't help.
Physical therapy didn't help.
I have surgery on the 28th.
They'll be cutting up my left foot.
Got x-rays done. This is what I was told as we reviewed them.
Apparently my big toes lifts up, my first metatarsals are too short (causing them to be squared off instead of rounded), all the other metatarsals have strain on them because they have to compensate trying to bring my big toe down, and my Talus and/or Navicular doesn't point in the right direction (straight out), they point down.
And my calcaneus are supposed to be at 25 degrees (which is normal). They are at 2 and 9 (left and right respectively).
But at least it's progress in treatment! They wrapped my feet up all crazily, and I have to leave it on for 3 days (which means I'll have to have bags over my feet duct-taped closed while I shower - ewwww). And they're going to scan my feet to give me custom orthopedics.
Granted, I already did this on post, but they want to give me more aggressive ones. o_O
Picture of the bones of the feet for reference:
So, PRK went well!
I am going to tell y'all about the experience, because it was pretty cool to tell the truth.
First, they brought us to a waiting room and gave each of us our packets that had our profiles and Convalescent Leave papers (Profile is something the Army gives you that says you are limited in performing certain physical activities. For example, if you had shin splints, you would get a no running profile for two weeks. Con Leave is medical Leave, and therefore, it doesn't charge against the Leave you accumulate throughout the year.)
Then, they brought in the surgeon who briefly went over the operation again. We had the opportunity to ask him questions if we had any. Pretty simple, there.
After that, two of the lab techs or nurses or whoever they were came in and prepped us. They went over the medications and eye drops one more time and then made us wear these silly (but sexy) medical caps. They put a numbing eye drop in each eye and then cleaned around our eyes with some iodine. After that, we waiting. There were six of us, and I was fifth in line to go in.
Waiting SUCKS! You sit there, nervous as heck, watching all the other people go before you. And even though they all come back and said they feel perfectly fine and that it didn't hurt at all, you are slightly scared. But who wouldn't be? You are about to have your eyes scraped and then shot with a laser.
So, skip to the part where they come and get me. Eep. It's my turn. I hand them my folder with my information in it, and they take me to the room next door. I am instructed to lay on this bed and scoot up, where they then move the bed over under the laser. They have me slide up until I can see a red-orange light straight on. It's disconcerting just knowing what they are about to do, and then they put some more numbing eye drops in your eye.
And then it begins. The surgeon places these little clamp-like things in your eye. They hold your eyelids open, and while you can't feel it on your eye, you still can on your actual eyelids. And you want to blink so bad, but the numbing drops do help resist that urge a lot.
So, clamp in my right eye, he brings his device up to my face. It looks almost like an electric toothbrush without the head. He brings it down, and you can kind of feel your eye vibrating, and your vision shakes a bit. And the weirdest part is you can see this thing right on your eye. You can see around it at the same time that you know this tool is right on your eyeball! That is against nature. It's just not right.
Bam. He is done scraping at your eye within 15 seconds. It's half way done! He uses a small spatula-like scraper to clean your eye off. Kinda weird. But you don't really feel that either.
And then comes the laser. part. They make sure you're lined up, tell you too look at the red-orange light and don't move. For my eyes, and the prescription I had, I needed to stay under the laser for 31 seconds. It doesn't go by super fast, but it wasn't slow, either. You can see the light clearly at first, but then it starts going blurry and hard to focus. As long as you are looking at the light, though, you are good. Once the laser has done it's job, the surgeon squirts a bunch of nice cold water over your eye to make sure everything is all washed out. Then, he puts a couple drops that make your vision look murky, and then two more that clear it up.
After that, he puts a contact lens, or some kind of cloth soaked in medicine that will help with healing later, so you don't scar up. After that, he puts the bandage contact lense in, and you're done with that side.
Switch to the other side and repeat.
Bam. Done. Take a percoset when you get back to the waiting room and then go home. Boom baby. You can already see ten times clearer, and you're on your way to having 20/20 vision.
Source: PRK (Refractive laser surgery) tomorrow!
So, the time is here!
I leave tomorrow (Sunday 4PM PST) to go to the hotel near MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station), and Monday morning while it's still dark, I'll head over to MEPS. Sometime that night, or EARLY next morning I'll be on a plane to South Carolina.
Love you all. The Creator willing, I'll be home at Christmas.
I find myself becoming less nervous, yet still....a bit apprehensive, I might say. Not that I am second-guessing anything. Gods no.
But, oh what I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall for a week first! It's just that feeling of not knowing what exactly is going to happen that is bugging me. It's a trifle, a small matter, but it's annoyingly not going away (much like me haha).
It's not bothering me tooo much, but it's there. -_-
That is all.
So, as all of you may well know (and should if you value your lives), I am going to be going on an extended LOA starting October 18th (Stop cheering! )!
I will begin a new journey. A new part of my life. A new - well, you get the picture.
I have many friends and family members, both on DM and not on DM, who are praying for me and know that I will come back a Soldier of the US Army. I for one am EXTREMELY grateful for that support, as it will really help me to draw strength if I need to.
Just wanted to say, I love you all (except Al Jenn ), and thanks!
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