It has been 10 weeks and 2 days since my ankle surgery. Until my last check up, which was at 6 weeks post op, I hadn’t really contemplated how major the surgery had been. My ankle was broken, repositioned and pinned into place.
I’m not going to lie. It has been tough, the last ten weeks have been hard. This time 12 months ago I was recovering from my hip replacement and I don’t remember it being as hard as this has been. I ave felt isolated and alone, frustrated, anxious and angry. A whole spectrum of emotions has had me bursting into tears for no reason whilst listening to Elbow and has had me watching videos on loop of a deaf cat who meows at his owner when he comes home.
Today I had high hopes, I had expectations (much like I had after my last check up – check out my post about that here) and they weren’t met. If I honest with myself, today was never going to be the day that I skipped out of the hospital fully recovered. To be fair, I’ve never been able to skip so that would have been a miracle in itself. Regardless of what my sensible inner voice was screaming I wore my best socks (read about them here) and took my other shoe with me to my appointment.
After I went to have my X-rays, this is standard procedure following surgery. It’s really just to check everything looks okay and is healing properly. I went in to see my consultant. He is a really nice guy – one of the best surgeons I have ever had really. He showed me my X-rays, explained how everything looked and was really pleased with my progress. As you can see in the picture – there are now 3 pins in my right ankle (I already have 3 in my left ankle). The lowest one situated in my heel is from an operation I had to correct both feet many years ago. The two new higher screws are what is now holding my newly positioned ankle in place.
The X-ray shows the side view of my ankle (left picture) and the front or top view of my ankle (right picture). My whole ankle has been pulled across and underneath the joint, the bones have been compressed through the joint to create a more stable and pain free ankle for me. If you look on the right most side of my ankle in the X-ray on the right you can see where the bones have already fused together following the surgery.
We talked about the pain that I am getting. Pain is still to be expected as this point and as my consultant reminded me, I have incredibly complex and fragile ankles. I simply don’t heal as quickly or as straightforward as the average broken ankle he deals with.
Unfortunately I am stuck in the boot for another 5 weeks. The air cast is not designed for complex ankles so is potentially causing me problems. My hip is definitely suffering as are the balls of my foot. He offered to put me back into a cast today, which I may have found more comfortable. I hastily declined! All in all, my progress is good and the consultant is pleased. There is a problem pain spot at the moment that we will be keeping an eye on as it may require further surgery.
I did get a bit upset today. I have such high expectations for myself that I am hurt and disappointed in my inability to reach them. In 5 weeks I go back for another X-ray, to see how my pain is and see if I can finally go back to normal. Fingers crossed right?
After my last check up a few weeks ago, I was also allowed to stop the Clexane injections. I had about 10 days left to finish and I was so glad after that last one was done! My stomach was very unhappy and bruised after 6 weeks of daily injections!
As I said before, the last 10 weeks has been tough. I’ve really felt alone. I don’t feel like anyone really understands what it’s been like or how hard it has been. I’ve tried to be tough and brave but it hasn’t always worked out that way. I don’t really feel like I have accomplished anything. I should have used my time to really get into my blog and really push and promote it. However, most days my biggest achievement was simply getting dressed.
I’ve kept myself busy, playing Pokemon and hugging the cats.
I’ve managed to get out once or twice in the last week with Neil to go to the cinema and for dinner. Even these small outings really take it out of me though. My foot swells up, fills with fluid and aches. It feels like the inside of my ankle will burst through the skin at times. I’ve been spending a lot of time upstairs on the bed. Honestly I just feel safer there but I am trying to go downstairs when Neil is around.
When I am feeling sensible I can admit that actually things are going well in terms of my physical healing. The consultant is pleased and I just need to accept that I am not quite recovered yet. I will be soon, I just need to remember that.
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