Just a quick update since we went to Baltimore for a checkup with the surgeon on Monday.
The good news is Dr. H is happy with the flexibility of my knee. It can still bend more than 90 and sometimes 100 degrees. I’m also able to make it go completely straight. As I’ve said before, those are two really important things so that is great. Monday we also hit 3 centimeters of length. That’s about 1.1 inches. (It’s fun to measure using the metric system and the English system, because you can count more milestones!)
(Most recent x-ray taken Monday.)
The bad news is my bone still isn’t regenerating fast enough in the gap. So Dr. H told us to slow lengthening again. Two weeks ago, he slowed us from lengthening 1 mm a day to alternating .5 and .75 mm every other day. Now we’re down to .5 mm everyday which is half as fast as we were going several weeks ago. Five centimeters is 2 inches and that’s what I need total (if not a little more). So at this pace that would be 40 more days of lengthening. What can you do?
The news I should be more excited about is that Dr. H basically wants me to eat everything in sight. Medicine takes a toll on me. I tried to get off of oxycodone once before, but had to start taking it again. Although it helped with the pain, it made me horribly nauseous quite frequently and lowered my appetite to almost nothing. I lost some weight. But the Doc says (which I didn’t realize until Monday) that your body needs calories to heal. Healing is an activity and to regenerate bone it takes calories. Also, if I don’t eat enough then my body will start to eat my muscles (I think that’s how he explained it), and I need my muscles to be strong and stretch along with me. So I got off the oxy on Sunday and have been very successful on Tylenol and while my appetite is not up to snuff quite yet, I haven’t been nauseous so I figure we’re on the right track!
(After physical therapy today I ordered this from the pizza place next door. Huge Italian hoagie and bacon cheese fries. Granted – I only ate about five bites of each, but it’s a start!)
Also to help my bone regenerate, I have to use this ultrasound machine. I put it over where the gap is in my leg for an hour in the morning and an hour at night time.
(This is the ultrasound machine. If you’re wondering, the X on my leg marks where we have to set the magnet for lengthening. I have to keep redrawing it. It’s been there for five weeks now. My mom said, “Why don’t you get a tattoo of that so you can remember the experience?” I said, “Then I’d have two stupid tattoos.”)
I just received it on Saturday, so we’ll see if it does any good when I go back to the doctors in another two weeks.
This whole thing is not easy, but I’m hanging in there the best that I can. Now I just gotta try to stuff my face with food. Not the worst order you could get from your doctor!
(While my dad and I were driving to and from Baltimore in one day, my sweet mom went to the store and bought four pairs of tennis shoes for me to pick from, since she knew I needed them. These are the ones I chose to keep!)
Oh yeah, we are past the point where a 1 inch lift still works on my shoes. All of the shoes I own have a 1 inch lift and that’s now definitely too much. SO I HAVE TO BUY ALL NEW SHOES! I was pretty sure we’d make it to this point, but now it has really come! I already bought about four pairs of shoes… but of course I need more. Soooo many more! If you see a crazy lady in a wheelchair at Macy’s who’s foaming at the mouth in a shoe-induced Carrie Bradshaw-like stiletto coma… that’s just me.
Also, if you know a woman who wears a size 6 1/2 and happens to have a short right leg – I can hook her up! If she’s out there, she’s got about 30 pairs of shoes coming her way (gently used)!