Thursday, July 29, 2010

More medical adventures

So...I went to physical therapy yesterday, and was fully expecting to get yelled at. I mean, I was supposed to call between three and five days after the surgery to set up PT, and was in such discomfort that I became AFRAID of going somewhere where I'd be forced to move my healing leg. Instead, I was content to do what little exercising I could at home, and try to live without PT.

As reported, however, I received a talking to at the surgeon's office. No PT could mean a loss of mobility in my knee, so I'd best get my butt there ASAP.

My "PTist" is named Anne. She came into the room, and I told her she might as well be prepared to yell at me, and she thanked me for warning her in advance. I then told her the tale of WHY I didn't set up PT, told her what I'd already been doing at home, and we went from there.

First came the measuring of the leg. Anne was pleasantly surprised by several things along the way. First of all, she says my incisions look fantastic for someone who is NOT a diabetic! That's right, boys and girls. She says my healing looks better than that which would appear on someone in relative good health. When checking the size of my knee, it was only 1.5 cm larger than pre-surgery. Of course, my knee was swollen then too. But to be so close to what it was prior to the operation was impressive. As for my mobility, my knee was shy 21 degrees to its previous ability to bend. I told her I could probably get a few more degrees out of it, but that it would feel exceptionally tight and uncomfortable. Anne was quick to tell me to do no such thing. Another thing that impressed her was the definition of my quads. She could tell I'd been doing my isometrics, which I actually tend to do without thinking about while I talk with my beloved.

Then it was exercise time. It's fine that I should be exercising while lying flat on in a chair, but she wants me doing a few things while standing. Most were fairly easy leg lifts. But two things that she told me to do became issues.

The first is that, while standing, I should lift myself onto my toes. Why is this a problem? Because of the severe osteoarthritis in my right big toe. Just a few lifts, and I feel like I'm walking on broken glass the rest of the day.

The other was a surprise issue. While standing, I was to raise my toes so that I was standing on my heels. This was actually done quite easily with my right foot. But my left foot absolutely, 100% refused to move. Even while sitting, I can tap my right foot. But my left strains to move, and nothing happens.

Anne and I immediately try to figure out why this was happening. I believe we've been left with two reasons. One is my diabetic neuropathy, and the other is the fact that I've been walking oddly since I broke my big toe several years ago. I was told to engage in the exercise she prescribed for my right leg, but use both feet while sitting down. This is the ultimate in frustrating, because no matter how hard I try, I can't lift the front end of my left foot. Even while walking and trying to correct my gait, the foot won't respond properly. I fear it may have lost that particular bit of mobility permanently.

In other medical news, I received a call while leaving PT yesterday from my medical insurance company. They were calling to let me know that the release of my morphine sulfate prescription is now pending my doctor's response. As I hung up, I felt the call was very much, "We called to tell you nothing important. You still can't have the meds you need. Have a nice day."

Meanwhile, I had myself a "crash weening" from the morphine last weekend. I thought we'd simplified the process. Instead, the insurance company came up with yet another reason as to why they won't fill a prescription. And with less than a day's worth left, I suddenly had to reduce what I was taking each day before I ran into some kind of withdrawal nightmare.

The real surprise is that I don't think I've been having that much of a problem withdrawing from the meds. I mean, I wake in the morning with greater neuropathy pain, but that could be because I don't have a time release painkiller in my system anymore. I'm also experiencing greater discomfort in those things that cause me regular pain, like the arthritic toe and my Charcot's feet. But crazy sweats, hallucinations, extreme pain all over, and wild cravings...? None of that. This is a good sign, for it shows I was actually using the medications as prescribed, and not getting "creative" while taking them.

And that's all I have at the moment. I'll try to think up some other mundane news to share with my devoted fans in the near future. Be well, all.

1 comment:

WalkingTarget said...

Well, I'd have marked "good" since it's good that 1. you went to the "PTist" and 2. your incisions look good, but it sucks that you still can't get your meds. I hope that gets straightened out soon and that you eventually get mobility back in your foot.