Friday, April 30, 2010

I Was in Stitches

Last night while getting a nice relaxing massage from the physical therapist, she said to me, "I think you might still have a stitch in your foot.  I can feel it."  And, after she rubbed over the scar a few times, I could feel it too.

After grabbing a needle and a pair of tweezers, I was able to quickly release the laden string from its three month hiding spot on the first try.  When I had felt it under the surface of the skin, I really thought it would just be a little nobbin or a microscopic piece of lint. . . low and behold my shock and awe when I saw that it was nearly a 1/4 inch long!  How this little piece of nylon managed to stay below my skin for so long without causing an infection or wiggling its way to the surface independently is beyond my understanding?!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Like White on Rice

Well, it's Day 14 of "self propulsion" or, what you ordinary folks call walking.  And, while it's been a tremendously positive mental shift to be fully upright and somewhat independent, I am still facing a heap of challenges on a daily basis.

I've got a serious limp and I actually move slower now than I did during the last two weeks of using the boot.  Plus, having to use this brand new appendage has been a serious shock to my system.  It's almost as if after having a 13 week vacation of non-use, it's rebelling to the idea of having to return to work again.  My leg muscles are unbearably tight, the ankle is stiff, and the foot is constantly swollen.  Pulling up my pant legs, one can clearly see that my left foot--all the way up to my knee, I might add--is double, and at some points during the day, triple the size of my right foot.

I saw the doctor on Monday for a 14-week checkup.  He took one look at the ham hock and exclaimed, "this looks really good."  I just looked at him dumbfounded . . . he wasn't concerned by the size of it at all?

He just smiled and reassured me that I am progressing perfectly well and that it's just going to take some time for my body to recover from this huge trauma we've caused.  In the meantime, it's the RICE method for me--rest, ice, compression, and elevation . . . can I get some egg rolls, sweet n' sour chicken, and maybe a fortune cookie with that?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Safety In Numbers

In my efforts to build 'this little blog of mine and let it shine', I've been spending hours seeking out other CMT sufferers online in the hopes that I can use this blog as not only a therapeutic journal to express my inner feelings and thoughts, but also to create an online support community that could recognize the challenges that we CMT patients experience.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Michele's blog and was delighted to discover that she lives right here in the tri-state area and is around my age!  Plus, Michele was planning her own surgery and was about to embark on the exact same path that I was now trekking.  We had the chance to connect on the phone last week and talked to each other for nearly two hours sharing stories back and forth about our own symptoms and challenges.  It was so great to finally find someone with whom I could connect on so many levels and who completely understood where I was coming from, instead of someone just trying his/her best to understand.

Yesterday was her surgery and I took the opportunity to visit her in the hospital this afternoon.  She was struggling with the pain, but after some adjustments, the doctor managed to make her feel more comfortable by the time I arrived.

I showed off my new foot to help give her a visual pep talk and we talked about everythng that is ahead of her in the recovery process.  We had such a great visit and I am so glad that I have made a great new friend.  Good luck Michele!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Baby's First Steps

Momentous occasions like these should be documented, right?  After some nudging from the doctor, I attempted to put two feet on the ground today.  And finally success!  No boot, no crutches, no cane, nothing but my own desire to step forward.  My foot is too swollen and rounded to manage a solid step on its own, but I can successfully shuffle around the apartment in flip flops.

My mission this weekend:  find a pair of shoes that I can successfully fit the ham hock into that are visually stunning enough to wear to the office next week!  And, if I can complete my mission, the hope is that come Monday morning, the last 13 weeks will begin to finally fade into the background . . .

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Little Too Much, A Little Too Early

So, while I started walking in the boot last week, the steps I was taking were small, slow, and few.  Not only was my foot keeping my tempo down, but I also got hit with a horrible sinus infection after that weekend trip to Cali . . . so, I spent most of last week lying in bed emptying an entire Kleenex box and catching up on all my favorite ABC dramas on the DVR.

So, after two weeks of lying in bed, you can imagine how dirty (and stinky) my little studio had become.  But, I woke up today feeling full of energy and ready to take on the day!  I immediately got up, laced on my walking boot, and got to work.  I just kept thinking to myself, "I feel so good.  I can finally get down on my knees to scrub the bathtub . . . I can stand long enough to wash all of this week's dishes . . . I can finally get caught up on my laundry . . . I finally have enough strength in my legs to clean and get rid of that geriatric commode over the toilet and to sit down properly on the white porcelain again . . ." (um, yeah sorry if that was TMI; I could write an entire post just about all the medical equipment I now own since this surgery and how I need a second bedroom just to store all of it.)

But, by the time I was hanging my delicates up to dry at about 4 this afternoon, it had hit me--the aching and swelling.  Not only had my left ankle grown to the size of a grapefruit inside the boot, but my right foot was aching too.  Damn that CMT!  The high arches I have make long periods of walking and standing nearly impossible.  I've had to teach myself over the last year that while I may have the fortitude to get my long list of chores done, my feet usually can't keep up with my mind.  If I try to fill a Saturday with "putting" around the house, I usually find that I can only do about half of what I'd like to achieve.  If I'd like to get it all done, I really have to try to complete small jobs each day throughout the week instead of trying to do it all on the weekend. . . I guess I just forgot what I already knew for a short time today. . .  that's life with CMT now, learning again and again how to change my thinking and to listen to my body.

So, I spent dinnertime ordering take out, sitting on the couch, and icing my feet!