Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Never deFEETed !!!!

Never 'deFEETed' !!  That is definitely my mantra this year !!   The feet may have been failing me, but my God & my faith is GREATER!!  I feel like I may lose some small battles, but when it really needs to count - I'm winning wars that no one should have to battle.

As some of  you may have read - I was diagnosed in 2010 with Charcot foot/Charcot joint - where in only 1-2% of Diabetics, the joints are affected to where the bones become 'softened' and they easily fracture and break.  When left undetected - the foot swells, becomes red and warm to the touch.  My initial podiatrist shrugged off my broken foot (fractures in multiple places and metatarsals) as a plantar fasciitis..never took one X-ray, etc.  Well, we see how that turned out, right ??  But, through it all I found a few very amazing doctors who really took the time to help me in my treatment, healing, and ultimate goal of wearing a normal pair of tennis shoes !!  LOL

Heres a little bit more about Charcot Foot if you are unfamiliar:
Charcot Foot / Charcot Joint


December 28th - I had surgery #3, and the second one on the left foot to correct the charcot.  The procedure was again the 'Charcot Planing'...which is the shaving down of the bone that had fallen/is protruding, and to cut out any ulcer that may be in the foot/where the protruding bone would not allow the ulcer to heal properly.

I was a little less nervous this time around, as I was very familiar with the process, the healing time, etc, but what I was concerned about was that the doctor was going to lengthen the Achilles tendon - which is supposed to help the bones 'relax' and not pull on them to the point where they start to take on the 'rocker bottom' form, etc.  My doctor assured me that the Achilles lengthening was nothing more than three (3) punctures within the tendon - and would only take a few stitches per 'stab' !

The surgery went well, and a first for me was a cast on the foot !!  LOL.. I have had wraps and splints with the other feet, but never a cast from toes to knee... and to tell you the truth, having to wear the cast was worse than having the surgery !!  LOL... I've never been so miserable NOT being able to itch my leg - and I tried everything from a ruler, to a yard stick, to a pencil, pen, comb, etc.  NOTHING REACHED THE SPOT or HELPED !!   I would just rock the foot back and forth til the itching subsided...but in the meantime I caused a few small blisters to form on the sides of the foot due to the rubbing, etc.  OY ! The blessing in being off of my feet for such an extended time - came from the fact that my company allowed me to work from home while I healed.  They understood that I was unable to walk, yet was fully able to work from home via my laptop, etc.  THANK YOU, LORD, for such an amazing group of co-workers, supervisors, and managers!  I think if I hadn't been allowed to work while healing, I would have went insane...not to mention I would have hated to come back after 4/5 months to 12000 emails and have to catch up on everything that is going one.  YIKES!

Today, as I sit here on my break at work, I truly am thankful for such amazing technological advances in the medical community, for advances in Diabetes care, and for doctors and surgeons that are realizing Charcot is something that is real, and something that isn't just a plantar fasciitis, a fracture.  Charcot is debilitating, it's depressing at times, its limiting, and its a handicap...if you let it become one.   I push myself.  I push myself to the point where you might never know, from the outward appearance, that there is something wrong...like today, I purposely left my cane in the car.  The can has been my 'security blanket' for the better part of 4 years, and I don't want to get so dependent on it that I forget to try.  I've been doing really well with out it.. .I'm walking slowly, but I am doing it with out my 'crutch'.

Funny...but, before I had these feet issues, I would 'judge' some people that were on scooters, or needed to sit while standing in lines, etc.. as they looked totally "normal"  (I know, I know..who am I to judge, right ??!!).  Well, I have become one of 'those' that needed to do these things/use these aids - and I don't look sick, and in fact I probably look healthier than most.  There was a great lesson in this for me, and for that I am grateful.

Like I mentioned earlier in my blog... i may have lost some of the battles, but I truly am winning wars !!!   Never deFEETed !!!   :)

PS... my work is doing a GM Walking Challenge, and although I won't be walking distances anytime soom, every little step counts, and I have signed up to do a 'self challenge'... I challenge myself to go further each day...whether it be in steps, in thinking, in healing, in my faith, or in the work that I do here in the office.. I am challenging myself to remember I am NEVER deFEETed !!!!
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