Catching a Break

With 2 days left to adjust on my right leg, I woke up on Thursday morning and my legs had done a role reversal on me. My left leg, the heavier more cumbersome one, was just slightly achy. Whereas my right leg was throbbing and extremely tender to the touch up towards the knee. What the hell was going on now? I made it halfway to the bathroom with my walker before I had to turn around and sit back down on my bed. That’s how much pain I was in. For the remainder of the day I was forced to use the wheelchair to transfer. Physical therapy was a hassle. As much as I tried to fight back the tears they came anyway. The day before I was walking with only one crutch and then today I could barley transfer via my wheelchair without wincing. For the majority of the day I was horizontal in bed doped up on pain med. Around 5 or so in the evening dad was ready for dinner and I figured that it would probably be beneficial to me to get some fresh air. Even though the meatloaf was not vegetarian friendly they were also serving mashed potatoes and corn. I think that may have been the most I had eaten in quite a few days and for mediocre food it tasted SO SO good. Since my pain was becoming more intense, I had to be sure and take my pain medicine every 4 hours. Otherwise the pain would come back in full force and I would become cranky and irritable.

Because the weather was so nice, we decided to stay outside and just hang for a little while. Before long our little “Paley Posse” had joined us and we had new recruits, Jamie and Dale. She was born without fibulas and this was her 40th(ish) surgery. They were only here for a check-up. Little Joseph, his parents, Jesse and Yana, and baby brother Jonathan also came out. They joked that JoJo was my boyfriend because the two of us were instantly friends and just goofed off together. At only 14 months old, this little guy was such a trooper. He has severe deformities of both his lower legs and was born without tibias or ankles. But thanks to Dr. Paley, JoJo will be walking before long. How incredible. Like I have always said, there is always someone worse off than yourself.

The usual late-night scene here at Homewood
Paley’s Posse at Homewood Suites; Me, Joseph, Jamie and Ed.
Joseph (JoJo). He’s a tough little cookie.

Friday morning, same old story, pain, pain and more pain. It took me twice as long to get dressed and my usual excitement for pool therapy was absent; for good reason. Even the water didn’t seem to help the hurt. An hour later, land therapy didn’t prove to be any better. Fran was concerned about a possible blood clot and brought me into clinic to see Paley. After a 3 hour wait he finally made an appearance from the OR. He explained that this particular procedure is painful and that the fibula was now being pulled down in the right leg as well, hence the pain. He made a deal with me, no turns over the weekend and starting Monday I would alternate the distal and proximal levels on my left leg. My right leg also showed to be 12mm shorter than the left leg on the x-rays.

Before leaving the room he looked at me and said “we’re almost there” and gave me a hug. That was a relief. John stayed back in the room after Paley left and made sure that we understood everything. Monday I would get my new turning schedule for my right leg and go from there.

By 8:30 we finally left St. Mary’s, Dad and I could breathe a small sigh of relief.


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