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cherylm

Sigh...It's time for my annual fall foot wound.....

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Hi, Gang....

Well, I'm not infected, I'm not hospitalized, but I did awake this morning to a spot on my right foot that was moist, oozing, and just a little bloody. In the exact same place as last year's Fall Foot Wound. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

I'm still at home, after a visit to my podiatrist, with a pressure-relieving dressing, a post-op shoe, directions to stay in my wheelchair, and a wound-care routine to follow for the next ten days. Then it's back to Podiatry for X-rays, a check-up, and hopefully a plan of action to keep this blasted sore from coming back in the future.

That "plan of action" may include another round of foot surgery...possibly to shave the bone that is right above the spot where this wound keeps erupting. Oh well....foot surgery seems to be a sort of "theme" in my life.

Does anyone out there believe in astrology? I never really have, but back in the 60s, when everyone was getting all "mystical," I did have my chart done. The only thing I remember about it is the one comment that has come true again and again and again:

"You must be vary careful about your feet. You have a tendency to foot and ankle injuries."

Sigh..............wish me luck, please!

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What horrid luck Cheryl! I know it's hard but try to avoid thinking the worst. You never know, this may prove to be not too serious at all...I wonder why it happens at this time of year? Do you change from shoes to boots maybe? Being stuck in a wheelchair could be a good excuse to boss everyone around and make them do the washing up whilst you catch up on some TV.. keep us posted.I don't believe in Astrology etc. either, but I shall send you some good "vibes" across the Atlantic anyway.Best wishes.

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Am sending some good vibes also Cheryl, lets hope that this is just one of those 'blips' which will heal up just as quickly as it arrived. As Kate says, try not to worry too much, your plan of action sounds very efficient and it sounds like you have the expertise at hand, so keep all those positive thoughts going and hopefully your foot will be right again soon. Take care.

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Hi Cheryl,

I can imagine you probably would rather kick something then sit in a chair - hang in there nevertheless. You've taken the right steps and as any of us love to hear - patience- time will cure all. The person who quipped that one may deserve the swift foot action.

Take care,

Jane

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Thanks, ladies...I'll try really, really hard to be patient! Kate, I don't think it's actually related to autumn...that's just a weird piece of timing. What I (and my podiatrist) now think IS causing the sores is...get this...walking. Specifically, we're thinking that there's some sort of bone abnormality directly above the location of the wound site...maybe a small bone spur or a bone that's been pulled slightly out of place from all the previous tendon surgery on that foot.

Last year's Fall Foot Wound popped open after I'd spent a couple of weeks on vacation and had been doing a great deal of walking on a variety of terrains. This year's FFW opened up once I'd gotten my fabulous new prosthesis and had been able to start walking a great deal more than I had in the past few years. Since these FFWs seem to pop up out of nowhere, the notion that a "bad bone" is creating them from the inside out makes a lot of sense to me. We'll see what the X-rays reveal!

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Best wishes Cheryl for a speedy recovery. You have been through so much. I'm sure that it doesn't seem fair. I know that you are a fighter or else you would never have gotten this far. Good vibes being sent your way.

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Thanks, Johnny!

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Hi Cheryl,

It stinks that you seem to not get a break. Bad pun but it is still early - no caffeine yet this AM.

Would it be worth a consult for a second opinion on your foot? Has something been missed or is this more of the ongoing fun of being an amputee? I hope whatever is happening it will resolve soon!

Hang in there,

Jane

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Thanks, Jane...I'm always on the alert when engaged with medical problems, and if my podiatrist's theories don't seem to make sense, I'd have no problem going after a second opinion. However, I do have a good relationship with my current guy and I'm going to wait and see what the X-rays have to say on Friday.

My right foot has been a major problem for well over 10 years...and it was surgically reconstructed at that 10-years-ago point. Tendon grafts and anchors, hammertoe release, and a full calcaneal transfer where my heel was sawed off, shaved down, repositioned, and then bolted back on. It's all that surgery that might be part of my current problem. I hope not. I'm hoping for a simple little bone spur. But if the tendons are pulling things out of place again, the surgical remedies are a lot more complicated. At that point, I'm definitely going to be doing a lot of research!

Meanwhile, I am indeed hanging in there...I do "hanging in there" very well!

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Cherylm, I really hate to hear this. You had a time of it last year, and isn't this about the time of the year when you do choral concerts? I remember something about music you told us about last year. We certainly do not want you in a wheelchair anytime.

You get better, You Hear!! :smile::angry::smile:

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Thanks, Ann! Yeah, my choral group has just started working on material for both a Veteran's Day performance for the city and our annual holiday concert. Last year my nasty little sore kept me hospitalized for all of Fall and Winter...I think I was discharged just two days before Christmas.

This year, the FFW is much smaller and not infected, so I'm able to be at home...and since our rehearsal hall is right next door to my apartment building, I've even made it to rehearsals! (I'm just really hoping that any foot surgery that comes up can be scheduled around performances :wink: .)

I did a dressing change today, and I think the sore is getting better.........let's hope I'm right!

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Okay, gang....update time!

I had my series of X-rays taken and a follow-up appointment with my podiatrist today. The results are mixed..... Good news first: this year's FFW is healing very well! (After our adventure with last year's FFW, the doctor was extremely impressed with the progress.) It's now down to about 50% of what it measured 10 days ago, and there is still absolutely no sign of infection in either the bone or the soft tissue. (One-legged happy dance!)

The somewhat disappointing news: the X-rays didn't show anything in particular that might be causing these recurring sores. I was hoping for a little bone spur or something else easy to correct, but no such luck. (Sigh......)

And finally, the confusing news that's going to take time to sort out: without that hoped-for little bone spur, we need to determine what precisely is causing the presence of the annual FFWs and how it needs to be treated. According to the doctor, two teensy, tiny little bones known as the sesamoids, which live on either side of where the FFWs hang out, are likely the culprits. Either they (the sesamoids) are too prominent and putting pressure on my tendons, which are then irritating the surrounding tissue, or else I have a tendon that's too tight and is putting pressure on the sesamoids, pulling them ever-so-slightly out of place and irritating the surrounding tissue as it all impacts my right-foot gait. :blink: The possible solutions include shaving down or removing a sesamoid, or else releasing the tight tendon in my calf in order to lengthen my calf muscle.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the tendon release may turn out to be the solution, based on all the other places in my body that have been declared to have "really awfully tight tendons." (A "really awfully tight tendon" was one of the things that kept pulling all those attempted fracture repairs on my left foot apart before I lost that leg.)

Sooo.......that's where I stand. Two-and-a-half weeks until the next check-up, unless something unexpected happens. Perhaps a chance to be doing some limited walking by the end of October. All things considered, it could be much worse.................. :cool:

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hmmmm...all things considered I'm sure you must feel it could be a lot better too. What a bummer Cheryl that you might have to face more surgery. But EXCELLENT that you are able to get to rehearsals! Are you Soprano? Alto? and what pieces are you singing (Is that too nosy? - if it is just tell me to go away...)

Seriously though, I know we all do 'patience' and 'waiting' and 'hanging in there',but at the risk of you throwing something at me - keep on doing all three and fingers crossed for a bit of walking next month! We are all sending even more good vibes ...

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Thanks, Kate...the "hanging in there" is still going strong. It looks like I might get a couple of social "outings" this week, which will help with my mood, I'm sure...my niece is coming over on Thursday to take me out for "brunch" and a haircut (and I most desperately need a haircut!), and my sister and bro-in-law are coming by next Sunday to haul me out to lunch and let me see their new car. I can get around to do my own grocery shopping, visit the video store to rent a film, and, of course, roll over to choir rehearsals. Considering my state last year, that's a lot of variety.

Kate, I'm a lifelong first soprano, although I've lost a note at the very top of my range. We have about 25 members in our group and we're well-represented on all parts except for basses...we only have three fellows who can sing bass, but they can really belt it out. The Veteran's Day program was just dropped in our laps last week, and we don't even know what we'll be singing yet...but we have a few patriotic numbers that we did as part of our show last June so we should be able to come up with something that will sound good in a hurry. The Christmas show is just taking shape...so far it's a bunch of fairly traditional carols, some of them arranged as medleys. Our director is supposed to have some more music on order for us, so we shall see! I haven't heard what other soloists or small groups might be working on yet, but my solo is a kind of swingy/jazzy/big-bandish mash-up of some Santa songs.

Now...aren't you sorry you asked?? :wink:

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Wow! A soloist too... I am just a humble 2nd soprano and all round background filler-in, so I bow in admiration and awe at your talent!! I lost my singing voice after intubation on Intensive Care and my speaking voice doesn't sound too good either any more. Despite being told I have no permanent damage it's never come back. So I cherish the memories of the last thing my choir sang before I became ill - Mozart's Requiem. I just about managed Beethoven's Ode To Joy but it nearly killed me! A really good singing voice must be just the most marvellous thing to have and I'm sure you get lots of enjoyment from the choir.

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Kate, I have soooooo much admiration for anyone who can actually hear and sing second soprano! That's one part I just can't manage. If it's really necessary, I can help out on just about every other part. (Although my attempts to get down to a "high bass" sound pretty pathetic and I think I've only been asked to try it once...they were very desperate!) But the very few times that I've attempted to even "plump up" a second soprano section, it's been an utter disaster! I can learn the part, I can sing the part well on my own, I can even sing it along with altos, tenors, basses...but the minute a first soprano is added to the mix, I either revert to that part or just become incredibly lost! (I can be singing something where the seconds have the melody, and I'll still get confused! I literally cannot hear that part!)

I think people who sing are much, much more aware of the quality of their voice than folks who are just listening to them. I stopped singing for several years while I was going through a long and rather traumatic part of my life...and when I started to sing again, it sounded truly embarrassing to me. And I still cringe whenever someone sings a high A and I can't soar up there with them any more. But, yeah, singing is a great thing and I hope you'll be able to reach the point where you can do it again!

The Requiem and the Ode to Joy are both wonderful pieces...must be awesome memories for you! When I lived in L.A., I'd sometimes go to the Master Chorale's "Sing-Along Messiah" concert with a friend...it was so glorious to belt out all that fabulous music!

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OK.........time for another update. I'm trying to stay positive here, since my podiatrist is still very happy with my progress.............but, shoot, I'm still in the wheelchair for at least another couple of weeks. (sigh.........)

I thought I might have actually healed up last week...but I feared it might have been a "fake healing," where the new skin was covering up a still-existing wound. My fears turned out to be correct, and my doctor had to cut away a part of my newly-healed skin. He did say that the underlying wound was still healing beautifully and was once again "about 50% smaller" than the last time he'd seen it. (That makes it 75% smaller than when the FFW first popped up.)

The latest notion on post-healing treatment is...oh my lord...both of the surgeries we've discussed in the past. He explained that, shortly after the surgical reconstruction of my right foot--a little over 10 years ago--it was determined that the whole procedure should have included releasing the tendon on the calf to lengthen that muscle and take more stress off of the tendon graft in the foot. And then, specifically for my FFW situation, a sesamoid bone needs to come out. After going over all of the previous surgery on the foot, he says he really would not suggest any of the commonly employed non-surgical ways of stretching out the calf muscle and attached tendon. Soooo....now I have to start research on those issues and see if a second opinion might be in order.

Life.....it sure can be a complicated thing.................. :wink:

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Hi Cheryl, sorry to read about your situation, I cant or wont even pretend to know what that little lot was all about most of it went straight over my head, (I think I shall spend a bit of time on Google and bring myself up to speed) but it sounds like it sucks and if some little alarm bell is ringing in your head ……………get a second opinion.

Off course I know nothing about stuff like this but I’m sending best wishes anyway.

Mick (now off to Google stuff)

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Thanks, Mick....it's just nice to have a sympathetic "ear" out there......... :smile:

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I have no idea about your problem either Cheryl, but can only empathise with your frustration. Foot wounds can be a real problem and I am only now beginning to realise that just because I have a new leg doesn't mean I will always be able to walk on it...I doubt there is an amputee on here who doesn't understand what I mean! We must be the most patient and stoical bunch - We could write a book on it...good luck with your research and decision making. In the meantime, keep singing.

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Hi Cheryl,

I have very little knowledge about feet, for obvious reasons, but understand the worry and frustrations that are felt when wounds re-occur or don't heal up as quickly as we'd like, days can feel like weeks and weeks begin to feel like months. So glad you are hanging on in there and staying positive, it sounds like you have a good team there treating you so do hope that they get things sorted out for you soon.

Pleased you are enjoying your singing, I don't have a great singing voice myself, but have heard about how beneficial it can be to our well being and have worked out its a bit like deep breathing in that when you concentrate on it you are not worrying about other things.

Good luck also with your research and decision making and do agree about 'life ..... being complicated'.

Take care.

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Thanks, Kate and Ann....support sure helps!

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Hi Cheryl,

Our body parts are very under appreciated until they are bugging the heck out of us are simply are not there!

Like the others I'm a bit clueless about your situation. A second opinion certainly can't hurt and maybe a new set of eyes may offer different thoughts. Has anyone suggested a wound care doc? Maybe they can offer a different perspective if surgery isn't done.

I think our docs should hand out good old punching bags to help us get through times like you are experiencing now. The bag would be particularly helpful for those times when we do hear our most favorite words "be patient, rest, elevate......".

Heck- I wouldn't mind having one in my office. It would be a helpful release for those occasions that leave one shaking our head trying to figure out "the public".

Hang in there!

Jane

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Hi, Jane...

The punching bag sounds like a grand idea! Maybe we could market one :laugh:

My next follow-up with my doctor is Thursday morning, and I'm feeling somewhat more confident that I might be utterly and completely healed by then. There's just a very, very tiny little red dot at the FFW site, and even that has a really thin layer of skin covering it. So we shall see what Doc thinks about it!

In addition to my podiatrist, I had a "review" session on what Wound Care recommended for treatment the last time the FFW popped up. Those suggestions (primarily on cleaning, medicating, and dressing the FFW) make sense to me and have worked well. Their suggestions on relieving the tension/pressure on the foot are, unfortunately, the same sort of procedures that the doctor says aren't going to be good for a foot that's had so much previous surgery done on it.

I've been doing a lot of online research on the two proposed surgeries...unfortunately, the folks who have actually been through one or the other of these surgical procedures tend to be younger men who are very athletic and have had their surgery as the result of some sort of sports injury. (In other words, nothing like me.) Some of them seem satisfied with the results, others were convinced it was a mistake...but those fellows also tend to base their complaints on the fact that they were not "100%" afterward. However.......in a weird coincidence, it turns out that I know someone personally who's had the calf surgery. My "bionic neighbor" is a woman of about my age who has had an amazing array of illnesses and injuries during her life. One of those injuries resulted in an extremely tight tendon in her calf, which was treated with--tah-dah!--lengthening her calf muscle! She's a fan of the results, and is one of the most active "bionic" folks I've ever met.

So I feel a little bit better about at least one of the proposed surgeries. I'm also thinking about asking my current podiatrist arrange for some sort of "consultation" with my old SoCal surgeon who did all the original surgeries on the foot. That was all "cutting-edge" at the time, and I'd be very interested in his opinion on current doc's opinion that the calf surgery is now considered an essential component of the original surgery.

Confused, everyone? I still am, but sitting here "thinking it all through" seems to be giving me a few more thoughts about how to proceed...........so thanks! I'll update again after Thursday! :smile:

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Hi Cheryl,

Fingers are crossed hoping you heard some positive news today. Hang in there....Jane

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