Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sunday Stroke Survival: Still Dealing with Broken Bones

The mini saga on my broken foot continues. I've spent the last couple of weeks dealing with how to prevent this happening again. And maybe in the process, getting my foot to heal faster. Try as I might. I just can't be totally nonweight bearing on my poor foot. My lifestyle, home, and vehicle are not set up for it. I want to say at  this point, I'm so over this!

In the morning, I don my sock and AFO. At this point my foot looks normal. I hobble to the bathroom bearing weight on my heel build up. Little, sharp twinges of pain shoot through my foot as I rise from the commode telling me that my foot is still broken and it wasn't a bad dream. Because of not wearing a shoe with my AFO, my foot inverts with each step as much as the AFO will allow. So begins my day.

I hobble to my rollator sitting where I left it the night before...about ten steps from the bathroom door. I'll one legged roll it to my computer.I'll turn on my little electric heater. I'll read and answer my emails, scan the news, answer YouTube comments and play a couple of games on has two daily challenges in various games so I'm not constantly playing the same games which is nice.

I use the heater to take the morning chill off me. If I'm still chilly by the time I finish my computer work, I'll one legged scoot to the wood stove. Try as I might, I can't make a fire sitting down. There's paper to crumble, an intricate pattern of various sized kindling to lay, and wood to be lifted into the side of the wood stove. It's just barely 7 AM by this time. If I'm chilly, Mel will be freezing when she gets up. While the kindling and wood catches, I'll still be running my personal heater.

I'll sort through my morning and afternoon medications. My medications include Lasix, a potent diuretic.For the next three hours it's a race to see if I make it to the toilet in time. I was slow before living post stroke, but now it's ridiculous. It's a 50-50 shot whether I make it or not. I've gotten to where I keep an extra pair of panties, pants, and socks in the bathroom just in case. Yes, it's gotten that bad. The really bad part is none of the bathroom doors are wide enough for my rollator to fit through so I'm up walking again.

I'll fix Mel's pot of tea and breakfast while I'm up fixing mine. Thank God I make in advance breakfast and freeze it. I made a month's worth of pancakes, French toast, and waffles before I broke my foot. We also do a "big" breakfast for dinner about once a week: bacon, grits, eggs and toast. All I have to do each morning is heat it up and prepare the fruit. Like other people drink coffee in the morning, we've got to have our hot tea for the caffeine jolt. At night, it's a pot of decaffeinated Earl Grey.

After breakfast, I'm chomping at the bit to do something. I haven't seen the rabbits in a month! The rollator does not like the straw bedding in the rabbit barn. Same goes for the chickens in their coop. I've chatted with Little Red and Houdini (Hoo di hoo) as I come and go on one of my various trips out and about because these roosters are still free ranging to give the hens a break.

But I'm nonweight bearing so I spin plarn or wool, or knit for a while until I'm bored with it, and then, it's back to the computer again. And so goes my days.

That brings me to my latest to stop my foot from breaking again because of the spasticity and my AFO. I went to my brace maker. She cut the heel build up down by half. My contracted Achilles heel pulls a bit more but I can live with it. She also put a bar into the padding to keep the ball of my foot from striking so hard with each step and built up the side of my AFO so my inversion isn't so bad. She told me I need a new AFO. This one is only three years old and Medicare and my insurance only pays for a new one every five years. Caught between a rock and a hard place once again. She also suggested putting a rocker sole on the bottom of my shoe on my affected side. It would cost $40 and my insurance doesn't cover it. I'd have to leave my shoe with the cobbler for a week. It's a good thing that I bought a second pair of shoes. I've got one in the shop now. The second pair will go in when the first ones are done.

standard AFO
After my brace maker made the adjustments to my AFO, I was praying hard for a solution to my AFO problem. Although I could charge it to a credit card, I didn't want to. It's another bill added to a fixed income that I had to pay. Well, my prayer was answered. We'd fight the rule (again). But instead of my doctors starting a letters to get it qualified like last time, all I'd have to do is get my doctor to document the changes to my foot because of the spasticity. I could do that! I might mention here that my brace maker, the shoe place, and my PCP are all 30 miles away in a neighboring town. So I've been up and driving around too.

I've just have to hang on until May when I'm scheduled for my rhizotomy. If that alone doesn't markedly reduce my spasticity, I can do Botox again. It's now been nine months since my last injections. More  than enough time for the Botox to get totally out of my system. Maybe, it'll work better like when I first got them. At least that's what I'm praying for if I need Botox again. Maybe, I can again be making forward strides in stroke recovery again.

But this will be a busy year for me and doctors as if it hasn't been already.
At my cardiologist's office, I was greeted by the news that I now have three aortic aneurysms. One in my abdomen and two in the femoral arteries (in each leg). As if three bad valves and an electrical problem in my heart weren't bad enough. The arteries are bad enough that they have to be fixed or they'll rupture killing me. That's slated for sometime this early summer.

My yearly blood work showed some areas of concern mainly my kidneys. The tests showed moderate kidney damage/disease. So, I'm being watched for that. I know the culprits- A bad family history and the drugs I have to be on. I can't do anything about either, but pray. You know if it wasn't for my body working against me, I'd live on this Earth forever. But that's not going to keep me from trying. God willing.

Oh, and about my foot. When I go to bed at night, I pull off my AFO and sock. I'm greeted by my red, angry cartoon foot. You know the one where the swelling is so bad it looks like a balloon? Below the spandex support is rounded with swelling. My toes look like Vienna sausages wedged in those little tin cans. Well, I try to be nonweight bearing.

Nothing is impossible.


  1. Glad you found a solution for the AFO problem, but that's still a lot of hoops to jump through. When you shouldn't have to.

  2. My June 16. 2016 post shows how I keep the covers off my hemiplegic foot. After my 2nd stroke I went to the bathroom at night with my walker so I was startled to read you hobble to the bathroom on your broken foot.

    1. Rebecca, I do use a ball under my blanket and sheets. I've done this since my first stroke 2012. It helps tremendously. It's just the pain involved with the movement that gets me.


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